Welcome to the
* Adventurer * Explorer * Entertainer * Movie-Star * Conservationist * Dead Set Legend *
More daring than Errol Flynn, more handsome than Mel Gibson, more amusing than Paul Hogan, more deserving of international recognition than any Australian is Zwier Albertus "Alby" Mangels. If you're a fair dinkum Aussie you'll love him, but if you're from an alien shore then chances are you've never heard of him... though he's certainly heard of you and has probably trekked through your backyard at one time. However, Alby belongs to a select group of Australians who remain unappreciated by an ignorant portion of the population.
Up since 12th April 1997 (but originally hosted on ozemail not optusnet - that tells you something about its longevity), this is the THE original web site that aimed to redress this cultural imbalance by introducing international visitors and uninformed Australians to the legend that is... Alby Mangels.
I think we succeeded. We even outlived Alby's own website! These days you can find him on FB here.
Approx page visits since site inception:
18-Oct-17: This short documentary and interview with Alby has just been released by Hugh Minson - good job!
12-Apr-17: Happy 20th year anniversary for this site. We think it might be the oldest site on the internet, and we don't mean just Alby-related sites.
19-Apr-12: Channel Ten's Digital One channel (in Australia) will finally(!) be airing his "Adventure Bound" docos at 5pm-6pm on Saturday afternoons. Alby has about 70 of them in the bag, stretching over a couple of decades. About half of them never aired in Australia before. Nice ONE.
By the way, how would you like to write an original Alby tribute song? You have until 30th June 2012 to enter a competition being run by Lynn Santer, Alby's manager and biographer. Vision to be edited over the song can be seen here on youtube. Lynn's contact details can be found at: www.albymangels.com/#!contact.
12-Apr-12: 15 year anniversary for this site. Consequently, Rob and Shortbread don't look like their 1996 photo any more.
25-Oct-11: Lynn Santer, Alby's biographer, informs us that he now has a brand new website at: www.albymangels.com. All the DVDs have now been digitally re-mastered and are available there – and only there (distributed through www.bookland.net.au).
18-Oct-11: New radio advertisement for Holden Utes saying something like "how would you like some Bear Grylls, Steve Irwin, Alby Mangels, and all of Alby's babes around for a BBQ? We at Holden believe that you can't get too much of a good thing."
01-Jul-09: Lynn Santer wrote: "I thought you would like to know I struck a deal three weeks ago with veteran Hollywood film producer, Paul Mason, to adapt my authorised biography of Alby into a major motion picture". A link is here.
04-Dec-07: Lynn Santer announced the release of her authorised biography The Alby Mangels Story – Beyond World Safari, available from 19-Nov-07. Information about the book can be found here.
* You can also view the (slightly edited) interview she and Alby did with Channel Nine's A Current Affair, broadcast on 19-Nov-07, on youtube. PS - Lynn was not at all happy with the original piece as it went to air (citing misrepresentation from Channel Nine on a number of levels), but Rob (of House of Alby fame) opines that she overreacted:
"Controversy is what the Alby phenomenon is based on.
Alby should be loving this. It is just the tonic to spark interest in the Alby Mangles story and put $$$$ in the bank. Without the chicks and the faked stunts as exposed by his disgruntled cameraman [still waiting to be paid I guess] Alby would be just another Malcolm Douglas (not there's anything wrong with that - Ed).
If the audience wants a serious adventure / wildlife program, tell 'em to watch David Attenborough. If they want to watch a full on Aussie adventurer and pants man who thinks outside the box, then Alby's your man."
25-Apr-07: The website just celebrated
its 10th birthday. As a birthday present, we've finally included the
story of how World Safari 1 almost didn't make it out of the vault (see
World Safari 1 link below).
04-Sep-06: We mourned the loss of fellow legend Steve Irwin
12-May-06: Where Are They Now? Channel 7 TV appearance. More details below.
04-May-06: Shortbread was interviewed on Brisbane radio (Brad & Mak Show - B105). Here is part of the interview on mp3.
26-Jan-06: The website moved from its 9-year home on Ozemail to Optusnet
We were originally hesitant about including this information, because we don't want to encourage any trivialisation of his life with any malarky about star signs or whatever. But we trust you will use this information for good, not evil.
He was born in
The genesis of the Alby Mangels story is told in the
opening sequence of World Safari I.
He and his mate John Field set off on their motorbikes from
During the following six years they were to visit fifty-six countries across four continents, and be fortunate not to perish ten times over. Consequently, Alby became a national celebrity - but it has to be said, many uninformed people do not appreciate his greatness. We firmly believe that reading on, you can only agree that Alby is indeed a dead-set legend.
This ad was
typical of those appearing in small country towns all around
Forget all those Pepsi Max commercials, Alby was the first "in search of serious pain" merchant. But even when he wasn't setting out on the road to pain, he was visiting some beautiful remote places and getting involved in the local culture. Each frame below links to a full-size photo and the full story...
Not only did Alby find himself in numerous dangerous situations, but those around him were also subject to what we have dubbed, The Curse of Alby. How else could you account for the string of deaths, injuries, and accidents that have accompanied Alby wherever he has travelled? For example:
* Sam, his dog, was shot dead (pictured with Alby at top of this page).
* Piers Souter, a young crewman on the Gretta Marie, fell head-first off a jetty into 50 cm of water and was left a quadriplegic. He died a short time later.
* Alby crashed
his chopper on his
* John Field contracted
hepatitis from dodgy water in
* Ray Arlut, manager of
* The Gretta Marie burnt and sank after a suspected gas leak was ignited.
* Judy Green
suffered severe head injuries after a car accident in
* Paco, Alby's South American friend, cut his foot which became painfully infected (Paco - if you read this - please contact us again as your original email address bounced, yes you sent it about 5 years ago... we tried hard to track you down. See contact details at the end of this page.)
* Vik Breglec was beaten up by a prize fighter (this, by contrast, was deliberate!)
* During WSIII, while spotting roos in a 4WD, his dog Jack "jumped" out of the 4WD to chase one. Alby and friends, Doug and Lucinda, were so fixated on the dog that they crashed into a pole. Doug was thrown out of the car and knocked unconscious, and Lucinda bashed her head. Alby was unhurt. (The voice-over has Michelle asking Alby, "Have you ever thought you might be jinxed?" ... Spot on, baby!) For the record, in a 2006 TV interview (Where Are They Now), Alby denied pitching Jack out the back of the truck, saying the cameraman who claimed as much was unsighted on the roof.
* Some hooligans pushed Alby's caravan over a cliff. It would be wrong of you to assume that it was insured.
* ...and countless close shaves, including piranha-infested rivers (see photo), waking up on the bank of a river to find big crocodile tracks all around, getting locked up in a paddy wagon for his own protection, crossing through Mozambique during a civil war, being questioned by police in Peru during a tense build-up of military activity (see photo), etc...
As you progress through World Safari I, II and III, you'll notice that Alby systematically moved from a situation of haplessly walking into danger to actively searching it out, and where there was no danger to be found, to embrace the sight gag. This might not be apparent at first, but once you're aware that Alby personally screened WS I in its early raw form to schools, community halls and drive-ins, then you'll see how Alby began to absorb consumer feedback. He surely noticed that the audience reacted best to the close scrapes, and this was kept in mind for the later films.
note-worthy is the scene in WS III when Alby and his nephew, Rick, try to
paddle in an inflatable dinghy out from
Rob would like to
mention that in about 1983 Alby visited his school,
By the close of WS III, Alby's direction technique had really matured. Even the well-known producer of the Australian satire Frontline, Santo Cilauro, cited Alby as a major influence. The overdubbed sound, the dodgy camera angles, the logistical impossibilities of the story-lines are some of the key features of Alby's production style which set him apart from your average doco-maker.
You want examples? The best, as you might imagine, are found in WS III after Alby had conducted his market research (namely WS I and II). How about when Alby proposes to Michelle, and then she comes to stay with him in a pair of run-down shacks in the middle of nowhere. While we see Alby taking a bath, Michelle is seen writing a "it's been a pleasure, good-bye" note, and slipping away quietly. The cameraman wasn't even thoughtful enough to run next door and tell Alby she was bailing out.
The other classic scene in WS III is when Rick stacks an old Dodge after the brakes fail. The only problem is the dual camera angles, one on the brake-pumping and the other following the truck over the ravine.
That's enough, watch the rest for yourself.
Alby the friend of the animal kingdom:
* His dog Sam was his pride and joy before Alby was devastated by its senseless killing.
* He saved a fawn from crocodile-infested waters.
* He found a foal with a fly-blown hole in its neck, he carried it all the way to the nearest farm, milked its mother by hand to bottle-feed the infant, and then spent weeks nursing it back to health.
* While flying over a flooded area of Western Australia, Alby spotted cattle and horses stranded on small islands created by the flooding, some already dead, some starving. He became very emotional, and spent the next two days filling up the small borrowed plane with 25 bails of hay and dropping it on the islands.
* He cited that
one of the most disturbing images he saw in
* Alby is patron for the Mountain Gorilla Survival Appeal, which is affiliated to the International Mountain Gorilla Conservation Programme. On this note, Alby's friend C.J.Horse wrote to us on January 26th 1999 with the following impassioned appeal:
"Alby has had his heart torn by the fact that the Mountain
Mountain Gorilla Survival Appeal
Thankyou for your support,
Horse (and Alby)"
A champion of indigenous cultures:
Alby is always ready to make friends with any peoples that he meets. Indeed, while in the
Alby's talents extend far beyond his film-making abilities. Here's a few of them.
* His ability to fix things, like the broken main traverse spring in the DAF, using a steel tow rope.
* In terms of "occupations", he has variously been a brick-layer, a mechanic, a baker, a stockman, a jockey, and an insurance salesman. In terms of the latter, he worked for Old Mutual, the biggest life insurance company in South Africa, to raise money to keep WS I going. In the first eleven weeks he made more money in that short time than anyone had ever made in the entire 140 year history of the company.
* His ability to
inspire people to greatness. Tina Dalton was no-one in particular, just a
National Parks & Wildlife ranger before she chanced upon Alby near
* After Piers Souter became a quadriplegic, he and Piers jointly redesigned a wheelchair that would enable disabled people to transfer from bed to chair to car, unaided. Their design won the Australian Design Award and the Premiers Award for design excellence in 1983.
* He came second in the Australian Water-Skiing Marathon Titles one year.
* He's a black
belt in Taekwondo!
Judy Green, Tina Dalton, Lucinda-la-Bond-Babe Dunn, and Alby's favourite, Michelle Els, are just a few of the girls privileged to have known Alby personally. You won't find a nicer bunch of girls in a documentary anywhere.
All of Alby's best quotes come from WSIII, when he really exposed himself to his audience, when we really found out who Alby is. And the answer is... well these quotes will give you an insight:
1. First, I'll
set the scene: Alby has just bought a Dodge for $50 (yes, another one), and has
towed a battered caravan to a deserted beach somewhere in
"Glad to see you weren't alone."
Alby: "Yeah, well, I don't know where she came from. I think she was selling encyclopaedias from van to van."
Soon after, Alby takes his nephew Rick on a camel-riding expedition in
Michelle: "Couldn't you find a girl to go with you?"
Alby: "Sure I could've, but I was still sort of thinking about you." [Sort of]
Alby (to Rick): "There's a woman out there!"
Michelle (voice-over): "I don't believe it."
Alby (to Rick): "I don't believe it."
Michelle (voice-over): "That's what I said."
4. It turned out to be... Tina Dalton, NPWS Ranger. Alby warmed to Tina straight away, but Tina was a bit skeptical of Alby, basically accusing him of including girls in previous movies for meat-value only. Alby's reply is reproduced here in totality:
"People think that I'm a real womaniser. Well, I mean, I don't say I'm not, but I'm not as bad as they think I am. I mean... in World Safari Two I had about six or seven women - call it ten women, right? And those ten women came on the screen in an hour and a half or two hours, right? But that was over a period of eight years!"
[Far be it for us mere mortals to contradict Alby, but our estimations put the time period closer to five years (February, 1981 to 1986, at the latest, when the book was published), and we can only count three girls in that time: Amanda, Judy and Michelle. Have we missed something? Perhaps a native here and there?]
5. It hurts to
say this, but Alby wasn't really himself towards the end of WSIII. Early in the
film an African witchdoctor had told Alby that he was going to befall some bad ju-ju. Well, isn't that a surprise! Alby should have been
more concerned if the fellow had told him that nothing would go wrong (read
"no film content"). The movie follows, in part, his search for a wise
man from whom to get some answers. Of course the search for meaning and truth
is to be applauded, but when the answers that he finds from some supposedly
"wise man" in the Himba tribe in
I looked at the animals [from the
chopper], calmed by their simple majesty, I saw that there's a balance in
nature: good and evil, life and death. But if the balance is lost, if there's a
battle between man and nature, there can only be one loser. Goodbye
6. Here's one contributed by "Horse", from Wild Ocean Safari:
Alby: "What sort of fish is this?"
Islander: "Salt water fish"
Alby: "Where do you catch them?"
Islander: "Out of the sea"
Alby should have followed this with I'll make the gags around here and walloped him, but I'm sure he didn't.
"An incredible journey… a spectacular six year journey through 56 countries including some of the most savage-dreaded wastelands & last frontiers of the world. The ultimate movie trip." *
This is the classic and remarkable movie that kicked off the Alby phenomenon. It was released to the general public in about 1981, took 4 years by our reckoning to make the light of day (it is listed in IMDB as 1977). But it almost didn't escape the vault. Here's why...
After Alby and John arrived in Holland at the end of their epic journey, and with John admitted to hospital with a recurrence of hepatitis, Alby travelled to England to weave his salesman's magic with the BBC. He had about 900 metres of film with him, and another 1200 metres back in Australia. The BBC initially showed some interest, but also said it was too 'rough, shaky and amateurish' to produce into a film. Alby was shattered, and bailed with John back to Oz.
For more than a year he worked with John and some other mates in Mooloolaba, Queensland to build out the shell of a 15-metre square-rigged topsail ketch. Meanwhile Alby was dreaming about what he could do with the film, but John didn't want to know about it. They eventually put a crew together and sailed the ketch down to Adelaide in a hair-raising journey. After a further two years' preparation, the Gretta Marie was fully grown. When Alby had arrived in Adelaide, he showed the film to the South Australian Film Corp, and was told to forget about it, as post-production would cost around $1000 per minute. Well no well-meaning quasi-government officials were going to rob Alby of his dream, and he convinced John to sink the last of their money into a promotion for the film. It bombed, and they lost $6000.
Alby forgot about it again for a while, until the accident that put Piers Souter into a wheelchair. While helping Piers to convalesce in Melbourne, he started to take the film around to schools - which actually made him enough money to fund improvements to the film, especially to the sound track. He decided to promote and show the film in a few halls in Ballarat, even booking some TV ads. The first (nervous) night there were 600 people waiting to get in and he was a one-man-band, having to sell tickets, introduce the film and fire up the projector. Two weeks of showings raised more money to complete the final version of the film - the one that you can see today when you order it from Alby's website! At this time, John Field sold his share of the film to Alby. After a minor accident on the Gretta Marie in Cairns, Queensland, again he needed to pull out the film to fund repairs.
One night in a packed Mareeba Drive-in, the projector died and after 4 hours of failure to re-ignite it, they had to refund everyone's money. To Alby's surprise, the next night all the punters turned up again. This night the projector worked fine, and Alby lay down in the back of the panel van from whence the film was being projected. At interval, everyone was waiting for his famous half-time talk, but instead he was found snoring by the Drive-in Manager.
How long these countryside showings went on for is unclear, but it appears to have funded his purchase of a farm and his next expedition... WSII.
"The New Adventure… This is the real story of an ordinary man who set out to pursue his dream for the second time." *
The adventure began on 7th February, 1981. The film was released in about 1986 (well, that's what we estimated, but it is listed in IMDB as 20th December, 1984). This is the one that stars Judy Green, who almost came to a sticky end. Here's something else a bit interesting, IMDB also calls it "World Safari II - The Final Adventure"... but like Johnny Farnham, he had to make a come-back... in fact, he had dozens of other adventures to come.
"Escape… A film that beautifully blends the Honesty of Love and Compassion with the Danger and Excitement of High Adventure." *
A World Safari
III Christmas Story
So that you're
fully aware of Alby's place in history, one or more of these movies outgrossed Star Wars, Superman II, Ghostbusters, and
* The text in quotes is the blurb from the cover of the video, not our editorial content.
Twenty-six 1-hour documentaries were released that contained a superset of material from WSI, WSII and WSIII. When they were first screened they won their 6.30-7.30pm time slot on Australian TV. There are a host of other specials, many which only went to air on the Travel Channel (USA), and not Australia (well we at the House of Alby never saw them anyway). Anyhow, they're all available from Alby's web site - around 70 titles.
Book 1: Alby Mangel's (sic) World Safari
book based on the WSI and WSII adventures was released in 1986 and written with
the assistance of Marie Appleton. Its ISBN is 0949155102, and while well and
truly out of print is available for borrowing from the NSW State Library, or
from the Eastwood branch of Ryde Library, Sydney. If it's not available it's
because we're borrowing it. It was published by Savvas
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Almost all of the fine photos you see in this Web site were scanned from this book, and most of the information gleaned from it also. It's a great read!
Book 2: The Alby Mangels Story - Beyond World Safari
The publicist said:
agreeing to placate his diehard fans who have been screaming to know
what happened to him, Alby has broken his 15 year silence in
self-imposed seclusion and is speaking out like never before in this
full and frank authorized biography.
Many myths and misconceptions have sprung up around Alby over the last 15 years, but during that time Alby has not been idle. He now has no less than eighty wildlife and environmentally-based documentaries under his belt, which have been screening internationally over the past decade, some to the highest ratings ever achieved on the US Discovery Channel. He has also created a native wildlife sanctuary on his pristine hideaway property in rural South Australia, and he’s discovered a new spiritual path of peace and acceptance after a terrible accident nearly left him unable to walk again.
You may well be asking yourself two questions at this point. Why did Alby choose Lynn Santer above any other author in the world to write his deeply personal story? And why now?
Lynn and Alby originally met when Lynn was organizing the World Wildlife Fund’s 25th anniversary in Australia celebrations at Dreamworld, where Lynn has a long standing association with Dreamworld’s Endangered Tiger Fund. As both an accomplished author and a wildlife conservationist who has won awards recognising her work for animal welfare since she was 11 years old, Lynn attracted Alby’s attention.
Like many, Lynn had heard of the legend that was Alby Mangels decades earlier but in truth she had never even watched any of his films. When he sat her down and told her about his poverty and trial-stricken childhood, his dreams, his lust for adventure, his fervour for our natural world, his dazzling rise to the dizzy heights of hero-worship, and his crash back down to earth after his empire, his dreams and his reputation were shattered by a sequence of gut-wrenching disasters, Lynn’s heart went out to him and her writer’s zeal ached to tell his story to the world.
tell-all biography the man, the myth, and the magic that is Alby
Mangels that will leave you gasping for breath, crying with laughter,
weeping at the tragedies, and cheering with inspiration at his triumph
against all odds.
longer any need to battle with long-distance phone calls to the National
Film and Sound Archive in
Alby once revealed that he was considering a reprint of the 1986 book, but that someone lost all the negatives - d'oh! So forget that one, except in a garage sale.
book is published by Jo Jo Publishing and distributed by MacMillans.
It was available from 19th November 2007 in stores across Australia
and it can also be ordered direct from the publishers or on Alby's official web-site. Notably, the new book doesn't
have a spelling mistake in Alby's name on the front cover!
In April, 1996,
the two authors of this Web Site (Shortbread and Rob) drove a Combi Van into
Anyway, we tried ringing 013 and the "Oz on Disk" Australia-wide telephone guide. No joy. We tried searching on the Internet (of all places!) in some vain hope of finding something of his whereabouts. No dice. We called Channel 7 for information. They told us to shove off. We tried Channel 10 - they'd never even heard of him! Channel 9 gave us the most hope but in the end all their old contacts came to a dead-end. We asked a local book exchange to look out for copies of the World Safari book, which we hadn't yet been able to track down. Didn't hear back from them.
Then we found out
that the National Film and Sound Archive in
Our final attempt
to get a hold on his whereabouts was to write to Brian Wiltshire (of
Nevertheless, we started our two-week trip with high hopes that we would stumble across some information that would point us in the right direction before it was time to head back home. The only problem was, we had taken a non-believer on board: Roland (that's him in the middle). We should have checked his credentials before letting him onto the bus, because he lasted about 30 minutes into the on-board video of WSIII before he was heard to exclaim "I can't hack this!"
Anyway, the nett outcome of the trip was that we failed to find Alby. [In April 1997 we originally wrote: "If you know where he is, please e-mail us. We promise that he doesn't owe us any money." Please read on for the latest developments.]
This simple mural
was drawn to record our historical journey. We will offer a significant prize
(as yet undetermined) to anyone who can find the mural and prove they found it!
You've already been given one clue - it's in
In Search Of... Chapter Two
The sightings chronicle took a new and dramatic turn in October, 1997, and is worthy of inclusion as a second chapter. An e-mail from a lady called Sharon Reihart gave us the most up-to-date and verifiable sighting yet (at the time). In her own words:
just returned from Oz less than two weeks ago. I've watched Alby on our Travel
And here is the proof for those of you who thought
this must be too good to be fair dinkum:
10th June, 1997: this has the ring of apocrypha to us but who are we to argue? "Dave" writes that his "friend Nicole" told him that it wasn't Alby that was windsurfing in WSIII, but her uncle!! "Remember how we only saw the feet? hmmm...the plot thickens....". Evidence, Dave, where is it??
7th July, 1997:
Adam West writes that in the Coorong (SA), he had a
base camp, an old, stone cottage right on the water front, not far from the
8th July, 1997: Wetjens Dimmlich writes that he
was actually in
10th July, 1997: Des Mundy claims that "along with two other great mates we once co-owned a shack with Alby at Woods Well on the Coorong." Noticeably warmer, it is.
13th July, 1997: you can thank this lady, Jennifer Boardman, for being a key player in bringing the world of Alby to the masses; she describes being mesmerized by Alby's exploits for the 10 or so years she worked for him promoting his movies." Who turned up the gas?
1997: Sharon Reihart meets Alby on a plane trip from
1998: Leif Ryding, a Swedish journalist, contacted us
with a mission to get in touch with Alby, since he is creating a documentary
about the "Klaraborg", the 1850's sailing
ship that Alby travelled on during WS1. Leif himself sailed from
1998: Shortbread's colleague at Oracle
1998: A long-time friend of Shortbread who grew up in
3rd February, 1998: Gerald Griesel writes: "I live in Johannesburg South Africa and met up with Alby in Hout Bay Cape Town in 1992/93. Alby and I travelled to the West Coast of South Africa with an idea to start a diamond mining documentary."
28th February, 1998: This sighting is unbelievable. Your co-webmaster, Rob Mitchell, of Ermington, Sydney, says he might have seen Alby in the Carlton Crest hotel right here in Sydney - he had the 50-ish look, the hair, the blue jeans, the cowboy buckle, the chick, and looked right out of place amongst all the businessmen, and yet Rob was able to convince himself that this wasn't Alby. What a wimp, he didn't even make the move to confirm his disbelief!
29th June, 1998: Matt Ellis (Black Forrest, SA) sent us this valuable artifact... yes it's Rick Snel's business card!... plus a wealth of other material including press clippings from every two-bit town in Australia, procured apparently from an Ad Agency involved with the publicity of WSIII (though all the articles are about WSI):
8th July, 1998: Matt Ellis again - "the company where my film buddies are getting their Digital Video cameras in Adelaide were just talking to the shop assistant when he said you'll never guess who we had in here yesterday my friends go who? and apparently Alby came in and spent $30,000 on new DV cameras and the likes." Now that can only be good news for the fans.
4th August, 1998:
we received the following message: "My name is Anna Berry-Leon and I knew
Alby when he was traveling from
24th August, 1998: Alby gave us his e-mail address. What a time of rejoicing. We cannot release it, but will judiciously pass on letters to Alby if you really ask nicely. We don't want to become an annoyance remember.
1998: From Paul Iacono,
2nd October, 1998: Alby releases his own commercial web site. You now have direct access to the "source". See below for more details.
3rd January, 1999: "Horse" writes: "As for the Daff, I have just picked it up from its hidy hole last week. I intend to be restoring this thing one day, except for the fact that it is extremely rusted out. However the pictures are still on the car and the spear hole is still there!!!" More info coming I hope.
6th January, 1999: Clem Devine, boat-builder, writes that a mutual friend is building Alby's next boat - a Perry 43' catamaran (Brian Perry in Labrador Qld).
9th January, 1999: Daniel Weadon wrote to tell us that a bloke sitting next to him at lunch-time said that he beat Alby in a game of tennis about 10 years ago. This one is an Urban Myth, of course.
15th January, 1999: Belinda Jane Humphris writes that "Alby is indeed alive and well and living in suburban Adelaide... and a friend just last Saturday helped him round up his sheep and dog that had escaped out of his backyard on to the streets." Yes, and for the sake of the American audience, kangaroos graze in Rundle Mall as well.
1999: Tom Wilkinson, of B.C.
1999: S.Clark says that while flicking through the
most recent issue of Cruising World magazine he happened across what appears to
be Alby's catamaran for sale in the
7th March, 1999:
Horse, who provides us with lots of up-to-date information, writes that today
Alby set off on yet another journey around the Western Pacific (eg.
24th March, 1999:
An old Rover Scout friend, Nick Buchner - now
Marketing Manager for
30th April, 1999: Phil Soto And Stacy Austin from "sunny California & the Big Island Of Hawaii" wrote: "We surveyed the peninsula with him inorder to gain attention at Australasian Wildlife Conference in Currumbin back in 1991. Alby Stacy and Myself made a plea to protect the Calca(?) and its flora and fauna. We made a 10 min. video with Alby regarding tha peninsula."
9th May, 1999: Emily from
16th June, 1999:
From Bob "The Albyphile" Avon,
23rd July, 1999: From our anonymous source: this is Alby in Port Vila, Vanuatu on the South Pacific Safari getting the make-over from Joey (Sherri-Jo Wilkins). She looks suspiciously like an "Alby chick" to us.
7th Sep, 1999: Randy from Santa Barbara, CA, USA wrote: "I know I saw Alby joggin by hope ranch, last month (August 15th 99). Looked just like him." Now you know we only publish real sightings on this website. We're not looking for Elvis, y'all.
1st Oct, 1999: Bob Avon (again) was watching "Skippy", the classic Aussie 60's TV series about a super hero kangaroo. He writes: "I SWEAR that ALBY was in it!!! There was a scene at the beach and this teen who looked and talked like Aby was flirting with a girl. He was supposed to be a surfer. I saw the credits after, but couldn't spot his name. Do you have any info on this find?? It could be big if it's true." Not every blue-eyed blonde fella in Oz is Alby, but this one plainly was.
21st October, 1999: Bob Avon writes (yet again): "Have you ever had a dream? That your students are ALL Alby Mangels? Well I did. For 25 seconds I had a class of Mangels...." I'd call that a nightmare rather than a dream, Bob. And stop stalking us.
1999. Major Chip Henriss-Anderssen writes from Interfet forces in
21st Jan 2000. Michael Kavanagh writes: "3 years ago we were told that Alby owned a farm in the Dorrigo Area of N.S.W so we went to investigate. Several folk at the local hotel gave us directions as to where to find this farm as they said it was the one where he proposed to Michelle. they directed us to a humpy outside town. Alas it was populated by an irate and possibly retarded old women and her vicious dogs. It was obvious that Alby had not been there for some time. We just couldn’t imagine him getting desperate enough to get with this one.(or her dogs)!" Fair comment.
7th Feb 2000.
Naomi Shaw writes: "I am working on the current 'Alby's
2nd May 2000. "Just a quick note. I was talking to Alby this afternoon. He used our PowerDive 12 Volt Surface Air Supply Units, in his latest series, and we will be supplying him with our new model, for the next one. Please take a moment to have a look at our website at www.powerdive.com." - from Steve Gregory. Happy to plug Alby's mates here!
2000. Rick Snel makes first contact: "I have completed my first solo
documentary 'Adventuring Arnhemland' (already sold to
2000. This one from Mike Letnic sounds totally
implausible but who are we to sort the goats from the sheep?: "My only
tale of any worth dates back a few years when two close friends borrowed my dato 120y, donned some sluggos
and headed for Murray Bridge. they allegedly spotted Alby's mum Ms mangedorf? and reckon thay caught
as glimpse of the great man but he bolted when he spied the cameras- dont know- but I can gladly say that my mantel piece sports
19th March 2001. Craig Goodes has the goodes: "Just a couple quick notes on Alby , I guess you know about his farm on Southern Yorke Peninsula ( or at least it used to be his - near Butlers Beach) Another one When i was going to School years ago whos helicopter would have just happened to be going through Warooka on the back of a truck ( A bit Broken) Alby crashed it near the Warooka Cemetary, Last time i personally saw Alby was in the old Tyre shop in Warooka ( a few years ago now) Buying some more tyres for his white coloured 4wd, ok got to go now but if you ever need any info on Alby try the Warooka Pub for info some one there would have to know something ( as remember the red old truck in one of his movies, it was from Warooka) phone 0888545001."
9th July 2001.
"Yes folks this email is info provided straight from the man himself.
Sailing the Pacific to
7th August 2001. "We (2 Dutch girls) used to work for Ably in Meningie (March/April 2000)... Saskya and Astrid (Alby Chicks)". Maybe Alby was right after all about his "6 or 7 women - call it 10 women" after all! And I thought it was just fantasy.
19th September 2001.
"By sheer chance I stumbled upon Alby's website and feel quite
excited. I had the pleasure of meeting him when we shared a cab from the
27th September 2001. This is a weird one from Clinton Knight: "I had a chat with Alby (or somebody claiming to be alby). Go to the site : http://www.cornboy.com/hst/gathering/boards.asp. Look for the message that was posted on 9/26/01 at 10:42:28pm". I've seen the message and I'm not convinced.
14th October 2001. Paco, the Peruvian star of WSII made contact: "It is nice to know that Alby and Judy and Mike, and Anna are well In the picture above where Judy green is put in ambulance, The guy with the beard is me (PACO)." Paco, the email address you gave us doesn't work, what's the real one??
2001. Mmh2226(?!) writes: "I believe I saw Alby this year in
2002. "Supposedly he has inherited a deceased estate and is residing in
13th March 2002. Shortbread, Rob, Roly and Keith met a bloke in the Kirribilli Hotel who claimed to be Alby, and a chick who claimed to be Joey. They bought us a couple of rounds of drinks so it must have been true. I guess the search is over! Special mention to Bundy and Jason who were invited to the surprise occasion with the promise that "you will not be disappointed", only to decline with lame excuses such as "I have to do my invoices". Reminds one of Luke 14:18.
2002. During the interview with Briony Petch, NSW ABC Radio, two people rang in with Alby stories. Stuart from Casino said he flew to a farm in
2003. "In December, 2002, I had the experience of meeting a
handsome, charming man and enjoying his company for a brief time. I had
no idea who he was until after he was gone, when I checked out the web site. I
have visited since then from time to time, to discover more of
who he is and what he is about. I am amazed. For those of you who wonder, he is
alive for I have seen him!... He had his camera and was filming something
at our beautiful beach." A Lady in
August 2004. From Wes: “I think I
saw Alby yesterday on
2004. An aircraft engineer who is a co-owner of an
2005. Shaun McCarthy swears this is a
fair dinkum encounter: in June 1989 he met Alby and a
Swedish girl on the small
2005. This is not exactly a
sighting… more a listening (?)… Matthew Trott
reports that Alby spoke (via telephone) on Channel 7's
27th July 2005. Peter writes that he has met Alby 7 times over the last 25 years. But get this: he was also sitting along side Alby on the Adelaide/Sydney flight when the photo of Sharon Reihart (see In Search Of… Ch 2) was taken by his mate Dave!
July 2005. Ben Abbott’s then
girlfriend, now wife (name withheld for unexplained reasons) saw Alby on
October 2005. Jude Robinson reports:
“On a small island of the coast of
12th May 2006. Alby finally appeared on TV the previous Sunday night for an interview for the
first time since about 1989 or 1990 (when A Current Affair did the
dirty on him - the first time). The show was Where Are They Now? on
Channel 7. There were a number of significant “mentions”,
including the emergence in those intervening years of “web sites
with sightings”. Well we know of only one… and
you’ve reached it! No mention was made of his “innovative filming techniques”
(as we like to call them)… which we hope will remain mysterious
19th Nov 2007. With the release of Lynn Santer's book and the resulting publicity trail, Alby is seen and heard ubiquitously. So after 10 years of Elvis-like sightings, perhaps the gig is truly up.
30th Jan 2008. Don Gagliardi tells the following story... which like the Gospel accounts oozes authenticity because it contains verifiable location and time details... otherwise one might be tempted to think "keep dreamin' dude":
I was picking up my wife from work in Waymouth St, Adelaide on 21/01/08, and a late model white 4WD pulled up next to me at the set of lights and the driver asked if we were on Hindley Street. I started to give the guy directions, when about 2 secs later, I realised who he was
"...hey, arent you Alby Mangels" I stammered,
With a broad grin, he replied "Yep, I am"
"Well, how are you going mate?" I replied,
"Good", and then I proceeded to finish directing him, and with that, the lights went green, and he was gone.
Would you believe that Alby effin' Mangels, asked ME for directions? Ha, what a legend!
8th Feb 2008. Peter Adams, Principal of Pascoe Vale North Primary School writes: "Well I will be buttered on both sides… The GREAT MAN rang me yesterday…..we chatted for about 20 minutes… about all sorts of things, including his plans, my school, and life generally. He is off to Africa for three months next week, then said he would be only too happy to be 'principal for a day' when we could work out the time. I am over the moon!!!!!!!!!!!"
I know we are possibly jinxing the good intentions by writing of it before it actually happens, but risk-taker is our middle name.
Now that's the kind of information that we at the House of Alby want to hear about! Tell us about your encounter with Alby, too.
All mail is appreciated.
Share your experience of Alby with us - send mail to:
user acalder67 at server gmail.com
Here's what other people wrote from April 1997 to March 1998...
And here's what people have wrote from April 1998 to March 1999....
And here's some mail from April 1999 to March 2000....
Some fine correspondence in April 2000 to December 2000....
Some pretty crappy letters from January 2001 to December 2001....
But wait, there's more! from Jan 2002 onwards....
of Alby's fans who wanted to remain anonymous (??) sent us this message in
"Alby has a new mailing address for his fans and followers in the
All letters will be responded to by Alby and his assistants."
first contacted us via a friend's e-mail in
for the write up, but what is it all about guys? Curious why you did the page
From Alby Mangels, currently in
That was all. Plainly these were the words of a man who didn't fully comprehend his place in the universe. Then, on October 7th 1998,16 months later, Alby wrote a personal message to all of you.
Guys . You certainly have created a monster here . All that fuss about little
old me . I must admit I'm really grateful for what you've done. What can I say
about all the letters, my fans, I'm blown away with it all . Its taken me a
while to come to terms with it all. I'm not really what you all say. I'm just
an ordinary guy, bricklayer, plus about 20 other jobs before I finally got
itchy feet. I can't thank you all enough for the nice words you have written.
And you're all as important as I am. And I wish I could write to you all
personally (fans), and befriend you all. But I'm one of those hardly two finger
typists. It would take me all day just to write to one. I'm taking off again
soon on a cataraman and I hope to be online. So I
will keep you all in touch of my weekly movements around the
I feel it's only fair to Alby to acknowledge on 13th March 2002, Alby (with Joey) finally met Shortbread & Rob, plus the infamous Roly and another mate Keith in the Kirribilli Hotel and shouted us a couple of rounds and a couple of hours of his time in which we appreciated hearing some typically droll stories. We couldn't quite believe it after five years of this website being on air!
Other Alby-Related Links
A message board for questions (and a fair bit of spam):
A review of Adventure Bound by someone even more enthusiastic than us! Nutcase.
Another fan's page (
A site close to the heart of Sherri-Jo (Joey) - she's on the Board of Directors of this special place in Indiana, USA (Shortbread and family visited there in 2005 and recommend it to you):
Mark "Olly" O'Loughlin sent us this very witty poem, written by someone hiding behind the name Hilaire Belloc. The following page contains the original source:
We reproduce it here (with disclaimer "we do not endorse the damned Channel Nine lie that Alby hurt any of his mutts")
Of all the Dutch, adventure bound,
Who toiled their way the world around
Where Hartog and his fabled crew,
First plucked the fruit of
And Rottnest with a fat pink hand;
Where Abel Tasman and De Nuyts,
With Afrikaaner Voertrek boots,
First taught the bleks the Gutte News
From protestant reformèd pews –
T’was only one that knew no fear:
Albertus Mangels, yclept Zwier.
His wild hair was long and gold
His bulging stubbies short and bold
He troubled not with further dress
But let the sun and wind caress
His sinewy limbs and sculptured chest
While his three wenches did
(It's going well up to this point, then comes the savage attack on Alby's integrity!)
Yes, of all explorers far and near
Albertus Mangels knew no fear
Until.... to film his travelogue
The bastard killed his bloody dog!
He chucked the little, loyal, mutt
From out the cabin of his truck.
Could but the little fellow run faster
He might have learnt to hate his master
Instead with a sad, bewildered squeal
He met the path of the right, rear wheel
Dispatched to a world where trucks declutch
And dogs are not owned by the butchering Dutch.
Now, Alby feared not man nor beast
Until the worldwide media feast
Ensured that he would always be
Remembered not for roaming free,
Nor yet for hair or shorts or chest,
Nor wenches three, nor all the rest...
But evermore, as on this blog,
That mongrel bloke who
killed his dog!
You don't want your Alby experience to finish with the movie, do ya? Make Alby part of your lifestyle with our great range of tasteful merchandise.
* From Day 1 we've been taunting you with this question (yes of course it was a joke!). In 1998 someone actually did something about it. This is Noah Roderick, a U.S. citizen and fan right from the early days of this web site (I'm sure he's all grown up now and regretting this - write to us Noah and let us know!). He's holding a T-Shirt whose graphic might seem somewhat familiar. The reverse (front) side is what you can see him wearing. It's an Australian flag with the classic words:
"Have you ever had a dream?
Just pack up and go?
Well I did.
I'm Alby Mangels.
Join me now for Adventure Bound."
He sent the very shirt he's holding to Shortbread for his birthday in March 1998. If you too think that being adorned with Alby could be part of your statement to the world, you could try to track him down. No guarantees of success, though, since he is now presumably a thirty-or-forty-something with a wife and adult kids.
* Daniel Hopper wrote to us in July 2000:
In the past, I have immortalised Alby Mangels in two t-shirts of my own. The first one says on the front - "Alby Mangels: ordinary man, extraordinary adventures/women" on the back it has a picture of Alby and a listing of all his films. The other shirt has a picture of Alby on the front and the quote he said to Tina Dalton when asked about including women in his films for meat-value. Anyways, if demand is high, I might be able to run a second print of the shirts (pending permission from the man himself of course, at the moment, there is only one each of these shirts in the world). After all, I don't want to take away sales from the World Safari trading post General Store. Go out and buy one of Alby's official t-shirts. If you're a real man you will!!!"
Brought to you by Rob & Shortbread
To contact Shortbread, email user acalder67 at server gmail.com (trying to avoid spam, see)
First published 12th April,
Last mod 18th October, 2017.
* CREDITS *
The fabulous heading graphic was
created by Greg Bruyer - firstname.lastname@example.org
who's services were donated to this web page, and we thank him for it on behalf of the world
WWW : http://www.icenet.com.au/~gregb.
To Matt Ellis: for press
clippings from the 1979-1982 era (see the ad in the "How It All
Started" section), plus our most valuable collectors' items to date: the
Rick Snel business card (see the "More Sightings, etc" section) and
Alby letterhead (not shown).
To Bob Milbert: for photocopies of a 17-page World Safari publicity brochure (c 1980) and a Picture Magazine article surrounding the release of WS III (Jan 1989); and for sourcing my very own copy of the World Safari book in July 1998, from whence I know not ( I swear there's no library markings in it).