Alii Survivor Palau!
By Dan Bollinger and Louise "Wezzie" Craven
The tenth Survivor series will showcase the beauty and diversity of Palauís undersea world. Several cast members were certified in SCUBA, and during the game, two were rewarded with an excursion aboard a dive boat. The survivors may have experienced cliff jumping at Nikko Bay, snorkeled in Jellyfish Lake, searched for "The Lost Fleet of the Rock Islands", or secured themselves with a reef-hook, a Palauan invention, as sharks, barracuda and sea turtles glided by on the current. Survivorís camera crew remarked that the scenery in Palau was spectacular -- the best they'd ever seen! Survivor fans will see it for themselves when the series premieres in February, 2005.
Rumors of a military theme arose when photos of green, blue and brown camo-style buffs were revealed by Port Vila Presse Online and by Internet fan "palau islander." Several former military sites were chosen for the production, including a Japanese lighthouse and the Rock Islands, where more than 60 Japanese Imperial Navy warships were destroyed during US dive-bomber attacks in 1944. Tribal names are believed to be "Ulong" and "Koror." Tribal flags showed a shark on a background of blue and green and a stingray on a background of orange, brown and green.
Survivor, locally known as "Clear Water, Inc." used Malakal Island in the Koror Port district as its base of operations. Production Camp was reported to be a huge affair on the water, gated with security. The fence surrounding the site was blocked with tarps and closely patrolled by Palauan security guards, but locals could see tents and cargo containers full of equipment. "Clear Water, Inc." also rented the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center for offices.
On the day they were released, Survivor Maps obtained a copy of the official marine restrictions issued by the President of Palau. The marine restrictions declared six islands off-limits during the filming - clues to the tribal camp, challenge and Tribal Council locations.
Beginning Tuesday, October 26, the following prohibitions will apply:
No entry within 1.2 miles of:
pier near Ngeremdiu
No entry onto the land at:
In October, Survivor Maps learned that the Tribal Council was on Ngeruktabel Island near Ngeremdiu, either on the beach, at the lighthouse or on the pier. Recent evidence seems to be supporting the pier location. Prior to the start of the game, locals noticed that a fake pill box or bunker had been constructed at the end of the pier and this month, an Internet blogger claimed that the Tribal Council resembled a Japanese bunker surrounded by war material.
Or, did a lighthouse serve as a backdrop to Survivorís Tribal Council? Ngeruktabelís lighthouse was built by the Germans around 1900. Not much is left except the rock pier, a wide road overgrown by jungle, and the remains of the lighthouse, elevation about 700'. After the Japanese purchased Palau from the Germans around 1914, they built a small compound near the light house. During WWII, the Japanese fortified the roadway with several guns, shelters or pill boxes, and caves. Survivor called the lighthouse "the Japanese lighthouse" and designated part of Ngeruktabel, "The Secret Area."
On the other side of Ngeruktabel Island and linked to the lighthouse by a steep jungle trail down a limestone slope, is Margie's Beach. Survivor removed several palm trees from this area and witnesses reported watching the construction of a wooden foundation with uprights and cross beams. The foundation appeared to be long and narrow, with its shortest width near the high tide line and extending back from the beach. At Margie's Beach and at another beach linked to Margie's behind a limestone hill, witnesses could hear noisy machinery and the sounds of pumps or generators. Survivor had a large crew working on this beach from before sunup to after dark with much boat traffic to and from. Perhaps, survivor flames were extinguished within these walls. The mystery of the Tribal Council will be solved when the show premieres.
The booted contestants stayed at the North Beach Cottages on Babeldaob Island, a large island north of Koror. North Beach is reportedly the best and longest beach in Palau. The cottages were fully booked for the duration of the filming.
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey were in Palau for the last days of filming, and stayed at the Palau Pacific Resort. Following his visit to Palau, Mark Burnett traveled to Madagascar to scout locations for Survivor 11. Other possible Survivor 11 locations include China or a return to Australia.
Early on, locals expressed concern about tree cutting, especially at the German/Japanese Lighthouse, but all in all, the people of Palau were very pleased by the production and behavior of the crew. Locals reported that the CBS Survivor crew was very friendly and spent a lot of money in Palau. Survivor rented boats and vehicles and used local labor and materials, dumping close to $1M into Palau's economy.
Palau Links and Information
Palau Visitors Authority http://www.visit-palau.com/
Fish Ďn Fins, Palauís pioneer dive shop. http://www.fishnfins.com
found @ sucks ~http://p085.ezboard.com/fsurvivorsucksfrm19.showMessageRange?topicID=2327.topic&start=481&stop=496