Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Letters, manuscripts, and other records written by Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett
were compiled by his son, Brian, in Lost Trails, Lost Cities (Funk & Wagnalls, 1953;
also titled Exploration Fawcett). In this chronicle, the Colonel detailed his
adventures in Mato Grosso, South America, as he searched for the ruins of an ancient
lost city ("I call it 'Z' for the sake of convenience," he wrote) between 1906 and
1925. Though his journal ended with his strange disappearance sometime after 29 May
1925, his story continued long after.

Fawcett's interest in the occult insured that more speculative accounts of his
adventures would ensue. Fawcett had in his possession a black basalt stone idol,
given him by none other than Sir H. Rider Haggard. He wrote, "I could think of only
one way of learning the secret of the stone image, and that was by means of
psychometry -- a method that may evoke scorn by many people but is widely accepted
by others who have managed to keep their minds free from prejudice." The
psychotometrist, holding the idol in the dark, told Fawcett of "a large irregularly
shaped continent stretching from the north coast of Africa across to South America...
Then I see volcanoes in violent eruptions, flaming lava pouring down their sides,
and the whole land shakes with a mighty rumbling sound... The voice says: 'The
judgment of Atlanta will be the fate of all who presume to deific power!' I can get
no definite date of the catastrophe, but it was long prior to the rise of Egypt, and
has been forgotten -- except, perhaps, in myth."

Fawcett asserted that "the connection of Atlantis with parts of what is now Brazil is
not to be dismissed contemptuously, and belief in it -- with or without scientific
corroboration -- affords explanations for many problems which otherwise are unsolved
mysteries." (Lost Trails, Lost Cities, pp. 15-17)

I expect the ruins to be monolithic in character, more ancient than the oldest
Egyptian discoveries. Judging by inscriptions found in many parts of Brazil, the
inhabitants used an alphabetical writing allied to many ancient European and Asian
scripts. There are rumors, too, of a strange source of light in the buildings, a
phenomenon that filled with terror the Indians who claimed to have seen it.

The central place I call "Z" -- our main objective -- is in a valley surmounted by
lofty mountains. The valley is about ten miles wide, and the city is on an eminence
in the middle of it, approached by a barrelled roadway of stone. The houses are low
and windowless, and there is a pyramidal temple. The inhabitants of the place are
fairly numerous, they keep domestic animals, and they have well-developed mines in the
surrounding hills. Not far away is a second town, but the people living in it are of
an inferior order to those of "Z." Farther to the south is another large city, half
buried and completely destroyed.

In April 1933, a theodolite compass belonging to Fawcett was found near the camp of
the Bacaari Indians in the Mato Grosso. The excellent condition of the compass led
Fawcett's wife Nina to believe he was still alive.

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