Tag: man vs. nature

Photographer Discovers Lost Tribe Deep in Amazon Rainforest

It’s a story concocted out of Hollywood. A dashing Brazilian photographer whose chopper is suddenly facing down a major tropical storm deep in the Brazilian rainforest. As the craft rocks and bucks violently, the nervous pilot has no choice but to either call in a Mayday or find a way to fly the hell around the massive black and purple, lightning-streaked cloud. The pilot pulls the stick back hard and the helicopter makes an engine straining turn. The acrobatic aerial maneuver not only proves live-saving, it results in something miraculous. The uncovering of an isolated Neolithic jungle tribe. Roll opening credits.

The first time the indigenous peoples have been caught on camera
Credit: Ricardo Stuckert

With indigenous tribes rapidly disappearing from the earth, photographer Ricardo Stuckert’s luck couldn’t have been better, or more serendipitous anyway, when he made the decision to board that helicopter. The high-res photographs he managed to capture of the lost tribe from his precarious perch inside the chopper bay offered a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse back in time. They were quickly snatched up in first-rights grab by National Geographic Magazine.

When describing how he felt about his sudden discovery of the lost tribe, Stuckert told Nat Geo, “I felt like I was a painter in the last century. To think that in the 21st century, there are still people who have no contact with civilization, living like their ancestors did 20,000 years ago—it’s a powerful emotion.”

An alarmed tribesman, fearing the worst, strings up his bow. Credit: Ricardo Stuckert

Stuckert’s up-close-and-personal photos snapped along the Peru/Brazil border at tree-top height bring out details that are baffling even noted scientists and scholars. For instance, the natives in his pictures not only decorate their skin with elaborate body paint and tattoos, but also with what’s been described as “punk” haircuts.

The 48 year old Stuckert had arrived in the Amazonian state of Acre to spend a year deep inside dangerous jungle territory photographing indigenous tribes all across Brazil and lower Peru. A month into his exploration, the T-shirted adventurer who was armed with numerous cameras and lenses, boarded a chopper with the intent to visit the relatively unknown outpost of Jordão near the Peruvian border. Severe storms suddenly hit and the chopper was forced to detour or else face an emergency situation.

But that’s when Stuckert and his crew miraculously found themselves facing a lost world of huts with thatched roofs, long houses, fire pits, and dozens of alarmed naked natives scattering for cover in the thick woods. About the only thing missing was King Kong.

Lost tribespeople nervous peering up at an alien craft
Credit: Ricardo Stuckert

The lost tribe wasn’t exactly happy to see the intruders. As if encountering an alien space craft, several warrior-like tribesmen began stringing their bows, while another aimed his arrow directly for the chopper. One photo shows a body-painted man wielding a machete as he leaves his longhouse, ready to do battle with the invaders.

This warrior prepares to shoot down the chopper with his bow and arrow
Credit: Ricardo Stuckert

But as time went on, the natives seemed to get used to the helicopter as it continued to circle. No doubt Stuckert would have insisted on landing the craft if there had been a suitable break in the foliage, even if Brazilian Amazon authorities maintain strict “no contact” measures over their lost tribal populations.

Said Stuckert after returning home from the expedition, “We live in an age when men have been to the moon. Yet here in Brazil there are people who continue to live as humankind has for tens of thousands of years.”

Ultimate Tactical Jeep is the Ultimate Off-Road Adventure

SAS Tactical Jeep operating in North Africa during the Second World War
Photo Via: Long Range Desert Group Preservation Society

The bad ass four-wheeling adventure idea was born out of necessity in the North African desert during the Second World War. Equipping Jeeps with machine guns so troops could harass German airfields and encampments. The rugged, highly mobile Jeep made it possible to shoot and scoot without getting one’s ass shot off by some very ticked off Wehrmacht. These Rat Patrols, as they came to be known, were so successful, they were given their own television show in the 1960s. (Catch the action at FanTV).

The Rat Patrols might be gone, but the Tactical Jeep lives on. Today’s Tactical Jeep isn’t just rigged with machine guns, it’s a got a hell of a lot more power under the hood, some sophisticated dash-mounted GPS navigation and self-driving capabilities, and yeah, it’s got some hefty firepower too. According to Tactical-Life.com, a tactical ride is both a rugged and reliable specially equipped Jeep utilized by law enforcement, security contractors, military outfits, and of course, private citizens who can’t get enough of their weekend warier lifestyle.

The Tactical, or Tac, Jeep has got to operate on both paved and off-road conditions. It’s got to have four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, automatic and/or manual transmission (the 2012 Wrangler yours truly drives operates with a hybrid auto/manual tranny), and enough ground clearance to negotiate logs, boulders, dead bodies, pieces of blown up debris, and more. It’s also got to have the right tires. Not mudders, but a set of 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrack tires will definitely do the trick.

Modern day Tactical Jeep taking on the dunes
Photo Via: realworldsurvivor.com

If you’re operating in a war zone or maybe Border Patrol, you’ll want to equip your Tac Jeep with life-preserving features like run-flat tires, bullet-resistant glass, and body armor, both on the side panels and on the underside to ward off those pesky IEDs. As for the engine? A gasoline-powered 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 air-cooled engine will suffice, although in special instances, some Jeeps can be equipped with a diesel engine. The point here is not comfort, but speed, rugged reliability, safety, and mobility.

Should you decide to build your own Tac Jeep, the amount of add-on features seems limited only to your imagination. A 10,000 pound capacity winch attached to a Garvin G2 front bumper is a good idea just in case the mud gets too deep and you need to get pulled out. The rear bumper can be outfitted with a swing-away combination spare tire/tool/gas (Geri) can system, while a roof rack that allows for the hardtop roof panels to be removed is a must. A 2-inch lift suspension kit can be mounted to the swing-away carrier or mounted to the front hood. You’ll also want to install a snorkel and extra Geri cans on the side panels for additional water and gasoline.

Okay, so I know what you’re thinking. All this fancy gadgetry is all well and good, but what about firepower? Well, unlike the Rat Patrols of old, or those tactical Jeeps currently roaming the outskirts of Syria and Iraq, Johnny Q Public Citizen can’t very well get away with mounting a .50 cal or a rapid-fire Minigun to his roll bar. Or can he?

Custom built 21st Century “Rat Patrol” Tactical Jeep with Airsoft Minigun mount.
Photo Via: www.fourwheeler.com

FourWheeler Network reports on a Utah Jeep enthusiast who not only transformed his 2011 3.8L V-6 Wrangler into a Tactical Jeep, he mounted a P3 Airsoft Minigun to the rack. Said to be based on the GE Vulcan Minigun in operation around the world’s hot spots today, the Airsoft version is capable of firing 50 rounds (biodegradable plastic BBs) per second. That Airsoft Minigun is not a toy, considering it was able to obliterate a junkyard television set at fifty paces, which means it’s also dangerous enough to make hamburger out of a grown man’s backside.

The homegrown Tactical Jeep doesn’t limit itself to just a single Minigun however. Mounted to its side panels via Kydex holsters are two ACR Airsoft rifles. One can also mount pistol holders to the vehicle’s center console. What’s so great about these Airsoft modifications? If the End of Days (or World War III for that matter) should come upon us, the Airsoft weapons can be substituted with the real thing.

Building your own version of the ultimate Tactical Jeep can obviously be a lot of fun. All that’s required is time, passion, some cash, and a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears. But what if you don’t have the time to devote to such a project? You can, of course, purchase the ultimate tactical Jeep. In fact, if you have a spare couple hundred K lying around, you can drive one off the lot today.

The ultimate bulletproof Tactical Jeep for the ‘burbs and beyond.
Photo Via: Gearjunkie.com

Meet the ultimate Tactical Jeep. GearJunkie recently reported that this Tactical Urban Vehicle is the brainchild of Rezvani Motors in Irvine, Calif. Nicknamed the Tank, it looks like something from out of a sci-fi movie, but under the hood, it is pure Jeep Wrangler. The base model features a 3.6L V6 engine and on-demand 4X4 capability. It’s got a leather interior, Extreme Off-Road capable 37 in. tires, and you can feel safe driving the kids to school surrounded by its Kevlar armor and bulletproof glass. You can even order a night vision upgrade. What’s more, if you want to part with a few more bucks, you can power up the engine with a 6.4L V8 motor that pumps out 500 horsepower. No wonder they call it the Tank.

Whether your goal is a fire-arm equipped tactical Jeep that will keep you safe on the battleground like the Rat Patrol of old, a custom tactical build that will provide you with thrills and spills in the outback all weekend long, or just a bad ass Tank of a 4X4 for driving around the badlands of West Hollywood, the Tactical Jeep just might be the ultimate adventure ride.

–Vincent Zandri