If there was anyone that could find the city of El Dorado, then the lots may fall on Percy Fawcett. He had a resume that included duty in WWI, many expeditions in the Amazon, and was also a top spy in Morocco among other things. Like many, he was of the opinion that the city of El Dorado was not just a myth, that it existed in the Amazon with a different name.
Convinced that he could find it, the British geographer and explorer went out to find what he described as the Lost City of Z. Since then, nothing was heard about him. Although many years have gone by, Percy Fawcett’s mysterious disappearance remains a subject of huge speculation. Here is all the truth that has been uncovered.
Percy Fawcett and His Expeditions
Born in 1867 in England, Percy went to Royal Military Academy, Woolwich where he was later commissioned a lieutenant. He went on to serve in different places including Malta, Hong Kong, and Ceylon.
The first expedition that he undertook was in 1906 and by 1924, he had already embarked on many others and was regarded as one of the greatest explorers.
Before 1914, he had already started nursing the idea that the City of El Dorado could be existing somewhere. Of course, he did not believe that there was a city built with solid gold, but he believed something close to it could actually be in existence and he believed that nowhere else was the city located but deep in the Amazon forest. Because he did not want to call the city El Dorado, he decided to name the lost city ‘Z’.
In the years that followed, the idea of the lost city fascinated him so much, thanks in no small part to an account of a Portuguese fortune hunter who in 1753 made a revelation about a stone jungle metropolis that was of great size and grandeur.
The account of the Portuguese explorers which he accessed in Brazil’s national library noted that the city was in the Amazon forest even though it left no map to the place. Still, Fawcett believed he could find it.
Percy Fawcett’s Mysterious Disappearance
The first attempt made by the English explorer at finding the lost city was in 1920. Unfortunately, he would soon have to give up the quest after losing his horse and then contracting a dangerous illness that left him with serious fever.
Five years later, he was set for a second expedition. Unlike the first time, Fawcett seemed more prepared and determined this time around, having secured funding from some investors in London. More so, he was embarking on the journey with a team that included his son Jack and Raleigh Rimell, his son’s friend. The idea for him was that with only two more people, it would be easier for him to make it past the hostile tribes of the forest without anyone noticing them.
The journey of Fawcett into the forest began in April 1925 when he left the city of Cuiaba with his team. The Brazilian city is one of the last points of civilization in the Amazon.
The first letter that was gotten from him came in May. In the letter, he told his wife that all was going well and he was very close to success. He wrote the letter from his camp which he named Dead Horse Camp since it was where he was forced to shoot his horse during his first journey after it was injured.
Not only was this letter the first that was received from the explorer; it was also the last. After a few months and nothing was heard from him, rescue attempts were made but nothing came up; he simply vanished with his companions.
What Happened To Him?
With many years already gone, there is nothing concrete that has been found regarding Percy Fawcett’s mysterious disappearance. The speculation, however, was that he was killed by the hostile tribes of the rainforest. In his letter to his wife, he pointed out that the tribes of the forest were very violent towards outsiders and so this supported the idea that he was captured with his companions and killed.
Another speculation was that the explorer lost his mind as he continued his journey and ended up as a chieftain of a tribe of cannibals while another claimed that when he began his journey, he had no intention of returning to England as what he wanted was to simply live in the jungle and worship Jack, his son.
In 2005, there was a new clue regarding what happened to them. While retracing the steps of the party, journalist David Grann met with Kalapalo Indians of the Amazon. He found out that they had an oral history that claimed sometime in the far past, they came in contact with three white men believed to be Fawcett and his companions.
The history claimed that although the men were warned not to continue their journey, they still continued into the domain of the violent tribe described as the fierce Indians. When the men did not return, it was believed by the Kalapalos that they had been killed.