There's been a lot of talk about the missionary killed by the natives of North Sentinel Island. They're probably so aggressive because of this weirdo, Maurice Vidal Portman. So here's a big thread about this creep and some facts from my decade-long obsession with the island. pic.twitter.com/rfOVjfU2ZY
The Sentinelese are often described as “uncontacted,” but this not strictly true. They had a very significant contact in 1880 with Commander Portman.
Portman, the black sheep third son of some minor noble, was assigned by the English Royal Navy to administer and pacify the Andaman Islands, a job he pursued from 1880-1900 with the full measure of his own perversity. pic.twitter.com/SF00jYoFh3
The crew called for an emergency airlift and were evacuated, and not a moment too soon. Rough waves had thwarted the Sentinelese in their attempts to board, but the weather was clearing. pic.twitter.com/Dkp8Up1mOR
The ship and its cargo were left at the island, awaiting discovery by Neolithic eyes. Today you can still see the gutted remains on The Primrose on Google Earth. pic.twitter.com/xIbzwPFAHX
Imagine climbing on board that ship. A completely alien vessel filled with alien things. Imagine seeing simple machines for the first time. A hinge. A latch. A wheel. Things that would instantly make sense in a satisfying way. Others would be so incomprehensible to avoid notice.