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The Search for Michael Rockefeller Paperback – February, 2001
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I enjoyed Machlin's personal account of his journey much more than I believed his theories about Rockefeller's fate. Machlin is a gifted writer, and his account of his adventures in wild New Guinea is written with great verve and a gift for telling the most interesting details and anecdotes in the most interesting way. During his trip to the island on which Rockefeller had been reported to be alive, he joined a crocodile hunt, visited Guinean tribal villages, and learned much of a tribal culture that is both fascinatingly, and in many ways terrifyingly, alien. He mixes tales of his own adventures with anecdotes about the bush, like stories of giant crocodiles and octopuses, and tales of tribal feuds and cargo cultism. His clear, zesty writing and fascinating subject matter make his tale an enjoyable, engrossing read.
Then Machlin gets into his theory about Rockefeller's fate. The first part of the book establishes his bona fides -- knowledge of New Guinea and journalism.Read more ›
Machlin was an adventure-loving bear of a man himself, member of The Explorers Club and Mystery Writers of America. He published "Ninth Life," about the very controversial California execution of Caryl Chessman in the 1950's, and collaborated with Robin Moore on the "French Connection" series. He dived to 2,500 feet on a supersub, flew in an international balloon race, sailed in a Viking ship, participated in several marine archaelogy undertakings. He also went twice to report on the Vietnam War, visited Cuba, Taiwan, Israel, Iceland, Australia, Japan, Haiti, Mexico, the Philippines and most of Europe: the man knew a lot about food and wine, as well. He had an easy, conversational style of writing that suited his subject matters.
Ten years after Michael Rockefeller's disappearance, in 1971, Machlin went to what was then very much still Stone Age New Guinea to investigate the disappearance. Now mind you, no rumor has ever trickled out of New Guinea of a young, rich white man who had gone native.Read more ›
He had just returned from a trip to New York where he visited for one week after finding out that his father was divorcing his mother. Michael had always been close to his father. When he returned to New Guinea he took up his duties in the group where he did sound recordings and photography. He had gotten good at photography of the people and settings they were dealing with. Michael was also collecting native art, shields, carved poles, etc. for shipment back to the US.
As a part of the work, he had acquired a twin hulled canoe tied together with a platform with a tin roof. He an a friend from the expedition and two native helpers had over loaded the boat, and in some nasty weather went offshore to go down the coast. At this time they only had one 18 horse power motor for the boat. The outflow from the Eilanden River was fierce, and combined with the bad weather to put water over the back of the hulls, and flood out the motor. The coast in this area was essentially a mangrove swamp with salt water crocs and scattered native villages. The two natives took gas cans for floats and swam ashore, but it took tome awhile to get to a village and get help. Meanwhile, Michael, who was a good swimmer, got impatient, and decided to swim ashore as well. His friend who was not a good swimmer tried to get him to stay on the overturned boat, but was unsuccessful.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
....of the book completely. That is where the author gets taken in by an Aussie desperado's deception that Michael is still alive (in the late 60's). Read morePublished on April 3, 2014 by gtoman67
History and adventure rolled into one. A documentary is waiting in the wings to be distributed based on the book. Read it and experience the journey.Published on May 23, 2013 by Phlash
Could be a movie based on real events. Was tried many years ago but need the right budget and right director to bring out
a tale where truth is stranger and more interesting... Read more
This book was absolutely fascinating! I love reading about other cultures. You may not find the absolute answer of what happened to Michael Rockefeller but you will get the feel... Read morePublished on April 8, 2012 by Kristine L