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Percy Fawcett


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Mauro
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Surely an outstanding character from the last "Age of Exploration". His exploits in mapping the wilderness of South America are well known but here's a short resumè with a few anedoctes of his fascinating career.
Fawcett became convinced that the inhospitable jungles and fearsome mountains of South America were hiding the remains of advanced, yet unknown civilizations and during his expeditions kept searching for them. He never found anything, apart from a few fantastic tales and some scattered tribes which he believed were the degenerate descendants of highly civilized people.
What's more interesting about Fawcett's expeditions are some "wild" claims: he once shot an immense anaconda, 62-foot long, near the Brazil-Peru border. In Mato Grosso his party met a tribe of belligerant, "hair covered" savages, the Maricoxi, which were scared away by a single pistol shot. And the list goes on.
It is well known that Fawcett had dealings with "fringe movements", as we would call them right now: he corresponded with that famous Spiritualist, Arthur Conan Doyle (who got the idea for The Lost World from Fawcett himself) and was himself a strong believer in the existence of Atlantis and other "lost" civilizations. It has been alleged (though never proven) that he believed Brazil to be the last refuge of Atlantean survivors and that many lost cities built by these survivors were hidden in the Mato Grosso.
He was not a believer in increbible hidden treasures: for example he related how, during an expedition, he hid some crates containing emergency equipment and 60 guineas along the way, just in case He recovered the cache on his way back to civilization but a couple of years later he heard how an "Englishman" was supposed to have buried an immense treasure in the jungle, worth 60.000 guineas!

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


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Daniel Parkinson
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Quote: for example he
Quote:

for example he related how, during an expedition, he hid some crates containing emergency equipment and 60 guineas along the way, just in case He recovered the cache on his way back to civilization but a couple of years later he heard how an "Englishman" was supposed to have buried an immense treasure in the jungle, worth 60.000 guineas!

Great example of how legends develop.

Mauro
User offline. Last seen 2 years 37 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Fawcett, for his fascinating

Fawcett, for his fascinating life, his beliefs and his disappearance, has become a Fortean icon.
Some of his adventures, like the killing of the giant anaconda, sound almost impossible; others, like his numerous brushes with renegade soldiers on the ill-defined borders he was surveying or runaway gunmen on the Andes, are more reminiscent of the popular Indiana Jones series than anything else; others still, like the meeting with the Maricoxi, have an air of all out strangeness about them.
There's always the temptation of saying "he just made it all up!" or "his son embellished the truth a little". But then why he just limited himself to giant snakes (albeit of a known species) and naked, hairy savages? Why not hidden cities and lost civilizations?
Ivan Sanderson was particulary fond of Fawcett's memories (published by his second son) and considered him generally sincere. Bernard Heuvelmans, on the other side, considered him (or his son) too prone to flights of fancy. But again Heuvelmans, despite being the "Father of Cryptozoology" was a very down-to-Earth, deeply sceptical character.
A final word on Fawcett's demise. While he probably met his end through starvation, disease or a brush with outlaws, a contemporary "legend" told how he lost his firstborn son and his other companion during his last, fateful journey and swore never to return to cvilization again, settling among a tribe of Indios in the remotest part of Mato Grosso to live the rest of his life.

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


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Urisk
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Fawcet is one of those

Fawcet is one of those characters I've always wanted to learn about, but to be honest I wouldn't know where to start.

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Mauro
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Joined: 15 Oct 2008
There are to books by his

There are to books by his son Brian, Lost Trails, Lost Cities and Exploration Fawcett which are supposed to be unabridges versions of his diaries, though I suspect his heir wasn't above temptation to embellish the truth a little to make an extra penny.

There's always been a lot of the Americans of yore would have called "rascalty" attached to Percy Fawcett's legacy. Recently a number of papers, allegedly part of his journals, have been offered for sale, mostly on shady Internet sites.

That somebody hoped to got money out of them speaks volumes about Fawcett's enduring fame.

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


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Ian Topham
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You can check out the latest

You can check out the latest book on Fawcett in our book review section: Here

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