Destination Truth

Destination Truth – Hanging Coffins and Kiyik Adam – S05E07

Anything dealing with exposed coffins, especially when those coffins are stacked on top of each other or are simply hanging off a cliff, is going to be a little unnerving. This latest adventure was no exception as Josh and the crew head to Milan to investigate hauntings at the local burial site. A tradition of hanging or stacking the coffins has been practiced for thousands of years. The deceased are carried up the mountain and laid to rest with dozens of others. Over time, those coffins has become worn and exposed with the remains becoming visible to passersby. But the claim is these spirits aren’t at rest and their cries and apparitions can be seen on a regular basis. Are there indeed restless spirits or is there something more earthly going on?

Josh makes the long trek up into the mountains, but not before stopping off to visit the market and talk with the locals. He also spends a little time spinning some pottery and making a disturbingly uncomfortable re-enactment of the pottery scene from Ghost. I’m not sure how I should feel.

But moving on… The team hikes their way into the interior and find dozens of coffins stacked in a cave. They are literally sitting on top of each other with the boards showing obvious signs of wear and decay. So much so, that Richie gives us an accurate account of the contents. I have to say, this seems like an incredibly awkward to get rid of the deceased. Carrying someone up the mountain, then into the cave, then over the river and to the top of the pile? Or as we see later, scale the rock face and bolt the coffin to the wall?

As Josh starts his EVP session and asks for signs of a spiritual presence, the flashlights begin to flicker, then the camera itself goes out. What should we make of this? Is this a sign or a sign of faulty equipment. I hate the “turn off the flashlight trick”, but the team has never done this one before so who knows.

As they ask for more, Josh becomes very unsettled at the sight of what he believes is a black mass right behind the cameraman. He’s so convinced of what he saw, he becomes visibly upset and even makes the comment that he either saw something or was hallucinating. Ironically, right behind the area of the sighting is a coffin. Kind of makes you wonder.

They move on to the next area, which is the location of coffins hanging from the rock face. Josh and Richie get the climbing gear and hoist themselves up. They do an EVP session about 20 feet off the ground, inline with the coffins themselves. What they get in response sounds like the creaking of a coffin lid. Was that the actual sound of someone trying to get out? Or was it just the wind or a change in temperature causing the wood to creak? I tell you this, I would have needed a new pair of pants. A sound like that under those conditions? I would have made a mess.

Although the investigation doesn’t outright give off the greatest evidence, when they get back to Los Angeles, they come across some interesting things. They don’t capture the dark mass Josh saw, but they do capture the creaking. The also discover a lot of the whispering and chatter people hear is most likely due to all the bats that live in the caves. However, when they review their digital pictures of the coffins, strange images appear. The first two contain some really unusual mist formations, but the third shows what looks like an apparition. Overlaid on top of everything else is a woman in profile with a distinct head, arms and facial features. This goes way beyond the usual matrixing. Seriously, what the hell is that? If this had come from anyone else, I would dismiss it as such. But that is a very clear image of what appears to be a person. I’m quite stunned.

So, are there spirits still moving around in this ancient burial site? The bats, the wind, and even the imagination can explain and debunk many of the things people see and hear. But the large mass Josh saw combined with the apparition in the picture have me wondering…

Kiyik Adam

The Kiyik Adam is another variation on Big Foot that inhabits the outer regions of Kazakhstan. Sightings have been on the rise and residents claim there is a 9 foot monster with thick gray fur out in the woods.

More than the investigation, this episode was fun to watch because of the people, their vibrant and elegant clothes as well as their hospitality. Watching Josh with the villagers and playing musical instruments was simply wonderful. I love the way Josh and the team respect other cultures and immerse themselves in it. I wish we could all be a little more tolerant like that.

But that first market they went to was a little unsettling. I guess they do indeed cook every part of the chicken and not every sign with a horse on it is for a pony ride. But hey, not everyone goes to a McDonald’s either.

So the team heads out into the night to see what they can find. They do hear some odd whistling sounds in the night. Witnesses report this same sound. It does sound like an odd whistle, but give it a few seconds and it sounds more like the screech of a bird.

They keep looking around and get a big thermal hit on the edge of the plains. They aren’t able to catch up with it, but something was there.

This investigation doesn’t yield much in the way of evidence and when they do further analysis, they do come to the conclusion that the screeching in the night is more than likely a bird, that the animal across the plain was a large elk or perhaps even a bear. It does seem that what most people are running into is some sort of bear. That would explain the height and the fur. Does that mean the “Big Foot” doesn’t exist? With that much unexplored area, anything could be out there. In fact, multiple “anythings” could be out there.

Too bad this was the last episode of the season. Seems like we waited nearly a year and have to wait again. Oh well, it was a hell of a lot of fun. The hanging coffins was pretty damn interesting, but the episode about Vlad was perhaps the most interesting. Not just because it was about Dracula, but because of the people, the legend, the buildings and paintings they discovered. It seems they just scratched the surface of that story and that area. I would love to see them go back and explore that area some more.

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Destination Truth – Vampire Monster and Island of the Damned – S05E06

Vampire Monster

For this episode of Destination Truth, Josh and the team head to Romania to look into reports of a real vampire monster. It’s not Dracula, but a blood sucking creature that roams the back woods sucking the blood out of animals and causing villagers to abandon their homes.

They first start off by heading to the hometown of Vlad the Imapler, the real life inspiration for the fictional Dracula. Seems the town takes quite a bit of pride in their heritage. They have a well maintained historical museum, as well as some amusement rides and haunted houses.

But amusements aside, the villagers believe they’ve seen a human like figure with horse like legs. There is an abandoned village which seems to be a shelter for the creature. After a pretty treacherous hike they make it to a small settlement out in the middle of nowhere.

They come across several buildings, some of which are adorned with some spectacular artwork. The walls and ceilings are adorned with religious painting, but yet some of the figures seem to have their eyes scratched out. Interesting. There is also the large stake in the corner that causes everyone in the group to jump when it falls over. Hmm, long wooden stake in a church where a Dracula like creature is supposed to hide. That’s something isn’t it? :)

There is also a massive cave, with hundreds of bones scattered around. These are the remains of animals that have either fallen through the large hole at the top and taken a terrible plunge, or they’ve been drug into the cave by something looking to eat it’s dinner in peace. Which do we think is more probable?

Ok, back to the abandoned church. Why in the hell is this group so damn skiddish? Everytime there’s a noise or a bang they come to pieces, start screaming and make like Scooby-Doo and haul ass in the opposite direction. I mean damn, you would think they could hold it together a little bit better.

The team does manage to capture some animals of the thermal imager and Josh bags up a massive tooth he finds in the death cave. So what do they turn out to be? More than likely the animals in the woods are wolves. That would make sense since they’re in the woods and away from other people. The animal remains turn out to be a dog, goat and a goat. The interesting thing though, Josh comes away with the tooth of a cave bear – an animal that’s been extinct for 27,000 years. That’s a pretty sweet find.

Do we think there’s anything out in those woods other than wolves?

Island of the Damned

The team heads out to Sweden to investigate a haunted island. There are reports of witches and supernatural events. According to reports, around 300 witches were burned in this area. Rumors claim there were ceremonies to conjure the devil himself.

Also on the island is a stone labyrinth. It is believed that if you walk through the maze at night, you will see the spirit of the witches. However, if you remove one of the stones, you will be cursed. Apparently, hundreds of people take the stones as a joke only to send them back with an apology letter asking if the stones can returned. Since taking one, people are surrounded by bad luck. Lars, the city official who handles all these letters, has a mighty stack of them. He even asks Josh to take one of the stones back with him. Cursed rock in the pocket, cool!!

So the team heads out to the island to check it out. Part of the island has a forest, the other side is rather bare. There is also a cabin where scientists, photographers and other guests can stay, if they have the stones for it.

The team begins to hear noises like a female cry and chanting. They do what they can to find the source, but it doesn’t reveal anything. Considering it’s windy out there are we sure it isn’t just the wind blowing off the rocks and the trees? I think we’ve seen plenty of cases where the wind makes some very strange noises. And does anyone else think the screams sound a lot like birds?

But anyway, Josh finds and begins to walk through the stone maze. Ironically, they capture something bobbing along the bath. At first it looks like a bug, but the movement is just downright odd. It’s not a light because of the way it bounces. That’s pretty strange. I don’t think it’s something paranormal, but unusual.

For the big scare of the night we have Ryder and Richie in the cabin. Ryder and Richie begin to hear some noises. Considering the storm and the wind outside, it doesn’t seem that out of character. But like before, Ryder and Richie all but soil their pants as something happens and start screaming like they’re in a B-Movie. I mean Egad!! What the hell were they freaking out at? We didn’t see anything! But… Later Josh discovers a low voice in that audio segment. Was it actually saying "Get out"?

All in all, I think the team got worked up and started jumping at everything that went bump in the night. I don’t think the bouncing light in the maze is noteworthy. I don’t think there was anything in the cabin and the screams and voices are the wind whistling in the trees and swirling on the rocks. Add to that some screeching birds and I think you have everything you need. The island has a stone maze, it’s secluded, it’s dangerous and somewhat scary. What more do you need to start instilling fear about witchcraft, demons, goblins and the devil?

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Destination Truth – Spirits of Tikal and Creature From the Black Lagoon – S05E05

Spirits of Tikal

For this episode of Destination Truth, Josh and team head out to the supposedly haunted Mayan city of Tikal where the locals tell tales of encounters with the spirits of sacrificial victims. Mayan blood rituals were the norm, and sacrifices were made to appease the gods. Let’s not forget that the Mayan calendar says the world ends in 2012 and many feel the paranormal activity is heating up at this site.

So the teams sets out for Belize, backtracks back down the river, retraces their steps back up the river and over the border, zigs and zags for a variety of unknown reasons so that they can make their way into a cave where they find the mystical Tata Pedro. With his blessing they repeat the process again and finally make it to the city. Phew.

With dozens of cameras set up they head out into the jungle to see what they can find. There is an usual light that reflects off one of the buildings. Since there is no electricity and doubtful there is a random car passing by, just what was that?

As you may expect, there are a lot of noises out there in the jungle and Ryder and her team comes just feet away from heaven knows what. It makes some ghostly sounds even though it doesn’t make an appearance.

The team does make a discovery that quite possibly debunks many of the sounds people are hearing. As they climb one of the buildings, there is a "vent" that seems to exhale and makes the building sound like it’s breathing. It gives of a whistle and some other unusual sounds. When you’re all alone out there, who knows what that would sound like.

There are some cold spots and the equipment goes haywire as soon as the investigation starts. It’s odd to feel something cold in the middle of the jungle and the equipment has glitches in unison. Not only do the cameras go out together, but they begin working again at the same time. An unusual coincidence indeed.

So what’s going on out there? Is there paranormal activity related to the human sacrifices? Are these just odd coincidences? The Mayans have an interesting culture and their belief system is something we’re still thinking about today. Are the spirits stirring because the end is near?

Creature From the Black Lagoon

The team heads off to Fiji where there are reports of something lurking in the water and scaring the natives half to death. They feel it’s a sea creature out to do them harm. So the team sets out to scour the waterways by air, sea and land to discover what it is.

Josh decides the best way to check things out is to go for a dive. Within a few minutes (or at least that’s the way it comes across on TV) he’s sharing the water with multiple Bull Sharks. And they’re big. A couple of tense moments to be sure.

The investigation continues on in the night where the teams sees something swimming around in the water. We don’t get a sense of scale, but there is something out there. Josh uses the fortuitously place bamboo raft to get a better look and of course falls into the water making us all think his meager life is over. But our intrepid adventurer is out of the water and back on board the boat in no time.

With some evidence in hand they head back to see what they have. And we come to find out that in this part of the world there is a new specific of massive iguana that can be 6 feet long. It features fit the description from the natives and quite frankly, if you saw that coming up on you in the middle of the night (or even the day) it would scare the $hit out of you! And let’s not forget the Bull Sharks can live in both fresh and saltwater habitats and they are known to be found in rivers. I think what we have here is a case of mistaken identity.

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Destination Truth – Alien Invaders and Swedish Lake Monster – S05E04

Well this isn’t something I was expecting to see, the team has gone X-Files and is chasing down little green men. Well, not green, rather a milky white complexion according to eyewitnesses. The team is headed to Kazakhstan investigate unidentified flying objects.

This area of the world gets plenty of UFO sightings, complete with dozens of amateur photos of the events and even things falling from the sky. Josh meetings with some government officials who took possession of some metallic spheres after it crashed in a farmer’s field. It’s a big rusty orb that’s tougher than nails apparently. Josh is allowed to take some photos and even grabs a sample of metal.

Then it’s out into the field in the dead of night to see what the sky has to offer. While there are no little green men running around there is some wild activity above their heads. As Josh puts it, "Holy ****! What the **** am I looking at!!"

Right above them are two bright lights moving in strange patterns. One is clearly brighter than the other. They move in an odd formation, don’t appear to be commercial aircraft and then mysteriously disappear. Just like in the X-Files, they are there one minute and then gone the next.

Ok, I’ll say it, what the hell were those? When they take the evidence back to be analyzed, the amateur photographs turn out to be pictures of actual missile launches. You can see the cone in the front and with the early morning sun, they are quite dramatic. They are flying objects for sure, but man-made and sent up from earth. That large sphere they found turns out to be high grade titanium, man-made, and more than likely part of the same rocket launch. That would also explain the hot metal Josh found out in the field. It’s most likely a cast off from one of the launches.

But Ok, what about the orbs in the sky. There isn’t really an answer for that. Those more than likely were real unidentified flying objects. Does that mean they were spacecraft from another world? I won’t go that far, but something sure as hell was up there. Did they misidentify a regular aircraft? Is it some other part of the Kazakhstan space program? Was is unusual reflection of a perfectly normal object?

Swedish Lake Monster

For the second part of the episode the team heads over to Sweden to investigate a lake monster. Reports go back for hundreds of years of something large and snake-like lurking in the lake and even the government has set up a facility to gather data on it.

But first, there is the obligatory trip to the market and an incident involving liquorice that none of us will soon forget.

As with UFOs, there are plenty of eyewitness photos showing something large, albeit blurry in the water. So the team grabs some boats, put on some dive gear and heads into the frigid water.

Even though everything looks pretty clear from above, the water is quite murky and riddled with debris. Using the underwater ROV as well as going in themselves it’s almost impossible to see anything beyond your hand. There is stuff flying by the monitors on a regular basis and nothing in that mass appears to have definable shape.

That’s sort of the problem when doing investigations underwater like this. The water is horrible dirty and loaded with objects passing the camera. There is no sense of scale. Everything is blurry and out of focus. Elvis could go swimming by and you wouldn’t realize it. As we’ve seen so many times before, even a log in the distance can look creature light under these conditions.

But the team tracks several thermal images, disturbances in the water and does their best to not get lost and separated as they dive at night.

So, what is the end result? Quite possibly the photos are of debris and logs as we might expect. Some of the underwater footage could be seaweed swirling in the water. Some images might even be of a very large Pike. However, those are mostly guesses and nothing conclusive.

The heat signature the captured couldn’t easily be explained. Fish won’t give off heat signatures like that. Josh apparently captured a heat image of something that was about 15 feet long, swimming and diving in the water. Strange indeed.

I’m not sure if Josh proved or disproved the theory of the Lake Monster. If nothing else, he’s added more to the legend.

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