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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Beast Hunter – Mongolian Death Worm – S01E05


Mongolian Death Worm

The Mongolian death worm is rumored to live in the Gobi Desert, one of the most inhospitable regions of the planet. This freakish creature is said to spray acid, send out electric shocks and explode when threatened. After traveling to the vast, empty wilderness, Spain dives in with the locals to garner some leads. To impress them, he finds himself in over his head- literally – fighting one of Mongolia’s top wrestlers.

For this adventure Pat is trying to track down the creature known as the Mongolian Death Worm. A huge worm that is said to shoot acid, electrocutes its victims, is toxic to the touch and might exploded when people try to capture it. It’s one of the oddest creatures out there and if the rumors are to be believed, the most dangerous.

Mongolia is not for the faint of heart. It’s a vast desert where only those who know what they’re doing will survive. To try and gain the friendship of the locals Pat indulges in some Mongolian wrestling. As you expect this goes very badly. Not only is the outfit not something you want to look directly at, but Pat is a really crappy wrestler and gets tossed to the ground with relative ease. But he takes it all in good stride and does gain some favor with the natives. Perhaps they take pity on the skinny, pale foreigner.

They tell him many stories of the Death Worm. A witness says he and some others came across the beast and when trying to kill it, it exploded. Keep in mind they were trying to kill it with gasoline so who knows what kind of explosion they were setting up for themselves. Gasoline and the heat of the desert, what could go wrong there?

Another witness claims to have seen the worm as well. She describes it as a big sausage and stayed away. She’d heard too many stories about how deadly it was to get close. Pat shows her several pictures of animals and she says she knows the difference between the local snakes and the Death Worm.

To figure out what people might be seeing, Pat consults with a local scientist. He believes there could be something like the Death Worm, but he also feels that people could be seeing local snakes. Giant earthworms do exist that grow to be several feet long and several inches around. However, they don’t have the deadly killing powers people attribute to the Death Worm.

To understand why the Death Worm may be toxic to the touch, Pat heads out with a guide to search for a plant called the goya. This is a native plant and could be a food source for the worm. It is in fact toxic, but ironically both Pat and the guide eat some. I agree with Pat, the idea of eating and swallowing a toxic plant doesn’t really sound like a good idea. Death would be on my mind as well.

His guides take Pat to a Mongolian BBQ where the men tell stories of the deadly worm. It should also be mentioned they ladle out the homemade vodka. Homemade hooch and storytelling, what could possibly go wrong?

The men claim the death worm can spit acid as well as blood. It also has an electrical charge that kills people. As they keep drinking the Death Worm is pretty much capable of anything and everything.

The next day Pat heads out into the desert to where sightings have occurred. He sets up trap cameras and when night falls he heads out with a thermal imager. There is no shortage of wildlife with lizards, rabbits and plenty of snakes. He starts to play with a cricket and swears he can feel an electrical charge on his skin.

As an experiment he tries to build up a static charge like the Death Worm. He proves it is possible. Is it enough to kill someone? Perhaps not, but it might be able to give them a pretty big jolt. And there is the electric eel which produces its own electrical charge so obviously such a thing does exist in nature.

After the sweep of the area at night Pat heads back to check his trap cameras. They have been knocked over and one is completely broken. There are numerous new holes in the dirt as well. Taking it at face value it might be possible to conclude the Death Worm ruined the camera and then buried itself back in the desert. But Pat looks deeper and does have some unusual footage on one of the cameras. At first it looks quite shocking and unusual. But as it plays he realizes that it is nothing more than a cow knocking over the camera. It does make the point that seen from a different angle even the most ordinary things look completely alien.

As a final experiment Pat is taken to a shed where some men have caught a rat snake. It has many tinges of red so it can blend in with the red earth of the area. It has similar markings to what people claim for the Death Worm. Could a fat rat snake be the culprit?

In the end Pat doesn’t get any hard evidence to support the claim of the Death Worm. But, if you take the traits individually there are animals in nature that it could be. There are frogs that shoot blood from the eyes. The electric eel which packs a mighty punch. Plenty of toads and frogs are toxic to the touch. And earthworms that could actually be the right size. Oddities like this are out there, they just aren’t there in one package.

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Beast Hunter – Sea Serpent of the North – S01E04


Sea Serpent of the North

For generations, fishermen have told tales of sea monsters. One of the world’s most legendary monsters is a sea serpent known as Cadborosaurus, or “Caddy,” which has been reported off the coast of British Columbia for more than a century. But to science, it doesn’t officially exist. Now Pat travels to Vancouver Island to track it down. He questions eyewitnesses, explores the myths of the coastal people who have occupied the area for more than 5,000 years and confers with top oceanographers.

Pat is on the trail of a sea serpent that supposedly lives off the coast of British Columbia. The locals tell of a creature that sounds similar to "Nessie" of Loch Ness fame. A serpent that glides along the water and then disappears leaving a large wake behind. But does such a thing exist? Could a Cadborosaurus actually live in the waters off Vancouver?

Pat talks with several eyewitnesses who tell a very similar story. They see a snake like animal moving along the surface of the water. It has three distinct humps and what looks to be a snake like head. The details are somewhat sketchy since it’s usually spotted quite a distance from the shore and doesn’t show much more than the humps of its back. All of the witnesses are firmly convinced it’s not a whale or dolphins or tires or any of the other standard aquatic life of the area. To them, it’s something completely new and different.

To get more information Pat hooks up with a fishing vessel and asks them about the animals they’ve seen. They’ve been trolling the waters for years so if something unusual is out there they would have a better idea of what it is. The men of the boat have seen some odd things and they while they haven’t seen "Caddy" they do believe there are plenty of unexplored animals deep in the ocean. We’ve barely explored what’s down there so it would be easy to avoid man and have an abundant food source.

The Native American culture also believes in the "Caddy" creature. They’ve been handing down the story for years. It’s even in their drawings and oral tradition. Pat is shown a rock carving where a serpent like creature is drawn. The tribe believes in the animal, but they don’t believe it’s a good omen. It’s appearance usually means trouble.

For the ultimate exploration, Pat heads down in a mini-sub into the depths. It would take a vessel like this to really explore the ocean, but the cost of building and actually using such subs is extremely expensive. Once you get down a few feet under the crushing power of the water renders most machinery useless.

While there is no real evidence to support the claim of "Caddy" could such a thing exist and be thriving? There is certainly plenty of space and food. It could easily nestle down deep and stay undiscovered. But could this also be a case of mistaken identity? Are people seeing dolphins? Are they just seeing junk floating on the water? Does someone want their own tourist attraction to bring in people and money?

It’s hard to say that a throwback aquatic dinosaur is swimming freely off the coast of Vancouver, but considering out limited understanding of the depths of the ocean it’s surprisingly possible.

I’m starting to like this show quite a bit. It presents a lot of interesting information and plenty of alternatives for what people are seeing. Something seen from a distance or from a certain point of view can entirely different than we expect. It’s also proving that science has discovered a lot, but there is still more to learn.

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