Below are the last journal entries of the famed Archaeologist, Cartographer, British Geographic Society, British artillery man and ultimately explorer, Percy Fawcett. When Fawcett stumbled upon an 18th-century document in the National Library of Brazil written by a Portuguese conquistador who spoke of an ancient city deep in the jungle, he knew that he had to find it. Fawcett made many successful expeditions to the Amazon. Fawcett disappeared at some point during his last expedition to the Amazon Rainforest in search of El Dorado. His last transmission was on May 20th 1926. How he died, we do not know.
March 22nd 1926
Today is the day, my men have agreed and the journey will start in one month. My wife is unhappy as I will be gone again. My son is now 12 years old. Almost a man. I wish to have him come with me on these expeditions one day and for him to come home with the news that his father found the fabled El Dorado. I feel that this will be the last expedition, but alas I am a man of my fortune and I must seek my fortune.
April 19th 1926
Tomorrow I leave from Cuidad to the jungles. My wife has agreed to let my son Jack take this expedition with me as he has begged her every day for the last month. I am afraid my son shares my tenacity. I have gathered the last of my men. They are cocky, but young and fearless. The Amazon is not something to be fearless of.
My wife worries for my son and my health. Every day that I am not in pursuit of the lost cities of the Amazon I cannot help but remember a piece I wrote at the end of my last failed expedition:
“Deep down inside me a tiny voice was calling. At first scarcely audible, it persisted until I could no longer ignore it. It was the voice of the wild places, and I knew that it was now part of me forever.”
April 20th 1926
We have set up camp for the night. We learned from our last expedition and brought a new chemical that repels bugs. We also are equipped with mosquito nets that we hang from our faces. My son is eager to cover more ground in the morning. I cannot shake an eerie feeling. I am hoping it is because I chose the correct location to start with and that after weeks of this journey, we will be men of luck.
April 27th 1926
The first week of this expedition has been challenging to say the least. My men are tired already and not mentally prepared for the absurd danger of the jungle. There are snakes ten feet long and jaguars, ravenous, untouched and undomesticated by man. That is nothing compared to the silent danger of mosquito viruses and poisonous frogs. Even nightmarish creatures like the legend of the Nahual, a creature that takes the shape of your worst enemy. Supposedly this creature made a pact with the devil himself in order to attain it's powers.
May 10th 1926
I worry that I am becoming ill but with what I do not know. As my men sleep I hear sounds, hisses that sound almost otherworldly. My biggest fear? Not death from sickness, the biggest fear is that I am not becoming ill.
I sense that we are close, I feel it in my bones. In three days time we should come across a native tribe. They might have answers, provided they do not kill us.
May 11th 1926
We have reached what seems to be the outskirts of the local tribe. We have set up camp about a days journey from them. The billowing smoke from their fires has given away their location.
Today one of my men stumbled across an idol of sorts, ancient in nature, and it seemed to depict the ancient serpent god of the Mayans. It goes by the name Kukulkan. This is to say the least, an odd find. We are in the land of the ancient Incans not Mayans. The idol has raised my crew's spirits. It is covered in gold and laced with Jade.
It is nighttime now and I fear my illness has taken hold of me in a way I cannot control. After taking a small walk alone I found a large statue depicting a jaguar's head which is also Mayan. Upon sight of this ancient deity I seem to have contracted a sort of paranoia, the statue seems to be making me see things. I am afraid but I will push on, we have not come this far and endured the hardships of the jungles to turn back now. It is times like this when I revere in my family's motto "All difficulties be damned".
May 12th 1926
We made contact with the tribe. My crew was unable to understand the tribes fear of us. When I told them to put down their guns they questioned me because the tribe had arrows trained on them. We put our guns on the ground. I was the first to speak. I first tried Portuguese and when no response was made, I tried Spanish. A young man around the age of sixteen emerged from the crowd of the Amazonians. His response was short and trembling with fear "what you want?" he replied in shaky Spanish. I responded with "My name is Percy Fawcett, my men and I are are searching for a lost city that some call El Dorado. We think it could be very close to you."Tthe young man seemed to be bewildered by my words. All of their bows still drawn, my men and I stare, awaiting the response of the tribe. The tension was palpable. The tribesmen could very likely kill us. Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors and their raping, pillaging and stealing could very likely be an aural tradition amongst them. They could view us as conquistadors and kill us on the spot. After what seemed like a lifetime, an ancient woman with colorful paint smeared on the edges of her face parted the crowd. She said "Paititi" I managed to respond with "I am not aware of that word." "Paititi is the city you are looking for." the woman said. "You are close, but be aware we know nothing of the city except it is fiercely protected by the Kharisiri." I said "Thank you" to the tribe. The men seemed to be getting angrier and less stable the longer we stayed so I asked the crew to pick up their weapons and back away and out of the tribe's sight .
Our camp was filled with tension, my men are murmuring to themselves.
I overheard one of them mention the word "Kharisiri."
Tomorrow we move forward with our journey.
May 19th 1926
It has been a week since my last correspondence. I hope that these messages are coming through. There are creatures amongst us. I know this letter will come as a laugh but there are strange men that seemed to be painted white, only they are not men. They have large teeth and long claws, they are quicker than lightning and they are the ones that have been plaguing my thoughts with their hissing. They've been aware of our intentions all along. They are not human. These creatures must be the Kharisiri the tribeswoman spoke of. My men have begged to turn back and return with more weapons but I will not allow that. We must be close to the lost city and I will not risk not being able to return.
May 20th 1926
I don't want rescue parties coming to look for us. It's too risky. If with all my experience we can't make it, there's not much hope for others. That's one reason why I'm not telling exactly where we're going or what we have found in the last day. Whether we get through, and emerge again, or leave our bones to rot in there, one thing is certain. The answer to the enigma of ancient South America and perhaps of the prehistoric world may be found by my men and I. That the city of Paititi, the lost city of Gold or El Dorado exist, I know. Trust me on that"
-Percy Fawcett "All difficulties be damned"
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Love that you actually did your research for this, the addition of the legends of the Nahual and Kharisiri were very cool and added a very scary element. Interesting take on his disappearance.
Thank you so much for noticing. Percy Fawcett is someone I've idolized forever so I wanted to do a cool and somewhat factual story.
Insanely good! Percy Fawcett has always been an interest of mine, so this was very cool,
Mine too! Thanks!
This is a super cool story. Where did the inspiration come from?
Thank you so much! I'm in school for archaeology and Percy Fawcett and his stories has been a big inspiration for me.
Woah, I want more.