Author, Explorer, Scholar and Cleric

Photo of Gene Savoy

GENE SAVOY was born in Bellingham, Washington, on May 11, 1927 and passed out of the world on Sept 11, 2007. He is world renowned for his accomplishments as an explorer and researcher of ancient cultures, as a writer of numerous books on these and other subjects, as the founder of several non-profit institutions with global membership, as a lecturer and producer of recordings, documentary videos and other educational materials in the fields of history, archaeology, anthropology, theology, religion, and a host of related subjects in various other fields and professional studies.

          A large collection of Savoy's literary and photographic work, along with maps, charts, diagrams and other souvenirs from these years are presently being held in the archives of the Andean Explorers Foundation & Ocean Sailing Club, and will eventually be housed in the Heritage Museum at Reno, Nevada.

          Biographical information on Gene Savoy appears in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Religion, International Authors and Writers Who's Who, and Who's Who in Writers, Editors and Poets.


Gene Savoy, People Magazine's "Real Indiana Jones," achieved international fame in the 1960's with a series of daring expeditions into the dense Peruvian jungles of the eastern Andes and Amazon region that led to the discovery of numerous ancient and mysterious stone cities and settlements where none were thought to exist. He came to these discoveries as a result of his original and unique theory that pre-Inca and Inca civilizations originally occupied the tropical rain forests. His theory was confirmed in 1964-65 with his discovery and exploration of one of the most dramatic and important archaeological finds of this century: the fabled city of Vilcabamba, the Inca's last city of refuge from the Spanish (a city long thought to be Machu Picchu, the hilltop settlement found by Hiram Bingham in 1911). The full account of this discovery is contained in Savoy's book, Vilcabamba: Last City of the Incas, published by Robert Hale, London, 1970.

Photo 2 of Gene Savoy

          Savoy followed this exciting event later in 1965 by exploring and documenting another site, which he named Gran Pajaten, an ancient city located in the northeastern jungles of Peru off the Rio Abiseo drainage. This sensational find of beautiful round, decorative temples and buildings opened up new horizons to historians, archaeologists and other scientists from around the globe. He went on to discover and report over 40 additional ruins from the area. A record of most of these and other finds are contained in his book, Antisuyo: The Search for the Lost Cities of the Amazon, Simon & Schuster, 1970.

          In 1969 Savoy built and captained the Kuviqu, or Feathered Serpent I, a totora-reed raft of ancient design, along 2,000 miles of ocean coastline from Peru to Mesoamerica, following the natural currents. This daring sea expedition (the first of several) proved that Peruvians and Mexicans could have maintained contact in ancient times and that the legendary culture heroes of Peru and Mexico --Viracocha and Quetzalcoatl-- were one and the same. The journey is recounted in his exciting book, On the Trail of the Feathered Serpent, Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1974. (See also the 1970 CBS News, one-hour film documentary narrated by Charles Kuralt, Adventure: On the Trail of the Feathered Serpent.)

          From 1977 to 1982 Savoy captained the research ship Feathered Serpent II, which sailed from the United States to the Caribbean, Central and South America, and finally to Hawaii. The 60-foot schooner was used to research wind and sea currents and possible sea routes used by ancient civilizations to sail between the Orient and the Americas, and vice versa. At the beginning of this voyage Savoy published a portion of his revolutionary discoveries and research in his Project X: Search for the Secrets of Immortality, Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1977.

          In 1984, Savoy returned to explore Peru after a 13-year absence. Then, in 1985, he made a startling announcement to the world: the discovery in Amazonas of a vast ancient metropolis that may prove to be not only the largest pre-Columbian city in South America, but also one of the largest and most unique ancient cities yet discovered in the history of archaeology. This intricate network of well over 24,000 round, ovaline and walled cut-stone structures covers an estimated 100 square miles in the Department of Amazonas west of the Utcabamba River and east of the Maranon. Savoy named the city, centered on and around the Vilaya River drainage, Gran Vilaya, and from 1985 through 1994 led six expeditions into the region. He has produced documentary films and photographed ruins, relics and glyphic materials; and he has published the only complete and accurate map of the region.

          Near the end of the 1989 Gran Vilaya expedition, Savoy and his team of intrepid explorers came upon a set of inscribed tablets on the outskirts of the city, hidden away high in a cliffside cave. Among the many inscriptions contained on these large dolmen-type tablets was a symbol similar to the one used by King Solomon to mark the ships he sent to the land of Ophir to recover gold and precious stones for his temple in Jerusalem. Other symbols in the inscriptions appeared to be of proto-Sinaitic origin as well. So it is that Savoy is now engaged in a seven-year voyage to document links between the high civilizations of ancient times on the seven continents and to determine the true location of the biblical land of Ophir.

Photo of Feathered Serpent III

          This voyage, the Grand Ophir Sea Expedition, began in Callao, Peru, with a two-year period of construction on the expedition's maritime research vessel. The ship is the Feathered Serpent III - Ophir: a 73-foot double-hulled, canoe-type, catamaran of ancient design. Constructed by hand of Peruvian mahogany and lashed together with rope, the vessel is a replica of designs found on pre-Inca ceramics and of traditional Polynesian craft. The purpose of the Ship's voyage is to show that the ancients were capable of sailing around the globe using similar ships on well known sea routes.

          The FSIII - Ophir departed from the Escuela Naval in Callao on December 17, 1997, and arrived in Radio Bay at Hilo, Hawaii on January 28, 1998, completing a 42-day voyage with no motor from the land of the Incas. Savoy will be leading his small crew (of seven members or fewer) around the globe over the next seven years.


In addition to his books on exploration, for several decades Savoy has written articles for newspapers, magazines and professional journals around the world. Other publications, from leading reference volumes to coffee table art books, have regularly given reference to Gene Savoy and his writings, photography and discoveries. Visit www.aefosc.org for a list of related publications.

          Feature articles have appeared, and continue to appear, worldwide in every major newspaper and in dozens of leading magazines. He has been a guest speaker at luncheons and dinner banquets, and he has lectured at several universities and most recently at Brigham Young University and the University of Hawaii.

          His memberships include The Author's Guild; The Explorers Club (NYC); Geographical Society, Lima, Peru; South American Explorers Club; Los Angeles Yacht Club; and the Christian Legal Society.

Photo of  Gene Savoy with Awards

          As an individual who for more than 40 years has made outstanding contributions to exploration and sailing, Savoy is the recipient of numerous medals, trophies and awards. He has directed over 50 recorded expeditions. Most have been covered by the international press and accompanied by interviews with the explorer; each one has earned a flag from the Andean Explorers Foundation & Ocean Sailing Club. His other awards include: Grand Ophir Sea Expedition Day Proclamation by the State of Hawaii; Gene Savoy Day Proclamation by the City of Reno, Nevada; Silver Medal and Scroll by the City of Ica, Peru; Order of the Grand Cross by the Senate of Peru; Silver Hummingbird by the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism; Gold Medal by the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism; various other flag awards by AEF & OSC; and the "Spirit of Exploration" Trophy and Commodore's Cup by AEF & OSC.

          Another area of Savoy's expertise is scripting for film and video documentaries. He has directed and narrated productions for the Andean Explorers Foundation & Ocean Sailing Club and for the International Community of Christ. His AEF & OSC video productions have included "Royal Roads to Discovery" (97 minutes, 1993), and "The Gran Vilaya Expeditions" (60-minutes, 1996), among several others on related shorter subjects. Motion picture documentaries in which Gene Savoy has appeared include: a 60-minute documentary for Anglican Films, London; a 60-minute CBS News documentary narrated by Charles Kuralt, "Adventure:Trail of the Feathered Serpent" (1970); and a 60-minute television documentary for ABC KGO-TV San Francisco narrated by Steve Davis, "Lost City of the Andes" (1987).

          The main body of Savoy's writings concern religion and have been published for the last four decades by the International Community of Christ of Reno, Nevada.


          Gene Savoy's primary interest has always been, and continues to be, religion. As one field of study led to another, he realized that all roads to the study of mankind were rooted in one form of religion or another, and that every level of human society, since the earliest of times, has been, and continues to be, profoundly affected by religion.

          An ordained minister since 1962, The Most Right Reverend Douglas Eugene Savoy became Head Bishop of the International Community of Christ, Church of the Second Advent, in 1971. He holds degrees in theology and divinity. He is President of the Jamilian University of the Ordained; Chancellor of the Sacred College of Jamilian Theology; President of the Advocates for Religious Rights & Freedoms; Chairman of the World Council for Human Spiritual Rights; and a member of numerous organizations devoted to religious, humanitarian and social causes. Moreover, he is a regularly featured and much sought after speaker at these and other civic clubs, universities, schools, cultural organizations, and on television and radio programs.

Photo 3 of Gene Savoy

          In addition to his many books on exploring and ancient civilizations, Savoy has produced a steady stream of unparalleled transcendent literature. These publications include over 50 books and monographs on theology and religion, and some 400 recorded lectures. His scholarly and internationally acclaimed The Decoded New Testament, The Essaei Document: Secrets of an Eternal Race and The Lost Gospel of Jesus: The Hidden Teachings of Christ are major contributions to any true understanding of the Essenes and the Dead Sea literature. Many scholars believe Jesus to have been a rabbi among the Essenes, the religious Order that produced this literature. During a time of unprecedented interest and controversy surrounding the subject of the Essenes and original Christianity, Bishop Savoy's works on Jesus, the Essenes and the early 'edah or Messianic Church, are the first and only complete publications backed by a full seminarial curriculum to bring to light the real teachings of the Essenes and to clarify what the recovery of this information can mean for religious enlightenment today. The clergy of the Second Advent Church refer to this phenomenon of restoration and renewal as the "Emerging New Christianity."

          The library of texts produced by Bishop Savoy -- which includes monographs, transcripts, lectures, sermons, homilies, and liturgical materials -- deals mainly with revelations and amendments to the Christian religion, books of prophecy, sayings, wisdom teachings, and essential theory and techniques of a divine religious art and science representative of True Religion, for which he has derived the term Cosolargy®. Cosolargy® is in essence the same doctrine taught by Jesus, the Essenes, and original Christianity before its adulteration and secularization under civil systems. As psychology and psychiatry exist for the alleviation of mental and psychic ills, Cosolargy® is a system of healing for the spirit and soul. Bishop Savoy holds that outside of Cosolargy® there exists no institutionalized discipline for healing the spirit of its ills, and that full comprehension of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Essenes, Jesus as Christ, and virtually all ancient world religions and their various founders, requires schooling in this new-found System of Spiritual Regeneration.

          The Jamilian University of the International Community of Christ continues to publish Bishop Savoy's works along with the works of others, to maintain its several educational facilities, to schedule and host seminars attended regularly by an international body of clergy, and to operate numerous "guilds" which serve the Second Advent Community and the greater public.

To contact Gene Savoy, send e-mail to [email protected]
To learn more about Gene Savoy's life as an explorer, e-mail [email protected],
or call 775-348-1818.
To inquire about the International Community of Christ, visit them on the Web at www.communityofchrist.org, e-mail [email protected],
or call 775-786-7827.
To contact the Jamilian University, visit them on the Web at www.jamilian.org, write to Office of Public Information, 643 Ralston Street, Reno, NV 89503, e-mail [email protected],
or call 775-786-7432.

Return to the top of this page.

This site maintained by the International Community of Christ
Copyright © 1998-2009 Gene Savoy. All Rights Reserved.

URL of this document: www.genesavoy.org
Send comments, suggestions or questions to [email protected]