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


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.

  • (Courtesy Tom Weinberg)

    (Courtesy Tom Weinberg)

  • (Courtesy Tom Weinberg)

    (Courtesy Tom Weinberg)

  • (Courtesy Tom Weinberg)

    (Courtesy Tom Weinberg)

  • (Courtesy Tom Weinberg)

    (Courtesy Tom Weinberg)

  • (Courtesy Tom Weinberg)

    (Courtesy Tom Weinberg)

  • (Courtesy Tom Weinberg)

    (Courtesy Tom Weinberg)

  • (Courtesy Tom Weinberg)

    (Courtesy Tom Weinberg)

The story will be told in the upcoming documentary “The Lost City of the Monkey God” and was featured last year on “CBS Sunday Morning.”

Weinberg’s book is a chronicle of the entire process, from 1994 when he and Elkin first heard about the “Lost City,” through the expedition and continued archeological exploration.

Weinberg created the WTTW program “Image Union” in 1978 and founded and runs the Media Burn Independent Video Archive. He joins us in discussion.


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