Search for the lost city Z and the disappearance of Percy Fawcett
In 1920, a visitor to the national library of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro found a parchment that piqued his interest. The parchment was about an 11-year journey through the jungle of Mato Grosso.
On a cliff in the forest, Portuguese explorers discovered a staircase cut into stone, to a portal made of rock. Going past this they discovered a lost city built in an ancient Greek style. Text of an unknown language decorated the gateway, copied in the parchment.
This sounded true to Colonel Percy Fawcett, a military engineer who had searched for lost cities in South America and Ceylon. A few years back, he had done a 3-year survey of “a long and excessively unhealthy sector of the Brazilian-Bolivian frontier,” as he called it, making the first real boundary in the disputed area.
He thought he knew the location of the aforementioned lost city, which he called Z, from other sources he wouldn’t give. So later that year, he set off on a journey which ended up being stopped prematurely by his traveling companions, who where, bluntly, too scared to go any further.
In 1925, Fawcett decided he would try again to reach Z, financed by the Royal Geographical Society and newspaper companies interested to publish his story. April 20th, he set out for the lost city and brought along his son, a friend of his son’s, and two Indians, following a route he did not tell to anyone.
In November, a message written on May 30th brought by his two guides reached Rio de Janeiro. It read “You need have no fear of failure,” and he never sent any more notes.
Due to the difficulty of communicating from jungles, the first search party was sent in 1928. They found a trunk they thought was Fawcett’s and were told that natives killed Fawcett’s group. Indians drove them out of the forest before they could confirm this. Fawcett became a mystery.
In 1930, reporter Albert de Winton tried to find him, but he disappeared as well. A year later, trapper Stefan Rattin reported seeing an old Englishman as a nicely cared for prisoner in a group of Indians. He had not given his name, but it raised hopes of Fawcett being found. But when Rattin returned with two others to rescue Fawcett, they disappeared. Bones found in 1950 identified as Fawcett’s have not matched any of the descriptions of the three in Fawcett’s group.
On a few side notes, There have been reports of white-skinned, blue-eyed Indians thought to be offspring of Fawcett’s son. It’s also been said that his route was made up and he tried going to Z using a different route. Some Brazilian cults say he survived and found the city, and lives on there.
www.phfawcettsweb.org – Site about Fawcett, on the “He lived” side