Destination Truth – Tuesday at 9/8c on Syfy!

Don’t forget there’s a new episode of Destination Truth tonight on it’s new night, Tuesday, at it’s new time, 9/8c!

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Beast Hunter – Man Ape of Sumatra (Orang Pendek) – S01E01

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Man Ape of Sumatra (Orang Pendek)

In the vast jungles of mystical Sumatra, locals have reported seeing a creature that looks something like an ape, yet it walks just like us. They’ve named it “Orang Pendek” – the little man of the forest. A recent scientific discovery proposes that another species of humans – nicknamed ‘hobbits’ – did once live in Indonesia. So could there be a new great ape waiting to be discovered? Or is it possible we’re not the only human species living on earth? Biologist and beast hunter Pat Spain investigates.

Pat Spain, man of action, Justin Timberlake lookalike. And in the off season, Beast Hunter. He’s taken up the mantle of looking for mysterious creatures that exist outside of our general understanding. In a similar vein to Destination Truth he’s looking for the stuff of legend, the creatures that are widely talked about but rarely seen. Usually the type that attacks a village or strikes fear into those who talk about it. And his search is going to take him all over the globe.

For the first episode Pat is looking for Orang Pendek or "little man of the forest". It’s an ape like creature that still manages to walk upright like a man. He heads off to Sumatra to talk to natives who’ve had multiple encounters with the creature over the years.

He starts things off in the local market where he gets more than a few laughs from the local women who think all men are "little men from the forest". Not having much luck there he goes to visit Debbie Martyr, a Tiger conservationist who’s been living in Sumatra for quite some time (4 earthquake cycles according to her) and claims to have had her own sighting of Orang Pendek. She says it walks on its two legs very gracefully but is still very hairy. She was quite shaken by the encounter and firmly believes there is another set of creatures living in the jungle.

To gather more evidence, Pat goes to visit a Shaman to see about his beliefs in the creature. Is it something real or just the stuff of folklore? The Shaman believes Orang Pendek is real and is far more than myth.

Pat then visits another man who claims Orang Pendek broke into his home and stole sugar. He confronted it, but the animal ran away without hurting anyone. He said it was very strong looking, but short. It walked on two legs and looked quite human.

He finally hooks up with Jeremy Holden, a wildlife photographer who has taken pictures of dozens of wild animals using trap cameras, some even thought to be extinct until he found them once again. He is a firm believer in Orang Pendek and believes it’s just a matter of time before they capture physical and photographic evidence of its existence. He believes it’s good at eluding predators and doesn’t follow the normal migratory and hunting trails used by regular animals. He agrees to take Pat to where he came across Orang Pendek.

Jeremy was out in the jungle when he heard it and managed to come across it just as it was disappearing back into the thick growth. He saw it as it was going away and also says it’s hairy and walks on two legs. He wasn’t able to see the face but firmly believes what he saw was Orang Pendek. He’s been setting out trap cameras ever since to try and capture a photo of it.

While checking out the jungle with Jeremy, Pat recalls an interview he had with Prof. Mike Morwood who found skeletons of a humanoid creature they dubbed the "Hobbit". A creature that could have survived up until the early 1900’s. There isn’t evidence to say this group of humanoids is still running around, but, they did exist and by all accounts only disappeared a little over 100 years ago. Is Orang Pendek related? Could it be a similar group that has just managed to stay in hiding? Is it this same group and they didn’t go extinct at all?

After hearing all the stories and with all the evidence in hand Pat decides to go out into the night with audio dish and thermal imager to see what he can find. During the night investigation he hears plenty of noises and the sounds of animals moving around in the jungle. There are plenty of things tripping the static cameras but in the end Orang Pendek is not caught on film. The sounds of the jungle are mysterious, but are they the sounds of a yet undiscovered humanoid? The evidence doesn’t support the claims, but with such dense forest growth, abundant food sources and limited accessibility by man, could something hide in the trees and elude the prying eyes of man? It certainly seems a possibility.

Orang Pendek didn’t make an appearance, but it’s just as important to find out what Orang Pendek isn’t. Is this simply a case of mistaken identity? Are people seeing other animals and either through fear or excitement getting a distorted image of it? Are the regular ape-like animals of the jungle just coming across as bigger and bolder than before? Or is there something more to it? Is there some other humanoid presence lurking in the jungle trying to stay out of the way or regular man?

While not a replacement for Destination Truth, I was quite entertained and engaged by Pat and his adventures. He does a lot of research about the people and culture as well as the animals of the area. He takes the approach of eliminating mistaken identity and tries to separate facts from the tall tales people tell him. It was a fine adventure from National Geographic and I’m looking to his next trip in the Amazon.

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Ghost Adventures – Yorktown Hospital – S04E21

Zak and the boys are down in Texas to investigate the Yorktown Hospital for what they claim are a series of demonic events and vengeful spirits. I sort of think that claim might be a touch exaggerated. Every hospital experiences death, but 2,000 of them in the course of 40 years actually seems pretty reasonable. As they say that’s only 50 a year or 1 a week. Considering the time period and the work people did, oil drilling, that really doesn’t seem that bad.

But there are quite a few claims to go with their visit. For example, nuns are supposedly choking chapel visitors who happen to have tattoos. There are also reports of people being hit and scratched. Mike, the caretaker, tells of reports of people being punched and abused when they come to visit. Mike has no doubt the place is haunted by ghosts. He also tells Zak that there was a murder in the basement – a crime of passion that left two people dead.

Unlike other hospitals there aren’t reports of bizarre experiments and poor treatment to the patients. There was no doctor that abused people or got the nurses pregnant. There was no epidemic or massive outbreak. There was no catastrophic accident or huge loss of life. We also don’t hear any reports about workers being abused and working in unnecessarily dangerous conditions. Not to discount anything, but overall the hospital sounds pretty tame.

To learn more about the oil workers they head outside of town to try and film some of the work being done on a local oil derrick. Things look like they’ll be cut short when one of the workers comes out and gets them to move along. Zak really needs to work on his introduction skills. He fumbles all over the place with what they’re doing and seems to take forever with saying who they are and what they’re working on. But it does work out in the end and the oil worker is actually a friendly chap who knows quite a bit about the hospital. He got stitches there and his uncle actually passed away there. He says everyone knows about the ghosts inside there and he firmly believes the place is haunted. He goes even further and says he’s sure his uncle is haunting the place. His uncle was stabbed and he doesn’t feel he’s at peace.

And then on with the investigation. They start by setting up the POV camera on Zak’s shoulder. I still think it should be attached to his head so you can actually see what he sees when he sees it. But right as they start, Zak asks for a name and the meters start going off. They also claim to get the EVP of "You wanna play?" An interesting way to start things off. They don’t stick around here very long though.

Then comes out my least favorite device, the PX. As they are setting up, Aaron claims to get chills and Zak is snapping photos. Zak claims he captured a shadow figure in the photo. When they bring it up on screen there is lots of distortion and pixilation in it. That could easily be "matrixing" tricking the eye into seeing something. I can sort of see a blob, but to say that’s an entity is too much of a stretch for me.

Down in the basement the recorders capture what sounds like a scream and the phrase "it must be told and I’ll tell them you did it". I think that’s a bit of stretch considering how garbled that is, but if accurate it’s a pretty creepy thing to say. But it’s interesting that no one was around asking questions when this was spoken.

Zak decides to take the nuns head on and goes to the chapel to show off his tattoos. Supposedly the nuns don’t like this behavior at all, but I can’t understand why they would start choking people over it. Doesn’t seem very nun like if you asked me.

With Zak taking off his shirt they set up the PX to see what they can capture. A voice supposedly says "Soul" which doesn’t really answer any relevant question. There is also a voice that says the tattoos are "sick" and that he should "suffer" for them. Perhaps some words from the other side, but certainly no choking. There is also the claim that Zak should "listen" and "think" about "Jesus".

They move on to the nun’s quarters where Zak says he feels cold spots. Aaron is down in the basement where the murder took place. Zak says he feels an energy enter him and points to an "orb" floating around as confirmation. Aaron claims to hear someone moving around during his investigation. He also says he captures "hurry, hide" and then "the killer is coming, get to the hallway". Its one hell of a warning, but it’s not followed up by any sort of activity or event. It warns of imminent danger but Aaron escapes without incident. With that sort of lead up I was expecting Aaron to get knocked down or some explosive noise.

Another interesting investigation even though it doesn’t have the usual background of their previous hospital visits. I don’t think they caught too much or experienced very much that support the claims. There was no choking, hitting, scratching or punching. There were some garbled voices on boxes I’m not thrilled with though. Some were interesting, but I don’t think they lead to an overall conclusion that the place is infested with demonic energy. And even though there were 2,000 deaths the place seems pretty normal. However, the locals feel differently and plenty of people they talked with believe the hospital has its own energy. Hospitals are great locations and can lead to all sorts of events. Does the evidence support this one to be haunted?

This has been one heck of a season and more episodes than I expected during a single run. They’ve been to some fantastic locations and I’m looking forward to where they end up next. It’s hard to say if the places they go are truly haunted, but it’s a great adventure.

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Destination Truth – Live from Ireland – S04E09

Ducketts_GroveJosh got the band back together and headed over to Ireland for a special live investigation as Destination Truth went in search of the Banshee at Duckett Grove. Josh brought in Jael and Ryder from his previous seasons and enlisted the help of Kris and Barry for GHI. Apparently Allison Scagliotti had so much fun in Chile when investigating the Haunted Mining Town that she made a return visit to hunt for the harbinger of death rather than sitting in the Irish Pub for St. Patty’s Day. This group really knows how to have a good time together.

The investigation is of Ducketts Grove, a massive estate owned by the Duckett family but destroyed by a fire in 1933 and now lies in a rather tragic state of disrepair. It’s said to be haunted by the Banshee and that it has made appearances there for decades. It has been sighted by caretakers and travelers. It’s said to haunt the gardens. And people who pass by avoid the forest at all costs. From the sound of things this place is straight from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. When they did interviews, just about everyone agreed the place was haunted and that trying to find the Banshee was a sure way to get yourself in trouble. If you see the Banshee you’ll die and if you hear her wail it means that someone in your family is going to die. There is basically no end of doom and gloom surrounding her appearance. So out into the darkness to find her!

Since Barry is Irish, Josh asks his opinion about the Banshee. Barry admits he’s heard the wail twice and both times a family member has died. They interview another witness who also heard the wail and he claim his mother passed two days later. He also says she was ill already so was it the work of the Banshee or did the illness take its course? But either way, Barry is fully convinced the Banshee is real and that they need to be extremely careful with what they’re doing. Honestly, I’m a little surprised he decided to come along since it very well could be tempting fate for him.

The house itself is a wreck. The floors are rotting away, trees and bushes are growing inside, the stairs are broken and there is debris everywhere. In some places the floor is actually missing as Josh and Ryder find out as they almost walked off the ledge. They resort to spelunking down the wall to reach the lower level.

There are quite a few interesting events during the night not the least of which was the Syfy.com site being overwhelmed with visitors and being completely unresponsive for a large portion of the event. But, there are tons of birds and wildlife scratching around out there. There is even a bird that crashes into the ground while they are looking around. While none of these actually sounded like the Banshee there is no denying there are tons of sounds that could be mistaken for it and just add to the overall ominous feel of the place.

Rex sees a large shadow moving around while in the walled garden and swears it was a figure moving around. Others in the group think it could just be shadows from the flashlight but he’s convinced he saw something.

There seems to be a lot of activity in the towers where Josh and Ryder keep thinking they see someone or something up there. Even people at home hit the Banshee button saying they see something. Josh, Ryder and Kris head up the tower to see if they can find out what’s going on, but ultimately send Jael up to the very top so she can investigate alone. This is after she’s had a bought of dizziness and perhaps even a little nausea while investigating in the garden. She has to sit down for several minutes and Rex is by her side trying to get her to breathe and settle herself down. It doesn’t look like she got injured but definitely needs to take a breather before moving on.

She looks absolutely shaken and out of sorts and she climbs to the top. It’s hard to say if she’s still suffering from a bit of sickness or if she is just really scared, but her voice is trembling, she is having a hard time walking around and seems unsteady. She claims to hear footsteps and lots of noises when she’s up there. There is nothing tangible to be found and Jael is more than happy to come down out of the tower.

Even though I don’t think they caught very much this was a great event. I only wish Allison would have participated a little more. She basically spent her time watching the monitors and didn’t actually go out and survey the area. Also, several of the old gang were missing like Bicha, Mike and Evan. But overall this was a heck of a lot of fun. Josh was a great host and things flowed together quite nicely. A few audio glitches with the two sets of teams overlapping from time to time, but there was plenty of adventure to be had.

While they didn’t actually find the Banshee they certainly found out why so many people are afraid of the grounds. Not only is it dangerous, but the dense forest, the slew of animals and a myriad of bizarre noises would all solidify that the place is something to be avoided. And as was mentioned during the investigation if you did get frightened and started to run you could fall through the floor, run into a room where there is no floor, trip and fall down the crumbled stairs, get lost in the maze of plants and debris and crash into a wall or any number of other ways to injure yourself or even be killed. The Grove has a true element of danger surrounding it.

I’m excited Josh is back with an all new season and look forward to where he’s going to take us. I think Antarctica is the one I’m looking forward to the most, but from the snippets I’ve seen it looks like the whole season is going to be an awesome adventure.

Ducketts Grove

Ducketts Grover History

Banshee of Ireland

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