World-famous photo reveals Norwich’s ‘lost tribe’

The photo of the double decker in the hole on Earlham Road became famous - but who noticed the other surprise it had in store? The photo of the double decker in the hole on Earlham Road became famous - but who noticed the other surprise it had in store?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
9:35 AM

It’s a haunting face from the past which experts claim could be further evidence that a “lost tribe” once lived – or maybe continues to live – under the ground in Norwich.

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The photo of the double decker in the hole on Earlham Road became famous - but who noticed the other surprise it had in store?The photo of the double decker in the hole on Earlham Road became famous - but who noticed the other surprise it had in store?

The image, which appears to show a distinctly prehistoric figure peering into the street from the cavernous hole, was discovered as the Evening News examined old pictures of the famous Norwich “bus swallowing” incident ahead of the 26th anniversary of the spectacle at the beginning of March.

Steve Adams, Archant’s picture editor, explained: “Dozens of photographs were taken of the bus in the hole in 1988 but we chose the most iconic for publication and it has been reproduced countless thousands of times across the world.

“We were looking at some of the pictures that didn’t appear in the paper and suddenly realised there was clearly a figure appearing from the hole.

“When we enlarged the image, it swiftly became clear that we definitely weren’t dealing with one of the workmen tasked to investigate what had happened.

Lost tribe may be one of many

NASA has photographed almost every inch of the world and the US military has mapped it out to the last hillock but Survival International, which campaigns on behalf of tribal peoples, believes there are still around 70 lost tribes.


‘Lost tribes’ are generally typified by groups of people who have no sustained contact with mainstream society.


The Beothuk tribe of Newfoundland lived amongst settlers but refused to interact, smashed anything ‘modern’ that they found and in the 
1820s eventually became extinct.


The Ache tribe in Paraguay has resisted all interaction with the outside world for centuries. Former cannibals, they were still fighting with stone axes in the 1960s.

Modern societies have always been fascinated by the concept of ‘lost tribes’ – King Henry VIII kept a few ‘savages’ at court, as did the Medicis.

“We were initially baffled, but further research has shown that what we might have unearthed is evidence of a cover-up which has never been publicised before.”

Anthropologists believe that the photograph backs up earlier claims that a hitherto unknown tribe lived below the ground in the city in the abandoned chalk mines beneath Norwich – and they say the tribe may still be living beneath the ground, surfacing only occasionally in order to hunt and seek sunlight.

On Thursday, March 3, 1988, a number 26 bus fell into a 26ft hole that opened up on Earlham Road in Norwich.

The double decker had been swallowed when the road collapsed into a chalk mine which dated back to the 11th century when chalk was extensively mined in Norwich.

Mining tunnels, which can be found between 12 and 90 feet below the surface are known to exist all around medieval Norwich and its outskirts – most have been blocked for safety reasons and all are closed to the public.

Dr Neil Andertall is a locally based anthropologist who has studied the image and evidence given to him after an investigation by the Norwich Evening News.

“I believe that what we are seeing is a man, but not a modern-day man, a man who more resembles one of the ancient races of humans such as the Homo antecessor or Homo erectus species. History has always been hidden beneath our feet: we just didn’t realise we should take that phrase so literally.

“It makes sense: recent discoveries in Happisburgh indicate that early humans created their first settlement in the UK on the north Norfolk 
coast.

“We can only assume that the ‘lost tribe’ underneath Norwich have some way of reaching the surface in order to find food and enjoy the benefits of sunlight.

“Additionally, other mammals, such as moles, have evolved to produce and circulate a larger amount of blood and oxygen-rich haemoglobin in order to thrive underground and there is nothing to say that the Norwich tribe hasn’t followed suit.”

Little is known about Homo antecessor, but it is believed they were the first Britons and sported a stronger browline and bigger teeth than modern humans, measured around 5ft 6in to 6ft tall, weighed between nine and 14 stone and were believed to be predominantly right-handed.

Over the decades, numerous reports have been received of “caveman” type figures being spotted in Norwich, but the Evening News has never been able to obtain any definitive evidence of a “lost tribe” living beneath our feet.

Our photograph appears to tell a different story.

14 comments

  • well on looking at this photo he appears to be wearing glasses not sure really,there looks to be a distinct rim on his nose of glasses

    Report this comment

    David Woodbine

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

  • I cannot help but notice that this troglodyte is wearing some form of vision enhancer. One cannot rule out the possibility that the dweller found the vision enhancers in some form of sewer or other area where discarded items befall. I, however, have not seen this photo previously and neither have I heard of such tribes living beneath or streets. If indeed true, then I urge the council to investigate these beings at the earliest opportunity. Regards, Whiley.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

  • The Anglia Square tribe, known as the Qewdeechavers, have better sense than go sniffing around the Golden Triangle for over-priced croissants.

    Report this comment

    Red Steepler

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

  • I've got news for you - the "caveman" type figures to which you refer are alive and well and are regularly spotted doing their shopping in Anglia Square...

    Report this comment

    57charles

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

  • You might want to hide the comments section on stories like this and you might catch out a few gullible people, otherwise people like David are just going to jump in and ruin it for them.

    Report this comment

    Piranha24

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

  • I think this story has played out now,but could it beChris Houghton hiding from McN

    Report this comment

    grasshopper

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • We lived on and had a shop on the Earlham Rd at that time,sometimes you could see the tribe members returning home very late at night.

    Report this comment

    Rita Adamson

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

  • Silly me, I thought they were real - especially with my experiences round the Anglia sqMagdalen st area! Well said 57charles

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

  • I shop in Anglia Square 57 Charles, and so do many more decent folk. what gives you the right to be so insulting .

    Report this comment

    Melvyn Parkerson

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • Alas, I have been had! This was an April Fool's joke, which I have fallen for. My friend Barry from the fire brigade was also fooled. Well done Archant, you've had me looking like a real wally infront of friends at the senior citizens club. Regards, Whiley.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • GOOD APRIL FOOLS DAY LOL

    Report this comment

    David Woodbine

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

  • I shop in Anglia Square 57 Charles, and so do many more decent folk. what gives you the right to be so insulting .

    Report this comment

    Melvyn Parkerson

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • UG UG UG!!!!

    Report this comment

    57charles

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Alas, I have been had! This was an April Fool's joke, which I have fallen for. My friend Barry from the fire brigade was fooled. Well done Archant, you've had me looking like a real wally infront of friends at the senior citizens club. Regards, Whiley.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

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