Thursday, April 22, 2010

DESTINATION TRUTH - Spirits of Easter Island & the Moa

SyFy - Original Air Date: 4/21/10

Are the giant heads of Easter Island haunted?  Is a supposedly extinct giant bird lurking in the New Zealand hinterlands?  (Moi and Moa, get it?)  Josh and crew head into the Pacific to check out these rumors.  Apparently, if you are not accepted by the Easter Island spirits, you can be in deep trouble; so Josh has to drink a potion concocted by a local shaman.  He & Ryder go on a quest to find the plant to brew the tea (looking like a day trip to Shutter Island) and hope it will help them find the spirits.  As usual, they'll be poking around at night and setting up the usual camp & perimeter cameras and stuff.  They spot a "crazy glow" and race off into the rain and darkness to find it, but encounter only a fallen Moi.  While there, a team member suddenly feels like he's being touched by a hand, and quickly strips off his clothes to reveal... nothing.  Another team member imagines someone calling his name.  Then, while looking for EVPs in a cave, they hear a strange, roaring "voice."  More moans follow, and other team members think they see bare legs running through the landscape.  Later, they review the mysterious evidence, but find no explanation for lights or moans (which seemed to set off their EMF meter, too).  Guess that tea worked.

From giant stone heads to giant birds, the team heads to New Zealand's south island where, lately, people claim to have seen the Moa - which has been extinct for 400 years.  Could a giant (12' tall) dino-bird be lurking in the deep forests and glacial fields?  Josh looks at the bones of the bird in a museum, and the curator describes the birds as using their feet to attack and gouge people hunting them.  They talk to a witness with a fuzzy photo and head into the fiordlands.  Yeah. It looks like the Lord of the Rings.  Poking around on the glaciers, Josh takes a bad slide downhill, but is fortunately saved by his companion and a lifeline.  No Moa, though.  Eventually, at lower altitudes, they do the usual camp and look around in the dark thing.  Josh confesses he would be Aragorn if this were LOTR, and Ryder claims Legolas.  Spotting something on the FLIR, Josh runs through the forest to try and catch it, which results in another scary tumble.  They then hear strange bird sounds and find some small animal bones and feathers and large footprints.  With all that, they head back to the US to analyze.  The bird call is rare, but not from the Moa; nor are the feathers.  The bones are from small mammals, and the footprints are unlikely Moa, though clearly from a large bird.  Josh speculates that it's possible that some tiny population of smaller Moa (not the 12-foot kind) may survive in remote regions.

It's been another fun "season" (whatever that means on SyFy; about 8 episodes, I think), but despite the fun of the chase, few monsters to be had.  As to Truth... Well, I guess not finding anything is truth, too, though maybe not the truth most viewers are hoping for.  How long can they not find monsters before they run out of monster to not find?  Tune in next season to find out.

Monday, April 19, 2010

DESTINATION TRUTH - Ghosts of Petra: The Lizard Man

SyFy - Original Air Date: 4/14/10

Josh & team go into the Mideast and deep south in search of this week's subjects.  First up, Petra (from Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade) - an ancient and amazing city in Jordan, rumored to be haunted by Djinn (which, in this show, seem more akin to ghosts than to genii). After hitting the city of Aman, they head into the desert to talk to the Bedouin about the Djinn, who tell them of the ghostly spirits.  They poke around in the dark (Notice no spooks come out in the daylight?), set up the usual surveillance equipment, and start to hear strange sounds.  In later analysis with the Ghost Hunters, the sounds remain mysterious, and one of the sounds seems clearly to be a voice answering "Yes" to the question "Is there anybody here?"  (Though it might be the tail end of an echo.)  Djinn or no, I am envious of this exploration; day or night, Petra looks amazing.

In Bishopville, South Carolina, people are sighting a lizard man in reports dating back to 1988 near Scape Ore Swamp.  Whatever the thing is, it's been seen recently by multiple people, and it seems to like to damage cars.  Josh goes up in a small, experimental plane to canvas the swampland, which is remote and thickly forested.  Josh calls a town meeting to talk to the locals, and gets lots of of descriptions and advice.  In the swamp, the team sets up base with the usual cameras and detectors.  They get a hit on the thermal, and something sets off their perimeter alarm, so they do some chasing through the woods.  When they see a dark shape and attempt to follow it, they get a low growl (like a cougar or boar).  Heading home, the whole set up in Bishopville seems a bit suspicious to Josh.  The car damage is not made by any lizard like teeth, an expert says.  The growl is believed to be a dog or coyote, and the footprints are declared fakes (they're identical - just stamped out).  Josh believes the whole thing to be a hoax to attract tourists.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

New Theater Undreground review up on site

A review of Theater Undreground's lates production - The Author's Nightmare & Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You -- is up on my main web page:

Take a look, leave a comment, and sign up for my mailing list while you're there.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

DESTINATION TRUTH - Haunted Mining Town & The Taniwha

Syfy Channel - Original Air Date: 4/7/10

First, Josh and crew head to Chile, to check out two rumored ghost towns - La Noria and Humberstone.  (Again, we have a guest helper, a new trend with the show - but not of interest to anyone but fans of the guests.)  Locals believe the mining towns are haunted because of the rotten way they treated their workers.  The towns are tough to find, but they do some aerial reconnaissance using para-gliders and locate them.   They then set up camp with cameras and motion detectors, etc.  They find the very grizzly local cemetery, stake it out, and start to see things.  Yet, they speed off to investigate the other city, which is in better repair.  They poke around, get scared by random sounds and shadows, take photos, and do some EVP sessions.  But all they get is a shoulder through a window - that looks to me like it might be a reflection - and the usual fuzzy EVPs (which strangely seem to be in English, as usual).

From there, it's on to New Zealand to look for a fearsome Maori water serpent, the taniwha.  After some whitewater searching, they head to a traditional Maori village to seek experts in the monster -- whom the Maori see as a guardian spirit.  They follow a lead to a local lake with a sighting within the week.  Naturally, they set up night-vision, IR, and underwater cameras.  Almost immediately, they start seeing things in the water, including something very large on the thermal.  They also go wading in a cave where the monster supposedly lives, and something unseen brushes past their legs.  Finding nothing more, they return to the US and analyze the footage. The US expert thinks the sightings may be the long-fin eel, a local oddity.  Josh concludes that the taniwha is most likely the local eels combined with legend and ancient spirituality.