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The Anthropologist who Disappeared – the Solution

In 1953 General Gerald Templer, the new High Commissioner and Director of Operations appointed Richard Noone as ‘Protector of Aborigines’. His job had little to do with ‘protection’. His task was to break the bond between the MNLA communist guerrillas and the Orang Asli, the aboriginal tribes who supported many guerrilla platoons in the deep jungle. Richard’s brother the anthropologist Pat Noone had studied the Temiah (Senoi) tribe in northern Perak and married a Temiah woman called Anjang. Pat had disappeared a year after the Japanese invasion of Malaya.  One evening in December, 1953, Noone was working late, puzzling over his missing brother Pat’s old research papers about the Temiah, the ‘Dream People’, to try and ferret out some psychological advantage that might help win over the Senoi tribes to the government side. It was more than a decade since Pat had vanished, but Richard was obsessed with solving the tormenting puzzle of his disappearance. The telephone shattered his concentration. It was the duty office at the 22 SAS headquarters.  ‘We’ve just had an urgent signal. I can’t discuss it over the phone, but the colonel would like to see you straightaway.’ When Noone walked into the SAS ops room, […]
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