Destination Truth

Destination Truth – Ghost of Petra/The Lizard Man S03E14

Josh and team head to Amman, Jordan to hunt for ghosts in the ancient city of Petra. Since I’m not up on my geography I was amused to have Josh bring me right up to speed on where Petra is through his use of the Indiana Jones series. Clearly Josh is a movie buff and knows how to clue in an audience.

A creature known as the Djinn (as in Gin and Tonic) is said to haunt the ruins of the tombs of the city. Right off the bat we have issues with luggage at the airport. Undaunted Josh heads to the local market to buy some new threads for Vanessa. She gets some fine clothes that cover her from head to toe, literally.

You know, the markets Josh end up in are some of the coolest places. They always seem to sell everything he might need, such as tomatoes, green beans and evil eye necklaces. These foreign markets, they have gifts for everyone.

After getting some local information Josh heads out into the middle of the desert to look for nomads who know about the Djinn. Nomads in the desert, that ought to be easy. Is it me or does it look like Josh is doing some stunt driving out there in the desert?

But you can’t go by 4×4 forever, eventually you have to ditch them for Josh’s favorite animal, the Camel. And the camel will take you to nomads.

While gathered around the fire the nomads guarantee that Josh will see the spirit. If you go out into the desert alone you will experience it. Is it the wind? Is it confusion over the immensity of the desert itself? Hard to say, but Josh heads out the next morning and finds some excavation workers who’ve had experiences. They claim they hear knives or swords clanging together and see shadows lurking in the tombs. They also hear their names being called when there is no one around.

In short order Josh is at Petra and sets up base camp. They set up right in front of the ruins and head out with the thermal imager. As you might expect, the place is extremely rocky and treacherous. Certainly the wind and echoes could play tricks on you. And speaking of tricks, Evan sees some flash of light streak past the camera.

They press on and go into the tomb where they hear the sound of rocks falling and then the sound of two swords clanging together. Immediately they experience what all the people have been claiming. Since the tomb is carved, there shouldn’t be any rocks falling. Josh sets up some more trap cameras and recorders to capture any more activity.

After the tomb, they move on to the next location. Ryder nearly falls off the cliff as they walk around in the dark, but makes it to the large room where they do an EVP session. They hear chanting and get someone saying "Yes" when asked if anyone is in there with them. They also get some wild spikes on the EMF meter when there is clearly no electricity out there.

The team does a regroup then moves off to different locations with Josh deciding it’s a good idea to go rock climbing in the middle of the night in the middle of the desert. Apparently any time is a good time to repel a sheer rock face. Meanwhile, base camp sees a shadow in the amphitheater and sends Ryder out after it. She doesn’t pick anything up but lets the recorders run.

As the sun comes up, the team heads back to the US with footage in hand to have it analyzed. Once again, Josh turns to the Ghost Hunters to have a look at what he has. The orb they see moving is either a bug or a bird. They agree someone is saying "Yes" in the tomb and they also hear the sounds of rocks and swords clashing.

In the end they don’t come away with anything truly solid, but they get some unusual sounds that match up with what locals hear. Is the place haunted or at least paranormal? Hard to say, they don’t capture too much, but what they do get is hard to explain for the area. If anything, they’ve added to the experiences and to the mystery of Petra.

Bishopville, South Carolina.

First off, I’m ever so disappointed I didn’t know Josh was filming in my neck of the woods. Columbia is a mere two hours down the road from me and had I known I would have made a pilgrimage. But I’m sure this is exactly why he doesn’t tell anyone where he’s going. I’m sure the last thing he needs is people tracking him down and expressing their man crushes for him while he’s trying to hunt dangerous things.

But moving on. The residents of Bishopville claim to have a Lizard Man that is attacking cars and scaring the locals. He went dormant for years but has resurfaced again.

Josh in the South… Get ready!

And did he spend extra to get that Wagoneer or what?

And the hat, the hat completes the look!

Where is the first stop for the team? That’s right, the diner for the Lizard Sandwich then some shopping for Lizard Man paraphernalia. To find people who’ve had experiences Josh puts up posters for a town meeting. One person who’s had experiences and was sent to track it down was the Sherriff. He’s even got castings of its feet. Next up is Dixie who says her car was mauled by the creature and caused some severe damage. And finally we have Frank, a local pilot, who’s seen the creature during the daylight hours.

Now, here we have a backwoods pilot offering to take Josh up for a ride in a slightly unusual aircraft. Who else thought this was going to end in disaster? Come on, raise your hands. Maybe Josh should have accepted a swig from the unmarked container of "liquor" Frank offered. Just to calm his nerves and all. Especially for the landing, since Frank isn’t all that good at putting the "experimental" plane back on the ground.

Kamikaze flight over, Josh heads back to his town meeting. But first, a stop to visit the Button King and the legendary toilet covered in buttons.

At the town meeting everyone seems to have a story of the Lizard Man and warn Josh of snakes and other creatures that lurk in the swamps. After some fine food and dancing with the townsfolk, Josh snags some ATVs (he seems to like those this season) and heads out into the swamp.

Josh is one of those guys who finds some rickety structure in the middle of a field and feels compelled to climb it. Bless his heart. But while he’s up there he gets something on the thermal and gives chase. Right at that time the perimeter alarm goes off. The hunt is on! And then gunshots!

While trekking through the woods they hear growls and grunting. They get to the perimeter alarm and hear more growling in a thicket of bushes. Without blinking Josh brandishes his machete, ready for action. The growls in the bushes get pretty loud and angry so Josh retreats before the team is totally mauled. It’s not the Lizard Man so best leave it alone.

But he’s not done for the night. Josh decides to put on the hip waders and head deeper into the swamp. Always a good idea! Thin rubber always defends against swamp creatures!

Evan sees a big pair of the eyes in the darkness which more than likely has them chasing a coyote, which then turns into a pack of coyotes.

With the night wearing thin the team heads home to check out the evidence. The growls are coyotes or feral dogs. The damage done to the cars couldn’t have come from anything lizard like and more than likely aren’t even from teeth. And the big evidence, the castings of the feet, all turn out to be identical and a fraud.

This is one of the rare times where Josh flat out calls something a hoax and a fake. The Lizard Man is a harmless hoax, now advertising gimmick for the people of Bishopville. But they have cool characters and some fine Southern cooking, so all’s well that ends well.

Other Articles of Interest:

Destination Truth – Haunted Mining Town/Taniwha S03E13

Haunted Mining Town:

Without a doubt that has got to be the scariest cemetery on the face of the earth! Out in the middle of nowhere with open graves and exposed skeletons? That’ll test your mettle.

Josh and team head to Chile to investigate a mine that is reportedly haunted with the souls of it’s former workers. As you might expect with any mining venture, the conditions were very poor and some say it bordered on slavery. People lived and died within the mines and even children were put to work in the less than ideal conditions. The mine is now abandoned but people report apparitions, shadows, voices and even children playing in the abandoned school. People even report capturing ghostly pictures while out there.

As you may expect, Josh starts his monster seeking with a trip to the market. As you might also expect it has some interesting food; plenty of raw fish and other items which aren’t quite dead yet. Undaunted, Josh dives right in.

I’m also getting the sense that no matter where Josh goes, a parade or festival isn’t far behind. It’s not long before Team Truth is dancing in the streets and Josh is playing the cymbals. I think he has parade floats on speed dial.

But that’s only the beginning of the fun. To "get a lay of the land" or that’s the claim anyway, Josh goes parasailing with guest star Allison Scagliotti, which he has dubbed "Scags". After scaring the crap out of her they jump into ATVs and race over hill and dale to the coordinates they marked on the GPS. So far, this is looking like some out of control vacation instead of a hunt for the paranormal.

Have no fear, Josh makes his way to the site and the creepy factor goes through the roof! The team sets up base camp then Josh and Scags head out to explore the abandoned town. Within minutes they find old photos, a hand made shoe from a small child and some bones. They press on and find the town cemetery that has long been deserted and that now sports open graves and exposed skeletons. It’s shockingly creepy! The bodies and the bones are clearly visible and Josh feels this is ground zero for paranormal activity. Ya think?! So, without adieu he starts solo EVP sessions in the middle of the night. EGAD!

You can tell everyone is completely scared out of their minds and Scags and Ryder claim to hear noises and voices. Ryder hears sounds coming from a spot they later discover is the head of an open grave. That’s just not right!

Before the teams has coronaries they set up the night vision cameras and then head over to the sister city with the abandoned school where children are reported to be heard.

Gabe and Rex start things off with an EVP session in what they think is a grave. With the entrance closed, Rex swears he hears banging above him and wants Gabe to let him out. Meanwhile Josh, Mike and Scags hang out in the old school where Mike claims to see strange lights moving all around. While all this is going on Josh sees a figure moving in the hallway which he captures on the thermal imager. Low and behold it does look like a figure walking in the doorway. Just a little unnerving.

There is also some audio evidence of someone saying "No" to a question and the words "I am" in response to, "is anyone still there."

Josh also gets a ton of photographic evidence of a mist that covers dozens on photos. But he dismisses them as just an anomaly. I thought was pretty interesting. Most people think a blur in the camera is a sure sign of the paranormal. I guess his photography background makes him more suspicious of such things.

Paranormal activity or not this place is creepy! An abandoned town, lost pictures, bones scattered around, the scariest cemetery ever, and something odd in the hallway will certainly make the mind wander. Is it haunted? Does it matter?


In New Zealand there supposedly lives a large sea creature that lurks in the water. It attacks and scares the fisherman and has grown to be the stuff of legend by the Maori. And you know if these guys are scared of something it must be damn dangerous!

Josh first has to be accepted by the Maori tribe so he participates in the acceptance ritual and sits down to have a large tattoo chipped into his face. Say what you will, but Josh really respects the rituals and beliefs of other cultures.

While talking to about the game plan for the night something is caught moving on the IR camera and the team plunges into the water after it. The vegetation is thick and Josh claims he sees things moving in the water.

They lose track of it but move to the bigger boats they’ve hired to cast a bigger net. Josh gets hits on the thermal imager and sees things moving in the water. They can’t quite get close enough to it to tell what it is for sure. But before they can make chase a swarm of bugs descends on the team. For a team that deals with monsters they’re pretty unnerved by these flying bugs and chaos ensues. The best Josh can do is gun the engine and make for open water. Ryder claims she is going to soak the boat in gasoline and light it on fire as soon as they hit shore. I think they lost their cool for a minute there.

Back on shore and not consumed by bugs Rex and Evan throw caution to the wind and go wandering around in the caves at night. Of course, Rex feels something brush past his leg in the dark. You fully expect that at any second Rex is going to be pulled underwater and Evan is going to have to call CP3O to get R2D2 to turn off the trash compactor… Oh wait, wrong story.

Before things get out of hand they sober up and head back to shore.

Anyway, the team gets some evidence but in the end they feel what they’re chasing is a very large, but very real eel. Perhaps the one the Maori see is an extremely large one, but in the end, an eel seems the most plausible answer. Not quite an aquatic dinosaur though.

And just think, even though there was a boat involved Josh didn’t run out of gas and get stranded in the middle of lake. His luck must be changing!

Seriously, that cemetery is creepy!!!

Other Articles of Interest:

Interview with Josh Gates of Destination Truth

Here’s a very interesting article about Josh Gates and Destination Truth. He answers a lot of questions about the show, the places he’s been and why he does what he does. Plus he gives a little detail on why people keep disappearing off the show.

One thing that really strikes me is his passion. You can tell from the show and from this interview that he has a passion for travel and wants to immerse himself in other cultures. And since every culture has their own myths and legends which guide and shape them as a people, it’s really fascinating how Josh can bring that all together in an exciting and intriguing way. It’s funny, he sees the show as more of a travel show with a paranormal edge. I feel the same way.

Of course, they didn’t go into his luck with vehicles which still intrigues the hell out of me.

Check out the interview, it’s a great read!

Other Articles of Interest:

Destination Truth – Jersey Devil/The Yeren S03E12

Was it just me or did anyone else think the helicopter Josh ordered up was going to have to make an emergency landing in the middle of the night in the middle of the forest?

The Jersey Devil

Josh and head team head to Pennsylvania to track down the mysterious Jersey Devil. Plenty of people claim to have seen it and their descriptions make it out to be a winged beast with glowing red eyes.

I have to admit I was a little taken aback by the fact that the forest the Devil apparently lives in is over a million acres in size. It’s a bit surprising anyone has seen anything in a strip of land that big.

But after doing some "antiquing" at the local Jersey Devil souvenir shop the team heads out with Kris Williams of the Ghost Hunters to survey the land to see what kind of terrain the Devil lives in. And what should they find out in the woods? You guessed it, a bunch of guys dressed in what looks like Civil War reenactment garb, hanging out by the campfire, singing songs of the Jersey Devil. Undaunted, Josh joins in with the merry band, fires off a few shots from a rifle and hands out bottles of wine. The Destination Truth team knows how to party. And they know the right supplies to bring on a camping expedition.

Obviously no investigation that night, but in the morning the team heads out by motorcycle and kayak to scout for additional locations of where the Devil may be lurking. They find a decent spot and set up base camp.

The thing I find funny is that while on the investigation Kris Williams seems completely clueless as to what’s going on. She has no idea what Josh is doing, or why, and seem rather bewildered. Basically, she’s just along for the ride. At least she didn’t go hunting for a couch.

But it’s not the time for any old investigation, Josh wants to survey the forest from the air via the use of a helicopter he’s arranged. Considering his usual luck with vehicles, this sounds like a great idea. Josh and Kris go speeding through the forest to get to the helipad and low and behold almost crash headlong into a deer. Josh just barely escapes what would have been a massive accident. I saw the whole show flash right before my very eyes!

Undaunted, Josh takes to the air to survey the forest, while Ryder shimmies up an old abandoned fire tower. Again, how could this possibly be a bad idea? At the top of the tower, Ryder sends up the Bat Signal to guide Josh to their location. Oddly, as Josh is making a sweep there is something moving around in the trees. Josh captures it on the thermal, marks the coordinates in the GPS and then tries to track it down by foot.

Meanwhile, back at base camp, something is captured on the night vision camera flying along the treetops. The team spreads out to see what they can find. They don’t see it again, and don’t get any thermal hits.

The night vision images don’t yield much, the flying object isn’t discernable and they really can’t make out the size or shape. They do some more tracking but aren’t able to capture anything solid. They do find some random bones which Josh takes back with him just in case.

The bones he finds are from a deer, which could be what people are mistaking the Devil for. And even the evidence they managed to bring back from the Jersey Devil museum doesn’t yield any results. A fun night in the woods, but no real explanation of what’s happening.

Could the Jersey Devil just be a deer that people narrowly miss on a dark and lonely road? Are the screams and howls just the coyotes off in the distance? Is the flying creature just a large, or perhaps not so large bird hunting for prey at night?

Without any hard evidence, I guess the mystery continues.

The Yeren

A Chinese cousin to Bigfoot lurks in the cold mountains and an official search has been sanctioned by the government. Josh and team mount up and lend a hand to find evidence of the beast. And for this trek they bring back Jael to help with the investigation. As Josh says she’s a better researcher than she is a baggage handler and chaos ensues at baggage claim.

Next up is a trip to the doctor for Gabe and a little acupuncture. Stick him like a voodoo doll and light him up! Nothing like some electricity to soothe the back.

With Gabe on the mend Josh visits with a witness who claims to know exactly where the Yeren lives. He even claims to have hair samples from the beast.

Armed with what they feel is the home of the Yeren they head up the river and entertain themselves with their own makeshift KunFu movies.

Of course the best line of the whole show comes when Mike says, "No one’s better at almost finding monsters than us!" That totally took me by surprise. But just when you thought it couldn’t go off the rails any more, Evan speaks Goat Chinese. No wait, I take that back, it gets worse when Josh starts playing with a slingshot and shoots Bobby in the head on the side of the mountain. Damn, the air must be thin up there!

No wait, it really does get worse as Josh finds a fireworks stand in the middle of the night and buys the biggest container of fireworks I’ve ever seen! It’s the size of a small fridge! Without wasting a second he heads out into the middle of the street and lights it on fire! Run like Hell!! And that’s why I watch this show!

The next morning Josh sobers up and hikes up the mountain to the Stone Forest, the hotspot for the sightings. They make base camp and head out on a sweep. In short order Josh and Jael find a cave and as you might expect, Josh doesn’t hesitate to go down the creepy dark tunnel.

Rex, Bobby and team find trampled trees and then something crosses the perimeter alarm. The team scrambles to the location, racing over the rickety bridge and chasing down a thermal hit along the ridge.

Hot on the trail, Josh tracks down a great big pile of … scat. So much so that Mike is afraid of it.

But things start getting slick and Josh nearly falls in the river. With that, the investigation comes to an end and Josh heads back with the evidence collected.

The thermal hit is too blurry to be of use and the fecal evidence is degraded. Unfortunately they don’t come away with much. They might have been chasing something down in the forest but who knows what it was. They never really got close enough to say what it was if anything.

At least for now, the Yeren will still remain elusive.

But as Mike says, they’re the best at almost catching monsters.

Other Articles of Interest:

Recent Comments