giving up coffee

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I was in the Gobi for a month looking for the Mongolian Death Worm as part of my cryptozoology expedition nonsense. Didn't find it. The place completely blew my mind though ... crazy stuff happening all the time. Spoke to a Russian scientist who told me completely seriously that he'd seen lightning strike a well in the deep desert & a dragon fly out of it & spiral off into the stormclouds. Mongolian tribesmen talking about digging dinosaurs out of frozen rivers & using them as food during the winter. More than bog-standard amazing shit. & crazy topography. Dodged six tornadoes in a jeep driving on a flat plain like a Dali landscape. Mistaking mountains for clouds. etc. & the Mongolians themselves are brilliant ... like a super-earthy weirdly shamanic mix of Russians, brawling Scotsman & Siberian shaman. They're tough as shit & really hilarious, with no sense of personal space. Plus they play ping-pong as well as the Chinese :cool:

You'd love it. The throat-singing alone makes it worth a trip.

That sounds AMAZING. :D

Did you encounter - or, dare I say, even ride? - Shai-Hulud?

sandworm.jpg


Sounds like the kind of place where that could very well happen...
 

CHAOTROPIC

on account
The Gobi is more of a dead flat, rock-hard stony plain than a Sahara-like sea of dunes, although there are a few sandy bits. There's one particular bit called the 'singing desert' where if you climb up one of the dunes (which around about 100m high or something - they're enormous) & slide down it, the action of the sand against your body makes a sound like a tuning fork. Even the wind blowing on it can make it sing. Fuck knows what a sandworm would sound like. Sun O)))? :D

The deathworm is a tiddler really - the locals say it's a meter-long brightly coloured maggoty thing - but it seems to scare the pants off everyone. Whole encampments move if someone sees it basking on the sand. They think it spits acid & electrifies the ground, poisoning everything. This is a culture that believes it's unnatural to break the skin of the earth, they have traditionally no agriculture or mining of any kind, so the idea of something coming out from under the ground is particularly horrible for them. They see the ground quite literally as the skin of the Earth, so the deathworm would kindof be like a botfly larvae emerging unexpectedly from the nose of their mother when she was saying, for example, "would you like another cupcake, Mister Tea?". That would kindof freak me out too.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Seconded!

Great stuff there, CT. Sounds like a properly bonkers place.
 
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zhao

there are no accidents
Chaotropic is Agent Moulder.

were you working for the biology department of a uni at the time? how long were you there? which season? who did you stay with? more mongolia stories please!

and what other expeditions have you gone on??
 
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CHAOTROPIC

on account
I don't work for a uni no, I'm part of a three-man expedition team of a cryptozoology centre. They raise money for expeditions & then my team gets sent out to the middle of nowhere to hunt for monsters & weird stuff. The other guys are full time & so live in abject poverty. I'm a science journalist the rest of the time. Crytozoology is just a hobby.

We were in Mongolia for four weeks, all but two days of which was in the deep Gobi in tents, or with the nomads in their girs. I flew back on my 30th birthday at the end of May & had breakfast in Ulaanbaatar, caviar & blinis for lunch in Moscow, & ecstasy for dinner in London :D

I started doing this about seven or eight years ago & used to spend a month every year out of the country. I've been all over the place. The last one was a month in the Guyanese jungle paid for rather unbelievably by Capcom, who thought that a great way to advertise their game 'Monster Hunter 2' would be to send some real monster hunters out to the Amazon to look for the world's biggest anaconda. We discovered a new species of bright green scorpion and lots of Arawak Indians blew our minds telling us of their encounters with 'little people' in the jungle who 'lived under the trees'. We found people who swore they'd seen a monster snake (30ft+) in a small lake under a waterfall waaaaay out in the mountain jungle, but there was a heatwave when we went so it wasn't good snake weather, although we found some unbelievable tracks. Lots of reports of weird animals. Giant horned snakes, weird giant man-eating cats, two-tailed red caiman, etc.

The best expedition so far was two months in the Sumatran rainforest looking for Orang Pendek around a warm lake in the crater of a volcano. Climbed a couple of thousand feet down the side of the mountain into a waterfall-ringed sinkhole that even the locals said had never been explored & watched the Cicadas emerge from their thirteen-year underground hibernation at exactly the same time as, on the other side of the world, a friend of ours in Texas had the same experience. That was pretty cool. Amazing people. Our guide was the local shaman & all the villagers swore he could turn into a tiger. I was supposed to be there again a month ago but I've just started a business & couldn't manage it. Just too much work. They went without me & returned two days before the earthquake flattened their hotel & much of the rest of Padang. I haven't met up with them for a debriefing but from what I hear, they actually watched the Orang Pendek for about a minute & got tons of evidence, footprints, hair samples, half-eaten coconuts for DNA testing, etc.

I'm kicking myself. 'Too much work' seems such an utterly pitiful reason to have missed that :slanted:

However, we should be going to Tajikistan next year, looking for the Almasty, the Russian yeti :cool:

This is reading like a CV ... o_O
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Fucking hell, That is WAY better than working for a university.

Maybe even better than coffee...
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Chaotropic is officially the coolest man on this board. maybe the world.

Almost. That title belongs to this guy:

"Our guide was the local shaman & all the villagers swore he could turn into a tiger."

That's a pretty fuckin good party trick.
 

zhao

there are no accidents
Almost. That title belongs to this guy:

"Our guide was the local shaman & all the villagers swore he could turn into a tiger."

That's a pretty fuckin good party trick.

sure is. film recommendation: Tropical Malady by Apichatpong Weerasethaku - if tarkovsky was a young gay thai man with a lover who happens to be a tiger.

Tropicalmalady01.jpg
 

CHAOTROPIC

on account
Chaotropic is officially the coolest man on this board. maybe the world.

Mistersloane is the coolest guy on this board.

I dunno, I started doing this because I wanted to do the kind of things that I thought adults got up to when I was a child but when I got older, I realised that the crushing banality of conventional institutions sortof sucks the wonder out of things. I think it's important that some things aren't grounded, aren't accepted, aren't codified, aren't nailed down. So, the important thing about my kind of cryptozoology, isn't finding things, necessarily, but simply that the act of looking allows other people to have faith that the world is larger than they've been led to believe. In the same way that surrealism does. It sortof sanctions dreaming. Does that make sense? It's like, somebody in the world has to be doing this, otherwise nobody is doing it, & that what a boring world it would be if nobody was doing things like this.

I dunno. Anyway, Zhau, that's why I do it. It totally relates to music. I'm serious.
 

CHAOTROPIC

on account
Almost. That title belongs to this guy:

"Our guide was the local shaman & all the villagers swore he could turn into a tiger."

That's a pretty fuckin good party trick.

The guy was amazing. Basically, the whole of Sumatra has this legend of a weird village in the mountains where everyone is a weretiger, & we found them, & it's true, they think they're descended from tigers that left the jungle & they have tainted 'wild' blood & every year their shaman turns into a tiger & rips into them like a fucking chainsaw shedding that blood & that makes it safe for them to go into the forest. Village of weretigers. I've been there :cool:
 

polystyle

Well-known member
Just catching up on Chaotropic on this here coffee thread ...
Trips sound great, excellent to just get out there into the country- in your case multiple countries.

A producer friend and myself did the planning , research for a Nepal Himal yeti 'search' program around 10 years after a last trip there.
in part just to do the show and have a good reason to go back and explore some more and farther out.
The planning and gathering info was alot of fun
but the growing Maoists there put some kibosh on the next trip.
Much was spurred by a book i found in Kathmandu that had the trail of the 'yeti' down to certain mountain passes we could see on one map ...

Mongolia very much on any list of 'next', struggling there after odd weather from what i've heard. The best Sumo wrestlers in Japan these days are the Mongols.

Cheers
Time for coffee !
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
The guy was amazing. Basically, the whole of Sumatra has this legend of a weird village in the mountains where everyone is a weretiger, & we found them, & it's true, they think they're descended from tigers that left the jungle & they have tainted 'wild' blood & every year their shaman turns into a tiger & rips into them like a fucking chainsaw shedding that blood & that makes it safe for them to go into the forest. Village of weretigers. I've been there :cool:

That is indeed pretty cool.

I think I've talked about it on one of the books threads here, but there's this amazing book that would be a good resource for future expeditions:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beasts-Book...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1255962760&sr=1-1

you quite probably have it, but thought i'd flag it up just in case!
 

CHAOTROPIC

on account
Just catching up on Chaotropic on this here coffee thread ...
Trips sound great, excellent to just get out there into the country- in your case multiple countries.

A producer friend and myself did the planning , research for a Nepal Himal yeti 'search' program around 10 years after a last trip there.
in part just to do the show and have a good reason to go back and explore some more and farther out.
The planning and gathering info was alot of fun
but the growing Maoists there put some kibosh on the next trip.
Much was spurred by a book i found in Kathmandu that had the trail of the 'yeti' down to certain mountain passes we could see on one map ...

Mongolia very much on any list of 'next', struggling there after odd weather from what i've heard. The best Sumo wrestlers in Japan these days are the Mongols.

Cheers
Time for coffee !

Monglians can really wrestle. I got magnificently pulverised by a couple of guys over there. I was like a lego man in the hands of a gorilla when we were standing up. Challenged them to a match with BJJ rules & went 1:1. I don't think the altitude helped either though ... you get out of breath just walking around.

On the sumo front, we were in a restaurant in Ulaanbaatar one day & on the table next to us were six giant sumo wrestlers in full costume, including, we were told, a yokozuna. Pretty amazing thing to see - I've loved Sumo since it was on Channel 4 narrated by Brian Blessed :cool:
 
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