Believer has deathworm story to tell

By ALASTAIR PAULIN and NZPA – The Nelson Mail

Last updated 13:26 01/09/2009

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HUNTING: Christie Douglas was  in  Mongolia for a documentary on the deathworm.

ALASTAIR PAULIN/The Nelson Mail

HUNTING: Christie Douglas was in Mongolia for a documentary on the deathworm.

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There may not actually be solid evidence of an acid-spitting, lightning-throwing Mongolian deathworm living in the Gobi Desert but Motueka cameraman Christie Douglas is a believer and there will definitely be a documentary about it.

Douglas and journalist David Farrier have recently returned from Mongolia, where they spent about two weeks trying to verify the deathworm’s existence.

Some Mongolians say the Allghoi Khorkhoi, or "intestine worm", resembles a 1.5 metre-long creature that jumps out of the sand and kills people by spitting concentrated acid or shooting lightning from its rectum over long distances.

Mr Douglas said the trip was a "real adventure". They were travelling with three Mongolians, and got to know locals who were keen to share their stories of the deathworm.

Mr Farrier would not say if the pair discovered evidence of the fantastical creature because he did not want to reveal too much about the documentary.

"As far as telling the story about the deathworm, I’d say we were pretty successful in what we came back with and we have definitely got a doco on our hands."

The pair recorded about 30 hours of footage, and Mr Farrier is hoping to produce a 90 minute documentary by the middle of next year. He aims to show it at at film festivals and in Mongolia, where the locals are keen to see the results of the filming.

"The story of the creature hasn’t been told yet in any kind of factual way. It’s always been crazy people out with flashlights on their heads looking for it no one has got any facts down about it and that’s what this is going to do."

Mr Farrier said many alleged sightings of the deathworm peaked during the 1950s and a lot of the witnesses were no longer around. "I felt pretty lucky to get to some of them before they are actually dead."

In the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator no-one had heard of the deathworm, he said.

However, as they headed south towards the Gobi Desert more and more locals were aware of it.

Mr Farrier said the whole expedition was a fantastic experience, despite experiencing increasingly unpleasant conditions in the Gobi Desert. They didn’t wash for two weeks, and at one stage it was so dry that when they blew their noses blood would come out.

Mr Farrier said he believed the deathworm existed and another trip to Mongolia wasn’t out of the question. "There are more leads that can be chased up as far as the deathworm goes, and there is also the Almas, which is their version of the Yeti, which comes down from Russia occasionally, and other creatures are calling from Mongolia.

Believer has deathworm story to tell – national | Stuff.co.nz

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