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Gareth Huntley Missing 1 week

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Max Headroom
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Gareth Huntley Missing 1 week

Postby Max Headroom » Wed, 04 Jun 2014 10:15 am

Something doesn't quite add up. I've done that waterfall trek and it's ever so hard to get lost there, because the actual waterfall is less than a stone's throw away from that road between Tekek and Juara.

I reckon he must have wandered off deeper into the jungle and gotten lost in there, maybe after becoming incapacitated by a snake or scorpion bite, as has been suggested.

That said, the fact that a week on they haven't been able to find a trace of him, with the help of a canine unit no less, suggests that he must have ended up really deep in the jungle.

Or perhaps something more sinister is going on.

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Re: Gareth Huntley Missing 1 week

Postby JR8 » Wed, 04 Jun 2014 10:26 am

Max Headroom wrote:Something doesn't quite add up. I've done that waterfall trek and it's ever so hard to get lost there, because the actual waterfall is less than a stone's throw away from that road between Tekek and Juara.
I reckon he must have wandered off deeper into the jungle and gotten lost in there, maybe after becoming incapacitated by a snake or scorpion bite, as has been suggested.
That said, the fact that a week on they haven't been able to find a trace of him, with the help of a canine unit no less, suggests that he must have ended up really deep in the jungle.
Or perhaps something more sinister is going on.



As I commented elsewhere a day or two ago...
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The walk from Juara across the island to Tekek is about 4 miles, and takes about 3 leisurely hours, stopping to have water, and to the enjoy the fauna, flora and vistas on the way. It is a popular 'Thing To Do' for some, the path undulates a little but is well cleared and marked. I met one young lady who jogged the whole route, end to end, in about 90 minutes, so I think you need this story within the context of that walk not being at all unusual, or notably dangerous, or even that arduous - particularly for someone who is already acclimatised, and apparently an 'experienced backpacker and adventurer'. Tioman is also a very small place, physically, and socially. Someone surely knows where this guy is, and I doubt it is simply 'lost along the x-island trail'.
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Postby Max Headroom » Wed, 04 Jun 2014 12:25 pm

Looks like we're both right; just read that the search party found a trail deeper into the jungle, near G. Kajang, that they believe is Gareth's.

Getting lost near Kajang is a bit more perilous, because the jungle there is crazy dense. It's The Lost World if ever there was one.

He won't die from thirst I don't think, but even though it's not a huge jungle, you need to know what you're doing eh, which I think is to stay in the same place until you get found. Right now it appears as if he may be meandering unfortunately.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 04 Jun 2014 1:49 pm

Max Headroom wrote:Looks like we're both right; just read that the search party found a trail deeper into the jungle, near G. Kajang, that they believe is Gareth's.


That would have required him to take a completely different route.
see:
http://www.cuti.my/Sub/Pahang/tioman/tiomanmap_big.gif
And compare the route he said he was taking, Juara > Tekek, versus, Juara via Gunung Kajang, over to Paya on the other side. I don't believe the latter is an established or 'tourist trail', and I doubt he would have considered that as something to do unaccompanied. Neither would anyone bank of arriving at destination, later in a day, without some form of accommodation being pre-arranged. Someone really informed and care-free might at Tekek, but Paya is a tiny kampong, and I don't know if it has any tourist accommodation at all. Far from a place you'd arrive at unannounced late in the day.

Max Headroom wrote:Getting lost near Kajang is a bit more perilous, because the jungle there is crazy dense. It's The Lost World if ever there was one.


IME jungle isn't 'dense', at all. Well, it is at the canopy level, but at ground level where much light is blocked out there is little vegetation, and you're pretty much free to walk where ever you wish within limitations (rivers, hillsides etc). Throw in a track or marked path, and it's hard to lose your way. Furthermore, if you're navigating in a generally straight line from say east to west it's hard to randomly meander off. This is especially so if you're crossing a central ridge where a the outset you tend to have something like a distant peak as a part-way destination, followed by a view from that peak, down to say the shoreline destination at the conclusion. Some of the simplest things guide you, the direction of the sun, the direction any water/streams flow in, etc. Keep in mind this guy was doing the equivalent of hiking across MacRitchie Reservoir, rather than crossing the Amazon basin.

People who seek to simply cross an island, wouldn't normally aim to scale a remote mountain en route.

Max Headroom wrote:He won't die from thirst I don't think, but even though it's not a huge jungle, you need to know what you're doing eh, which I think is to stay in the same place until you get found. Right now it appears as if he may be meandering unfortunately.


If you got lost in MacRitchie, would you await rescue, and fear dying there? I don't think you need 'special survival skills' to visit either.

I don't think natural menace or huge challenge should be imagined in this case. Not every '''dangerous creature''' in the jungle throws itself at you (unlike in the movies), on the contrary they tend to all clear off well before you've any hope of encountering any of them.

I also very much doubt he unnecessarily diverted to 'just happen to climb a mountain' on the way. I'd be focusing on him being on the stated route, or a slight variation, and the possibility of him being injured/incapacitated. OR, him never having set out on the stated route at all, and being somewhere completely different.

If I were there, I'd be trying to chat with the people he had contact with in the days before setting off, and try and build a picture of his plans, and his state of mind etc. If someone is reckless or going off the rails there are usually warning signs. Plus, as I said, Tioman is a 'very small place' and to have someone simply apparently disappear is testing plausibility to a limit. Visitors tend to do activities from a short and familiar list, anyone doing otherwise is going to stand out and probably get talked about.

Anyway, I'm not into a running analysis, but rather just trying to provide a bit of first hand context to try and keep potential events and circumstances within reasonable possibilities.


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