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Chicago Tonight | Jay Shefsky | May 3, 2018

Quest for ‘Lost City’ Leads Chicago Man on Risky Jungle Expedition

CHASING THE LOST CITY: CHRONICLES OF DISCOVERY IN HONDURAS BY TOM WEINBERG

The story traces the 20-year quixotic obsession of a few guys that blossomed into a world-renowned scientific, historical and archaeological breakthrough. Pals since the 1970s, Weinberg and expedition leader Steve Elkins and his expert team uncover incontrovertible evidence of a previously unknown civilization.

It includes the author’s private journals written in Honduras, plus more than 180 photographs and Weinberg’s deep reflections on his “Adventure of a Lifetime.”

The reader is brought into the world of the discoverers, complete with dangerous snakes and insects, gorgeous untouched beauty, exhilaration and a rare disease that came with the discovery.

It’s a great read and the pictorial and personal companion to the 2017 New York Times #1 bestseller, Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston (Grand Central, 2017.) Preston calls Weinberg “The Official Chronicler” who wrote on his laptop in impenetrable Mosquitia Jungle.

By his own admission, Tom Weinberg is not the kind of guy you’d expect to embark on a dangerous jungle expedition.

“I was 70 years old, a desk-sitting urban Jewish TV/video guy who never spent a night sleeping on the ground in a jungle.” That’s how Weinberg begins his new book “Chasing the Lost City: Chronicles of Discovery in Honduras.”

The 2015 expedition was the culmination of a 20-year quest by Weinberg, a lifelong Chicagoan and longtime independent video producer, and his longtime friend Steve Elkin, to find evidence of an ancient abandoned city in the Honduran jungle. They are not archeologists or explorers themselves, but they got filmmakers and archeologists, as well as jungle experts and the Honduran government, to help with their search.

They succeeded in entering a part of the jungle believed to be untouched by humans for hundreds of years. And they did find evidence of human habitation as recently as the mid-15th century.

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