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On the 16th September 2014, a research group, exploring a remote river deep within the Amazon rainforest, came across an abandoned shelter. Hidden inside, they discovered something incredible - a sealed metal case that contained one of the greatest mysteries of adventure, ever found.
The abandoned shelter that was discovered in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest.
It was on a hot and humid morning, a stone's throw from the banks of the Jari river, that writer and traveller, Teddy Keen, and some friends stumbled upon the abandoned shelter.
“We had just come up from the river and then we saw it. An old shelter hidden among the trees. ”
As they looked around, they spotted something hidden away in a corner of the dwelling. It was a large metal case. Although sealed shut by years of rust, the team eventually managed to prise it open.
The moment the case was found buried under some old Cassava boards
Some of the journals, maps and sketchbooks that were found inside the case.
“When we opened the case, we couldn’t believe our eyes. Inside were piles of notebooks & sketchbooks, old maps and more. Every page was filled with wondrous illustrations and stories of adventure.”
THE DISCOVERY OF A LIFETIME
It turned out that Teddy and his friends had uncovered something extraordinary - the belongings of an unknown artist and adventurer, who's illustrated diaries and sketchbooks held within them a lifetime's worth of adventure, wonder and knowledge. For some unknown reason, all this had been kept hidden from the world, until now.
"Who was this adventurer? Why had they left this case and disappeared into the jungle all those years ago? The only clue we could find was a hand-written note.”
The only clue to the mystery. It appears to be written for two young relatives of the adventurer, whose names have been abbreviated. It seems the contents of the case we left for them, but the note is torn and the name of the letter writer has vanished.
A MYSTERIOUS NOTE
"We knew we had found something incredible. Something that needed to be brought to the world's attention."
Realising the importance of their find, the team decided to take the case back with them by boat to Santarem. 3 weeks later, Teddy, with the necessary permits, was on a flight to London. In the plane's cargo hold sat the case and its mysterious contents.
The found metal case holding its mysterious contents
Back in London, Teddy and the publishing team worked to digitally restore the original illustrations and writings so they could bring the Unknown Adventurer's story to the world.
One of the publishing team helping compile one of the books.
Where possible the original layouts have been kept as they were. Here is an example of how one of the pages was digitally remastered into The lost Book of Adventure.
THE BOOKS, SO FAR...
So far, Teddy and the team have compiled 2 books from the Unknown Adventurer's works: The Lost Book of Adventure & more recently, Journey To The Last River. The process of restoring the rest of the discovered Journals and notebooks is ongoing.
A vast encyclopaedia of adventuring stories & knowledge, aiming to inspire a love of the outdoors in young and old. Has now been translated around the world.
THE LOST BOOK
Images courtesy of Instagram users #TheLostBookOfAdventure
A replica of one of the original Journals. It charts the extraordinary story of the Unknown Adventurer's first expedition into the Amazon jungle.
A book that will take you deeper into the unknown than ever before.
THE LAST RIVER
MEANWHILE THE SEARCH CONTINUES...
"I still hold out hope that the truth of the Unknown Adventurer is somewhere out there. I will keep searching until I find out who they were."
Since the discovery, Teddy hasn't stopped following the paper trail left by the mysterious explorer. In 2019, he headed back into the Amazon to try and find the Last River, and the truth, for himself.
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