During my C-SPAN2 binge, I also caught David Grann, the author of The Lost City of Z, which is the story of the mysterious disappearance of British explorer Percy Fawcett while searching for a lost city in the Amazon. Fawcett's expeditions were like something straight out of the adventure pulps. He claimed to have encountered all kinds of cryptozoological treats: giant anacondas, small cat-like dogs, and double-nosed Andean tiger hounds. It has been alleged that Fawcett was the inspiration for everything from Indiana Jones, to Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost Word, to Kent Allard.
View it here
Apparently, John Grisham has discovered The Lost City of Z as well. Maybe it will inspire him to write something other than courtroom drivel.
And while Fawcett may have ended up as an entree, his spirit lives on. Seventy-year-old Colonel John Blashford-Snell, late of the Royal Engineers, has taken up his mantle. The Times lists the following as his acts of "derring-do":
—Colonel John Blashford-Snell is a former officer in the Royal Engineers who helped to found Operation Raleigh. He will lead the 20-person team on the two-month trip on June 21
—He has twice been shot at by Ethiopian bandits, bitten by a vampire bat and ate a Panamanian spider monkey
—Blashford-Snell is the founder of the Scientific Exploration Society
—He led the first descent of the Ethiopian Blue Nile in 1968 and the first vehicle crossing of the Darien Gap in Panama in 1972
—He invented a jungle hat that is mosquito-repellent, Teflon-coated and has a refrigerated headband
—He said recently: “I often say at 6am as I climb out of a soaking wet hammock, ‘God, I must be mad. Why am I doing this?’ ”
His official website is here: http://johnblashfordsnell.org.uk/
Church organist required for jungle meteorite hunt