EAR/ONS– The Controversy From Nowhere

I’ve been likened to “the trots after a chicken soup dinner– most unexpected.” This is probably the main reason why I was greeted with such hostility by many who followed EAR/ONS in concept.  It is the result of my MO– I always play the rogue. I’m not a part of public discussions. I’m not in this for the thrill nor to become a character in the public discourse of a real life comic strip, which, sadly, some topics become.  I investigate with the purpose of solving an object of mystery.

Thus when it becomes public that I’m involved in a topic, sometimes a topic that has a cottage clique, there is a kneejerk reaction from within. For the Zodiac Killer case I uploaded my investigation incrementally. Enthusiasts knew I was involved, though some marveled at how different my take was on it. (I simply followed the clues instead of the online narrative.) The kneejerk wasn’t there.  EARicon

But for EAR I came out of nowhere, and the intensity of my investigation was not even expected. I spent a year preliminary research, then years of active investigation. I believe I started  photographing locations in March 2013. I wrote an introduction to the crime spree years before the final 80 + pages went up. The introduction was greeted favorably. But it was only a general preliminary.

I have never encountered so much controversy (at least online) as in the subject of EAR/ONS. It was then still an arcane case. Perhaps that’s why. A few hundred people knew about it. They obviously had taken sides. When Q Files Night Predator section went up, dozens praised me and came to my side, even though I didn’t have a dog in the fight. The praise was nice though!

I don’t join message boards. I knew nothing of the controversies. Apparently some had promoted themselves as experts on the case, but really had little tangible to show for it. I really don’t know. All I know is that it was a blessing I was completely obtuse to it all.

I had conducted my own investigation. But the extent of my investigation axed a number of favorite POIs, I guess. That was not appreciated by some. Though I had developed my own POI, I uploaded that page last, and it had never influenced the case history pages or analysis. To this day those remain the most popular.


Q Files Night Predator section has been fully in place now 2 years, with some sections uploaded in late 2014, as I recall. In that time the case of the Night Predator has skyrocketed in interest. There’s been a national press conference. The FBI has its own page up. Some radio gigs have done well. Now 48 Hours has done a show, and I know another is coming on another network.

Perhaps it was for the best that I came out of nowhere. The comprehensive result of my investigation so jolted the web that some 50,000 came in during 1 day from a Reddit link. It started the controversy. It got thousands interested, and this attracted the news.

But as for the PR controversies, I am not involved. I remain a rogue. I continue my investigation. Let those who want beat their chests and create sides as to whose disciple they are. I entered this and remain controversially at its center because I strove not become a character in the discourse, though so it seems I have become. I wanted my investigation to speak for me. I remain in to solve it, and the solution will be just as public as the results of the investigation have been.  And then, as a famous Chinese philosopher once said, “When you come to the last page, close the book.”

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

Out of the Past– The Nuances of The Doodler

I have been plunged back into Dirty Harry’s San Francisco in my pursuit of the Black Doodler. He is one of the most unique serial killers in history. He was charming, talented, and his motive hard to figure out. He targeted gays in The Castro. He had the most unique MO imaginable: he drew little caricatures of patrons of the late night bars. Enchanted by his talent, a proposal was made. They left together and that was about it for the patron. In some secluded place in Golden Gate Park or Ocean Beach, or in their pad if they had one, The Doodler would then whip out what was essentially his Norman Bates edition butcher knife and have at them.

A few survived, and from them we get the overall picture of The Doodler and his MO.  But not his motive. He must have killed about 8, with three known survivors. The police must have figured out his identity or heavily suspected who it was. It is said that The Doodler stopped because he was identified. But he was never prosecuted because each of the 3 survivors was somebody– a European diplomat, a prominent local citizen, and a “nationally known” entertainer. None would testify.

So much for the recap. screen-shot-2014-12-11-at-3-22-41-pm

But I have set out on the track of The Doodler.  It wasn’t difficult to find his trail. But this has not shed light on evidence or motive.

Context is everything. I have had to  delve back into the world of the Castro, 1973-75. A surprising picture emerges.

The first thing I learned is that gay culture is very judgmental and hierarchal in nature, and this culture seems to have arisen from the bar scene.  There was no other real meeting place back then. As such, enormous political and social differences just smoldered.  Most gays regarded the bar scene as an evil necessity. When online dating became possible with the internet, the bar scene collapsed. The Castro, the center of San Francisco’s gay culture, was once peppered with bars. Today, there is only a fraction.

But back then it was the only place to meet someone who you could be relatively sure was gay. No one wanted to out themselves. Being “in the closet” was the phrase most frequently used for a secret gay man. But, as I said, the bar scene is not the place for most people. And few really wanted to acclimate back then. The “prominent” citizen was well protected because the culture protected its own. The diplomat, if anybody knew he was one, was shielded, as was the “nationally known entertainer.” This same protection extended to every other patron. It wasn’t something overt. It came with the territory. People used fake names, fake backgrounds. It was easy to protect identity.

The culture was also divided into pockets.  There were those who likened themselves to ancient Greek culture. Homosexuality was  part of their intimate life but like all intimate things it was not meant to be a public matter. They felt themselves not distinct from mainstream culture and politics. There were those who simply tried to dominate the herd, and kinky lust was the prime characteristic. Obviously, the two attitudes did not reside well in proximity.

Some bar names and their double entendres reflected the origins of the scene– Bear Hollow and nearby was The Pipeline.  Well, that made perfect sense to some. It is not surprising that the bar scene collapsed with online dating. A small element within gay culture had established a stereotype most within it did not like, nor frankly approve of.

In the 1970s this contentious (though it was smoldering) late night bar scene was the perfect environment for a serial killer to select his victims and still maintain his secret identity. It was underground. Language was inference. Identity was fake. In addition, who would really be a witness to anything that would suggest murder? The victim was seen leaving with a certain other person.  That didn’t mean the other patron killed him, did it? It was only after a while that it became obvious that the victims were leaving with the same guy. Moreover, he was black. Being gay was controversial enough. But interracial relations? In a judgmental society no one wanted to be known as a “Dinge Queen.”

This is the society in which The Doodler moved at night.  But he does not appear to have moved within it at any other times. You could, in fact, do that. It took being recognized within this culture, which meant the bar scene first, developing your own friends,  meeting elsewhere, being within a network of other friends who knew who everybody was. But The Doodler doesn’t seem to have been known. He was talented, convivial: this attracted patrons to him.

There was enough information so that a composite was done by the police. Thus his identity was not immediately known to the community. Yet this still didn’t identify him. Such a poster wasn’t something the bars would hang up to warn patrons. You weren’t going to find it in the post office. It cycled underground like the entire culture did.

The end result is that The Doodler serial crimes came and went. Despite the unique MO and the colorful time in history— Dirty Harry’s San Francisco– he is largely obscure. Even the number of his victims is hard to determine. Brutal death by butcher knife marked his wake. The two extremes of his signature were a nice artsy sketch of the victim beforehand and afterward the end result:  the victim butchered in a dark recess in public.

I must admit I am slow following through on The Doodler crimes. Information is scant. It is also hard to follow up on a true crime mystery if the chances are nil that the killer would be brought to book. It seems he would never be prosecuted. As we know, the three survivors refused to testify. I think only one is alive today. His account would be valuable for the sake of putting in the details of the MO– from the moment of contact in the bar to the time he drew out his knife au moment juste. This would serve to confirm that there was nothing sexual in The Doodler’s aim. He attacked them before anything happened. But only one person seems capable of confirming this today. It would provide an enormous clue to the Doodler’s MO.

But in learning of the culture of the time we are left with some valuable leads. We can proceed to uncover just how much The Doodler himself knew of this culture. His list of known victims seem to follow a pattern of progression, and we must look at this in our next Doodler post.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

Marveling at the Beast– The Shadow of EAR/ONS

In the Book of Revelations John marveled at the sight of the beast. It isn’t adulation. It is marvel. For a brief moment, that nanosecond flirt with exultation, so do we marvel at anyone who acts outside of the box of the conformity we live in. In our amazement, we are trying to understand it. This is to marvel. When it is an arrogant killer, we not only marvel but we become consumed with the mystery.

An audacious serial killer is the beast. But he is also a mystery. John beheld the Beast. There was no mystery. But for serial killers, well, we do not see them. An audacious one captivates by making us marvel. But he intrigues us by being unknown. We love nothing more than a good mystery and thriller. To hunt a serial killer is to live a real life thriller.

Perhaps this is why so many have an interest in some of the most inexplicable crime sprees in history. Jack the Ripper is still the focus of attention even over 125 years after his audacious crime spree. The Zodiac has joined his ranks. EAR/ONS– the Night Predator– has now entered this level.

Perhaps I am fortunate that mystery captivates me more than any desire for a thrill. As I have said many times, I like to solve mystery, not just wallow in one. But I must admit to a certain amount of obsession over the first few years of tracking EAR.  I had to uncover as lot of territory. I had to devote a lot of mental energy. I had to stand amazed and marvel at how this phantom brat pulled off his crimes and was never in the dragnet. At times he seemed clumsy; at others he seemed a deadly, calculating snake. But I had to stalk the ultimate stalker.

I can now follow the trail of EAR/ONS more at a distance. It was a relief to get the foundation over. I never had to relay the foundation of a crime spree before. I could come along and analyze what had been compiled. I could find new clues and follow these to new evidence. But those cases I tackled had lots of official information released to the public. 1976Suspect_Icyu2

EAR/ONS was not that way. He was preserved in a semi-fictional account by one of the detectives, then another tried to remember enough details to add to the information. Ironic that this is how the number one crime spree in history came to be preserved, and it is out of this medium that it has slowly grown to become what it is. It is within this foggy world I had to stalk. Not to take any credit for myself, but it is a fact that when I likened him to the “real life Michael Myers” it clicked. People could identify with what he was– unnatural, unstoppable, the embodiment of cold, emotiveless evil. I walked in the shoes of Dr. Loomis, in a way. I came to appreciate what this evil form was all about. I walked in his footsteps. I studied the maniac from his pattern.

Wherever I went in pursuit, I got the number one compliment from law enforcement: “I can’t help you, but I’m not going to stop you.” It may seem like a movie line, but it is said in real life. It was a pass. It let me walk around neighborhoods freely. “If they call I’ll tell them I know who you are.” It works both ways. I’m obliged to tell them when I have something like a silver bullet. So far it has not turned up. There are those with badges who know who my prime POI is and the nest I’m working within. But it is up to me to sink or swim.

It isn’t easy to dig through the dust of time. A badge really doesn’t help. Cops aren’t trained in the pursuit of history. They use media announcements and press conferences to try and get history to come talk to them. Nothing wrong with that. But I have to delve into the stuff. 40 years is a lot of dirt, and a lot of cops never heard of EAR/ONS either. He was so careful he deftly walked into history just as skillfully as he had stalked through the night 40 years ago.  It has taken 6 years and lots of research, pavement pounding, and analysis just to bring him back from history. I have succeeded in materializing the phantom. This actually isn’t much for 6 years of work.

Now to give form to the shadow.

EAR is still gaining in momentum. The Night Predator section of my Q Files is still the most popular section. They come from all around the world to read it. But that is not enough. I don’t want to cement in popular culture another Ripper and let it go nowhere from there but into a real life comic strip. This case must be solved.

The days ahead are going to be busy– I have two books coming due, as you all know, several other feelers are out on other cases such as the Shadow Slayer or Phantom of Colonial Parkway, the Doodler, The Phantom of Texarkana, and The Cleveland Torso Killer,  and other topics. Moreover, I’ve been asked to star in my own television series. It’s not about True Crime, but largely about a single topic that I investigate. I’m not one to angle to be in TV. I don’t care for it, but the request is from some of the best people in the “reality TV” business. So I must take it seriously despite my reticence.

Within this helter skelter of schedules to come, I will still be pursuing EAR with as much intensity as I can. I’m focused and narrowed in on my target. If I only succeed in eliminating another POI that is at least something. We pick up the pieces and move on. But I doubt we should have to move far. All the clues and evidence speak of the nest of auto-wrecking that I uncovered and those within orbit around it.  I have told you all it won’t be an easy task. EAR was the unsuspected so long ago. History is bringing his crime spree to light, but history has also given him a lot of time to devolve into the shadows. Considering what a phantom he was, this is saying something. I am grabbing at a shadow and trying to hold on.

In a sense EAR/ONS is not Michael Myers. He has no name and no past.  Dr. Loomis marveled and was then frightened by looking into the abyss of evil incarnate.  But we cannot do that with EAR. We can only stalk his footsteps and examine the carnage he left behind. Yes, we should marvel at the beast. He left about 65 victims in his wake, many capable of speaking to this day. But few wish to do so. Silence– fear— protects him even to this day. We marvel at his shadow. He was such a beast that just his shadow has inspired our marvel.

We must all be vigilant. We must all be ready to consider every clue again.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

EAR/ONS–Darkest Before the Dawn

I’ve assured people several times with the above encouragement. It is always darkest before the dawn. Many have emailed me and worried about why no updates. I have indeed been working on the case, but now we come down to fine points. I’m not sharing updates on what I’m doing for a reason.

EAR is part of my trifecta. I intend the case be solved.

Considering the past S&M of true crime this requires a lot of caution. It requires I have every point of fact down in order in logical progression. Remember I am not writing a book on this subject. The Q Files section on EAR/ONS is part of the experiment to solve the case. No “daddy did it books.” No “SOLVED” books and then the ultimate gist of the book is merely a dangling tongue accusing someone. EAR/ONS is to be solved.  The villain is to be exposed. My conclusions and investigation as presented on Q Files must therefore stand distinct from the genre.

Q Files Night Predator section already stands on its own. It has pioneered the presentation of a true crime investigation. But now it comes down to conclusions.

I can say what strands I must sew together. 1, hand writing matchups. 2, Occupations over the relevant period of times confirmed. 3, the lair in Los Angeles area between 1979 and 1981. 4, a definite location for EAR during the  5 years of absence before he returned again in 1986. The final step is out of my hands– DNA. My thesis must be concise enough to inspire the relevant law enforcement to proceed to DNA. Again, this requires a lot of thought.

I’m working on many cases, and even being ask to look into others. I’m trying to remain as focused as possible. I have 2 books upcoming– one very soon. The other in fall. Both have been highly anticipated. HorrorScope is especially sought for since the case of the Zodiac Killer has long awaited solution.

The internet is agog over RAP, each person sure they know who he is. But few know who the two alternates are within the same tight circle of auto wrecking.  I’m refining all three, remember, just to make sure.

RAP, of course, is the prime POI, and I have enough articles up as to why. The most intriguing thing about him is his loner status. For easy access, his is almost nonexistent in the records prior to emerging in 1989 as a security guard. We can deduce, as I have already said, that he obviously had not had a dynamic career before age 31. He had the auto wrecking and VW background there is no denying. His limited security career showed how he liked the graveyard shifts. He must not have had a thrilling social life, since he slept during the day and was walking his beat at night.

But there must be more specifics. What could take him from Sacramento to Concord, and from there to Santa Barbara? Something to do with Teichert?– possibly. They built highways. He knew and relied on highways. But from heavy duty construction to security guard– I just can’t see that jump downward.

It’s been a long time since the crimes. We’re coming up on May 2017– 40 years since the month he struck 5 times and sent Sacramento into a panic before he vanished for the whole summer. EAR was an obscure young villain then and he has cleverly maintained that obscurity ever since. No one should expect it will be easy to finally remove his mask, even if one has the right culprit. He was the unsuspected then. In 41 years he has only advanced to be the suspected. I won’t let it remain there. EAR must go from being suspected to being proved. This comes down to mincing steps now.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

The Problem with Mantell

Sadly, the death of Captain Thomas F. Mantell Jr. has become the subject of a narrative rather than the product of investigation. The original “Project Saucer” team did a good job of investigating, and then J. Allen Hynek tried to make heads or tails out of the witness reports to correlate them with Venus. The synthesis of the investigation, however, was right: there had to be more than one object responsible.

The discourse today is for one side to insist that Mantell went to his death chasing a flying saucer. The other side responds and says it was probably a skyhook balloon.  In truth, both are very, very wrong.

The tower staff at Godman Field made several mistakes in their depositions. Two of them– Blackwell and Oliver– called the town of  Madisonville “Mansville.” Colonel Hix, I believe, called it Maysville. There is really a Maysville, Kentucky, but it had nothing to do with the incident. This confuses people to this day. Wikipedia, that distiller of false facts, will even open up the incident with this claim. In fact, the object was first sighted over Madisonville to the south of Godman Field. Quentin Blackwell, the tower operator, then said that the State Police called in from “E” Town. This is Elizabethtown, which is to the East of Madisonville. They said it was over “Mansville.”  Owensboro and then Irvington reported the object. All said and done it is very possible to calibrate where this “huge 250 foot” object was– over Madisonville. Kentucky, to the South of Fort Knox and Godman Field.

When those in the tower at Godman got enough calls they got their binocs and looked out. Sure enough to the south of Godman there was a bright object “hanging high in the sky.”  Colonel Hix said it looked like a parachute, white with the sun sparking off the top and a red border on the bottom. Another officer said it looked round with a red top. One said it looked like an ice cream cone, which sounds like a balloon.

Mantell and his squadron were passing over the field and Godman contacted them and ask them to check into it. Mantell ripped round with 2 wingman and headed about 220 degrees, zipping Southwest at about 360 mph. He continued to ascend. The chase is generally well known. At one point he told Godman tower that the object was “tremendous in size” and metallic. Finally, toward the end his wingman Al Clements saw it. He described it as lower than the sun and to the left. It was a bright spot, too distant to tell size or shape. It was like the reflection of the sun off a canopy. P-51D

This sounds like Venus.

The last Clements saw of Mantell he was still climbing almost straight into the sun heading up to 25,000 feet.

Putting it all together, they all could not have been looking at the same thing. Clements does sound like he was describing Venus. But Clements is also the pilot that went back up about 45 minutes later, now fully loaded with oxygen. He zoomed back 100 miles south of Godman to the Tennessee border.  He didn’t see anything.  And he was looking for it this time. If it had been Venus, it still would have been there.

Correlating all the data, the balloon answer doesn’t fit. First, there is a benefit in having the accident report. The weather is contained therein. The winds were from the South/southwest at Bowling Green and Nashville at this time. The object was obviously heading south/southwest.  A balloon could not have drifted against the wind unless it was so high the wind estimates didn’t apply.

The object first appeared over the Madisonville area. It wasn’t a balloon that drifted from Ohio. Maysville on the border of Kentucky and Ohio was not involved in the sightings. “Mansville” in the documentation meant  Madisonville. Had the object drifted west of Maysville, it would have passed over Standiford AFB and even Frankfurt, the capital. No one reported it there. No, it appears South of Godman and there it remained for about an hour, long enough for the surrounding towns to report it and describe it as 250 to 300 feet. thomasmantell

It clearly didn’t remain long after Mantell hot footed it South. He covered the entire height of Kentucky in 20 minutes, never gaining on it even at the end when he died over Franklin on the border between Tennessee and Kentucky.  It was near Bowling Green, near thereby to Franklin,  that Al Clements saw the object (apparently) and thought it too far distant to tell what it was. A balloon can’t move that quickly.

So was everybody seeing the same thing?

Evening reports, even from Godman tower, describe the bright light in the general vicinity where the object had been seen in the afternoon. It is obvious they are clearly describing Venus. All the bases reporting this bright light give a time when it disappeared over the horizon and this time corresponded with the setting of Venus. Another object was seen by Lockbourne AFB in Ohio later in the evening, but it was clearly not a part of the afternoon’s events.

Thus in the end Project “Saucer” (Sign) couldn’t figure the case. Their joint conclusion was more than one object and Venus must have been responsible for the multiple sightings. Logically, they opted to believe that Godman and the surrounding towns saw a real object, but when Mantell ripped around and went up high he may not have seen it but rather saw Venus.

But where did the object come from and where did it go? The excuse it was a skyhook from Clinton County AFB in Ohio has no support, and the winds were contrary that day. Moreover, it would have been reported by Frankfort and Standiford first, before it drifted southwest against the wind, passed Godman without them seeing it before it appeared South of there over Madisonville.  Since Elizabethtown is to the East of Madisonville, and we know the State police there reported it, this could not have been Venus. “E” Town people would have been looking West, and Venus was to the South. No known balloon launch could have accounted for the position of the balloon and then its quick ascent.

In essence, the Mantell “UFO” was never explained. Balloons can’t account for it. Nor can Venus.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

On the Track of the Ransacker

Though I intend to stealthily scout out Visalia, an “operative” has been doing some nice footwork for us all. These pics will help place in context some of the neighborhoods that the Ransacker struck. If I could only get some addresses I could see how significant the ditches (Evans Ditch), parks, and other open areas are to the Ransacker’s Prowling MO.  My thanks to the “Visalia Operative.”

Beverly1West Beverly– looks like a very nice, wide street. Older homes.


The ditch on Dollner. A familiar landmark to those who seek EAR/ONS. Evans Ditch also runs behind a number of the streets. Below, Dartmouth seen through the park from Woodland. Behind Dartmouth runs Evans Ditch.

Darthmouth-park-from-WoodlandPrinceton is another street The Visalia Ransacker is said to have hit. Again, the ditch at Princeton, below.


Below, an unsuspecting Haddonfield. I find it hard to believe that the Ransacker just stopped cold in this case. I wonder if that composite is really of our man. West Beverly again on a lovely day.


Percy Fawcett and The Lost City of Z

There is nothing more alluring than finding a lost city. Well, perhaps there is one more thing: the belief that it does exist. Any object worthy of a quest is alluring. But anticipation is often better than fulfillment, as I have learned too many times while in quest of something.

Percy Fawcett became enamored of the prospects of finding a lost city in the Matto Grosso of Brazil. It was not that he believed there was just a city to be found. He believed it was the cradle of civilization. The beginning point. It was more than El Dorado. Its treasure was the secrets of the origins of mankind and all civilization. In a way, it was Fawcett’s Atlantis.  It was a civilization that tumbled down in prehistory. Even the Inca had recollections of the Andes being thrust upward during a great continental cataclysm. Were they the survivors? Was the first civilization started in the Matto Grosso, the heart of Brazil?

Like the sea, the jungle holds its secrets, causing us to stand on its perimeter and gaze in anticipation. Fawcett believed in many of the nuances of the time– from psychometry to “readings.” He was broadminded and adventurous. My kinda guy. He also did lots of research. He examined some ruins far from the object of his quest– ancient Peruvian structures of dark rooms wherein there was no hint of soot. He believed it could have mean the ancients here at electricity.

The rumors of the Lost City he called “Z” came from many locations. No doubt they were of the same type that had beguiled the early Spanish conquistadors about El Dorado, the lost city of gold.

But Fawcett was one up on them. He had discovered that Manuscript 512 now in the National Library of Rio de Janeiro. A 17th century Portuguese settler describes having found a city with arches and a statue. . . and hieroglyphic writing. The Inca had no script. Only the Maya did and they too recalled the destruction of a great civilization to the “east.” According to the map the lost city was in Bahia State, the province bordering the Atlantic.

In 1925, when Fawcett finally prepared for his final journey, he was going to go through the Matto Grosso and then come out and head into Bahia State and make this city his secondary goal. This wasn’t Z. From all he had discovered, its location didn’t fit. But its existence served to underscore a civilization of cities, obviously once connected by roads, that had existed once upon a time in the lush Amazon.

map blow up

Part of a map showing Percy Fawcett’s expedition in 1925, contained in Brian Fawcett’s book Lost Trails, Lost Cities.  Raposo’s city is marked by the arch and statue.

This made sense to Percy Fawcett. Why would the spectacular civilizations of the Andes limit themselves so such remote areas with a lush and fertile chunk of land– the vast majority of land in South America– at their doorstep? It seemed as if these impressive Andean civilizations were merely the last remnant, the survivors of an even more opulent civilization. Z represented this. It was the heart of prehistory. It was the Atlantis swallowed not by the sea but by the jungle.

Percy Fawcett, his son Jack, and Jack’s friend Raleigh Rimmel, never found Z in 1925. Nor did they find the city Fawcett called Raposo’s City, which is the one he believed was described in Manuscript 512. The Amazon swallowed the three of them and no trace was ever found.

Does Z exist? Symbolically, I think we should all wish it to exist. It is Babel. It is Atlantis. It is El Dorado. It is the object of a quest. But can it truly exist today in the Amazon and have gone undetected? Not even Raposo’s city in the Bahia has been found, and yet the settler wrote that he had found one.

The jungle can cover anything. Aerial photographs have captured intriguing objects that look like pyramids in the jungle. There are still reasons to hope.

LandsatA once intriguing Landsat satellite photo over the Amazon.

It is speculated today that Fawcett was picking up stories about the lost civilization of Kuhikugu near the headwaters of the river Xingu. It was later discovered after his death. Several settlements were connected with roads and interspersed with farmland.  Perhaps as many as 50,000 had once lived here. If they had built such a community, could they too have been the survivors of a vanished age?

Soon the movie The Lost City of Z will be released. This is one movie I am going to go see. I hope it is done well and captures the adventure and the reasons why Fawcett truly believed there was a fabled ruined city of an advanced prehistoric civilization in the Amazon. Without it the quest cannot be appreciated. It is, in fact, the spirit of the whole quest. The quest was not jut an object. It was what it contained.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.