Monday, May 19, 2008

A Visit To The "Garden Of Eden"

(CBS) This story was originally broadcast on Dec. 16, 2007.

It's hard to imagine there are still new frontiers on earth -- places untouched by man. So when a group of scientists found such a spot two years ago and made news around the world with the discovery of dozens of new species, 60 Minutes took notice. And when the scientists described the mountain rain forest on the Indonesian side of New Guinea as a sort of "Garden of Eden," it sounded like a good story for us.

It's about as far as you can get from civilization, or, for that matter, from anywhere. But as correspondent Bob Simon found out, getting there was half the fun.

After a 20-hour flight to Jakarta, Indonesia, followed by a seven-hour plane ride to New Guinea, Simon and the team had concluded the easy part of the trip. They then boarded a single-engine plane with Bruce Beehler, the lead scientist from "Conservation International," which stirred the world with its discoveries in 2005. After an hour in the air, they were looking for a grass runway.

Their small plane skirted the treetops and touched down, landing right in the middle of a party of sorts. The guests of honor: Simon, the 60 Minutes team, and Beehler, all surrounded by dancing and singing Papasena people.

Video: Garden of Eden
Full article CBS

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