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10/24/09

Hunt Oil and Hambone: Mailbag

Yesterday's post on Hunt Oil in Peru (link here, or find it right under this post) that features chapter 25 of Sam 'Hambone' Mitchell's book, 'Peruvian Plunge (get your copy here) was read by more than one of you. I've received a dozen mails on the piece since yesterday evening and all the feedback has been positive (so far). Here's a typical one from reader 'JG', a person who knows what he's talking about when it comes to the remote spots of Amazonia. Other mails from ex-oil hands were just as complimentary about Hambone's accurate prose. Anyway, here's JG:

"If only one of you people out there reads the following it would have been well worth posting it up."

Mission accomplished. I was a bit skeptical upon reading the introduction (did Hambone really meet Moose that way?), but as I continued reading, everything rang true - the fly camps, testing grids through old growth rainforest, charming scientists who justify their work by citing the destructive work of others, corporate propaganda, the paradox of indigenous residents participating in the destruction of their lands for $20/day (actually not so much of a paradox when realize that the can of Spam you're sharing with them is the only meat they've had in days), and finally - of course - the pesky archaeologists. The only thing I could tell he got wrong was the part about the map with archaeological sites. There's a good reason for keeping such maps private - huaqueros. And oil/mining companies know that. It might also be convenient, from a PR standpoint, for the companies to keep the information secret, but the primary reason is to protect the sites - at least in the short term...

I'm heading off to Lulu now to download the whole book.