Richard Lloyd Parry, 24 October 2019
Manser, intriguingly described as a ‘Swiss cowherd’, spent years in Sarawak living among the Penan, one of the last populations of genuine nomads in the world. For six years, he wore a loincloth, hunted with a blowpipe, lived off snake and monkey meat, and directed the Penan in their struggle against the logging companies that were stripping the rainforests where the nomads roamed. Armed police hunted him through the jungle; the Malaysian government, it was said, had put a bounty on his head. He was captured, and escaped. In the first months of the 21st century, Manser sneaked back into Sarawak. While trekking alone through the jungle, he vanished without a trace.