We have at last arrived! I am so anxious to begin our journey to the interior but there are so many preparations to be made. Despite the heat I feel full of energy. S. does not feel quite so enthusiastic and is concerned whether such temperatures and humidity will affect his health. I believe that there will be a period of adaptation, acclimatization of a few weeks and all will be well. In the city the worst one can expect is an upset stomach but I know that other perils await us in the jungle, most notably malaria. I do not speak of it lest I upset S.

Enough of this talk. We are in a country full of colour and smells. It is all so exotic, so noisy and active. We will take time to see local sites as well as arranging our guides, porters, provisions and necessary equipment which we will require for the journey. Of course we must also devise a cage, a carrying case for the beast we hope to capture and bring back for all to see!


  S. refuses to budge from the hotel room - the heat he complains. I admit that it is hot but we have not come so far to stay cooped up in a room. I refuse to argue and just go about the business that must be done.

Went to see the Great Palace today. How magnificent! The work, the imagination that must have been required to build such a structure. Afterward I took some tea in a small cafe nearby and met some Englishmen. They asked why I have come to the East and when I explained that I intend to find and capture Goliathus Hercules they laughed. Laughed! I asked why they laughed and they said that there is no such creature. Well I beg to differ! How can there have been so many sightings, so many records of said sightings over the centuries and there be no beast. They said if so many people have seen it then why has one never been captured alive and put on display.

Well I intend to do just that. I explained the allusive nature of the creature to make them see that this is a task for only the most determined and intrepid.

Ah, S. is calling. Must go.


  The Englishmen laughed when I told them the nature of my quest but the locals stare at me with a kind of reverence when I tell them what I seek. Two men told me of relatives in the North who claim to have seen Goliathus Hercules. I asked them to give me the details as they knew them and what they said corresponds exactly to what I have researched over the years.

It is exciting to be so close. I feel an urgency to get out and into the jungle before any other person beats me to the prize.

S. ventured out for the first time today and was in a far better humour. I am making contacts and soon I will have my party together. I intend to leave in a week's time. The longest week of my life but all must be ready


  I write as proceed North by train. At last we are on our way! It is cosy on the train but outside the rains have started. The going will be difficult in the jungle but what choice have we for this is the season when Goliathus Hercules emerges after seven long years underground.

I have engaged a guide who is from one of the tribes that reside in the jungle. He seems a capable fellow and speaks English well. He had excellent credentials and came highly recommended. Foremost he appears honest. He makes no claim to have ever seen Goliathus Hercules but is full of stories - tribal legends of the creature. This will be helpful as there is usually some measure of truth to such tales.


Goliathus Hercules
  A member of the beetle family - Coleoptera
Member of cicada family - Homoptera

- largest, most fierce, and longest living insect in the world
  • can snap off a grown man's finger
  • mature specimen can grow up to 12 inches
  • lives underground until age of maturity and then lives in trees to the age of twenty
  • lives only in the remote jungle at mid altitudes
  • likes damp, wet areas
  • dark brown or black with hints of gold on Elytra ( front wings) and Tarsus (feet)
  • Helmet - very shiny black with horns of gold which is said to have inspired Japanese Samurai armour

  We are gathering the rest of our porters, locals hired on the spot. There has been some trouble recruiting as many do not want to venture into the jungle in the rainy season they say but I sense some fear. I have had to offer greater compensation to attract them.


  We have begun our walk into the jungle. We will trek for 10 days before we reach the village which will be our base. It is beastly hot. It rains most of the day. I cannot tell if I am wet with rain or perspiration. S. looks unhappy but so far has not complained.


  It is difficult to sleep at night with the mosquitoes droning and the general discomfort of the tent which never seems dry. Compounded with this are the leaches. During the day if one stands still for even one minute the leaches sense the body's warm and make a dart for one's leg. I took off my boot when we stopped to lunch and found near half a dozen sucking the blood of my toes. They are vile. Our guide tells us that if remember to clap our hands 4 times when we arise from our tent in the morning this will send warning to them to leave us alone. I see no scientific basis for this to have any positive effect. Nonetheless S. has started it and claims he gets half as many leaches as he use to!


  Today we arrived to great welcome in the village. We were led to the headman's house who is the brother of our guide. It was nice to be dry for change and I slept well. We will rest a few days before beginning our expedition into the jungle.


  Last night the village elders gathered in the headman's house and regaled us with stories of Goliathus Hercules. Several wore charms around their neck with elytra they claim is from Goliathus Hercules and when I examined them it seemed possible. Yet none who wore these said they have seen the creature alive. They found them along side the path which follows the river to the next village three days walk from here. When I ask them why they think they have never seen one alive they all respond that it is too clever or that it is possessed by some spirit which can make it invisible when it chooses. I think it must simply be camouflage for how can people who live in the jungle and wear amulets with its wings not have ever seen one alive? Perhaps they choose not to see it?


  Last night an old man was carried to the headman's house. He is the only person I have met who claims to have seen Goliathus Hercules. He showed me his left hand. He is missing his index finger which he says was bitten off by the beast when he was a young man. He was climbing a tree looking for wild bird eggs when as he put his hand up to the next branch he felt tremendous pain. As he looked up to see what caused this he saw scurrying away the creature - about the length of a man's hand and wearing a golden crown.


  The old man says that when he was a boy another boy was killed by Goliathus Hercules. No one saw them attack the child but his body was found in the jungle and littered about him were the remains of several of the creatures as if some fierce battle had taken place. S. does not enjoy these stories at all and has indicated we should just return to the city and say that we tried but were not successful. However this will not be a satisfactory answer to my sponsor. On the contrary I am excited by these stories for they are virtually proof that the Goliathus Hercules exists!


  Today we began the walk to the next village some three days away. It is along this route that I expect to find Goliathus Hercules. We have been slowly walking yet I have seen nothing - that is nothing that resembles my prize for there are monkey who screech from great heights up the trees and there all manner of grasshoppers - some with the most gorgeous wings, pink to blue to purple. We stopped walking mid afternoon and upon large teak trees we have hung bait - chicken innards. I intend to set up a watch through the night to observe any activity.


  It is extraordinary - the bait is gone! Yet none of the men on watch claim to have seen anything. I suspect that they may have just fallen asleep and don't want to admit it. Tonight I will keep watch myself! Something else - I saw the most wonderful coloured lights flitting about as dusk came. Like miniature fireworks. I expect that they are some kind of fire fly. It is the first time S. has been excited. He intends to observe and catch some. I am glad that he has something to occupy his time for then I can concentrate fully on my venture.

We will set out more bait. My net made of the sturdiest lightweight wire is at the ready. While it may look like a butterfly or fish net it must be strong for the creature is said to have incredible jaws. I certainly doubt that it will be able to escape for I tested it and cannot pull or break it apart with my hands or shears.


  We are getting closer! However one of my men is the worse for wear! During the evening as he crouched at his appointed spot to observe the tree he heard a noise. Slowly he approached. As to what happened next I am not sure but I heard the most blood curdling scream I have ever heard and then much running and yelling. Apparently the man was bitten full on the nose by something. Goliathus Hercules? He looks ghastly and has returned to the village. Two others went off with him and say they will not return. Tension is growing and I feel that not only is my patience running out but so is my goodwill of my party.

On the positive side, S. captured some of the creatures I described as fireflies. In fact they are a kind of beetle. So lovely, ranging in luminous colour from pinks to bronze to an iridescent red. I am astounded for I have never seen nor read of any such insect. Of course they must be in the jewel beetle family. It is an exciting discovery which is sure to bring accolades but still I cannot rest until Goliathus Hercules is captured. S. has declared they are "fairy beetles" and for the time being we shall call them this until our patron suggests another name.

I am weary but I look forward to the night!


  Once again the meat has vanished yet with no sign of the creature which has taken it. I despair. I am feeling unwell too. Stomach. We will spend one more night and then return to the village. It seems the men will be greatly relieved.




  As we returned to the village we came across the carcass of a goat, undoubtedly strayed from the village. It had been most savagely ripped apart. At first I thought by some large animal but then I saw littered about what I thought were shells of black and gold. Upon closer examination I realized they are elytra - the same as the men wear on charms about their neck! But what savagery! What cannibals! For in the thrill of the kill they appear to have torn apart their comrades! I have read of piranhas that are of a similar bloodthirsty nature. I am shocked yet I am excited for I have a new plan.


  In two days time we will venture into the jungle again. I have purchased a goat from the headman and intend to tie him up - an offering to the beast! S. is basking in his glory over the fairy beetles and says he shall not venture out to see such carnage. He has had his fill. Likewise I am weary and apprehensive too but I cannot return home empty handed. This will be my last attempt for I have insufficient funds to continue.


  We have made camp and the goat is tethered beyond the light of the fire. I have a small but trustworthy party. Only the bravest have ventured out again. While I am excited at the possibility of many swarming the goat I must express some fear for I do wish any harm to come to myself or the men. I had not considered that they might travel as an army. I imagined them as lonely creatures. Time passes so slowly.


  Success! It has taken me a day to recover from the excitement and the experience. I expect never to see such a sight in my life again. Goliathus Hercules came. How many is difficult to know for it was dark and then there was such frenzy. Why do they come sometimes and not others? I believe that they sense fear. Surely the goat trembled as it waited in the dark. As the last light of the fire died we sat in wait listening for any sound. Shortly thereafter the goat began to bleat in a most plaintive wail. While it was tempting to rush up we neither wanted to scare them off nor be attacked ourselves. Slowly we crept forward little by little. At last the signal was given and torch light lit the gruesome sight of goat sprawled upon the ground and a seething mass of black, gold and blood red. They attacked as one yet they trod on their companions and did what was necessary to get the best position. Our light startled them and perhaps that is the best defence. They dislike the bright light and just as quickly as they emerged from the jungle they hastened back. Knowing their weakness I no longer felt fear and with only seconds to act I jumped forward and brought my net down. The goat no longer made any sound and the multitudes had disappeared into the jungle. Under my net I was surprised to see that I had captured three specimens. I rejoiced but to my utter astonishment they seemed to ignore the net and turned upon each other - it appeared that they would fight to the death. It then occurred to me that the reason Goliathus Hercules has not been captured is that not only are they allusive but they are self destructive. As true soldiers they would rather die than be caught. As I appraised the situation I realized that I had no choice but to raise the net for what use would bits of the beast be? I gently raised one side of the net offering opportunity for escape. As I hoped two quickly ceased the moment yet the third was not so fleet. Down came the net and there was my prize!

  I must say he fought valiantly to free himself but to little avail. Transferring him to the specially constructed cage was no easy feat and several were pinched drawing blood. I returned triumphantly to the village as dawn arrived and the inhabitants arose and came to congratulate us and view our captive.

I have named him "Mighty" and he is a magnificent yet ornery character. He is a handsome warrior, fit for battle.

We must make haste and return to the city so that we may send word of our success. It will be to tremendous fanfare that we return home!