This is coolbert:
Thanks to the wiki entry for Ralph Bagnold we have this item:
The lost city, the fabled city, the mythological and legendary city of Zerzura. Place this in the category of strange but true!
This sounds as if a bit of Hollywood but for real, a something along the lines of an "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark". Perhaps however not necessarily so legendary, make believe, myth, fable.
Ralph Bagnold that serving British army officer in those years subsequent to the end of the Great War [WW1] pioneering the use of motorized transport in the Libyan Desert and in a quite purposeful manner searching for that lost city of Zerzura. Military men the observations, research and explorations of which are to be taken seriously beyond that of the mere adventurer!
Zerzura reputedly an oasis city of antiquity existing somewhere in what is now the Libyan Desert at least since Crusader times a subject of expeditions by Bagnold and others like him. Those persons convinced that Zerzura was not fable or myth but reality [albeit many centuries later covered by sand dunes perhaps of immense size!].
This was deemed the "Hunt for Zerzura" and for a period of time taken with great seriousness?
"Zerzura was long rumored to have existed deep in the desert west of the Nile River in Egypt or Libya. In writings dating back to the 13th century, the authors spoke of a city which was 'white as a dove' and called it 'The Oasis of Little Birds'. In the Kitab al Kanuz, Zerzura is said to be a city in the Sahara full of treasure with a sleeping king and queen."
"More recently, European explorers made forays into the desert in search of Zerzura but never succeeded in finding it. Notable twentieth-century explorers Ralph Bagnold of Britain, and the Hungarian László (Ladislaus) Almásy led an expedition to search for Zerzura from 1929-1930 using Ford Model-T trucks."
[Almasy fighting with the fascist forces in north Africa during WW2 in the company of Rommel and the Afrika Korps!!]
Bagnold inspired and hoping to locate Zerzura pioneering those means, methods and techniques for movement across the Libyan Desert by motorized vehicles as later used by those units of LRDG:
"After having read Hussein Bey's "Lost Oasis" he spent one such expedition in 1929 using a Ford Model A automobile and two Ford lorries exploring the vast swathe of desert from Cairo to Ain Dalla which was an area reputed to contain the mythical city of Zerzura."
Zerzura in legend the secret city lost to antiquity and having never been found but an artifact a ruby ring of immense value remaining and reputedly passing only during those most recent times into the hands of King Idris, the late Colonel [Muammar al-Gaddafi] himself, and perhaps now those revolutionaries in Tripoli:
"a precious ruby set in a gold ring"
"According to unknown sources, the ring supposedly came into possession of Libya's King Idris, who was overthrown by in 1969 by Muammar al-Gaddafi and his Revolutionary Command Council [and now those rebels in Tripoli?]. It is said that the ring has been studied by many experts who claim it is of great value, and it is speculated that it was crafted by Europeans in the 12th century"
Like I said, strange but true. It can also be reasoned that Bagnold and his military cohorts merely used Zerzura and the fable as a cover story, a pretense plausible for those preliminary motorized expeditions into the Libyan Desert, scouting the way in advance, determining the best routes of passage if indeed military action and war with the fascist powers became reality.