The Curse of a Lost City

“Deep in Honduras, in a region called La Mosquitia, lie some of the last unexplored places on earth.” That’s the first line of a non-fiction book, The Lost City of the Monkey God. It’s written by Douglas Preston, who is best known for his thrillers co-authored with Lincoln Child. Preston has also written several other non-fiction books, including The Monster of Florence.

Mosquitia covers 32,000 square miles of mostly dense jungle and is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world to travel. It’s also the home of a fascinating legend of a lost city called Ciudad Blanca or the “White City,” which is sometimes referred to as the Lost City of the Monkey God. The legend of a magnificent city, built by an unknown civilization, includes a curse. Those who enter the city and taste its “forbidden fruit” will be struck down, and possibly that is one reason that has kept treasure hunters from finding the ruins.

In 2015, Preston joined a team of archaeologists and other scientists to explore a site that had been discovered through satellite images and lidar, a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to detect hidden structures. Amazingly,  two lost cities were found in a hidden valley in Mosquitia, both built by an unknown culture that lived near and traded with the Mayan civilization to the north. Preston and the others arrived by helicopter to spend a week exploring the hidden ruins that were buried in a pristine rain forest untouched by humans for hundreds of years.

Two thirds of the book is a fascinating description of the adventure and the discovery of a cache of astonishing artifacts that is combined with tales of previous attempts to find the White City. The rest of the book is about what happened after the expedition. That’s when the ‘curse’ took effect and half of the members of the expedition, including Preston came away with a deadly disease with no cure called leishmaniasis. There are three strains of leish, the worst being one that can eat away at a person’s lips and nose and  palate ultimately causing the face to collapse if the disease goes untreated. Preston and the expedition were infected with this most serious strain.

Never heard of leishmania? Neither had I. This disease, though almost unknown in the western world, has been around for centuries, predominantly in the Third World. Its transmitted to humans by a sand flea that has bitten an infected rodent or other animal. The reason no cure has been found is that nearly all of those infected are poor. In other words, there’s no money to be made in a cure. Fortunately, there are treatments to slow the progress of the disease and send it into remission. That is what happened to Preston. He is cured, but uncertain whether or not the nasty lesion on his arm will reappear. It’s a continuing story.

Anyone care to take an adventure tour to Mosquitia?

This entry was posted in synchronicity and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Curse of a Lost City

  1. C.J. says:

    Not sure about the NY Times piece. As you know, my reading is seriously impaired at the moment. But I was stunned to see and listen to the report on the World Wide News channel, one of the trusted ones. One other off-topic note: Stephen Hawking dead at 76. Diagnosed in his 20s, prognosis of ALS with life expectancy of two years. I honestly don’t think Dr. Hawking was human. He was a brain/mind existing in a useless physical body.
    I can’t say R.I.P. because I sense he will keep om keeping on since the pitiful shell of skin and bones disintegrated. But I DO think an enormous THANK YOU is in order! 🙂

  2. C.J. says:

    Off topic, but did you see the news report on ALL news channels…we were watching NBC World News with Lester Holt at 6:30pm EDT night before last. He had a lengthy piece, including military photos from military pilots flying along and up and down our East Coast, and their remarks. They didn’t hesitate to refer to them as definite UFOs, and went on to say there is no flying apparatus on this planet capable of doing what these objects were doing. They described air speed approximations, maneuvers, descriptions altho they could be seen in the photos, etc etc etc. Military on the ground receiving these messages and pics from highly credible pilots stated they had “no idea whatsoever” of any identity of these anomalous objects. Check out Lester Holt World News on NBC for Tuesday, 3-13-2018. Really, really compelling!

  3. Rob says:

    Mosquitia sounds like ‘land of the mosquitos,’ but the name apparently doesn’t have anything to do with the little flying blood suckers.

  4. C.J. says:

    This is uncanny, Rob. Absolutely uncanny in terms of a synchro. My cardiologist and I share a close friendship outside our professional patient/physician relationship, and we write snail mail letters to each other, (USPO), discussing religious and spiritual concepts, doctrines, convictions, etc. I’ll just refer to him here as “P”. P is a devout, dedicated Catholic but he walks the walk as opposed to talking the talk, and he is the second finest man I’ve ever known. (The first was my Dad.) He and his wife have seven children, one of whom is an ordained priest. Anyway, our latest exchanges have concerned the subject of death. We are never contentious with each other. Our relationship is blessed by acceptance of our differences.

    In my most recent letter to him, which he will receive today, I wrote that I had a “new” question regarding Christians. My Dad had a sister in the Air Force in WWII. My Aunt Lois was an an anesthesiologist stationed in the Philippines. I recall vividly her telling us about tribes of natives, head hunters and cannibals, living deep in the jungles there that no person ever dared to go. Therefore, there had no way to receive the “Word of Christ” and be “saved”. VERY recently, another physician friend of mine who was born in Manila, raised there, schooled there, told me the very same thing about those tribes; that they exist right now, in this moment, and no one can dare go into those dense jungle areas. So, my question to P was, “What is the Catholic doctrine concerning these souls, created by God, but unable to receive the “Truth” that would save them?” Of course I haven’t heard back because he won’t receive my letter until today.

    Then I come to the blog and VOILA! Here you are, pretty much aligned with the subject matter in our conversations! Oddly, I woke up with an old song “Round and round the mulberry bush the monkey chased the weasel”. Have no clue what that message entails. But am stunned by the synchro of the deep jungle discussion and your blog! How weired is THAT!

  5. Prissy says:

    Might have to read that one..not enough time to read all the books I would like to read.

  6. lauren raine says:

    wow! But are you saying its truth or fiction? Fascinating!

    • Rob and Trish says:

      Truth! Apparently the author of the book contracted the disease. Sure doesn’t make me want to visit the place!

  7. Vicki DeLaurentis-momwithwings says:

    Fascinating! I find it so interesting that recently there have been so many new “finds”.
    Would I want to go? NO!
    Thank goodness there is a treatment for “the curse”!

    • Rob and Trish says:

      These “new ” finds: I wonder what that’s really about in the bigger scheme of things.

  8. The name Mosquitia is enough to put me off; fascinating story, Trish.