Angel Falls & The Golden River
By Richard Fisher

The Facts and the Legend:Angel Falls is located in the Guayana highlands, one of five topographical regions of Venezuela. It plunges off the edge of a 'tepui', or table-top mountain, and free falls 2,421 feet to the river below, making it the tallest waterfalls on earth. In total it is 15 times higher than Niagara Falls with a total of 2,937 feet.

The falls are named after Jimmy Angfel, a barn-storming bush pilot from Missouri who has become a modern legend. Jimmy Angel first saw the falls in 1933 while searching for a valuable ore bed or as he described a river of gold that he saw from the air. He returned in 1937 with his wife, Gustafa Heny and Heny's gardener, and landed on top of the tepui. His Flamingo monoplane settled down into the marshy ground atop. Jimmy Angel and his three companions managed to descend the tepui and make their way back to civilazation in 11 days on a very arduos survival expedition through the jungle which he and his companions barely survived.

And now onto modern search for the Lost Golden River.Beginning in 2001,

I was finishing a complete survey of all the earth's grand canyons. While it would be impossible, of course, to visit all of the millions of canyons on the planet, I made a comprehensive effort to photo document all of the major canyon areas and unique canyon environments worldwide. One of the most remote and facinating canyon systems is on top of the Venezuelan Tepui. These are sky islands or sometimes known as "lost worlds" that at an elevation of about 8.000 feet stick out 5,000 vertical feet from the surronding tropical jungles and savannas. The sandstone plateaus, I know would have slot canyons on top of water falls like Angel Falls. My adventures were a legend at least in my own mind, but I did find a very unique square mile of fantastic arches. I also found some fantastic slot canyons on my first expedition.

On my second expedition, however, I did finally find a slot canyon that turns out to be Jimmy Angels's Lost Golden River. What happened is that after Jimmy crashed his plane into the swamp he gave the quest for the Golden River. Over the years that part of Jimmy Angel's quest was forgotten as nothing was ever heard again of this mysterious stream. Of course, it would have been found long before now if it was actually real gold.

It is, however, a very unique environmental phenonomenon where an algae that is normally dark green growing in the water turns a bright luminescent gold when it is in the sun. As this slot canyon and the weather is often cloudy, no one has been lucky enough to actually ee this golden river at mid day with a cloudless sky. I have been able to find exactly where the Golden River is and have talked with someone who has actually been there. This person did not know, however, that is was Jimmy Angel's Lost GOlden RIver and they were not photographers. So to date no photos exist of this unique on earth burnished golden stream in a slot canyon. It is my goal in the fall or winter of 2004 or early springspring in 2005 to find a sponsor for this unique and incredible exploration.

For more information contact:
Richard D. Fisher
P.O. Box 86492
Tucson, AZ 85754
Phone: (520) 882-5341

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