“The savage bastards subjected me to the most horrendous ordeals. The worst was when they strung me up my wrists from a tree and tied a plastic shopping bag to my scrotum to see how many cans of Tennent’s lager I could endure being put in it,” recalls thirty-four year old office cleaner Jim Caracas, who has sensationally claimed that he spent nearly a year held captive by a primitive tribe living undetected in the heart of Britain’s capital city. “It was absolute agony. I thought the bag was going to castrate me. As it was, my testicles went blue, then black! They eventually cut me down after sixteen full tins were dangling from my nads! My cobblers were swollen and painful for weeks after that!” His incredible story came to light after Caracas was stopped by police last month as, filthy, unkempt and dressed in rags, he ran down a dual carriageway in Lambeth, desperately attempting to stop oncoming cars, pleading with their drivers for sanctuary and gibbering about his terrible ordeal at the hands of a band of savages. Sectioned under the Mental Health Act, his bizarre tale finally emerged when one of the nurses treating him spoke to the South London Weekly Exchange and Mart. The cleaner claims to have been abducted by the tribe after he found himself stranded on a traffic island in South London after trying to take a short-cut home from work. “I was there for nearly two days – there was too much traffic to cross the road in either direction! I tried to get someone to stop by waving my arms at passing vehicles, but they all ignored me,” Caracas apparently told his psychiatric nurse. “By the second night I was exhausted and near starvation, when saw these figures come running across the southbound carriageway from some waste ground.” At first thinking that the figures were a band of rescuers, Caracas was shocked when he saw them close up. “I saw that they were naked except for loincloths fashioned from Tesco bags and carrying spears that seemed to be made from telescopic car radio aerials. Some of them even seemed to have what appeared to be kebab skewers stuck through their nose,” he recalled. “Instead of coming to my aid, the first thing they did was to try and steal my shoes!” Refusing to give up his footwear to the marauding primitives, Caracas thought he was saved when he saw the flashing blue lights of a police car approaching in the northbound carriageway. “Although it drove right past, they were clearly terrified by the sight of it,” the cleaner recounted. “But instead of just abandoning their attempted robbery and fleeing, they dragged me off across the road with them!”

The unfortunate Caracas found himself captive in the savages’ ‘village’ – a ramshackle collection of hovels made from corrugated tin and timbers scavenged from abandoned buildings and furnished with tatty sofas and armchairs salvaged from refuse tips, nestling in a deserted industrial estate – and held captive. “They didn’t seem to know what to do with me – I spent the first couple of weeks imprisoned in a cage fashioned from the metal grilles of supermarket shopping trolleys,” he allegedly told his psychiatric nurse. “Then they started putting me through these ordeals. It was some kind of test to see how tough I was. After the business with the lager cans, they seemed to accept me as part of the tribe.” The cleaner told of how he was taken on hunting trips by the tribe and witnessed amazing skills on their part. “The way they could dash across busy roads, weaving in and out of traffic was incredible,” he claimed. “They were also amazingly stealthy – they could go into the likes of Sainsbury’s and walk out with all manner of provisions as if they were invisible!” Apart from raiding supermarkets, the tribe apparently obtained most of its supplies from refuse discarded by Londoners. “Sometimes they’d spirit stuff out of people’s houses and gardens, as well,” Caracas recounted. “But every so often they’d set up a fake kebab van on a bit waste land and lure unsuspecting van and lorry drivers there. Whilst they ate their ‘kebabs’ – usually cooked rat meat – the tribe would steal their loads.” He was also privileged to witness the initiation rites of a young tribesman. “Armed only with a spear, he had to prove his manhood by running out into the middle of the A316 in Sunbury and killing a car,” Caracas told his nurse. “The lad I saw being initiated bagged a Peugeot 407 – got it right in the radiator grill as it swerved to avoid him after he leapt in front of it! It crashed into the central reservation barrier – the young warrior was able to get its aerial as a trophy before the driver could get after him!” Tiring of life with the tribe, Caracas finally managed to slip away from a hunting party whilst its other members were attempting to trap a wild chill cabinet stocked with meat pies in a Lambeth convenience store.

Whilst Caracas’ claims have been widely dismissed as the demented rantings of a mental patient – with several commentators pointing to the cleaner’s history of alcohol and drug abuse – at least one man has taken them as vindication of his own theories. Top anthropologist Professor Henry Coppoff faced ridicule when, last year, he published a photograph he claimed to show a primitive tribe, hitherto unknown to modern science, living in London. “There have long been rumours of the existence of these people,” explains Professor Henry Coppoff. “Over the years many have claimed to have glimpsed strangely-painted figures dancing around blazing car wrecks on patches of waste ground, chanting and making sacrifices to their pagan gods – rumoured to include Jim Davidson and Bernard Manning – on makeshift altars constructed from old fridges and microwaves. Indeed, the mysterious disappearance of sofas, kitchen units and other household items placed outside houses for refuse collection, have been blamed on them, but there’s never been any concrete proof of their existence until now.” Coppoff decided to pursue his search for the lost tribe in Streatham, where local legends of them seemed to be strongest. “Mothers there still threaten their children that the cannibals will carry them off if they don’t behave,” he says. “Not that there’s any evidence of their abducting and eating people, of course. Domestic cats and dogs, perhaps. But not people.” Surveying the borough for signs of the tribe using a microlight aircraft, the anthropologist succeeded in snatching a photograph of what he claims to be members of the mysterious tribe crossing Streatham High Road. “It was near dusk and they seemed startled by the sight of my aircraft, looking up and aiming what appeared to be crude bows and arrows at me, before scuttling across the busy carriageway to Streatham Common,” Coppoff recalls. “I’m guessing that they’d been hunting in the streets opposite the Common, and were now heading back to the safety of their camp. They must have been successful – you can clearly see that two of them are carrying what appears to be a wide screen plasma television hanging from a pole slung between their shoulders.” The anthropologist believes that the ‘lost tribe’ originated in London’s docklands and East End, but have been forced into a nomadic existence by the redevelopment of these areas. “Most recently the London Olympics development has forced more and more of them out into South London,” he opines. “If we keep destroying their natural habitats at this rate then it is only a matter of time before they start roaming North of the river, as well!”