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Great Unsolved Mysteries: The Lost City of Eldorado—The Golden Land

Updated on March 1, 2012

When I founded El Dorado Paranormal Investigations in 2005 I was living in the “gold country” of California (not far from Coloma where James Marshall first found gold in the American River in 1848). It was El Dorado County and it is a VERY Haunted area. When I moved back to Ohio in 2009 I kept the name because of my love for El Dorado County and the mysterious legend associated with the Lost City of Eldorado. I feel the name symbolizes my quest to find answers to some of life's unsolved mysteries.

Treasure hunters for hundreds of years have been searching for this hidden city believed to be made of gold, but no one has been successful in finding it. This fabled city is thought to be located in South America. It was an ancient Indian sub tribe of South America, the Chibcha, who first began talking about this bejeweled city over 500 years ago. The Chibcha were worshipers of their God of the Sun. They made offerings of gold and precious jewels to their Sun God because the cult believed gold and gems were gifts from their God. They felt it fitting to honor their deity by giving some of it back.

According to Chibcha legend, gold plating their buildings was thought to shield them from evil and gave them the protection of their Sun God. When the Spanish arrived in South America they heard the tales of this golden city and named it Eldorado, as in the Spanish language this means “The golden one.”

In 1531 a shipwrecked sailor, Diego de Ordaz claimed that he was rescued by Indians and taken to the lost city, however once he left he could not find his way back to it.

In 1541 Spanish Conquistadors, Francisco Orellana departed from the city of Quito, Ecuador in an expedition to find Eldorado. The city was never found, however in the process Orellana became the first person of record to navigate the Amazon River to its mouth.

Another Eldorado expedition was headed by Gonzaldo Pizarro, (the then governor of the provenance of Quito). He took 340 soldiers and over 4000 natives in 1541and traveled eastward down the Rio Coca and Rio Napo. Many of the soldiers and natives perished from hunger, disease and attacks by hostile natives before they reached the Atlantic Ocean and discovered the Amazon (which got its name from the tribe of large female warriors who attached Pizarro’s group—that is not a myth, but an actually recorded South American Indian tribe. ).

There were many more expeditions in search of the Lost City of Gold, but it has never been officially found. In 1625 a mapmaker named Hessel Gerritsz situated El Dorado on the west coast of a South American lake, Lake Parime near the city of Guyana but it isn’t certain if he was guessing, or if he had actually found the city. It was later proven not to exist, or it disappeared when sought by Alexander von Humbolt’s expedition in 1804.

Some gold statues were found near Lake Guatavita in Bogota, but nothing more. So El Dorado remains a mystery. Brave explorers still seek it, but the City of Gold remains elusive and undiscovered.


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