Destination Truth

Destination Truth – Naree Pon/Aiya Napa – S04E13

Naree Pon

For this part of the adventure Josh heads to Thailand to investigate a creature that sounds too wild and fantastical to be true. Part animal and part plant, Josh is looking for the Naree Pon. It’s a legend that is turning into reality. The Naree Pon has been blamed for several disappearances and some claim it’s actually capable of attacking people. There have been many eyewitness sightings and there is even some physical evidence in the form of mummified remains.

Josh heads to a monastery to have a look at the remains. They do indeed look like small little animals. At first they almost seem like tiny monkeys. Josh isn’t able to take any samples so he does his best by taking photos.

To get to where the Naree Pon is supposed to live Josh enlists the help of some elephants. The adventure continues with Josh and team doing some impromptu repelling. It all looks pretty rough and dangerous, but at least Ryder didn’t fall down the mountain.

The team sets up base camp and heads out into the night. They find a slew of statues, a poisonous snake and a massive cave that Josh has to investigate. The cave looks like it used to be a shrine or perhaps even the focus of a small village. They don’t come across any real evidence but Josh takes quite a tumble on the slippery rocks.

At the end of the investigation they take the photos, the only evidence they have, to Jim Dines. It turns out he’s not actually sure what the creatures are. They’re certainly odd, but he’s not really ready to say what they are. For now the whole thing will still remain a mystery.

Aiya Napa

For the next adventure Josh heads to Cypress to track down a mysterious sea monster that is said to live in the caves surrounding the area. Fishermen claim to see it and also report that it’s chewing up their nets. There are also several local eyewitness accounts.

The team heads out to the caves where the creature may be hiding and decide the fastest way of getting to them is by jumping off the cliff. Josh is on a roll! He’s jumping off everything!

The caves are too small to hide a sea monster so they charter a boat and head out into the open water. They do a late night dive with the help of an ROV. While searching Josh swears something massive goes swimming by. At the same time Ryder loses control of the ROV. Is there a massive shark circling around them?

They don’t get any confirmation so they head topside and continue on from there. They’re unable to capture any more evidence even within the wreck of an old ferry and soon call it a night. In the end they think this is a case of mistaken identity and that more than likely people are just seeing sharks.

All nautical cities have legends of sea creatures to account for disasters, bad fishing days and accidents that happen. Those legends still hold true today. As long as we have fishing we’ll have stories of sea monsters. But as with so many DT episodes, it’s not about finding the creature it’s about going to the markets and taking in the nightlife. Watching Josh and the team race around in taxi motorcycles and having Josh handcuffed was hysterical. That’s why I love this show!

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Destination Truth – Jungle Temple Ghosts & Namibian Night Stalker – S04E12

Jungle Temple Ghosts

For the first part of the episode the team heads to Thailand to investigate giant spirits haunting a jungle temple. Dozens of people claim to see these entities and there is even some (typically blurry) footage of something moving around one of the local buildings.

As Josh looks into the matter he learns the spirits are being punished and that’s why they have to remain among the living. He’s also told they can be extremely dangerous and can even kill.

In usual fashion we start things off with a trip to the market where you can basically buy anything. The one thing they seem to be lacking is a medallion to keep Ryder from falling over all the time. Alas, this would have been handy as several minutes later we see Ryder take a pretty severe tumble on her motorcycle as they’re taking the back roads to the temple. It’s one hell of a spill, which of course they play in slow motion so you can get the full experience of the impact. Ryder needs some stitches but she carries on like a trooper and they set up camp at the temple.

The team sees some strange lights in the sky like lightning or fireworks off in the distance. There is also some sort of light anomaly at the temple entrance. It looks like someone with a flashing light but no one from the team is supposed to be in that area.

There are plenty of odd sounds coming from the jungle and at one point there appears to be something moving around. It’s only on the thermal for a second but when Josh gives chase he comes up empty handed.

The big experience for the night is Rex getting chocked. He feels like he’s got some hands wrapped around his neck and nearly falls over. Is he actually being choked by these ill tempered spirits or did he just swallow a massive bug?

Evidence was a little on the light side. There is the thermal hit, the odd lights which could have been anything and the small light at the entrance. But what about Rex? Did he get choked? Interesting stuff to be sure.

And what about the footage taken by the witness? Oddly, you would expect something so noticeable as spirits climbing a building to be seen by hundreds of witnesses. But the reports seem a little low. And strangely that figure moving looks an awful lot like a moth.

Namibian Night Stalker

For the second part Josh and the team out to Namibia to hunt down what sounds like El Chupacabra. It’s the Namibian Night Stalker that sinks it’s fangs into its victim then drains out all the blood.

They talk with many people who claim to have seen the creature and who’ve had animals attacked by it. They claim it rips the animal apart and then disappears without leaving traces. It all sounds quite gruesome.

As they head out into the bush they come across a dead giraffe. Oddly, it has marks on the neck and has been torn apart. There are also a couple of footprints they take pictures of for later analysis.

They set up base camp and head out among the goats to see what they can find. Once again there are plenty of animal sounds but no real evidence of the creature they’re looking for. Jael joins the hunt and she and Josh come across a village that looks to have been abandoned. It doesn’t look to have been attacked, the people just seem to have left. Perhaps they moved on to their summer home.

The team does come across a dead goat which looks to have met a pretty violent end. There’s not much to be done about it and there’s no animal tracks they can follow.

Plenty of things are moving in the bushes but all in all they don’t capture much. The evidence they do have is taken back and we find out that the giraffe was killed by lions. The other carcass is a little harder to determine. It may have been the same thing, perhaps it’s just rotting away in the desert.

Is there some blood sucking creature lurking in Namibia? Sort of looks more like the standard animals like lions and hyenas.

Again the best part of this show is them getting there. The markets are wildly entertaining and their little side trips make it all worthwhile.

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Destination Truth – Sandstorm Spirits Cerro Azul – S04E11

Sandstorm Sprits

For the start of this adventure we head off to Namibia to investigate an abandoned town which has all but been buried by the sands of time. It used to be a mining town where the conditions were harsh before it all went bust. As with any mining town there was plenty of danger and death. The claims are that workers are still there and you can see, hear and feel them.

Our adventure starts off in the market with Rex getting a new outfit has to be seen to be believed. Dare I say, that is a lot of pink! But not to be outdone, the team tries some of the local food fair with Allie showing some really poor taste by going in for seconds on the bugs.

Once they get to the area they do some aerial recon. Was there any sort of doubt there would be a problem with the plane? After all these seasons I’m surprised anyone actually gets into a plane with Josh.

After touching back down they head out by car on a long journey to the city. Bored with the car ride Ryder feels she is ready to take on the native animals in a foot race. Jael does nothing to bring her back to reality and soon Ryder is trying to match her speed against an ostrich. There are no points to be given for figuring out how that ends.

But the investigation’s the thing and soon they arrive at the town, by dune buggy no less. It’s been completely abandoned and the sand is piled up like a massive snow drift. There are clearly no people here and no electricity. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were plenty of animals around the place though.

Jael and Ryder start by putting the tri-field meter near the window and start to get activity on the lights. They hear some noise and Jael nearly soils her pants. She and Ryder come bolting out of the building to find absolutely nothing going on.

Now that they’re back together with Josh they do an EVP session and get some activity on the meter lights. Right at this point Ryder starts having problems breathing and says something is squeezing her chest. They head out before something bad happens.

Meanwhile, Rex finds a basement or crawl space while checking out the school so he goes down to see what’s going on. As he sits he hears footsteps right above him. When he starts to go back up the stairs he too soils himself when he supposedly sees something. Instead of staying calm and checking it out he basically throws himself down the stairs. He also gets a nosebleed which I’m sure has nothing to do with the dry air and all the dirt floating around.

The big fun is in the butchery where Jael swears something is whispering to her. She keeps swatting at her hair like something is trying to touch her. She gets pretty unnerved and wants to get out of there.

Honestly, this part of the episode bugged the hell out of me. They are going out to hunt the paranormal, but every time something happens they completely lose themselves and go running from what they came to find. Rex runs back down the stairs and Jael can’t wait to get away from the whispers. After four seasons you would think these people would be a little more tolerant of the strange and unusual. Stop flipping out when you find what you’re looking for!

Cerro Azul

The second adventure returns to Panama to investigate a bizarre, hairless animal that some local boys claim to have killed and took pictures of. They claim it came after them and they were defending themselves. Josh is on the trail to find out what it is.

In typical style they get a fancy ride in the form of the Magic School Bus. I think Josh needs to bring that back to the States or at least keep it around for other adventures. That bus was a beauty.

But on with the investigation as Josh hooks up with the kids who actually had the encounter. They claim it came after them and they were scared of it. They think plenty more are living in the jungle.

They go and see the Embra tribe who also believe other animals like that may be lurking in the jungle. It seems awfully convenient that Josh just happens to have a zip line in his bag. Apparently he has the bag of many things.

Out into the jungle they go to search for evidence. There are plenty of wild sounds and even a Pit Viper out for a midnight stroll.

Josh finds a cave so of course they head in. Something is living there since the fish are being eaten and the carcasses cast aside. And just then, something happens in the water and the whole team comes unglued. There is a slew of yelling and screaming and total panic. I’m just really surprised at the lack of composure going on here.

Then the perimeter alarm goes off, but it turns out to be nothing except a sloth roaming around in the trees. I’m surprised that little guy moved fast enough to set it off.

And that is the basic gist of the night. When they get the photograph of the dead animal back to Mike Dees he immediately comes up with the answer to the mystery. The creature shown in the photo is nothing more than a hairless sloth. If that is true and it certainly sounds like it is, those boys killed one of the slowest moving creatures on the planet. To hell with the idea that they were attacked and in danger. And quite frankly why did we go on this adventure to begin with?

But it does go to show that when we see something out of the ordinary we jump to conclusions rather than looking for the simplest explanation.

This was still a really fun episode from the travel aspect but I have never seen the team this jumpy. After all this time I wouldn’t expect them to have these kinds of jitters. I have to say, this one disappointed me a little.

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Destination Truth – Haunted Island Prison/Ucumar – S04E10

Haunted Island Prison, Panama

Josh kicks off the regular season with a trip down to Panama to investigate a haunted prison. And not just any prison, but one that was managed by Manuel Noriega. And we all know what happened to him.

Many people report screams, voices, see apparitions and the sounds of the cells rattling. Not to mention the island is surrounded by shark infested waters, is now overgrown with vegetation and is home to many a deadly snake. It’s a lovely tourist attraction.

As you might expect, the fun begins with a trip to the market where Josh finds many elixirs you can use in your every day travels. They also outfit themselves with some very stylish hats. And if you talk to the right street vendor you can fend off the heat with a shower of shaved ice. The locals are very accommodating to groups with their own camera crews.

Josh interviews former professional boxer Roberto Duran who is no fan of the island. When training out there he was told about figures that hide in the forest, the sound of footsteps, screams and whining. He has no intention of ever going back out there again.

Another witness, a former inmate, actually escaped from the prison to get away from the ghosts. There are ghosts that bang on the cell bars and taunt the guards. He says there is another man they need to talk to who worked at the prison.

Getting to him turns out to be no easy feat as the road simply ends. Not to be stopped, Josh grabs some kayaks and heads down the river. The river turns into the Pacific and the kayaks turn over in the Pacific. The team is dumped amongst the waves and the rocks and manages to escape to dry land and continue on with the interview of their witness. Except they don’t have a translator and Gabe is not entirely versed in the language. His Spanish is merely at a high school level. But they muddle through and hear a story about a guard chasing down what he thought was a prisoner but turned out to be a spirit. The guard was so frightened he actually took his own life. I’m not sure what these guards are seeing but it’s putting some fear into them.

Since the island truly is an island and not just a few feet out in the water the team has to get there by boat and by helicopter. While Josh is surveying the scene from the air, the pilot says the weather is getting bad and he can’t land. Instead of going back and making another journey Josh decides to abandon ship and jumps out of the helicopter. It was pretty damn spectacular. One of the few aircraft that is working perfectly fine and he decides to ditch it.

As for the investigation they do come across some massive snakes right off the bat so definitely creatures lurking in the jungle. Josh heads over to the cell blocks where they hear a large crash. I like that he dismisses it as the building just collapsing in on itself. Clearly it’s a rotted mess. But in the cell blocks themselves they do hear footsteps and the sound of something banging against the bars. We need to keep in mind they’re in the jungle so obviously there are animals. It’s raining so there are sounds from that and the water is dripping which could also be making odd noises. There are definitely noises just as people describe, but are they paranormal?

Josh decides to try an EVP session and gets some of the lights on the meter. At the same time there is a big orb on the perimeter camera which turns out to be a bug floating around. See, not every ball of light is someone’s energy trying to invade your body.

Ryder gets a big scare as she works her way around the guard barracks, but it turns out to be a large frog playing in the water. That does go to show that there are odd noises and lots of movement but that they’re perfectly natural.

Josh thinks he sees something jump into the jungle but instead of going off and being eaten by a snake they figure it’s best to call it a night.

There is a lot going on out there but I think most everything can be easily explained. The animals are giving people a fright and the sound of the rain is playing tricks with them. Is there more going on out there? If there is, they weren’t able to capture it on this trip.

Ucumar, Buenos Aires

The Ucumar is a large animal that lives in the foothills and supposedly comes down to feed on the livestock of ranchers. It has dark fur, big claws and walks upright. Sort of sounds like El Chupacabra.

Once again we start off in the market where Josh and team hone their tango skills. Josh actually seems quite versed in this. And to fit into the mood of the place Josh gets an Indiana Jones hat and an old military truck to go with it. As they head out to look for witnesses they come across ranchers who just happen to be in the midst of a huge BBQ. Josh blends in and feels this is the place they should stay for awhile. Perhaps he has no plans of leaving.

The ranchers say they have seen the creature and even shot it. They produce a skull and say it’s not like anything else around. They also say the creature was seen looking for food around the local garbage dump so the team heads out to survey the land.

While out on the investigation the horses they’re riding get spooked so they have to go the rest of the way on foot. There is quite a bit of howling in the night and Rex takes a really big tumble down a hill after following what he thought was a figure or a shadow.

The perimeter alarm starts going off, but there is nothing in the area. Josh finds a cave and decides to have a look. He’s just about to leave when he discovers a big footprint inside. Right after that they get something on the thermal and hear some growling. They give chase but don’t catch up with it. Again, there is a lot going on but they aren’t really capturing anything.

With the investigation over, they head home to review the evidence.

The never before seen bones are from a dog so no Ucumar there. However, the footprint is from a bear that is very rare for that area. In fact Jim Dines says the footprint is quite a discovery on its own. The conclusion then is that people are seeing this bear and mistaking it for the Ucumar. It seems Josh has solved the mystery and shown the location of a bear whose population is dwindling. That’s not too shabby.

I have to say the best part was Josh jumping out of that helicopter. That was just cool!

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