Once again I must express my frustration with the
New Yorker for failing to Webify one of the best stories I’ve
read in the magazine in a while. While the story is not online, the September 19 issue contains a lengthy (even by New
Yorker standards) story by David Grann on the
century-old effort to locate the British explorer Colonel Percy Harrison
Fawcett, who disappeared in the Amazon jungle in 1925 with his son and a companion. I stayed up until late last
night — after eating a plate of sausages and turning pages as quickly as I could with greasy fingers — to get to the
Grann himself ventures into the dense jungle to find out what happened to Fawcett, whose disappearance is one of the
great unsolved mysteries of the century. It’s a marvelous tale weaving together the history of Amazonian exploration,
the story of Fawcett’s likely demise and the current state of affairs in the Amazon, where rampant deforestation has
utterly changed the state of the forest (certain areas explored by Fawcett that were once thick forest are now clear
and smooth as a baby’s bottom). Grann encounters several of the same tribes Fawcett met, one of whom may have killed
him, and tells the story so well (it is the New Yorker, after all) that you’ll immediately be tempted (as I was) to do
a bunch of Fawcett research of your own.
Once again, I beseech the New Yorker folks (David, come on, man! I’ll be happy to help if you need it.) to do more
with your Web site.
Anyway, pick up the issue and read the piece if you are able.