ECWG Dinner talk was on explorer’s fatal encounter with cannibals

Since Michael Rockefeller, the son of Nelson Rockefeller, disappeared in New Guinea in 1961 his powerful, influential family and others have been guessing and advancing theories about what happened.

Carl Hoffman

At the Explorers Club Washington Group’s Jan.17, 2015 Cosmos Club dinner award-winning journalist Carl Hoffman’s talk “Savage Harvest” described the startling new evidence he found that implies that a local Asmat ethnic group killed and ceremonially ate the young Rockefeller. The Asmat are a tribe of warriors whose complex culture was built around sacred, reciprocal violence, head hunting, and ritual cannibalism.

Hoffman, FN 14,  is the author of the critically acclaimed books Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism and Michael Rockefellers Tragic Quest for Primitive Art and also The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World Via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains and Planes.

Savage Harvest debuted on the New York Times bestseller list and was named a New York Times “editor’s pick.” To untangle what happened to the son of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Hoffman learned to speak Indonesian and lived in a remote village amidst 10,000 square miles of road-less swamp with a tribe of former headhunters and cannibals on the southwest coast of New Guinea.

A contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler and a former contributing editor for Wired, Hoffman has traveled to more than 75 countries on assignment for Outside; Smithsonian; National Geographic Adventure; ESPN, the Magazine; Wired; Men’s Journal; Popular Mechanics and many other publications.

Hoffman has won four Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation and two North American Travel Journalism Awards. He is a native of Washington, D.C. and the father of three.

 


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