BY THE LONELY MOUNTAIN
It all started under the shadow and influence of Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, during the waning months of 1968 and through 1969. It was here that the North Borneo Frodo Society (NBFS) was formulated after the Founding Fathers, Neill McKee and Peter Ragan, went through a powerful period of revelation. They discovered that North Borneo (Sabah, Malaysia) and Middle-Earth were one and the same! In the small town where they lived, Kota Belud (probably Rivendell), under the spell of the "Lonely Mountain," they developed their theories and welcomed membership from enthusiasts all around the world.
DISCOVERIES AND EXPANSION
Motivated by the growing popularity of their society, the founders carried on their research, assisted by Caitie O'Shea, secretary, research assistant and artist in residence. They discovered that an "oily man" (Gullom) was still slinking in dark shadows on moonlight nights in Kota Belud, scaring local residents. The founders explored Bornean myths of dragons on the summit of Mount Kinabalu and discovered a helpful eagle in the creation myth of their new, magic land. They employed a local man to forge NBFS parangs (small swords) still used by large-footed rural natives who live in the hills near the mountain. Enthusiasm for these discoveries and initiatives grew and J.R.R. Tolkien, himself, joined the NBFS. See the weblink on "Go to" button.
THE FULL STORY
The full story is spelled out the "tell-all" memoir, Finding Myself in Borneo: Sojourns in Sabah, by co-founder of the NBFS, Neill McKee. This book has received several awards and many 5-star reviews.McKee lived in Sabah for a total of four years and returned many times to carry out further research and documentation. His memoir tells the story of how, as a secondary school teacher in Kota Belud, he developed a deep love for North Borneo's exotic landscape and its multi-ethnic peoples. It was here that he became an international filmmaker and world explorer. But the memoir also tells of his struggles with the "dark shadows of Mordor" which periodically darken this land, even today.