Destination Truth

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.

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Destination Truth – Great Wall/Israeli Mermaid S03E11

Great Wall of China

For the first part of the episode Josh heads off to China to investigate sprits that seem to haunt the Great Wall and have been attributed to several recent deaths. Countless lives have been lost building and defending the Great Wall, and many locals feel it is the spirit of these lost soldiers and workers who haunt the ruins. The Chinese people and the government take their ghosts very seriously and have closed down parts of the Wall to visitors. Josh and his team are the first investigative group to be allowed to make an overnight investigation of the site.

Since Josh is in China, the chances of getting a broken down car are pretty slim so he decides to risk his life another way and indulges in the local cuisine. Finding a local food market, he takes in the local color and finds plenty of food "on a stick". Taking to heart the old adage of "when in Rome", Josh chomps down on a big black scorpion that’s still moving. At least it looks like a scorpion, who knows what the devil it was. But make no mistake, it was moving! And it was on a stick!

With a belly full of bugs they called it a night and returned to the hotel. In the morning, they pressed on, and made the drive to the section of the Great Wall were several people have been killed recently. You can only go so far by 4×4, so Josh uses motorcycles to make it the rest of the way. And not just any bikes, but bikes with sidecars. And Josh in WWII vintage goggles and speaking in a crazy accent should solidify the idea that he does indeed march to a different drummer. Let’s also not forget Evan showing off his KungFu moves. And Josh giving tours of the city…

You only have to look at the narrow walkway and icy conditions to realize that just being on the Great Wall in this spot is treacherous.

And repelling down it? Well that’s another matter entirely as we see from Ryder and her minor plunge. It’s only a short slip, but I’m sure it got her heart racing. Remember kids, safety first! Josh may be crazy, but he does seem to know how to tie a knot.

The team finally sets up base camp and heads out into the night to see what they can pick up. There is lots of wind, lots of noises from animals and a couple of thermal hits which are probably nothing more than animals scurrying in the scrub. But as Josh sits doing an EVP session he thinks someone is touching and pushing the buttons on his backpack. It’s even thought that one of the buttons has been shut off.

They hear plenty of noises and feel like something is out there, but with the sun coming up, it’s time to head out and see what the evidence says.

Strangely, Josh meets up with Jason and Grant again for them to go over what he’s found. It does seem like Josh has an EVP of someone saying, "Let me be normal". What this is in reference to is anyone’s guess. Is this an injured soldier talking about his wounds? Or is it one of the crew trying to sneak in a call for help?

It’s hard to say the voices and previous activity are the work of spirits, but no doubt many of the Chinese believe in it.

Israeli Mermaid

Normally you write stories about the mermaid, not offer up $1 million for it’s capture. But that’s what the Israeli government is doing and Josh was quick to take a stab at the bounty. Local citizens have been reporting a slew of recent sightings and many people believe something mysterious is lurking in the waters.

But before the investigation begins, Josh, being the good ambassador that he is, pitches in to help erect a new mermaid statue. With massive drill in hand he does his best to help perpetuate the legend of the mermaid.

First Josh and team head out into the open water with the help of Kayaks. Apparently they forgot to read the manual where it states that when it comes to large open waves versus Kayaks, open waves usually win. After multiple false starts and being dumped out into the water, the team triumphs and heads out to the caves where the mermaid has been sighted. The waters are no calmer and after making a quick investigation the team decides to head out before they’re crushed upon the rocks.

Next, it’s off to another inlet where the mermaid has been seen for some underwater investigation. The water is so murky and dirty they basically can’t see anything. Of course, these are the exact conditions you would expect right before the mermaid makes and appearance. And then Josh sees something. Something big and black in the water. As always it could be anything, but Josh swears something went right past him.

Josh also sends out his team to scout in different locations. Team members take up residence in a lighthouse, along the shore and in another boat to see if anything happens. They do get some odd "figure" that shows up on the thermal imager and send Josh after it. As you might expect, it disappears before he can get to it. Dolphin? Lost swimmer? A log churning in the water? Hard to say, but there’s a blob on the screen.

Did Josh come away with the money? Sadly no. He doesn’t really capture any real evidence to support the claim of the mermaid, but the check is still sitting there, waiting for someone to claim it. He did however come across some nice underwater Roman ruins which are certainly worth investigating.

Even though Josh didn’t come away with much, this episode was hysterical! It has a little bit of everything; action, adventure, mystery, suspense and of course, some nasty, still crawling food. This one ranks right up there as one of my favorites.

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Destination Truth – Ghosts of Masada/The Leprechaun S03E10

Hunting for Leprechauns? On St. Patrick’s Day? In Ireland? Surely you jest! Laugh as you will, Josh and team head to Ireland to search for the wee little people. But first they head to Israel to search for the Ghosts of the Masada.

Right off the bat we see Josh has his usual luck with vehicles wherein his Jeep is dumped on the curb at the airport and then proceeds to breakdown shortly after he starts driving.

After a quick vehicle change, Josh and team are off to the Dead Sea for a little playtime on the beach. Like kids stuck in the car for too many hours, Ryder, Mike and the other beg and plead to get out and play in the water. Apparently playing in the Dead Sea isn’t dangerous enough for Josh and he hangs back by the car watching over his flock.

But then it’s on to Masada, which is the site of a mass suicide where thousands of citizens decided to end their own lives rather than submit to the Romans. People claim to hear voices and see figures roaming around.

At the synagogue, Josh, Ryder and Mike capture what looks to be a figure on the thermal imager. Now, it could just be someone else walking around up there, but it was pretty neat.

While walking around in the same area they test what the echo would be like and it’s very easy to hear low voices bounce off the terrain. In theory people talking off the distance could comes across as disembodied voices. Those spiritual voices could easily be carried by the wind.

With the evidence collected, it’s time for someone in the states to review it. I think it’s funny Josh gets Jason and Grant to check it out. Considering they don’t analyze the evidence on their own show, why are they doing it for Josh?

They agree the apparition on the thermal is pretty neat and they sort of debunk the voices and the echoes.

For the second part of the trek it’s off to Ireland in search of Leprechauns. Strangely Josh finds a group of Leprechauns right there in the airport and they have grand plans to head to London to get drunk. So, if you’re looking for Leprechauns, just hang out in the airport, sooner or later, they’ll turn up.

And speaking of, Josh and team hit the Irish Pub to learn of the Irish culture. First lesson, how to drink Guinness. Clearly this is what you need to do in order to see Leprechauns, people in town told him so. I guess it doesn’t hurt that the bar owner has a Leprechaun skeleton on the premises.

Josh doesn’t spend all his time in the pub, he does actually make it out in to the protected woods to see if there is any truth to the Leprechaun legend. They do get a few things moving around with the thermal imager and he does find some weird glowing soil; glowing as in warm, not glowing as in radioactive – that’s in Chernobyl. While on the hunt, a group of cows is discovered but alas, they are no help in finding Leprechauns.

But wait, just when you thought nothing was going to happen, they cued the dramatic music as a discovery of bones was made.

After the analysis, they were found to be sheep bones, and based on the photos Josh took, the Leprechaun bones in the bar most likely chicken bones, probably from the Buffalo Wings. While Josh did find a rainbow on his travels there was no pot of gold and no Leprechauns. Curse the bad luck.

But as always it was very amusing and Josh got plenty of shopping done.

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Destination Truth – Season 1 and Season 4

Or is it 3.5? Maybe 3.14159? Who can understand how SyFy counts their seasons…

But at any rate, we finally get to have Destination Truth Season 1 on DVD today! This has probably been the longest wait for a DVD set of a modern show. We’re three seasons in (again, depending on your counting method) and now we get to jump back all the way to the beginning and watch the original antics of Josh and crew as they search for things which might, or might not exist.

For those unfamiliar with Destination Truth it’s a show about a guy who has the worst luck with motorized vehicles. And camels. They just don’t seem to like him.

Josh Gates is a globe trekking Cryptozoologist who’s on the hunt for some of the worlds most elusive legends, including, but not limited to, the Yeti, Werewolves, El Chupacabra, Skunk Ape and Bigfoot as well as abandoned towns and villages like Chernobyl, the Haunted Forest and the Island of the Dolls. He’s also been known to visit some off the beaten path locales like the Bermuda Triangle, King Tut’s tomb and the Haunted Lost City. Are these places real? And are they really cursed? Well, that’s what Josh and his ever changing crew are going to find out.

Part paranormal investigation, part adventure travel, part what not to do in a foreign country, Josh and team investigate if there’s any truth to these legends and sightings and what could be their real world explanation. If you remember the old "In Search Of" narrated by Leonard Nimoy then you’re on the right track. That might be going back way too far for some of you, so here’s a link to get you up to speed.

You don’t have to be a fan of the paranormal to get a kick out of watching Destination Truth. If you enjoy visiting exotic and off the beaten track destinations, or enjoy watching a guy with night vision goggles run around in the middle of the night wondering what just bit him, or think that throwing caution to the wind and jumping in the bucket and winching yourself across the ravine is a grand idea or if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be in a small boat, in the middle of a Loch, while chasing a see creature, and you can’t find the shore because of the fog, and you’ve just about run out of gas, and can’t reach your team by radio, then you need to tune in.

Josh has a great narrative style and always seems to get himself into some strange predicament and meets some very interesting people. And unlike Jason and Grant, or Kim and Amy, there’s no sitting on the couch; usually because he’s in the middle of a field or abandoned village and there is no couch. And when he hears something there might be a "Dude, Run!" but it’s towards the noise, or the light, or the glowing eyes, or big splash in the water.

If you haven’t tuned in, I highly recommend you pick up Season One today and see how it all started and then get set tomorrow when Josh kicks off an all new Season by hunting down Leprechauns so he can get ahold of their lucky charms. Yes, it’s Josh, searching for Leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day. What’d you expect?

You can also jump over to Hulu and IMDB and catch some of the older episodes. Their selection is a little random, but then again, so is Josh and his team.

If you want the Full Monty (and who doesn’t) Amazon has the full list of episodes, if you’re so inclined.

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