I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Home Uncategorized The Brazils of my Bedroom

The Brazils of my Bedroom

Andrew Lees
In April 1925, Lieutenant Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett entered the Mato Grosso with Jack, his older son, and Jack’s friend Raleigh Rimell in search of an ancient Atlantean city that he referred to as Z. Shortly before his departure he told the press that should the expedition fail to return it would be futile to hunt for them. The mystery that surrounded their disappearance gripped the public imagination. Three years after they had gone missing a large search party led by the Amazon explorer and aviator George Dyott attempted to retrace their footsteps based on Fawcett’s last letters to the Royal Geographical Society and the expedition’s sponsor, the North American Newspaper Alliance. The “suicide squad”, as the large expedition had been dubbed by the Brazilian press, returned to a hero’s welcome. Dyott told his audience at the Royal Geographical Society that he had feared for his life when he and his men had been detained by Indians and that he was in no doubt that the “gallant explorer” had been killed by hostile savages. In his book Man Hunting in the Jungle, being the search for three explorers lost in the Brazilian wilds (1930) he wrote that Aloique, the chief of the Nafaqua Indians, had shown him a military trunk that had been given to him by a white man who had come with two other younger men both of whom were lame. Aloique had then escorted the three men to the Kalapalo village, after which they had crossed the Kuluene river under their own steam and travelled east. For five days smoke from their campfire was seen each night by the Kalapalos but then no more. The vanishing attained imperishable newsworthiness and adventurers continued to search for Fawcett in the forest. From time to time uncorroborated sightings came in on the wires from Brazil. In 1931 a Swiss backwoodsman called Stefan Rattin reported that he had spoken to an elderly Englishman who was being held by an Indian tribe on a tributary of the Teles Pires river. The report was given serious consideration by the British consul, even though it was far from the area where the official search party had looked but Rattin, who went back into the area to rescue the old man, was never heard of again. In 1934 Fawcett was officially declared dead. Just as interest in the fate of Lieutenant Colonel Fawcett began to wane and…

Advertisement

booksupstairs.ie

Dublin’s Oldest Independent BookshopBooks delivered worldwide