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K. Kris Hirst

Percy Fawcett and The Lost City of Z

By February 9, 2009

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Percy Fawcett was a Victorian-minded explorer in the early 20th century.

Alternate description.
Credit: Doubleday (c) 2009
Mad and manly, Fawcett was certain there was a lost civilization in the lush green hell of the Amazon rainforest. His certainty flew in the face of generations of scholars and scientists who knew there was nothing to be found in the Amazon except extremely hostile hunter-gatherer residents, huge deadly snakes, man-eating fish and insects bearing horrible diseases.

New Yorker writer David Grann's new book chronicling Fawcett's explorations, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, proves several things. One, Percy Fawcett was certifiable. Two, I'm not so sure about David Grann. And three, there really was a "Lost City of Z", but Fawcett was blinded by Victorian notions of what cities looked like and thus unable to see it when he was standing in its ruins.

A fascinating book, The Lost City of Z's film rights have been bought by Brad Pitt, who will undoubtedly spend some horrific time in the Amazon rainforest and come back with a fabulous movie.

Read my book review of The Lost City of Z, and please feel free to add your own review

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Comments

February 9, 2009 at 6:42 pm
(1) Kristin says:

“Mad and manly…” What a terrific opening!

February 10, 2009 at 6:03 am
(2) Malcolm Davidson says:

Some years back the Brazilian Government send back what was considered to be Col. Fawcett’s shrunken head. It was presented to his son (who was then the Legal Advisor to the French Embassy) at a ceremony at Canning House in London.
When the box was opened, I heard him say that it didn’t look at all like his father! Now perhaps a DNA test might be applied if it isn’t 6 feet under ground.
There is an excellent book by George Millar on Orellana published in 1954 and out of print, which needs to be reissued.
Robin Hanbury-Tenison and Richard Mason also explores the Xingu and Richard lost his life under similar cirstances.

February 10, 2009 at 6:05 am
(3) Malcolm Davidson says:

Sorry for my spelling mistakes!

February 10, 2009 at 12:06 pm
(4) Kris Hirst says:

The Lost City of Z talks about a set of bones that were dug up in the Xingu village and turned over to Brian Fawcett. but the anthro investigations said the bones couldn’t have been Percy Fawcett, the bones were of a much shorter man and the skull didn’t have Fawcett’s dentures. The people in village said that when Orland Villas Boas asked about Fawcett, he told them that if they found a tall skeleton he would give them each a rifle. So, they dug up one of their taller relatives, reburied him closer to the village and passed him off as Percy Fawcett.

March 5, 2009 at 11:21 am
(5) Spike Selig says:

I whish I could have gotten ahold of Mr Pitt earlier. I am writing a book entitled “In the Land by the River of Death”. The River of Death, The Rio dos Mortis, runs east to west just south of the Xingu River basin, the Xingu running north and separated from the River of Death by a highland tropical sevanna. Some of the 4,500 square miles of land my Dad owned started on the north shore of the Rio Dos Mortis and ran north up onto the plateau and into the Xingu drainage basin. This area was inhabited until 1971 by the xavante Indians who killed all who tried to venture into their area. It was in this Xingu area that Col Faucet disappeared.

The Lost City of z has been located. Please open and read through the below blog. At the end of the blog, I posted a lengthly comment about this area. I am interested in talking about production of a movie concerning all the incredible events related to this area. The 840 pound emerald posted as the lead story on Yahoo’s home page, and a lead story in in yesterdays Wall Street Journal was found in the Caraniba Emerald Mine, a mine discovered by my Dad’s and my uncle’s business partner, Arpad Szuecs, the person mentioned in my below reply to the Lost City of Z post. Before his deat in 19985, Art ws put in charge of the Trans Amazonian Highway porject.

The Rio dos Mortis got its name from the fact that the Xavante Indians who inhabited its and the Xingu’s shores killed all those that tried to venture into their area. Some believe Col Faucet met his fate at the hands of the Xavantes.

Please open and read through the below blog. At the end of the blog, I posted a lengthly comment about this area. I am interested in talking about production of a movie concerning all the incredible events related to this area. The 840 pound emerald posoted as the lead story on yesterdays Yahoo’s home page, and a lead story in in yesterdays Wall Street Journal was found in the Caraniba Emerald Mine, a mine discovered by my Dad’s and my uncle’s business partner, Arpad Szuecs, the person mentioned in my below reply to the Lost City of Z post. Art lalter was put in charge of building the Tran Amazonian Highway.

Please open and read through the below blog concerning new archeology findngs related to the Lost City of Z/ At the end of the blog, I posted a lengthly comment about this area. I am interested in talking about production of a movie concerning all the incredible events related to this area.
The 840 pound emerald posoted as the lead story on Yahoo’s home page, and a lead story in in yesterdays Wall Street Journal was found in the Caraniba Emerald Mine, a mine discovered by my Dad and my uncles business partner, Arpad Szuecs, the person mentioned in my below reply to the Lost City of Z post. Art lalter was put in charge of building the Tran Amazonian Highway.. There is an incredible story here, one that includes the Faucet s://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2006/04/z.html
tory in its scope.

http

//bldgblog.blogspot.com/2006/04/z.html
e.

To the east of the Rio Das Mortis lies the Rio Novo, that river runing through the largest part of the 3.2 million acres of Dad,s land. Dad’s title to that land was declared by the supreme court of the state of Goias to be invalid. The people on the land were forced off. those that resisted, the government saw fit to kill.
The land was turned into a state park and put inside a new national park. I was surprised to find that this years installment of the TV show Survivor was being held on the east end of the Rio Novo, right on Dad’d land.The land now being partly owned by I believe poor people related to the land reform movement, a movement demanding the government give undeveloped land to the poor.That land and the Rio Novo are beautiful beyond compare.
If you have cononections or can get me headed in the right direction, I could use the help on getting published and or a movie made.

Spike Selig

Spike Selig

June 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm
(6) Rick says:

Hello, Spike.
Im from Brazil, and I Knew Arpad. If you need any help, please ask.

Cheers.
Rick

December 16, 2009 at 1:22 pm
(7) spike selig says:

Rick
I just read my above posted comments and was surprised to find out that the editing I did stayed in. Sorry about that! Arpad Szuecs was an incredible person who’s life rates a separate book in itself. With all his lifes accomplilshments, it is dismaying to me that I could find his name on the internet in only two places, oonce when he was given a license to sell gems in the 1950s and the other when his name was brought up only once in a student research report on the land situation in the Jalapao where most of Dad’s 3.2 million acers existed., the Jalapao being just east of the Rio Xingu and Ro dos Mortis. Part of the book will be a biography of Art. I hope you and certainly the others out there that knew Art can give my research some help. Send any info to my web address at spikeselig@sbcglobal.net.

The world needs to know what has happened in the Xingu, the Rio do Mortis, and the Jalapao.

I am sticking my kneck out a long way to write my book as many have lost their lives in the land by the river of death, but the story needs to be told.

Thanks in advance,
Spike

April 10, 2010 at 4:35 pm
(8) spike seig says:

Kris,
Still trying to get in touch with “Rick” who says he has Information about my Dad’s Brazilian business partner Arpad Szuecs, imformation I can use in the writing of my book In the Land by the River of Death. Thanks for any help.

I will publish my email address again.
spikeselig@sbcglobal.net.

Thanks,
Spike

February 11, 2011 at 4:04 am
(9) JohnC says:

Fawcett wasn’t mad – he was inspired. He was right about a lost city.

He was also years ahead of his time in his enlightened treatment of the indians – his treatment of them was much better than they were used to. But then that was probably because he was English and not Brazilian.

June 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm
(10) Geoff says:

Are you familiar, as well, with the underground civilizations of the Solomon Islands. The giants that live near the Guadalcanal?

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