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Lost Cities!

Discussion in 'The Reading Room' started by MikeKardec, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    One of the early Tarzan movies, made as a serial, was about a lost city. It was titled Tarzan and the Green Goddess and also as The New Adventures of Tarzan. One of the titles was used for a regular length movie edited from the serial. One unusual feature was that it was directed by Edgar Rice Burroughs' son-in-law, who also appeared in the movie. The plot involved a search for an idol (the Green Goddess) that contained the formula for a powerful explosive. There were multiple parties on the trail. It also featured lots of khaki, pith helmets, jungle scenery and all the other essential elements of adventure, even to include a tramp steamer. It was also unusual in that it was filmed on location in Guatemala in 1935. One character wears a pullover knit polo shirt, so it's okay for the rest of us to wear one, too, now that we know it's authentic adventure clothing.

    In the movie they had to trek through thick jungle to reach the lost city, as well as ride on a riverboat and on canoes. In reality, there really was a destroyed Spanish colonial city, as they described it, but it was actually in the center of a contemporary Guatemalan city, which I think was Antiqua. It was destroyed in an earthquake. Bruce Bennett played Tarzan in the movie and he lived to be 100.
    Tiki Tom likes this.
  2. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

    I was recently researching Andre Malraux, a French adventurer/writer from the golden era. This jumped out at me from his Wikipedia bio:

    Searching for Lost Cities
    On 22 February 1934, Malraux together with Édouard Corniglion-Molinier embarked on a much publicized expedition to find the lost capital of the Queen of Sheba mentioned in the Old Testament. Saudi Arabia and Yemen were both remote, dangerous places that few Westerners visited at the time, and what made the expedition especially dangerous was while Malraux was searching for the lost cities of Sheba, King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen, and the ensuring Saudi-Yemeni war greatly complicated Malraux's search. After several weeks of flying over the deserts in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Malraux returned to France to announce that ruins he found up in the mountains of Yemen were the capital of the Queen of Sheba. Through Malraux's claim is not generally accepted by archeologists, the expedition bolstered Malraux's fame and provided the material for several of his later essays.


    It just underlines the fact that the search for lost cities was a real thing in the 1930s that captured the public's imagination.

    Fortunately, "Lost Cities" and "Lost Civilizations" are coming back into vogue (that's assuming they were ever out of style). The latest manifestation is in the form of revisionist archaeological theories that there was a major "advanced" civilization that was wiped out by a natural disaster about 12,000 years ago (around the end of the last ice age) and that traces of it are turning up all over the place. I've read Graham Hancock's book on the subject, "Magicians of the Gods", and find his research very interesting (I'm a geek!), although mainstream archaeologists consider him a complete quack, verging on a nut-case. (In response Hancock says "The foundations upon which history is based look increasingly suspect. Let's no longer shroud ourselves in the illusion that mainstream historians and archaeologists are invincible.") Whether he is Looney-tunes or a visionary of sorts, I'm all in favor of anything that keeps adventurers out in the field, in their safari jackets and fedoras. ;)


    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  3. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    Once upon a time, short films called travelogues were in vogue and began appearing as soon as motion pictures become common, or even earlier. They continued being made, I believe, up into the 1950s. During those decades, people did not travel as much as they do now and most of the rest of the world and for that matter, the rest of the country, were unfamiliar places, if not always exotic. One film I have seen was about someone who started out from London in 1938 or 1939, traveling in a little caravan of cars, trucks and trailers. The party went all the way to India with, as they described it, war breaking out behind them. The same trip could, I suppose, be done today but it would perhaps be less exotic and more dangerous. One of the things that stuck with me from the film was seeing someone remove a blender from a cabinet in a house trailer and placing it on the counter.

    Even more interesting and appealing to me were stories, usually as published in the National Geographic, about crossing some natural barrier, like driving through Panama in a Land-Rover or crossing the Sahara in a Citroën half-track or even wintering over in Antarctica. Jungle, desert, ice; that just about covers it. Pure armchair adventure.
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  4. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec Practically Family

    Mainstream science is packed full of "experts" deathly afraid of upsetting the status quo. I friend of mine used to say that theories are rarely disproven or overturned until the originator and all his adherents (read students) die off. There's a chicken or the egg issue too. BECAUSE of people like Hancock, many experts have developed a overwhelming fear of being marginalized by their community if they were to admit to believing in or actively researching even slightly radical claims. Science has become much more conservative in the last 40 years.

    On the "alternative history" side of things a lot of the problem is that the community of "alternative historians" is utterly drinking their own cool-aid. They all go around footnoting like crazy yet their citations tend to be limited to THEMSELVES or EACH OTHER. Utterly useless! The fundamental of Narcissism (beneath the more stereotypical grandiosity), is a vicious clinging to a made up identity. When someone's "identity," source of pride, and income, gets tied to something controversial they will defend it to the death ... just as the main stream guys will defend conventional knowledge. There are no open minds.

    Accurate or not, writers like Hancock are popular and needed in our modern world because we desperately require a sense of wonder, of feeling that there is still something out there to discover and that we can personally relate to (hard to relate to a Quark!). There is no question in my mind that there are many mysteries attributable to early man still to be discovered ... including a good deal more global communication than typically credited. A civilization even as advanced as that of medieval Europe? Well, I sort of doubt it. A scattering of geniuses doing remarkable things? Much more likely. I'm always ready to dream, however!
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  5. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    Sounds like why travelogues used to be popular. A sense of wonder with the world.
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  6. HanauMan

    HanauMan A-List Customer

    The problem with Graham Hancock is that as a teenager I read Erich von Daniken and believed every word in his books!

    Once bitten twice shy, they say.
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  7. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

    I was raised on National Geographic Magazine. My father had a subscription and I would devour every issue. Unfortunately the magazine (plus growing up around a bunch of WWII veterans) fed my naïve childhood belief that every boy was destined to grow up to lead a life of adventure. I haven't yet completely shaken it.

    +1. Very much agree.

    You and me both, brother!
  8. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    Well, of course boys are destined to grow up to be adventurers. They go on to fly airplanes and rockets, dive to the ocean floor, fight great battles, solve mysteries, make long treks with a pack, invent ingenious devices, drive trucks through winter snow storms and, sometimes, discover not only lost cities but entire civilizations unknown to us beneath the crust of the earth or hidden among the mountains of Antarctica where lush jungles flourish. That is what boys grow up to do. Girls, too. It is their destiny.

    By the same token, acorns grow to be mighty oak trees. They cannot do otherwise. But the thing is, not all of them do. Same with boys and girls. Adventuring is a highly competitive activity. Hard on marriage. Our family has an adventurer, trained as a journalist. He was with the troops in the invasion of Iraq and has lived in exotic places most of his life, most recently in Kabul. He is a published author and even married someone from Serbia. But he is not good husband material and they divorced.

    Anyway, the best cities never get lost in the first place.
  9. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

  10. Blowtorch

    Blowtorch Familiar Face

  11. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

    Here is a video for those of you who are really into alternative archaeology, evidence of a much older civilization, etc. It is Graham Hancock giving a slideshow lecture. Pretty much summarizes the contents of his last book. It’s a lot of fun. His basic premise is that there is abundant evidence of an advanced global civilization that existed around 12,000 years ago. Some of his images and interpretations are thrilling/jaw dropping and will unleash the excited little boy (or girl) in you. Like I said, it’s a lot of fun if you are a certain type of wonk. He is just serious enough to make you want to suspend disbelief.


    That said, I love this stuff but mainstream archaeology would beg to differ with his conclusions.
  12. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    Wasn't Chariots of the Gods all about that kind of stuff?

    I think there is an urge in a lot of people to want to believe things like that, the same way many people are absolutely certain there are aliens from outer space visiting earth all the time. The basic theory supporting this is that if you don't know what a particular flying object is, which we logically refer to as unidentified, then it must be from outer space and most likely, Mars. Then, at the same time, they believe the federal government has captured some of them and they're being kept in, well, you know where. Everybody does.

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