In 1925 Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett, his son Jack Fawcett and Raleigh Rimmell entered the Amazon jungle to search for a Lost City, they were never seen or heard of again. But what made Fawcett believe there was a lost city to be found?
It seems he based most of his beliefs on a document he found in the library archives at Rio de Janeiro in 1920. Having already become intrigued with the rumours local indians had told him about a lost city in the uncharted areas of the jungle, the old document no doubt convinced him they were true. The manuscript (No. 512) stated that somewhere back in the early 1600s, a half- Portuguese, half-Indian, known to the natives as Muribeca, discovered mines of silver, gold and precious stones. When he died in about 1622, the secret of these valuable mines died with him. It also told of a Portuguese expedition to the Amazon in 1743. The expedition discovered the ruins of an immense stone city, apparently abandoned and, on some of the stone monuments, hieroglyphs were found resembling Celtic Ogham, an extinct Irish language.
Fawcett surmised that this lost city existed in the Mato Grosso region of Brazil, and could be 11,000 years old and may contain much gold. Perhaps this fabulous place was one of the Sete Cidades (Seven Cities), for which the conquistadors had searched in vain for centuries, or the fabled Lost City of El Dorado. Fawcett called the place Z. He hypothesized that Z might be the capital of fabled Atlantis, or that it may also have had some connection to the ancient Celts, a fair-skinned, red- or blonde-haired people, the descendants of which Fawcett claimed to have seen during his travels in the area. Although he had never stumbled across any ancient stone cities on his many previous sorties, he was convinced one lay hidden in the jungle to be found. Rumors of lost mines, cities and old ruins are quite common in South America’s deep jungles and so this would be the focus of his 1925 expedition.
A summary of manuscript 512, tells that in in 1743 a group of Portuguese, along with slaves and a number of Indians, set out in quest of these fabulous mines. Eleven years later the survivors were heard of in the coastal regions of West Central Brazil, but they never reappeared again in the civilized world. Their report, which was found in the middle of the 19th century, tells of finding a city built of huge blocks of stone, deserted and apparently destroyed ages ago by an earthquake. The expedition found a few gold coins and a number of mine shafts. The nearby river could also be easily panned for large quantities of gold. A statue and some inscriptions in stone appeared to these men as being very Grecian in nature. The expedition made haste to get back to civilization, planning to return with a larger, better-equipped force. Unfortunately, they never made it. They did mention one more strange incident in their report; On the return trip they said they saw two members of the much-rumored “white Indians”. They had white skin and long, black hair. Colonel Fawcett, it seems, put much faith in the account. As he told a friend, “The story is too circumstantial to be dismissed. And its details are beyond the imagination of more or less illiterate people.” And perhaps there is some truth in what Fawcett said. The details, including the hieroglyphic inscriptions, are very explicit. English translation of Manuscript 512.
Although more explored now, many parts of the Brazilian jungle are still almost inaccessible. But much of that mysterious wilderness is being rapidly pushed back by de-foresting and settlements. In 2006 an unknown tribe emerged from the jungle, they thought the airplanes they had seen flying overhead travelled on invisible roads.
Will Colonel Fawcett’s lost cities finally be revealed? Will the mystery at last be solved? Maybe. But as many have found out, the jungle hides her secrets well and does not give them up too easily.