Holmes & the incredible mystery of the dinosaur of Mt Wilhem
23 August 2014
Another ripping Sherlock Homes yarn from the rusty typewriter of PETER KRANZ, forensic debutante, dilettante, bacchant & confidante of the late Dr John Watson
HOLMES was absorbed with something and was hovering over his microscope, whilst Watson was enjoying a comfortable afternoon cup of Earl Grey with a Bourbon Cream.
"Watson, what do you make of this?" cried Holmes peering down his Kohler microscope. Watson spluttered. "Have a heart Holmes, I've just sat down to afternoon tea lovingly provided by Missus Okuk!"
"Put that treat down Watson and come and see this. It's a specimen sent to me by my good friend Sir William McGregor."
"Well I never! A gentleman should never be interrupted in his afternoon Beetons!"
"Oh do shut up and come and look at this."
Watson put his cup down and peered into Holmes' microscope.
"Why, it's a tissue sample from no known species that I am familiar with. However I recall a recent paper from the Zoological Institute of the University of Zurich.
"It has an amusing title. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) was used to determine the amounts of eight oxidative base modifications in DNA extracted from 11 specimens of bones and soft tissues, ranging in age from 40 to over 50 000 years.
“Among the compounds assayed hydantoin derivatives of pyrimidines were quantitatively dominant. From five of the specimens endogenous ancient DNA sequences could be amplified by PCR. The DNA from these specimens contained substantially lower amounts of hydantoins than the six specimens from which no DNA could be amplified."
Holmes - "Please speak God's own English."
Watson - "It's from a dinosaur!"
Holmes - "And it's from New Guinea. We must repair there with haste! McGregor may just have changed the course of science!"
"Well dashed if I can see it, Holmes. What next, a new species of bat with long ears?"
"Bats bells Watson, don't you see this is evidence of a living dinosaur?"
"Well I'll be!"
Holmes hurried Watson onto the Tilbury train.
"If my Bradshaw is correct we can just make it!"
They arrived just in time for the fast packet to Le Havre.
"If I'm not mistaken Watson, there is a steamship bound for the Far East via the Suez Canal. And we can just catch it!"
"Holmes, you astound me once again. And what is all this fuss for? An antique museum specimen?"
"Watson, you misunderstand the import of our find. To discover a living dinosaur. That would be the adventure of a lifetime!"
"Well if you think so Holmes, but I have brought along my trusty service revolver, just in case it should be needed."
"Good man, Watson."
But the evil Moriarty had other ideas. He had infiltrated the offices of Sir William McGregor and obtained advance information of the historic find.
"This so-called dinosaur. Where is it?"
He was interrogating a suspect. Violently.
"It is in the Highlands. The Simbu protect the secret! Please don't hurt me anymore."
But Moriarty's wrath was endless.
"Where?" and crack went the whip. "Where?"
With his dying breath the suspect whispered the word, "Wilhelmsberg".
Watson was observing the equator, east of Suez, through his telescope.
"I say Holmes, come and see these camels walking across the equator."
Holmes took up Watson's telescope.
"Watson, you have a matelot's hair across your lens. Those camels are lice."
"Confound you, Holmes, you spoil everything!"
After three week of travel things were getting rather tense between the two trusty stalwarts.
After a somewhat troublesome journey, they landed at Hollandia (now Jayapura after the Javanese decided to wipe colonial history from a land they had re-colonised from the Dutch).
The intrepid pair were met at the immigration desk by Meneer's Bolt and Ackerman.
"You have immigration permits, no?"
"We are just travellers."
"Travellers, ah? You say so. You must go to Manus to be processed."
"Like baked beans?" asked Holmes innocuously. "We wish to see the Dutch cap" quoting his Netherlands intelligence source.
"You are a terrorist! You say you are importing beans but you are illegal boat arrivals. I will report to Reichsführer Morrison."
Holmes was aghast. Luckily Watson had his wits about him and produced a Marks and Spencer loyalty card and the Indonesians waved him through.
"You are going to see the Dutch cap!" whispered the member of the Komando Pemulihan Keamanan dan Ketertiban (Kopkamtib) (Security and Order Restoration Command) who was escorting them.
Little did they know it, but they were on their way to Mt Wilhelm.
"Holmes, what are we going to do? whispered a frightened Watson.
"Never fear old man, I have something up my sleeve which may confound our captors."
"May I have a word, Komandan?"
"Certainly good sir."
"My friend, we have come across an important scientific discovery which will be of great benefit to both our governments and the greatest advancement of science. Surely you would not want that possibility to go amiss?
"We have evidence of an ancient species of unknown animal living in the hidden recesses of the mountains of New Guinea. We merely wish to collate the evidence. We will give you and your governments due credit of course."
"What is this of what you speak?"
"Dinosaurs!" uttered Holmes. "I have it on the authority of my good friend Professor Tenison Woods that the geology of the uplands of New Guinea are prime candidates for the discovery of prehistoric creatures long though extinct.
“And the Honourable Mr A C Gregory of notable fame has confirmed that we have found evidence of some new species.
"We have taken the somewhat precipitous step of temporarily naming them the O'Neilosaurus, the Tienstin Rex, the Namahglyptus, the Maladinaraptor, the Crocodilus Maximus Somare and the Parakacerotops."
The Komandan, being something of an amateur natural philosopher and short order cook, was intrigued.
"You speak knowledgeably, Mr Holmes. We shall embark on a joint mission to discover further evidence."
"Excellent, good sir! We must make haste to the highlands of central New Guinea, to that area known locally as Simbu.
"But we must take precautions, as I have been informed we may meet with fierce competition."
The competition was fierce indeed. Moriarty had ensured that word had got around. The dino from Kegsugl had got away, And had joined the wild bush dinos, he was worth ten thousand pound, so all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
There was BVD from Amsterdam, on Renpaarden when Holland won the cup, and Bali Boy from Java. He was hard and tough and wiry - just the sort that won't say die. There was courage in his quick impatient tread.
And Kaoru Star from Queensland who bore the badge of gameness in his bright and fiery eye, and the proud and lofty carriage of his head.
Dutch Special Forces, combined with Indonesian insurgents, Queensland profiteers, a secret squad from the Reichswehr and, taking the rear, commandos from the UK Secret Service Bureau led by O'Reilly.
All hot on the heels of Holmes and Watson. They had all been roused into action by Moriarty via a range of devious transnational communications. Twitter be damned!
Cue the dinosaurs!
But our intrepid heroes were a match for the best.
Holmes and Watson peered out from the jungle canopy, "Here, take my Steiners for a better view."
"My God Holmes, it's an O'Neillasaurus!"
"Yes, and he's in pristine condition."
"Should we shoot him?"
"No, he's moving back to his cave."
"Well heavens to Okuk. I never thought I'd live to see this day. A live dinosaur in Papua New Guinea!"
"Hold your horses, Watson, we have to capture him first."
And so Holmes and Watson ventured into the dark cave, where the beast had disappeared. They climbed cliffs, stumbled over boulders, crossed dark rivers and finally discovered the O'Neillasaurus sitting on a mountain of gold.
"This is Lihir! This is Horizon! This is Oil Search! This is LNG!" he ranted.
"This is my precious, you cannot touch it! It's mine! Mine! Mine! All mine!"
"But someday you will be called to account!" cried Holmes.
And suddenly the O'Neillosauras disappeared behind a wall of rock and obfuscation.
"He's gone," whispered Watson.
"I'm afraid, dear friend,” quoth Holmes, that we may never reveal the true mystery of the dinosaur of Mt Wilhelm."
Obed Ikupu - and here he is.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 16 June 2015 at 11:05 AM
One suggestion for a additional character. Basil as the Golgothan.
Posted by: Obed Ikupu | 04 September 2014 at 06:11 AM
I think we're done with the dinosaur analogies. Next up - the toilet Gods.
"The inhabitants of ancient Rome had a sewer goddess, a toilet god and a god of excrement. The sewer goddess Cloacina (named from the Latin word cloaca or sewer) was borrowed from Etruscan mythology and became seen as the protectoress of the Cloaca Maxima, Rome's sewage system.
An early Roman ruler, Titus Tatius, built a shrine to her in his toilet; she was invoked if sewers became blocked or backed up. She was later merged with the better-known Roman goddess Venus and was worshipped at the Shrine of Venus Cloacina in the Roman Forum."
And it's true.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 03 September 2014 at 02:14 PM
Watson has just advised me (via a US twitter account) that the ending is too abrupt. He is right, but it will be corrected.
(Watson is now a professor at the University of Heidelberg by the way)
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 25 August 2014 at 10:26 AM
Hoot! Hoot! Hoot! Auk! Auk! Auk!
Posted by: Obed Ikupu | 25 August 2014 at 08:57 AM
Mi hard lo todok! Parables stret! revealing the dinosaurs of our generation
Posted by: Obed Ikupu | 25 August 2014 at 08:50 AM
Awesome read revealing the corrupt people of Papua New Guinea
Posted by: Obed Ikupu | 25 August 2014 at 08:46 AM
Bloody Stephen Moffat and Dr Who. They've got dinosaurs in Victorian London! But I reckon we got there first.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 24 August 2014 at 08:04 PM
Bernard - updating the PNG Dictionary of Biography would be a great task for your students. They could collaborate with students from other PNG universities. Hey, I might even come and lend a hand!
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 24 August 2014 at 12:05 PM
By the way the ADB reference (AC Gregory) is the Australian Dictionary of Biography. An invaluable resource. It's a sort of encyclopaedia of famous Australian people.
There is also a PNG Dictionary of Biography, but being compiled in the 1970's it is now sadly out of date. I tried to kickstart an update whilst in PNG but had no luck. The UPNG library has the original documents from the people listed, which make interesting reading.
How about the librarians of UPNG, Unitech, Divine Word, SDA South Pacific Uni etc come together to update this most important document?
I'm sure the entry for Beldan Namah would be interesting.
More history. Holmes knew his stuff.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 24 August 2014 at 05:14 AM
The gas chromatography quote from Watson is real. And it is really about trying to find dinosaurs, but sadly long after the age of Holmes.
If you're interested, here it is.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 23 August 2014 at 04:30 PM
This is great stuff....thanks.
Posted by: Peter Ken Gemar | 23 August 2014 at 10:15 AM
Ah, Kera Kranz. That is a good analogy of what transpired at the echelons of power. Simbus will have to read it. I am sending the link to Simbu Discussion Group on Facebook. Wagai we!
Posted by: Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin | 23 August 2014 at 09:52 AM
Thanks Keith. And my old Olympia isn't quite rusted up yet.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 23 August 2014 at 06:29 AM