The web's most comprehensive site for the Lost World of the Gran Sabana, Roraima, Canaima National Park and Angel Falls

Canaima Park

Angel Falls
Map 1
Map 2

El Pauji

Further information
Travel book
Información en Español

Find out more about the ascent of these two amazing mountains

* Conclusion

As we have seen, Jimmie's life was full of adventure, risk and thrills. It was also plagued by bad bussiness deals, made up adventures, prosecution by governments and individuals, but we have also seen that there was a humane, kind side to this adventurer.

While he might have not been the first person to actually "discover" the falls that now bear his name, he was instrumental in communicating their existence to the world. His name is forever linked to this region of Venezuela, and although not many people can explain while the falls are named so, his memory will remain in the history of the region, the aviation lore of Venezuela, and in the magnificent water falls that he "accidentally discovered, while searching for gold."

His life, that seemed to move between the heroic to the credible to the unbelievable, was also immortalized in "Icaro," a novel written by Alberto Vasquez Figueroa.

* Sources and Credits This article began as an afterthought; I was discussing my favorite theme, aviation history, with a good friend, Dr. Roberto Buitrago, one night in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Dr. Buitrago is a man of vast knowledge, wisdom and blessed with a great sense of humor. He can discuss Mozart and then jump and talk with you about the economy and then without missing a beat, will play a practical joke on you.

When he mentioned that he had met a famous aviatior named Jimmy Angel, my attention was immediately drawn to his statement, since as a coincidence, I had been collecting some material to write some day, about the person I thought had discovered the world's tallest water fall. Little by little I began to collect more material, so I will thank Dr. Buitrago first, not only for providing me with his first person experiences regarding Jimmie Angel, but also for having been such a good friend. Gracias, Roberto! Vos sos la pura vida!!!!

Then, as is usually the case, I sent an e-mail to my mentor, friend and example to follow, Dr. Gary Kuhn. I had already copied some material from his personal aviation archives, and I had enough to write an article for LAAHS. Dr. Kuhn came through, as always, with not only additional information, but also with a good picture of the restored Rio Caroni.

And then, to clinch the support, he provided me with the information and means to contact, Mr. Alfredo Schael, from Venezuela. Mr. Schael is a newspaper columnist. He has been working for a long time, on a book on Jimmie Angel. He has accumulated many pages of data, evidentiary support of so many things related to the life of Jimmie. The best part is, that I only had to write an e-mail to him, and shortly thereafter, Mr. Schael had generously provided me with close to 90 pages of his documents. This kind of generosity is typical of those great men, like him and Gary Kuhn, who are interested in furthering the knowledge of Latin American Aviation. To you, Mr. Schael, and to you Gary, my most sincere thanks.

Through the good offices of Gary Kuhn, I was able to obtain a good deal of information from Russ Plehinger. Russ is the moving force behind "AeroStatz," an aviation research service, specializing in air racing, and air records for the period of 1920 - 1939. He presents in great detail, information regarding long distance and endurance flights, which were a very important part of aviation during the 1920s and 1930s. Characteristically unselfish, he shared his wealth of data with me. Russ, I owe you one.

As in any research work, there are many sources consulted and many bits of data that the writer chooses to include or not on his work. After considering different approaches, I chose to use the one you have just finished reading, in order to try to present to our readers, a more human look at the life of a man that albeit controversial, was nonetheless one of the great pilots, explorers and human beings, warts and all, that have graced the skies of Latin America.

* Documentary Sources - News Services Articles: Angel Takes Off on 25,000 Mile Hop: Associated Press, April 17, 1928 Pilot to Continue 25,000 Mile Flight: Associated Press, April 23, 1928 Aviator, Cape Horn Bound, is in Guaymas: April 25, 1928 "A Pioneer of one of the few air routes yet unexplored: Jimmie Angel and two companions from San Diego, Cal., on the first lap of their flight down through Central and Southern America to Cape Horn." Photo Caption from Times Wide World Photos, dated April 29, 1928 "Girl Stowaway in Plane Ends Endurance Flight." New York Sun, Monday, December 15, 1930 "Ancient: Jimmie Angel looks over some old relics he gathered on a 3,000-mile aerial exploration trip in the remote sections of Mexico. He is shown at Los Angeles airport with his stuff, which includes armor which some Conquistador may have worn." Photo caption from International Newsreel Photo, as appeared in the Washington Herald, Saturday, December 5, 1931. "U.S. Plane Feared Down on Ocean." Newark Ledger, Saturday, January 30, 1932. "U.S. Mercy Flier Lost in Venezuela" "Angel was taking a woman to Hospital from Remote Region." Special Cable to The New York Times February 6, 1942. "Jimmy Angel Reported Safe on Venezuela Flight." "Missing pilot and party of six Land at Ciudad Bolivar." UP wire service, February 7, 1942 . "Jungle Flyer." The Sun February 7, 1942

Dr. Roberto Buitrago's recollections of Jimmy Angel. McAllen, Texas, 2000
The Bush Pilots. The Epic of Flight Series. Time Life Books ISBN 0-8094-3309-5
The Flying Hobo and the Eight Wonder of the World. Cavalier Magazine article, by George Scullin published August 6, 195?
From newspaper articles, by Bert Williams: Jimmy Angel Loved Teo Kop's Big Airplane. They Don't make adventurers like they did. The Tico Times San Jose, Costa Rica 19 December, 1986
"Angel on Silver Wings" By John R. Holl The Americas Magazine August, 1980
"Angel's Secret" By Paul R. Eversole Nr. 11, South American Explorer August, 1984
Jimmy Angel Insight Guides: Venezuela 2nd Edition, 1996
Letter dated St. Pat's Day, 2001 from Mr. John Underwood to Dr. Gary Kuhn.
Letter from Ralph Lopez, a Spaniard to Dr. Gary Kuhn dated April 25 (no year).
1946 Memoria de (la Secretaria de) Guerra, Marina y Aviacion. Nicaragua.
Quauhtli, an Aviation Magazine published in Mexico. Issue #3, 2001 Article written by Manuel Ruiz Romero.

Page   1  |   2   |   3   |   4

To find out more about aviation history in Latin America, visit the LAAHS website. The Lost World -- Venezuela's Gran Sabana and Canaima National Park


All of the material on this site is  © Dominic Hamilton1998-2007, unless otherwise stated. Unauthorised copying or downloading prohibited.
Visit our Sponsors and Begin Your Venezuelan Adventure Right Here!
Visit our Sponsors and Begin Your Venezuelan Adventure Right Here!
Visit our Sponsors and Begin Your Venezuelan Adventure Right Here!