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These arrows and this bow

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belong to a man who has never seen
a European face.

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So does this house.

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I'm in the middle of Central New Guinea

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and these wonderful mountains
all around

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are one of the few places left
on the surface of the earth

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that are truly unexplored.

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Until only a few months ago

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it was thought that this area
of Central New Guinea

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was completely uninhabited.

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And then Laurie Bragg, the Assistant
District Commissioner for this area

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was looking at some aerial photographs
to try and map this area,

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to make sense out of this tangle
of mountain ranges and rivers.

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And on the photographs
he saw one or two tiny pinpoints,

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which indicated to him that there
there were gardens like this one

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and houses and people.

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People who had not been contacted ever
by the outside world.

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And so it was decided to send
an expedition to try and find them.

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Aeroplanes first arrived in this country
back in the '20s.

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The island of New Guinea is immense
1,500 miles long,

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lying between Australia and the equator,

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and 50 years ago its interior
was virtually blank on the map.

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The aeroplane has ever since
been a key tool in filling in that blank.

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Sometimes by dropping supplies to
explorers who had marched for weeks,

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sometimes by dumping men
on a sand bank by an unknown river,

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sometimes, as now
by giving a man like Laurie Bragg

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a view of what lies ahead of him
before he sets off into new country.

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And the view is hardly welcoming.

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An unbroken carpet of green corduroy,

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jungle as thick and as sticky
as you can find anywhere.

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(Attenborough) Does it look OK
for the canoes?

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(Bragg) Yes, there aren't many snags.
It's hard to tell the current from here

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but it looks pretty good.

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(Attenborough) How many times
have you been here?

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(Bragg) I haven't.
(Attenborough) Has anybody?

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(Bragg) Not beyond here.

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(Attenborough) There's a village!

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(Bragg) It's the last known one.

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You can start to see
some snags in the river now.

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It's a bit marginal for canoes now.

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(Attenborough) There's some bad
rapids. Will we get this high?

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(Bragg
[...]
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