David Grann‘s book The Lost City of Z reintroduced readers to the true story of Percy Fawcett‘s epic search for the legendary Lost City of Z in the Amazon. Now, it is being told on the big screen this spring and may be a welcome respite to the same old, action films. Check out the trailer here:
The search for lost cities is what movies are made of — and many of the films were inspired by real life. A number of authors have set out following the trails and clues left by others in search of what may still be lost. The latest is thriller writer Douglas Preston‘s book The Lost City of the Monkey God.
Rumors of the White City hidden in the impenetrable jungles of Honduras have persisted for centuries. Preston joined a team of explorers and archaeologists, using a combination new technology and old-fashioned fight-your-way-through-the-jungle, to search for lost ruins.
Indeed, they find a lost city and indications of others. This a true story of adventure into a land of deadly animals and diseases, cartels and fixers, and forgotten histories that may still hold messages for modern man.
As Preston and the authors below have shown us, there is still much of our past to be uncovered. And there are still adventures to be had.
Lemuria is the legendary lost continent of the Pacific — basically a much larger, lesser known, version of Atlantis. While it lacks much precedent in reality, the great expanses of the Pacific, with their scattered islands home to mysterious ruins, all add to mystique of Lemuria. What if Lemuria was a land of banished horrors? And what if it rose from the depths through time into our own world? What would be unleashed? Mankind will find out in Book 2 of The Watchers of the Light, Awakening, coming in a year…
Buy Book 1 now.
The busyness of the Christmas season has become nearly a tradition itself. Many are bogged down in the Retail Apocalypse right to the last hours of Christmas Eve. Stores will do anything to get in you in the door and our leaders will smile at the minor economic bump and run and hide when it’s erased with post-holiday debt. Nevertheless, perhaps you’re like me and try to carve some time out of these weeks to tone it down a bit. Perhaps you’d like to go on an adventure? Disappear into the jungles searching for lost cities like Indiana Jones?
No, seriously, you can for only a few dollars.
In The Lost City of Z, you can follow the trail of legendary explorer Percy Fawcett. In 1925, he disappeared into the Amazon looking for the fabled city. When you’re done, head to Honduras in Jungleland and search for Ciudad Blanca — perhaps the fabled El Dorado. Then head back down south and follow the footsteps of Hiram Bingham and explore Machu Picchu in Cradle of Gold.
So take a breath, turn the lights down, and vanish into another world.
Something about them has always drawn people to them, in real life and in fiction, for a variety of reasons. They are disconnected from the world and hideaways from life. Some are marooned on them. Pirates love them. They harbor lost worlds and indecipherable mysteries. Film and television has a constant stream of island adventure, but many of those tales, and our fascination with them, originated in books. Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Land That Time Forgot and others set the precedent.
Perhaps it takes going to the island to learn more about ourselves. Or, at times, just to have fun.
Many of you have grown up with fictional characters like Indiana Jones. Swashbuckling tales of danger in search of lost cities. There was a time when such adventures weren’t the realm fiction.
In the last decades of the heyday of exploring the last wilds of the Earth, Colonel Percy Fawcett led an expedition into the Amazon to search for the fabled Lost City of Z.
He was never seen again.
Decades of rumors of his fate ensued. Had he found the lost city? Was he living among the natives? Had he succumbed to the jungle many years before? David Grann takes us on a tour of Fawcett’s obsession in The Lost City of Z, in part by heading into the jungle himself following the footsteps of the lost explorer.
But Fawcett wasn’t the only one. Theodore Morde had claimed he had found the lost White City in Honduras. He never returned to explore his find and may have tried to obscure its location to dissuade others. Christopher S. Stewart dives into this man’s life in Jungleland. He too goes to the jungle and tries to locate Morde’s discovery and, perhaps, what haunted him to the end.
Then there was Hiram Bingham who discovered the legendary mountaintop city of Machu Picchu. This site was not lost and has become an iconic wonder of the Mesoamerican past. Christopher Heaney chronicles Bingham’s quest in Cradle of Gold. The classic journey of that era that has impacted history decades later to our time. Its forgotten history of a sprawling empire is still being revealed. And Machu Picchu has become the prime example of the need to return artifacts to their rightful nations that were acquired (not always honestly) during the age of relic hunting.
These books are windows into the bygone era of journeys into the unknown. Sometimes driven by fame or fortune, discovery or quest of knowledge, the explorers were nearly the last of their kind. Perhaps those who have left Earth into space are our only successors to them.
In any case, there are still discoveries to be made on our world; jungles that still cling to their secrets and can make men vanish in an eye blink. We are desperately in need of a generation that takes mankind’s history seriously while looking forward and are willing to explore new frontiers and push us beyond new thresholds.
Ignoring history, not seeing past tomorrow and thinking a new phone is “innovation” just doesn’t cut it.
Scientists have found evidence of a lost land off South America. Sunken part of that continent? Or a completely unknown land from deep history?
It’s the kind of thing that fiction is made of.
If you have completely lost interest in what the media chooses for news every night and in the daily papers, and the incompetence of the government makes you want to never turn the news on again, here’s some interesting recent stories:
The latest finds on Stonehenge indicate it started as a huge graveyard. Stonehenge’s importance for the dead has long been known, but these finds continue to roll back myths about aliens and druids building the ancient structure.
There’s a lot of empty space in Pacific Ocean and there has long been speculation of lost lands (and civilizations). Now the remains of a micro-continent scientists have named Mauritia have been found.
The Sahara continues to reveal North Africa was more than a desert in ancient times, giving up remains of stone age peoples.
And while the government can’t agree on what to waste our money on next, asteroids have been making a number of visits to Earth as of late. Impact events have changed Earth’s, and our, history in the past.
But, hey, Congress is busy buying each other’s votes and pretending they are looking out for you. You have nothing to worry about.
I ran across the Wooden Books series nearly ten years ago. These small books are 58 pages long and each cover one topic or another of fascinating interest. They are profusely illustrated in an old-fashioned drawing kind of way and packed with information and history. By now, they have quite a collection of different subjects, many unusual, arcane or esoteric. Many I have no interest in and a few are out there on the fringe (Crop circles? UFOs? No thanks.). There are a number of them that I have found quite good. And here they are.
If your interests lie in the underlying patterns and math that describes our universe, Symmetry: The Ordering Principle, Sacred Geometry, The Golden Section: Nature’s Greatest Secret, A Little Book of Coincidence and Sun, Moon & Earth will give you endless paths to explore.
If archaeology and ancient history is more your style, Stonehenge, The Mayan and Other Ancient Calendars, Glastonbury: Isle of Avalon and Leys will allow you to begin your world exploring from your home.
This is like having a library of forgotten knowledge at your fingertips. Ideas and places that most people have no clue about. When they do crack the covers, they may be surprised that there are far more interesting things to be learned not on their phone or television.
Sometimes epic journeys start with small steps.