An Eighty Years Ago Quiz

18 Sep

In September of 1936. it was reported that, during his days in New Guinea, Errol had hunted and sold snakes for a widely-heralded herpetologist.

Who was this famous man?


1) He was a preeminent pioneer in his field.

2) He was also a celebrated author and public speaker.

3) He had a very close association with The Bronx Zoo.

4) Here are two photos of him, one in his early expedition era, the second taken approximately at the time Errol was reportedly capturing snakes for him:



— Tim


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  1. zacal

    September 18, 2016 at 6:04 am

    Sounds like a terrific movie. The picture with the giant snake looks like an adventure film. And Errol Flynn is this guy’s snake hunter? A perfect example of Errol’s life being even more colorful than his films.

    • Gentleman Tim

      September 18, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      I agree, zacal. Flynn was absolutely amazing, a never-ending fountain of fantastic adventure stories, the true ones just as fascinating as the myths, often more so.

      On September 21, 1936, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner reported:

      “When Errol Flynn was a part of New Guinea, among other things he collected rare reptiles on commission for the snake expert, ______ _______. Now that he is a permanent Hollywood fixture and no longer has a commission from ______ _______, he drags his bride, the lovely Lili Damita, all over the Mojave Desert, looking for odd insects for the British Museum.”

  2. Gentleman Tim

    September 18, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    He was also a pioneer wildlife filmmaker, a model and inspiration for all who followed in that field.

    • Gentleman Tim

      September 18, 2016 at 6:15 pm

      One hundred years ago, when Errol was six, he co-directed and released a film advocating preservation of the human race. It’s said that this film was at least in part a response to D.W. Griffith’s “Intolerance”. Six years later, he directed a film concerning the evolution of man.

      He was a very skilled filmmaker and promoter, his movies famous around the world, one of which ran a remarkable 37-weeks(!) at The Strand Theater on Broadway.

  3. Tina

    September 18, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Raymond Lee Ditmars

    • Gentleman Tim

      September 18, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      Excellente and welcome back, Tina!!

  4. Gentleman Tim

    September 19, 2016 at 12:25 am

    New Guinea has some of the fiercest and most dangerous snakes in the world. I wonder which ones Errol captured for Doctor Ditmars or otherwise came across in PNG. These snakes reportedly like to hide under coconut shells, so Errol may have seen some in his plantation days, not to mention during his treks through the interior jungles of New Guinea.

    The Papuan Taipan tops the world charts for lethal venom. Highly unlikely though that Errol captured one of those, as apparently very few have ever been captured.


    Maybe he saw the Papuan Sacred Snake Dance, which these friendly-looking fellows are about to begin:


  5. twinarchers

    September 22, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    I hate snakes and all I can say about this is I hoped they killed it.