Tim Flannery and the search for the living fossil

One of the best things about working in television is that you sometimes get to meet amazing people doing extraordinary things. 

And if you are very lucky, you just might get the chance to travel with them to places almost impossible for ordinary people to visit… 

And sometimes, even if you are a part of a film crew, the experience can be more like living in a chapter of Indiana Jones than you could possibly imagine. 

This story had all of the Indiana Jones hallmarks  – remote jungle, helicopters flying over cloud covered mountains, a very tiny spot to land – on the precipice of a 200 metre chasm – above a pre-historic and mysterious bat cave…   

(And happily there were no bad guys shooting at us. Just getting there and back safely was scary enough).

I produced this story with my good friend Dr Richard Smith in 1993. It was shot in the Star Mountains on the western edge of Papua New Guinea for the ABC-TV program A Question of Survival . 

It remains one of my absolute favourites…. 

We travelled with the wonderful and amazing Tim Flannery – scientist, explorer, conservationist and writer – together with his colleague, PNG biologist Lester Seri – to the very place where the two of them, exploring on foot in one of the most remote jungles in the world, had discovered a living fossil – the largest fruit bat on Earth.