As we all know, Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett is known primarily for getting lost forever in his search for a lost city, which he called “Z”, which he believed to exist deep in the jungles of Brazil. Being British, he probably actually called it “Zed”. He hypothesized that Zed was an outpost of Atlantis. He based that hypothesis on a psychometric reading he had a psychic do on a small black basalt stone idol that had been given to him by H. Rider Haggard. Yes, that H. Rider Haggard, the author of King Solomon’s Mines and She, She, as in “she who must be obeyed”. So, based on this undoubtedly reliable source of information, he got ‘et by the jungle.
But, be that as it may, the main thing Fawcett did was map the jungle area that forms the border between Bolivia and Brazil. He kept copious journals while doing so. His younger son, Brian, later edited and published the journals in book form as Lost Trails, Lost Cities. Brian’s older brother, Jack, would undoubtedly have loved to have done the publishing, but, alas, Jack was with his dad on that last expedition and was likewise ‘et by the jungle.
Now, buried in Lost Trails, Lost Cities are some damned curious things, things that Fawcett simply wrote down as just normal jungle border surveying incidents. I will illustrate this with just example, his brief encounter with the Maricoxi.
Fawcett had been warned about the Maricoxi tribe by the Maxubi, a tribe of Indians who lived a very primitive existence, much like other tribal peoples in the deep Amazon jungles. The Maxubi said, basically, “When you go along the path you are planning on, look out for the Maricoxi. They are primitive buggers who are not at all civilized and will try to kill you.”
Five days after Fawcett left the Maxubi, he and his crew stopped to decide which direction they should go next. Then, and I quote, “…two savages appeared about a hundred yards to the south, moving at a trot and talking rapidly…they were large, hairy men with exceptionally long arms, and with foreheads sloping back from pronounced eye ridges, men of a very primitive kind, in fact, and stark naked”, end quote. The two hairy men carried bows and arrows. Fawcett, who spoke a number of local tribal languages, did not recognize the language the men spoke.
The next day, Fawcett and company stumbled upon the Maricoxi village. It was composed of very primitive shelters, where, and again I quote, “squatted some of the most primitive savages I have ever seen..great apelike brutes…(then) an enormous creature, hairy as a dog, leapt to his feet…fitted an arrow to his bow…and came dancing from one leg to the other until he was only four yards away. Emitting grunts that sounded like ‘Eugh! Eugh! Eugh!’ he remained there dancing.” End quote.
The rest of the tribe followed suit, dancing from leg to leg and chanting, “Eugh! Eugh! Eugh!”, until the first guy, presumably the chief, stopped his performance, and aimed his bow and six foot arrow at Fawcett’s chest. Fawcett understandably pulled out his pistol and, not wanting to start a big battle, fired one shot into the ground. The Maricoxi, equally understandably, took flight. Fawcett and company proceeded onward to their next surveying sight. Fawcett encountered what he called tribes of even more primitive persuasion, who were even hairier and more apelike.
I found this little tidbit of Fawcett’s career in a book by Ivan Sanderson, titled Things and More Things. Sanderson was gob smacked that no anthropologist had ever picked up these hairy apemen of Fawcett’s acquaintance. I am equally gob smacked by it.
First shared on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast:
For the reading impaired, an audio version of this quasi theory may be found here: