The Power of Lidar


I have written about this discovery, but this is the first time that the “story behind the story” has been reported. A film maker by the name of Steve Elkins has been looking for the Lost city of the Monkey God for the past twenty years without any success

But he never gave up. In 2010 he read an article in an archaeology magazine about a new technology called lidar, which uses laser beams from aircraft flying over the jungle to map what lies beneath the forest canopy. Two years later, after raising the funds, Steve arranged for a light aircraft equipped with lidar to fly over the rainforest – and within hours it had found something where he believed the lost city to be.

‘I was at our hotel when the lidar technician came in screaming, “This is the moment!” I ran into his room where I saw shapes on the screen that were unequivocally man-made structures. I was jumping up and down with excitement. After all these years it was right where I thought it was. I felt quite vindicated.’

But it took another three years for him to get everything together for a ground search of the site. ‘We had to organise the money and the logistics,’ he says. ‘And nothing in Honduras happens overnight. We had to get the government to agree to us going, and arrange for the military to escort us there.’ Armed protection is essential as ruthless drug-trafficking gangs operate in the area.

Amazing – a real life Indiana Jones.

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