Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pipe Smoker: Percival Harrison Fawcett

Lt. Colonel Percival Harrison Fawcett (1867 - 1925?)
"Civilization has a relatively precarious hold upon us and there is an undoubted attraction in a life of absolute freedom once it has been tasted. The 'call of the wild' is in the blood of many of us and find its safety valve in nature."
Percy Fawcett was born in Torquay, Devon, England.  He served in the Royal Artillery beginning in 1886 and in 1901 joined the Royal Geographic Society to study surveying and mapmaking.  In 1906, at the urging of the president of the RGS, he began exploring South America.  He found the terrain to be dangerous, the native wildlife to be dangerous, the weather to be dangerous, and the native people to be...dangerous.

In 1925 he began what would be his final expedition into the Brazilian wilderness, accompanied by his eldest son, Jack.  On May 29th of that year he sent a message back to his wife that they were about to enter unexplored territory, and that "you need have no fear of failure."  He was never heard from nor seen again.  Over the years, several expeditions were sent out to try and find him, but all failed.

As recently as 1996, another expedition was formed to try and find any clues as to what had become of him.  The expedition encountered hostile indigenous people who detained them for several days and confiscated thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

Percy Fawcett's ultimate fate remains unknown to this day.

Percy Fawcett at the Virtual Exploration Society
Percy Fawcett at Wikipedia

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