Ever since my childhood, I have heard of Percy Fawcett. In spring 2017, a wildly promoted movie retracing his life came out on all screens.
This English aristocrat from the beginning of the 20th century was, like many of his compatriots, irresistibly drawn to adventure and travelling. Amazonia was his magnet, with its immense and impenetrable jungles. He was convinced they harboured the forgotten civilisations of lost cities. He went on multiple expeditions and every time came back less money and more determination.
For yes, a prodigious past did lay under the tall trees and vines of the jungle.
In 1925, he left for a new expedition with his son and multiple companions. He never returned, and no one knows what became of him, his son, or his companions.
Rumours, hints, indicate that a particularly savage tribe of natives killed him, but there are no proofs of it.
Many expeditions were launched to find him, or even his trace. My uncles, the princes Orleans Bragance, and the brothers of my aunt the Countess of Paris, participated in one of them. And so it is that I heard talks of it since my youth.
To no avail. Nothing was uncovered. And the mystery remains.
However, at the Chateau d’Eu, which then belonged to the Countess of Paris and her brothers, there were many souvenirs from Brazil and their ancient empire, including the famous shrunk head of Jivaro, which had the particularity of moaning every night. Upon further examination, it was proven that the head was not that of an Indian but of a white man, blond or redhead, probably British…Was it Fawcett’s?
No one will ever answer.