After spending more than six months in hitherto unexplored areas of Netherlands New Guinea, and marching some 1,500 kilometres (approximately 937 miles) through jungle lands inhabited by natives still in a "stone age" state of development, a French film expedition led by M.
After spending more than six months in hitherto unexplored areas of Netherlands New Guinea, and marching some 1,500 kilometres (approximately 937 miles) through jungle lands inhabited by natives still in a "stone age" state of development, a French film expedition led by M. Pierre Gaisseau has just returned to civilisation.
Visnews cameras filmed Gaisseau and some other members of the expedition when on 19th march they arrived at the small settlement of Waris from the interior (the assistant leader of the expedition, Mr. Delloye and a Dutch patrol officer, Mr. Sneep, suffering from exhaustion, had been flown out earlier).
The proposal to make the expedition was conceived in 1954, when the crew of a Netherlands New Guinea Government aircraft flying over the basin of a river in the Eastern Highlands saw areas of populated and cultivated land which no white man had visited. Gaisseau decided to film the unknown people and their territory and raised sufficient funds ti finance an expedition of two cameramen, a still photographer, a script-writer and a radio operator/engineer. It received the patronage of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and set out from its base at Pirimapun, on the south coast of Netherlands New Guinea on 5th September, 1959, with some 60 Papuan carriers and an escort of six armed policemen under Patrol Officer Sneep.
Although food and medical and other supplies were parachuted to it at intervals, the expedition suffered considerable hardships and three of the carriers died from exhaustion. But thousands of metres of film were shot. The river, seen from the air in 1954, was found and Princess Marijke River after the youngest daughter of Prince Bernhard and Queen Juliana of the Netherlands.
Gaisseau's comment when he returned to civilisation on 19th March was "This sure has been my toughest expedition:"