Colonel Percy Fawcett was a famed explorer who disappeared after going into the wilderness of Brazil in 1925. He was an experienced land surveyor and had gone on several expeditions in the area before. However, his last expedition was in search of a lost and ancient city that Fawcett had dubbed Z. Had Colonel Percy Fawcett stumbled onto knowledge of a place that the locals or some supernatural being did not want him to find or was he simply a victim of the native’s hostility or the local wildlife?
Colonel Percy Fawcett was born in Devon, England in 1867. When he was nineteen years old, he joined the Royal Artillery. He remained a military man for the better portion of his adult life. However, he began learning how to survey land, as a way of seeking a different living. He was offered a job with the Royal Geographical Society in 1906.
The Royal Geographical Society wanted Colonel Percy Fawcett to survey some land in South America and establish borders there. The area he was meant to survey had no official borders, which was causing tension among the locals. Fawcett took the job. He wound up spending roughly the next three years surveying areas of Bolivia and Brazil.
While in South America, Colonel Percy Fawcett took great care to get to know the natives and to treat them with respect. He had noticed that they were very hostile to outsiders and would attack freely. Percy avoided being attacked several times, by being very careful with the natives and exchanging gifts with them. Not all members of his expeditions escaped such a fate, however.
Colonel Percy Fawcett also became very familiar with South America’s natural hazards. The terrain in the area was often unforgiving and he and the men of his expeditions did find themselves navigating rough terrain and dangerous rivers, at times. And, of course, there were the animals of the South American rainforests. Bulls, wild boars, anacondas, giant spiders (reportedly) and parasites are just a few of the dangerous animals that the men had to brave.
In 1909, Colonel Percy Fawcett ceased his work for the Royal Geographical Society. He also left South America so that he could go fight in World War I. After World War I, he left the military and began to conduct expeditions in South America with funding from interested businesses. After a time, he began to find what he thought were clues to the location of a lost city in the jungles of Brazil. He became convinced that the city, Z, existed and that he knew the location of it.
In 1925 Percy decided to set out on an expedition to find “Z.” He brought along his eldest son, Jack and Jack’s friend. They began the mission into Brazil with a few assistants. On May 29, 1925, they sent the assistants back as they entered the more dangerous parts of the area. Colonel Percy Fawcett gave the assistants a letter to give to his wife. This was the last that was ever seen or heard of the three men. No evidence of what happened to them has been discovered.
As with many disappearances, many people claimed to have seen Colonel Percy Fawcett after he disappeared and there are many theories as to what happened to him. Some believe that he found his city and lived out the rest of his days there among the natives. Others believe that the natives attacked and killed the three men. Then, of course, there are those who believe that the terrain or the local wildlife got the better of them. At this point, there is no way of knowing which, if any, of these theories are true.