27 March 2011
Source: Cool Earth
When Lt. Col. Fawcett disappeared into the Amazon rainforest on his fifth expedition in 1925, he might have chuckled to know that 85 years later people would be writing books and making a film about his adventures trying to find a fabled lost city in the jungle.
On secondment from the British army to the Bolivian government, Lt. Col. Percy Fawcett's diaries speak of landslides, drinking champagne from the expedition's medical supplies, jungle Indians on the warpath, fighting giant anacondas and shooting rapids on the rivers. It's even been claimed that the Hollywood character "Indiana Jones" was based largely on this English maverick.
In his eventful life, Fawcett worked in Asia, Ireland, Africa and the Amazon. He was a British spy for a while in Morocco and was on the front line during the 1st World War. Based in Peru, Bolivia and Brazil for much of the last 20 years of his life, he was involved in surveying and mapping the frontier between Bolivia and Brazil. He is notorious because of the fascinating details in his diaries, some of which were written up by the Colonel's son, Brian Fawcett ("Exploration Fawcett", 1953). His final and fatal expedition apparently led the explorer off into unknown areas of the Brazilian Amazon in search for the Lost City of Z, which he had heard about from the tribes he had met on his other travels.
Another book has been writing about Percy Fawcett's adventures - "The Lost City of Z: a tale of deadly obsession in the Amazon" ( Doubleday: Random House, 2005) - by David Grann. The book was short listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize and has been described by the best-selling author, John Grisham, as "a riveting, exciting and thoroughly compelling tale of adventure." Ironically enough, it's now available at amazon.com and Paramount has purchased the options on developing it into a new Hollywood film, apparently with Brad Pitt in as Percy Fawcett.