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Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Real Indiana Jones - Col. Percy Fawcett


Born in 1867 and disappeared in 1925 while searching for what he called “The Lost City of Z” with his son, Jack, Col. Percy Fawcett is the inspiration for the character Indiana Jones.

True to form, just like the character he inspired, Fawcett had an equal disdain for snakes. According to The Museum of Unnatural Mystery

“Though not poisonous, the giant anaconda is probably the most feared snake in the jungle. Fawcett had a run-in with one not long after he arrived in South America. In his diary he noted: “We were drifting easily along the sluggish current not far below the confluence of the Rio Negro when almost under the bow of the igarit’e [boat] there appeared a triangular head and several feet of undulating body. It was a giant anaconda. I sprang for my rifle as the creature began to make its way up the bank, and hardly waiting to aim, smashed a .44 soft-nosed bullet into its spine, ten feet below the wicked head.”

Fawcett’s expeditions were mainly limited to South America, in countries like Bolivia, a wild and lawless place at the time. For his now fabled final journey, Fawcett set out to find an ancient lost city, which he simply referred to as “Z” for simplicity.

After studying numerous manuscripts and legends, Fawcett became convinced that the lost city was located in the unexplored Mato Grasso region of the Brazilian jungles. He even went as far as to leave a note saying that if they should not return, no one should come and get them lest they suffer the same fate as he and his comrades.

The fate of Fawcett was never rightly determined. Since his disappearance there have been no less than 13 separate expeditions to find him, or his remains. No fewer than 100 individuals have died on these journeys, with the last expedition in 1996 being held hostage by Kalapalo villagers before being released.

There are theories of course. Some believe he was murdered. Still, others believe he died of natural causes. Some even believe he is still alive, living in the subterranean city “Z,” founded by the Atlanteans. According to The Guardian, there are correspondences which indicate he planned on leaving British society and forming a new one, with a new religion that even included worship of his son and an unnamed Sith, or female spirit. Still, others believe he fell into unconsciousness, and when he awoke became king of a cannibal tribe.

Simultaneously fantastical, intriguing, and mysterious, the mythology surrounding this man is endless and the riddle of his disappearance is still unsolved (or at best, unresolved). For more info check out Wikipedia, The Museum of Unnatural Mystery, Catchpenny, and The Guardian.


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