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SECRETS OF THE DEAD
“LOST IN THE AMAZON”
APRIL 20 AT 8 PM
EIGHT, ARIZONA PBS

On April 20, 1925, Colonel Percy Fawcett, his elder son Jack Fawcett and Jack's lifelong friend, Raleigh Rimmell, departed from Cuiabá, the capital city of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, to find “Z” — Col.   Fawcett's name for what he believed to be an ancient city lost in the uncharted jungles of Brazil.    The search for the mysterious Lost City of Z would be the great explorer's last expedition.   All three men would vanish without a trace.

Eighty-six years later, Secrets of the Dead has mounted a modern day quest with explorer Niall McCann to find the truth behind the disappearance of famed adventurer Col. Percy Fawcett and his party in Lost in the Amazon , premiering Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 8 p.m. on Eight, Arizona PBS.

When Col Fawcett set out in 1925 to find the lost city he called “Z,” it was the biggest news of the day. Millions followed the reports he sent back to civilization with local runners. But, he was not a treasure hunter like those seekers of El Dorado, the mythical city whose king was said to cover himself with gold dust.    

Inspired by the discovery of Machu Picchu and other Incan sites in 1911, this war hero, surveyor and amateur archaeologist, became fascinated with the notion that large civilizations once existed in the Amazon.    This fascination, coupled with a spiritual and mystical belief that his son was a “chosen one,” suggest the true purpose behind his final journey.

Along with new archaeological digs and the science behind the discovery of newly found jungle cities, there are two clues pointing to the fate of Fawcett and his two companions: his signet ring which surfaced 60 years after he disappeared and a map with a secret code only his wife could decipher.   In addition, Secrets of the Dead shares surprising finds that are causing experts to re-think the image of a pristine uninhabited, uncivilized Amazon rainforest — a place that before Columbus, may actually have had large populations living in sophisticated towns and cities.    Is it uninhabited or just not urban?  

About Eight, Arizona PBS

Eight, Arizona PBS specializes in the education of children, in-depth news and public affairs, lifelong learning, and the celebration of arts and culture -- utilizing the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach services, and community-based initiatives. The PBS station began broadcasting from the campus of Arizona State University on January 30, 1961. Now more than 80 percent of Arizonans receive the signal through a network of translators, cable and satellite systems. With more than 1 million viewers each week, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. Arizonans provide more than 60 percent of the station's annual budget.

Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.