The little people of Flores
It was May 1700 when Montgomery Flynn first entered the Indonesian island of Flores. Exhausted by a sea raid on a French ship, he decided to rest with his band of pirates to build up their energy levels.
As always, he left the troops alone to explore the unspoiled new island.
“Once I had been on the island for the duration of an hour I found myself in very strange camp”,
wrote Flynn in his secret diary – now available to the Adventure Club of Europe (ACE).
“It looked as if it were populated by humans but everything seemed far too small. Small tents made of animal skin and measly stone tools, all looking as if they had been made for the hands of a toddler.”
Flynn suddenly noticed that he was not alone.
They came at me from all sides. Tiny people, hardly any bigger than a meter in stature. I pulled out my sabre. They became frightened. None of them seemed to be a danger to me so I put my sabre away, approached them, and knelt down.”
It was then that Flynn experienced a wonderful, warm welcome from the small people who had apparently never seen a man as big as him. Carefully they touched his face and hands.
“The smallest among them, their children, were no greater than one cubit. Then suddenly more of the little ones rode on elephants into the camp and greeted me. Their elephants were no greater than a simple hound and tame as riding horses. “
The small people of Flores shared their food with Flynn, proudly presenting their tiny tools, one of which they gave to him as a gift. When he returned to his crew in the evening, he wrote the following:
“Nobody should ever find out that here in Flores, in the midst of pirate-ridden waters, live such small, wonderful, and vulnerable people. If the merciless pirates knew of them, these little people would be lost forever.”
Flynn departed once again and kept his encounter with the little ones secret for 10 years, never telling anyone about it. Then, in November 1710, he set sail for the port of Dublin. He was full of rage and sorrow having been accused of fraud. He opened his heart to a man named Jonathan Swift, who happened to be sitting next to him in a pub. As it turned out, Swift was a writer who found himself captivated by Flynn’s exotic discoveries. Trustworthy as Swift was, he managed to elicit Flynn’s mysterious encounters with the little people of Flores. Flynn agreed at the end of the evening that Swift could use his experience as the inspiration for a novel, but made him swear to neither reveal him as a source nor the true location of the tiny ones.
16 years later, Jonathan Swift published the novel Gulliver’s Travels in which he described a journey into the land of the Lilliputians – the small people once known by Montgomery.
Today Flynn’s secret diaries are in the safe hands of the Adventure Club of Europe. The Flynn collection also features the tiny stone tool gifted to him by the little people of Flores. In 2003 there was great turmoil within the ACE as the authenticity of Flynn’s report seemed then to be confirmed.
On the island of Flores researchers discovered the bones of a tiny person. The new human species Homo Floresiensis was baptized. Similarly, the bones of a dwarf form of a Stegodon were found too, a species closely related to the elephant.
In the possession of the Adventure Club of Europe:
- keleton of the Homo Floresiensis
- Flynn’s diaries
- Tiny stone tool