The mysterious city "Z" of the colonel Fawcett

The history of the search of Païtiti reminds of that of the English colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett, who dedicated years to exploration and to line of borderlines in the quite uncharted centre of the South American jungle. It took place at the beginning of the XXth century.

His romantic history « in Indiana Jones » inspired Hergé for one of the adventures of his famous reporter.

An outstanding personage !

Percy Harrison Fawcett, officer and English explorer (1867-1925). After having served to Ceylon, he directed, in five campaigns, the works of cutoff of the borders of Bolivia (1906-1912). After a first journey to the Mato Grosso (1914), he/it left to the war of 1914-1918, where he/it won his/her/its colonel's stripes. He/it directed, between 1919 and 1925, two other expeditions in Brazil in search of a former megalithic and extinct city during the second

It was persuaded, and it cost him life, that big megalithic cities existed in the most thick forests of Brazil. These cities had preceded, according to the colonel, the inca culture of the west coast, and their master-builders would have come from the east: it was, according to him, about refugees of lands having been gulped down in former days by the ocean. A topic very in fashion at the beginning of this century: « The linkage between the Atlantis and certain regions of the amazonien basin », he said, « would explain a lot of moreover insolvable problems. »

We cannot subscribe of course to such hypotheses.

However, the presence of not Indian in Central America and in South America was already signalled by members of Spanish and Portuguese expeditions from XVIth century. Fawcett had intended himself to speak, in the course of his numerous expeditions, of white men, which, several generations before, had constructed " big cities ", always existing in the depths of showery forests.


Sculpted in a black basalt, this statuette, of 25 cm high, came according to Fawcett from one of the former cities lost of Amazonie...

Several Indian informed Fawcett that some progenies of original master-builders lived in some of these cities in ruins always and that wild tribes formed a kind of barrier against possible interlopers. The colonel met, in the course of his search of these mysterious cities, several survivors of expeditions gone looking for treasures, the companions of which display deaths or had disappeared. Fawcett disappeared in the amazonienne jungle himself, near the river Xingu, in Brazil, in 1925.

The words which he pronounced before getting involved in his last expedition could be of use for him of epitaph: « That we attain our target and that we come back there, or that we let there our bones dry out in the sun, a thing is sure. The answer of the mystery of ancient South America - and perhaps the prehistoric world, will appear to us when these ancient cities will open in scientific research. These cities exist, I know it (...) I saw a party of one of them myself; it is besides for it that I felt uncontrollably encouraged to go back to it. Relics seemed to be those of the post moved forward by one of the big cities which, I am persuaded of it, will be discovered at the same time as others if they undertake well organized researches. »

In the last of his letters, left " Dead Horse Camp ", so named because his horse died during her expedition there of 1921, the English colonel pointed out that it hoped to attain the target of its researches one week later.

« When we shall come back, he wrote, the history which we shall tell will have to make start the world ! »

But Fawcett has never come back. El Dorado for which it looked must, perhaps, be still at the very bottom of the jungle...

« It was a man of an indomitable courage, » said about him the famous English explorer Peter Fleming, who, later, tried to find his trace to know if he was still alive, « his capabilities of endurance were outstanding. Bugs, fever, deprivations, nothing started it ».

It was undoubtedly these quasi charismatic capabilities of storyteller and superhuman endurance that explained the huge popularity of the colonel, and the number of tries made to come to his assistance.

Today, however, the mystery which surrounds the destiny of Fawcett does not concern so much the way he died, because there is a dozen of natural explications in it, that the famous « city lost » its researches which he discovered, probably, never. The chain of mountains where it located it turned out to be nonexistent in the mapping and in the air photograph of the region where he located it, to know Mato Grosso. But it reminds of other photographs...

Where it inspired Hergé for Tintin

This photo shows an example of inspiration.

They know qu ' Hergé liked to draw inspiration from true facts to write his famous " Adventures of Tintin " The explorer known in the ear broken under the name of " Ridgewell " other than an inspiration of Colonel Fawcett is, among which mass media, at the time when Hergé wrote this adventure, gave an account of journeys.



Join Tintin on his official site :

The Portuguese manuscript

The Portuguese manuscript
First page of the famous Portuguese manuscript, kept today in the Biblioteca Nacianal of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, under the reference 512.

Where from Fawcett did it hold, its sources?

Of a Portuguese document dating the XVIIIth century which represents this mountain and a « city forgotten » located with its feet.

Thierry Jamin found the trace of this Portuguese manuscript in 1993. It is nowadays kept in Biblioteca Nacional of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. He relates the history of a Portuguese venturer who had undertaken to find, in 1740s, trace of fabled mines of diamonds, those, said, Muribeca, that they said lost, someplace, at the very bottom of Brazilian " Sertao ", for XVIth century…

See the Portuguese manuscript

The continent lost in green amazonien hell - 1906 - 1925

Colonel Fawcett
Last French edition of the Posthumous Memorials of Colonel Fawcett published in 1991, in the Edition Pygmalion / Gérard Watelets.

The eight expeditions of Percy Harrison Fawcett, in the middle of Amazon, constitute one of the extraordinariest adventures of the XXth century. Colonel of British Army, archetype of the English explorer at the same time visionary and phlegmatic, Fawcett had sworn to one another - on creed d ' ancient Portuguese columns and of indications of a clairvoyant to find the ruins of the ancient city of the Atlantis buried in the blackness of the Brazilian jungle.

His discovery, in the southwest of Mato Grosso, huge rocky tray surrounded with inaccessible cliffs, had to inspire its famous fantastic novel in Mr Arthur Conan Doyle « The Lost World » (1912), for frame with a chain of mountains populated with surviving prehistoric animals of the Flood... Fawcett disappeared in the course of his eighth expedition, in occurrences which remain this day mysterious. The most mad hypotheses were issued. Does it end up discovering the wonderful megalithic city? Did it fall under the blows of Indian of Mato Grosso? Did he become the white king of an unknown tribe? Does it finish its days, hit by memory loss, wandering across the virgin forest? Numerous explorers launched in his research and some people, in their tower, have never come back. Posthumous work was published in 1953 by the son of the explorer, Brian Fawcett, from its newspapers and marks, « The Lost Continent » contains an exciting moreover (and sometimes comical) picture of life in the post offices of rubber crop of the amazonian forest of the beginning of last century.

Thierry Jamin

General localization supposed of the city "Z" of Fawcett in South America

The Manuscript Portuguese of the colonel Fawcett

The story of the manuscrit

Barely thirty years afterwards overdraft of America by Christopher Columbus, Portuguese Diego Alvarez ran aground on an unknown earth, who was later going to become Brazil.

Alone surviving of shipwreck, it was delivered him even and the wild cannibals Tupinambas. He owed his greeting only to a young Printed calico which fell in love with him and that he had to marry.

From this union was born a child, Melchior Dias Moreya, who lived the biggest party of its life with Indian. It had as him even a son, Roberio Dias, which, while it was another young man, knew well the mines of gold and precious stones where from his father had drawn his big prosperity.

By 1610, Roberio Dias went to the king of Portugal, Dom Pedro II, to deliver him the secrets of mines of its father in exchange for a title of nobility: Marquis das Mines... But the king did not hear it of this ear and, by avarice, threw Roberio Dias in prison. This last, refusing to deliver its secret, remained two years there, before dying in 1622. The secret of mines was never discovered.

During years, expeditions beat the country to try to find the trace of these wonderful mines. In 1740s, a Portuguese venturer, the name of which they ignore, leaves to their research and brought back a strange tale recorded in a manuscript of a dozen pages.

After an interminable trip, which lasted of numerous years, this Portuguese discovered the rests of a grandiose city, at the foot of a chain of mountains, on the West of the amazonien basin. A detailed picture of the city and the reproduction of curious " hieroglyphical inscriptions " is recorded in this report, written by the author of the journey, for the attention of the viceroy of Brazil, Dom Luis Peregrino de Carvalho Menezes de Athayde.

Specifics were contained in this manuscript, partly destroyed, on the city supposedly visited, as well as he shall leave very much curious: as in the zone of pyramids, represented relics stood in the shade of a chain of mountains – which could be only a precordillera!-, orientated similarly, northwest southeast; a river, an uninterrupted forest, the presence of shy Indian is common in both zones. Moreover, the anonymous author cites « big blocks put together by joints without mortar », what is characteristic of andine architecture. It is necessary to underline also circumspection taken by this one, not to make spot by possible citizens of the city, or by, he says, a Spanish garrison. What shows well that the venturer thought be very close to Spanish colonial empire and therefore near Peru.

These indications seem to show a wrong interpretation of Fawcett, which looked for this city, according to us, insufficiently on the West of Mato Grasso. The report also cites « of walls covered of poor herbes », " huge temples ", etc.

In brief, the city of Fawcett was not Païtiti ? Future will say it perhaps …

Download the pages of the manuscript

This Portuguese document, the trace of which we found in Rio in 1993, is dated of 1753 and is called « Relaçao historica of sniffed eclipses e big provoaçao antiguissima sum moradores that descubrio anno of 1753 », that is, in French, « historical relation on a hidden good and ancient urban habitat and his progenies, which was discovered in 1753 ».

Exclusively, here are the pages of this wonderful manuscript. If you speak Portuguese, you can download it by clicking here.

Itineraries of the different expeditions of Fawcett in Brazil, on the traces of the city "Z " (1908-1925)

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