Talking with Tarot about Trump

It’s time to check in with the tarot again about trump. My question: will trump be ousted soon?

The card positions, from the left across the top:

1- the question, ace of cups

2- what’s developing, 5 pentacles

3- what’s hidden, king of wands and the magician

4- what more will be uncovered, the tower

5- the outcome, knight of pentacles and the emperor

Now THIS is very interesting. At first, I was puzzled about why I drew the ace of cups as a question card. My question, after all, wasn’t about love or romance. Then it struck me that I would LOVE to see this man gone.

For what’s developing, I drew the 5 of pentacles, a card about poverty, lack of resources, a sense that financial problems are closing in on you. That sure fits as this Russia investigation widens and deepens. The investigative committees in congress are looking into all the financial dealings.

For what’s hidden, I drew the king of wands, typically a card that denotes a fire sign man – Aries, Leo, Sagittarius. Both trump and pence are Geminis, air signs. For more information, I drew a second card for this – the magician. I showed the spread to Rob and he suddenly remarked that perhaps the kind of wands is Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor. Sure enough, I looked up his birth date. August 1, 1944. A Leo! I also looked up James Comey’s birth date – December 14, 1960. A Sagittarius! So these two fire sign men may provide  the magic that turns things around.

For the 4th position, what more will be uncovered, I drew the tower. More disasters, more sudden, shocking revelations.  OR, and I shudder to even suggest this, a terror event is created. That would immediately change the political narrative.

The 5th position, the outcome. I drew the knight of pentacles (movement) but it didn’t provide enough info, so I drew a second card, the emperor. Two interps, depending on which scenario the tower represents. In the first, preferred outcome, the emperor is seen as having no clothes on and is driven out. In the second possibility, in the wake of a terrorist attack, trump declares himself an emperor (dictator, autocrat) and rides into a second term.

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Beyond Strange

Well, yes, the weird and the strange are what Rob and I write about. But the true stories in this collection  are beyond strange!

Strange things sometimes happen to ordinary people as they go about their everyday lives. In fact, many of us may experience these events that are beyond strange and never mention them to anyone because they don’t fit anywhere in our catalog of accepted experiences. Nonetheless, the experiences occur and hurl us out of our comfort zones. And once we’re out of those zones, we have to confront the experience, wrap our heads around it, try to figure it out.

In fact, one of the stories we would have included in this book happened to  a woman who emailed us after the book was in production. She recognized the experience as beyond strange and we wrote a post about her. Time travel in the Florida keys.

Two men are pursued on a Miami golf course by a fog that seems to be sentient.

A veterinarian comes face-to-face with strange inter-dimensional creatures.

A young couple walk into the past.

A former police officer travels out of body to a vast mansion in another reality.

Alien abductions, hauntings, psychokinetic powers, and more populate the pages of Beyond Strange. The stories we’ve picked—sent to us over the years—are astonishing by any reckoning and address a fundamental issue: the existence of a more expansive reality beyond the one we ordinarily experience.

Amazon kindle. $3.99


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New Moon Alert


I love new moons. They make me feel like that image above. It happens when the moon and the sun are in the same sign and degree. They are times of opportunity, when new chapters begin in our lives and new energy is ushered in. The new moon today (May 25) occurs at 3:44 PM EDT and falls in Gemini, at 4 degrees. Jupiter in Libra forms a wide trine to this new moon, a beneficial aspect that denotes ease.

So if you‘re a Gemini, Libra, or Aquarian, this is the ideal day to pitch ideas, schedule interviews, submit manuscripts, make travel plans, or start a project of any kind, particularly one that involves any form of communication. But regardless of your sun sign, we all have Gemini somewhere in our natal charts.

If you don’t have a copy of your natal chart, go here  to obtain a copy. If you don’t know the time you were born, enter noon. If you know your rising sign, then read the forecast for both your rising and your sun sign below.

For the next two weeks, until the full moon in Sagittarius on June 8, you’ll have this new moon energy at your disposal. You may find that synchronicities proliferate, that possibilities abound. Here’s the broad picture of this new moon for each sign, taken from my book, The Biggest Book of Horoscopes Ever, 2017-2019:

Aries : New communication possibilities and increased contact with siblings, neighbors . If you’ve been on the outs with any of these individuals, now is the time to heal the rift.

Taurus: This new moon falls your financial area, where Mars also is right now. The combination indicates new opportunities concerning money and your earning power, perhaps with social media, networking, and communication.

Gemini: With the new moon in your sign, you’re filled with optimism, enthusiasm, and are pleased with the direction in which your life is headed. This new moon happens just once a year in your sign. Back your desires with strong emotion, vivid mental images, and act as if things on your desire list are already a part of your life. Then let the universe get busy creating what you want.

Cancer: This new moon may bring you an opportunity to work behind the scenes in some capacity on a project that involves some form of communication and/or travel or both. There may be an element of surprise about this opportunity – a positive surprise!

Leo: Opportunities surface with friends – perhaps a new friend – and for a chance to set a dream into motion. Dream big, Leo! Now is the time when manifestations happen.

Virgo: This new moon brings a new opportunity in your career – or several – or in the way you communicate and network. You might get promoted, land a raise, or be offered a new job with better pay and benefits. Mars is in your career area, too, so there’s a lot of forward momentum and energy being poured into professional matters now.

Libra: Oh, lucky you! With expansive Jupiter in your sign and Mars also in the same sign as this new moon, new opportunities surface in communication, higher education, foreign travel, and in the exploration of your spirituality.

Scorpio: New opportunities surface in joint finances. You get break on your mortgage, insurance, or a loan. Your partner or someone else with whom you share financial resources could get a raise. An unexpected royalty check or reimbursement may arrive. New friends and connections are possible.

Sagittarius: A new business partner, Sadge, is a distinct possibility. Or, you and a romantic partner take your relationship to the next level. If you’re married or already in a committed relationship, this new moon brings renewed commitment.

Capricorn: Your daily work routine is the focus and this new moon could usher in new opportunities in that area. You may hire new employees, be tapped to head up a research or brainstorming team, or land a terrific freelance project. New opportunities crop up in networking.

Aquarius: New opportunities surface in romance, creativity, with your kids, or in what you do for pleasure and fun. Ever had a hankering to write a novel or book? Get started. You may be socializing more today and for the next two weeks.

Pisces: Expect these new opportunities in your domestic life. You and your family may find the ideal home or neighborhood or, if your place is on the market, you could get an offer. Or, a new opportunity surfaces that involves your entire family.

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A Greeting from Beyond

Here’s a heart-warming story of a British woman, Marie Robinson, who lost her four-year-old son, Jack, in 2014 to brain cancer. While the boy was alive, his parents often noticed the presence of robins when the boy was outside, and they came to associate robins with the boy. In the aftermath of Jack’s death, they also noticed the brightly colored birds around his grave when they visited the graveyard in Waterlooville, Hampshire, England.

Then in March on the third anniversary of his death, something startling and awesome happened. In March, on the third anniversary of Jack’s death, something startling and awesome happened. A robin was perched on Jack’s gravestone as she arrived at the grave site. She extended her hand and it flew onto her index finger. She managed to take a video of the bird while one her hand and you can hear her talking to it. The astonishing video has had more than nine million views. Take a look here.

(An ornithological note: If the pic doesn’t look like a robin to you, that’s because its a European robin, sometimes called robin red breast in Great Britain. The American version is larger and unrelated, but has the same name apparently because of the red breast.)


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Meeting Dennis Kucinich

Last night, Saturday May 20, we met some friends at a dog friendly, vegetarian restaurant, Darbster, in West Palm Beach. There were six of us and three dogs. We brought Noah, our Golden Retriever…

and Rose and Dwane brought their two cocker spaniels. The other couple, Adele and Howie, have 5 dogs, but they didn’t come. Good thing. Six people and 8 dogs would have been tough to seat on that busy Saturday night!

The six of us are avid Democrats who supported Bernie Sanders in the primary and voted for Hillary Clinton in the election. As for Trump, well, the six of us were talking about how we hoped impeachment was in his immediate future. Suddenly, Rob says, “Wow, I just saw….you know, the guy who ran for president in 2008, the liberal vegetarian.”

“What? Kucinich?” I exclaimed, and glanced around.

There, on the side porch next to the canal, was a short man in a black coat and white shirt, very dressed up for this laid back restaurant, and a woman. I couldn’t see their faces, but physically, the man looked like Kucinich. Short, like an elf. I immediately got up and did my spy thing, walking Noah over to the side porch and down some steps into vegetation and trees that grow along the canal, where I might get a better look at the man. And yes, it was Kucinich, with an attractive woman who looked like photos I’d seen of his British wife.

Noah and I hurried back to the table. “It’s him,” I announced.

“Let’s go over and say hello,” Rob said.

We turned Noah over to Adele and walked over to Kucinich’s table. Rob greeted him first. “Hi, Mr. Kucinich. We were big supporters of yours in 2004 and 2008.”

Actually, in 2004, Kucinich’s voice was one of that that  kept me sane during the Bush presidency, the war in Iraq, Gitmo, and all the rest of it.

We apologized for butting on his dinner with his wife and I blurted, “Is Trump going to be impeached?”

His face sort of fell, as if pulled by excessive gravity, and he shook his head. “He’s going to serve out his four years. It’s a really bad time in this country.”

“These things,” his wife said in her beautiful British accent, “have to run their course.”

I thought: HUH? Something as detrimental and damaging as Trump has to run its course? Suppose we had taken that stance about Watergate and Nixon?

We told him we hoped he would run again for political office, thanked him, and hurried back to our table, bewildered. And immediately started Googling, trying to find out what he was doing in West Palm Beach.

What we found depressed us: a You Tube video of Kucinich, the liberal pacifist who voted against the Iraq war, on Hannity’s Fox news show several days earlier, talking about the terrible leakers who were undermining our democracy. WTF?

When we got home, Rob went to Kucinich’s website and wrote him:

  • Name Rob MacGregor
  • Subject Deep State
  • Message Hi Dennis, My wife and I met you briefly at Darbsters Saturday evening. Good luck with your Fox News gig. However, I think you’ve got it backwards about the deep state. Many in the NSA, I know from a 30-year veteran of that intelligence agency, are very pro-Trump. She says the so-called deep state policies actually allow extremist ideologies to flourish, and that may be the actual issue.

Kucinich, to his credit, replied:

Hi, Good to meet you. NSA is much less political, more technocratic CIA/ FBI/ Pentagon/State Dept totally different story. I’m not into coups no matter who sponsors them.  Best wishes, Dennis

 Rob replied:

Yes, but some of the leaks are coming right from the administration, like the ‘nut-job, crazy person’ comment to the Russians about Comey. That probably came from a note-taker, or the Russians, although the NY Times says it was an American source. My point is that it shows that some who are on the inside feel a need to expose what’s going on for the good of the country.

 Kucinich didn’t respond.

This was an eye-opener for me. How the hell could Kucinich even consider Hannity for anything? But it wasn’t just that he was on Hannity; Republicans appear on MSNBC all the time. It was what Kucinich said, that the leaks are the issue.

When I texted our daughter, Megan, about talking to Kucinich, figuring she wouldn’t remember anything about him, she replied: You loved that guy! In 2004, she’d just turned 15. I was floored that she remembered. In 2008, she voted for Obama. I think the politics rubbed off.

I suggested to Rob that he should write up this event. He said he would if Kucinich responded to his second email. Since Kucinich didn’t reply, I decided to write this up and here’s why. How can a purported liberal become a paid contributor to Fox News who skirts the real issue – Trump – by addressing the leaks? How can a self-proclaimed liberal be more concerned about leaks – the very thing that brought down Nixon – than about the travesty that is the Trump presidency?

I shouldn’t judge Kucinich (but I do!) People have their own motives and agendas for doing what they do. But I’m pretty sure of one thing: Neither Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders, if he were no longer holding any political office, wouldn’t be appearing on Hannity to talk about how awful these leaks are. Both of them  would be talking about how the grass roots needs to rise up against this monstrosity of a presidency that threatens the very heart and soul of democracy.


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The Comet and the Comic

Actually, Mark Twain was known as a humorist, not a comic. But comic sounded better in the title, and I think Twain would appreciate that.

Here’s a letter to the editor that appeared in the New York Times more than a century ago that puzzles over the parallels between Halley’s Comet and  Twain’s life. I wonder if the New York Times still publishes letters to the editor that recognize synchronicity as they did in 1910.

The New York Times, April 23, 1910

Mark Twain and Halley’s Comet.

To the Editor of The New York Times:

I wish to draw your attention to a peculiar coincidence.
Mark Twain, born Nov. 30, 1835.
Last perihelion of Halley’s comet, Nov. 10, 1835.
Mark Twain died, April 21, 1910.
Perihelion of Halley’s comet, April 20, 1910.

It so appears that the lifetime of the great humorist was nearly identical (the difference being exactly fifteen days) with the last long “year” of the great comet.

    Westchester, N. Y., April 22, 1910


As this quote from Twain  reveals, the famed writer-humorist was well aware of his relationship to the famed comet, and he certainly saw it as a meaningful coincidence.

“I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year (1910), and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: “Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.”
Mark Twain, a Biography

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A Cluster of 18s: Trump and Democracy

Over a week ago, we posted about the similarities between Watergate and the events occurring now in the Trump administration. One facet involved the number 18.

In Watergate, an 18-minute gap in a recording resulted in Nixon’s impeachment and resignation. In the Russian investigation with this administration, it took Trump 18 days to fire National Security Advisor Michael Flynn after he was warned by acting Attorney General Sally Yates that Flynn might be easily blackmailed by the Russians.

Today, on May 18, we learned from Reuters and the New York Times that there were at least 18 undisclosed contacts between members of the Trump administration and the Russians. So now there are four instances of the number 18, which certainly qualifies as a synchronicity cluster.

Clusters – of names, numbers, of anything – frequently accompany global events that are covered extensively by the media. You would have to be living on another planet not to have some inkling about what’s going on. The first two instances of 18 solidified the tie to Nixon and Watergate. I felt it underscored what many of us already suspected – that a coverup was involved about Russia’s interference in our 2016 election. I also felt certain there would be other instances of 18, which brings us to today.

With this second set of 18s, I now suspect this cluster may be just getting started. I have several questions for the quantum synchro gods who orchestrate this stuff:

Will at least 18 people in the trump administration be indicted for their involvement collusion with the Russians? (In Watergate, the casualties were two resignations -prez and VP – and 48 others who were indicted and jailed.)

Does 18 refer, perhaps, to a day of a month when the full truth is known?

Will Trump continue as president for another 18 days, weeks, or months?

Does 18 signal the end of one chapter and the beginning of another? My knowledge of numerology is limited, but 1+8 =9, which in astrologer Sydney Omarr’s scheme of things means the beginning of one thing and the end of something else.

If that’s what it’s referring to – then what is beginning and what is ending? Is an authoritarian government beginning and is democracy ending? A terrorist attack would be all that trump needs to install martial law. Or, does that 9 signal the end of a trump presidency and the beginning of something else?

Who knows? If you pick up on any other references to 18 during the days ahead, please email us.


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Another Plane Goes Down in the Bermuda Triangle

Thanks to Barbie Kohl who alerted us to this story. This plane went down just 15 miles from Eleuthera.


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Star Wars & the Coup in the U.S.A.

A Coup d’état – Coup – is the sudden, violent overthrow of an existing government by a small group.

The main prerequisite for a coup is, according to the encyclopedia Britannica, is “control of all or part of the armed forces, the police, and other military elements. Unlike a revolution, which is usually achieved by large numbers of people working for basic social, economic, and political change, a coup is a change in power from the top that merely results in the abrupt replacement of leading government personnel. A coup rarely alters a nation’s fundamental social and economic policies, nor does it significantly redistribute power among competing political groups. Among the earliest modern coups were those in which Napoleon overthrew the Directory on Nov. 9, 1799 (18 Brumaire), and in which Louis Napoleon dissolved the assembly of France’s Second Republic in 1851. Coups were a regular occurrence in various Latin American nations in the 19th and 20th centuries and in Africa after the countries there gained independence in the 1960s.”

But wait! Can a coup occur when an existing government is overthrown through its collusion with a foreign power – like Russia? Can it occur when the members of one party (the Republicans) support the insane actions of a president who consistently violates the rules of law and ethics because he thinks he is above the law? Because he doesn’t think the constitution applies to him?

In 1973, the government of President Salvadore Allende, a socialist, was overthrown by the armed forces and the national police. This occurred after a prolonged period of social unrest and political tension in Chile and a period of economic warfare that was ordered by President Nixon, who was impeached and resigned a year later for Watergate. Within a year of Allende’s overthrow, Augusto Pinochet, who was Allende’s army chief, assumed power in late 1974. His junta government was recognized by the U.S. government, which had created the conditions for the coup.

Before this, Chile was a light of democracy and political stability in South America.

Pinochet ruled for the next 14 years, and his regime was one of the most brutal.

Are there parallels here with what is happening in the U.S. now? With what has happened repeatedly in South American countries that we call Banana Republics? Is Russia assuming what was previously the role of our government? Let’s take a closer look.

Did trump and his administration collude with Russia to hack the U.S. elections? Why did trump fire Comey, the FBI director who was investigating his possible collusion with Russia? Why did trump fire Sally Yates, the acting Attorney General, who warned the White House shortly after trump’s inauguration that Michael Flynn, then the national security advisor, might be ripe for blackmail by Russia?

The day after trump fired Comey, he met with several Russian dignitaries in the White House. The U.S. press was barred from this visit; the Russian press was invited inside. According to the Washington Post, trump shared secret information with the Russians.

And, oh, Putin asked for that meeting.

There are so many footprints leading to the violation of the constitution, to ethical standards and the rule of law, to collusion with Russia, that any ordinary person who keeps track of the news can see the obvious. Trump, a figure created by the media, is a master of media manipulation and his  intent is to establish an authoritarian government in which he is king. In which his word is law. In which anyone who disagrees with him is fired, threatened, arrested, disgraced and perhaps, eventually, sent elsewhere. He is aided and abetted by a complicit congress of republicans who control the house and the senate and are interested only in enriching themselves.

In a larger picture, the republican party is Darth Vader, their true nature so exposed and obvious now that their supporters have to be blind, deaf, and dumb to believe the repubs give a shit about their well-being. They care only about their own pocketbooks and power. In this larger picture, the dems are like Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, a minority who understands what’s at stake but are powerless to do anything about it. And the rest of us, the voting block of ordinary citizens in this country who, regardless of cultural, religious, or ethnic differences, understand what’s at stake, are Hans Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Do we cower in fear or do we speak up and fight for our freedoms? The choice is ours. We can’t afford to wait until the 2018 elections. It may be too late by then.


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I often cruise the teen fiction bookshelves at our local Barnes & Noble. This genre of books has exploded in recent years and it seemed to start with The Hunger Games trilogy of books and movies. Suddenly, Dystopian novels were hot. And many of these novels have edgy themes that appeal to me.

Recently, I picked up Unwind by Neal Shusterman. The premise is simple – although bizarre . In a future time, the Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The resolution: life is inviolate from the moment of conception until age 13. Between the ages of 13 and 18, however, parents can have their child “unwound.” This means that all the child’s organs are transplanted into different recipients, so life technically doesn’t end- or that’s the story the government has instilled in the populace.

The novel is about three teenagers on the run because they are due to be unwound. From the back cover: “Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not talented enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound.”

I’d never heard of Shusterman. But the cover caught my attention, then I read the back cover, opened the book and read the first page and bought it. He has written over two dozen novels and this one was voted book of the year by the American Library Association and had five star reviews from Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal. I’m halfway through it and am enjoying it and looking forward to reading the second in the series. Schusterman is a terrific storyteller and has created characters that really make you feel what it would be like to be a teenager living in this kind of world.

Young adult novels have certain rules and among them are no sex scenes and no swearing. I’ve read a couple of YA novels that violate the rules – like The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy, which became a movie. In The Hunger Games, these rules struck me as absurd. After all, kids are pitted against other kids in survival games that end in death until just one kid remains. So violence is okay, but sex and saying shit are forbidden. The silly rules aside, I think it’s great that the YA fiction market is burgeoning and that teens have so many more options for reading than they once did.

So the next time you’re in a bookstore, walk through the teen fiction aisles. See what catches your attention.


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At the Moment of Death

We recently posted a story called Time Traveling in the Florida Keys about an experience that Priscilla D’Agostina had. This story is also from Priscilla, and is one of the most unusual near death incidents we’ve heard.

Priscilla’s mom was in a nursing home in Sunrise, Florida, in a coma and dying. “She had been ill for awhile so this was almost a blessing. Prior to her passing, I came into her room and she was sleeping so I went over to the other side near the windows to sit in a chair. I saw a weird glowing ball in the corner near the ceiling that I thought was light reflection. No matter where I moved, I could see the roundness of it. I realized the window faced east and the sun was setting at the time which would be in the west.

“Then the hospice nurse came in to the room and distracted me and when I looked back it was gone. I laughingly told her what I thought I saw. She was an elderly lady that had done hospice for a long time and she laughed and said ‘Oh Honey, we see them all the time. They are the couriers that come to get the souls.’ Then she proceeded to tell my sister and I many great stories of encounters with these couriers.

“When I realized that my mother’s last breath had come…it was hard because she was having long bouts of apnea, so she would stop breathing for long periods of time… I went to her head and held it in my arms and she coughed.  At the same time something hit me in the chest hard and suddenly I had this glob of ‘something’ all attached to me. It was like a million little shimmering lights and definitely had substance. It urged me to go outside. I told my sister that I needed to go outside immediately. She looked at me and said she saw this glow around my head and shoulders.

“We went outside and I told her what had happened and she said she could see it. It was amazing, so peaceful. I could hear my mother laughing at what she had found on the other side. She was surprised and tickled by whatever it was. As we sat there. the ‘something’ on my chest started to rise up from me, slowly going up into the air. It took all fear of dying out of my life because now I know we go somewhere. I don’t know where, but I’m sure there is more and there is humor, so that’s good.”

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Trump, Nixon, and Global Synchros

Announcement that Nixon is resigning


A global synchro occurs when an event of a huge magnitude occurs, one that receives a tremendous amount of media attention, and a pattern of meaningful coincidences unfold related to the event.

That’s the case with the surprising and unexpected firing of FBI director James Comey by Trump, whose administration just happened to be under investigation for dealings with Russia that could have served to assist Putin in undermining our democracy. The synchros deal with some interesting parallels between the Watergate investigation that led to Nixon’s resignation and the possible collusion between the Trump administration and Russia. It involves two numbers – 18 and 23.

During Watergate, it was the 18-minute gap in the Watergate tapes that proved to be crucial in Nixon’s impeachment/resignation.

In the Trump administration, 18 days passed between when Sally Yates went to the White House and told Trump’s chief counselor that Michael Flynn should not be National Security Advisor because he could be compromised (blackmailed) by Russia and when Flynn was fired by the administration. And then he was fired only after the media got hold of the story and revealed that Flynn met with the Russians several times during the campaign.

These two have been mentioned in media reports.  Rob and I were talking about the 18 minutes/18 days synchro and I remarked that I felt there would be more synchros like this. Sure enough, the big news today (May 9) was that Trump fired FBI director James Comey – just as Nixon fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox in order to stop the FBI investigation into the tapes.

Then, this evening, we were watching the Rachel Maddow show, I think it was, where a presidential historian she was talking with mentioned June 23, 1972. That was the day that a recording made in the Oval Office,  now known as the Smoking Gun Tape, between President Nixon and his Chief of Staff, H.R. Haldeman  ultimately resulted in Nixon’s resignation.

That date, June 23, is key. The day after Trump was inaugurated, Rob made a prediction that Trump would be gone – resignation, impeachment, whatever – by June 23. He said it off the top of his head, while we were at the Women’s March in West Palm Beach. So that’s three synchros – Cox/Comey firings, 18 minutes and 18 days, and June 23, ’73 and June 23, ‘17. The last one is more of a potential synchro and may be a trickster – i.e., ha-ha, folksgood try but sorry – where nothing happens.  But one thing is fairly certain – there will be more synchros related to all this.

Stay tuned!

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Finding the Lost City of Z

The fabled lost city of Zed was supposedly hidden deep in the Amazon, but when discovered  it would reveal that the Indian population had created an advanced society well before European civilization developed. That was what Colonel Percy Fawcett hoped to prove in 1925 when he ventured deep into the Amazon.

Today, the movie about Fawcett’s adventure is also a bit difficult to find. In fact, it has been out in various ‘semi-secret’ venues since last October. But we just stumbled upon  it locally, and probably only because a new theater opened in town that expanded offerings to some limited distribution films such as this one.

I (Rob) wanted to see this movie, which was based on a non-fiction book with the same title by David Grann, because I’d also written a book about Colonel Fawcett’s adventure more than 25 years ago. It was my fourth Indiana Jones novel, Indiana Jones & the Seven Veils. Gran actually mentioned it as part of the enduring fascination over Fawcett, who never returned from his journey.

That fascination was stimulated by the American press of the day, which reported Fawcett’s adventure every step of the way and continued reporting speculation after he vanished. It turned out that the American press moguls and John D. Rockefeller paid for Fawcett’s exploration. Millions followed Fawcett,  today’s equivalent of a social media icon.

Maybe it’s more ironic than synchronistic, but the fact that Amazon Studios produced this movie was an interesting twist. Did they do it intentionally because of the Amazon link, or did they just like the script? Also of interest to Trish and I was the fact that the jungle scenes were filmed near Santa Marta, Colombia. We didn’t know that until we looked it up afterwards.

In fact, early in the movie, we see Indians dressed in white tunics, which reminded me of the Kogi Indians who live high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Santa Marta. In the mid to late ’80s, we led adventure tours to South America and Santa Marta and the ‘Lost City’ of the Sierra Nevada Mountains were one of our destinations. You either had to walk 5 days to get to the Lost City or take a one-hour helicopter flight. We took the helicopter, and on one trip I got left behind and spent the night with the Kogis and a couple of archaeologists at the ruins. Of course, that was good Indy material, later used in Indiana Jones & the Interior World.

As for the movie, it was kind of long, two hours and twenty minutes, and a bit slow in the early going (1905), especially since I knew that Fawcett’s infamous journey took place 20 years later. But I liked the realistic, biographical feel to it. Parts of the movie feature English society a hundred years ago and you get a very strong sense that it was a man’s world and women were extremely limited in their choices and were second-class citizens.

From my point of view, the only thing missing was Indy, and his iconic sense of humor as he searched for Fawcett. But that’s another book. The movie does give a nod to Raiders of the Lost Ark, though, in a scene late in the movie when Percy and his son Jack are fleeing across an open field with tribesmen in close pursuit. But there is no nifty escape on an airplane with pontoons. In this movie, they are captured. An ayahuasca scene follows.  (I’m assuming that was what their captors made them drink.) That scene could’ve been much more bizarre and hallucinogenic. However, that would’ve made the movie even longer.

We are left in the end with the uncertainty of whether father and son survived and went on to discover the lost city where they remained as honored guests or slaves, or if they died in the jungle. My guess is that Percy and Jack Fawcett were murdered and eaten for dinner by a cannibalistic tribe. Percy’s wife, played by Sienna Miller, never gave up hope that he and Jack would return one day. She lived until 1954.

Charlie Hunnam did a good job as Colonel Fawcett, but looked more like Brad Pitt, who was originally going to play the role, than Fawcett. There were no exotic special effects, no super heroes…and ultimately no big box office take, even though the movie received impressive positive reviews. No doubt many more will see it  when it comes out in video. And it is worth watching.

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