Expedition Unknown – Temple of Doom – S01E02

image So the story of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is just a story right? No bearing on any sort of real life events? Well, that may not be entirely true as Josh heads to Cambodia to investigate the lost city of the Khmer Empire and search for a mystical relic that turned King Jayavarman into an unstoppable force. It is believed that King Jayavarman was able to call down the powers of Kali and use those powers to conquer and incinerate those who stood in his way. Sounds pretty impressive! The source of his power? The Linga, similar to the mystical stones we saw in the movie. You basically take the Linga (male) and combine it with the Yoni (female) and then all hell breaks loose.

Like all good adventures, this one starts off with a trip to the market. Josh indulges in some fresh vegetables, fresh fish that won’t stay in the basket and takes a sample of some mutant bugs. Josh also pays a visit to the Cambodia War Museum and has a look back at some of the darker times of the area. It’s quite shocking to see pictures of children, held in chains, posing for their last photograph. Power does strange things to people.

And if that weren’t enough, there is still the grim reality that the land is covered in million of active land mines. Josh pays a visit to a man who personally laid thousands of mines in the area, but is now trying to make amends by going out and defusing as many as he possible can. And just because the mines are small doesn’t mean they aren’t deadly as we see when Josh heads out with the team, discovers a mine and detonates it in a safe clearing. But pay attention to their technique. These guys have the most flimsy bomb suits I’ve ever seen, they handle the mine with their bare hands and just explode it in an open field. That just a bit on the nutty side.

To get an idea of what he’s up against, Josh meets with a few locals and realizes he’s in for a multi-hour 4×4 adventure and then a trek up a mountain that is most likely littered with live land mines. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, what happens when you run out of road? You jump on a make shift train of course. Seems there is plenty of railway lines left behind and the good citizens have built their own transportation using rotting wood, rubber bands and repurposed lawn mower engines. And these vehicles are easy to take apart too, as we see when there is a minor traffic jam on the rails and the villagers simply pick the tram up, move it out of the way of oncoming traffic, reassemble it and go about their journey. To be honest, riding along on that motorized cart looked like wickedly good fun!

Once he reaches his destination it’s time to check one of the natural features of the area which is a cave with a rather indecent looking opening that is home to millions of bats that make a food migration each night as the sun sets. And as if on cue, the bats stream out and darken the sky. While amazing to see from the comfort of distance, that would have been both creepy and skin crawling to be under.

Josh then speaks with one of the locals who is familiar with the lost village and with the suppose power of King Jayavarman. They would prefer to keep the location of the dig and the site a secret since people have been known to steal relics from the site and sell them on the black market. It seems the idea of tomb raiding is very much real and happens all the time.

Going by helicopter and by less than impressive motorcycle, Josh makes his way to the dig where he gets a quick tour of the excavation in progress. While the conditions don’t look ideal, the work and the discovery they’ve made look amazing. At the dig, Josh talks with Pich who takes him to a brand new site they’re working on and shows him a massive Yoni where it is believed rituals took place. Is this the one used by King Jayavarman? Most likely not, but it does prove rituals took place and the power of magic was very real to the people in this area. Amidst the massive thunderstorm that bears down on them while they investigate some caves by torchlight, Pich and Josh make a getaway through the darkness and hold up in Pich’s house for the night. It seems a nice little place powered by a small generator that turns off at 9:15. Lights out Josh, good night!

While Josh didn’t find the Linga and Yoni that could give him ultimate power, he did give us a grand tour of a beautiful country and a wonderful people that live out a simple life. There is plenty evidence out there being uncovered as we speak. Perhaps in another couple of years, when the dig is further along, we will get more chapters of this wild and interesting story. Does this Linga exist? Can it really bring about destruction? Who knows, but people have looked for stranger things haven’t they?

Other Articles of Interest:

Expedition Unknown – Amelia Earhart – S01E01

image Josh Gates is finally back with Expedition Unknown and for the inaugural episode he’s looking for clues in the mysterious disappearance of Amelia Earhart.

We last saw Josh on Destination Truth, where he spent his days and nights scouring the countryside in broken down cars and trucks, looking for explanations to some strange paranormal events and even some urban myths. For Expedition Unknown, he’s focusing on gathering information and evidence about some of the most intriguing unsolved mysteries out there.

As mentioned, for the first episode, Josh is trying to piece together clues regarding the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. As we all know, Amelia left on the final leg of her around the world journey, never to be seen again. There is no trace of the plane, the navigator or Amelia herself. Did she crash at sea? Did she land at the wrong island? Did she run out of fuel and circle back? Did she disappear on purpose? Regardless of what happened, there simply isn’t any tangible evidence.

For this 2 hour special, Josh heads out to Papua New Guinea, the last place anyone saw Amelia Earhart alive, to see what evidence he can gather. He goes right to the source, the very airfield Amelia took off from. Sadly, the place has been turned into a storage area and the only reminder of her adventures is a small plague that is showing some signs of distress.

But all is not lost as Josh does some investigation based on the idea that Earhart may have had enough fuel to actually return to Papua New Guinea. After meeting with several natives tribes wherein he thinks he might get eaten, he heads out into the jungle to look for wreckage. Josh is able to find some plane pieces both in the jungle as well as in the sea. After going through the specs of the Earhart plane, they determine the planes they’ve discovered are in fact the Japanese Zero, the legendary fighter plane.

There is plenty of debris to go around, but Josh hears about more tangible evidence that might be of value. It’s claimed that some remains were actually recovered off an island that would have been in the flight path of Amelia. Strangely, those remains were sent to the Fiji archives and were subsequently lost. Since it’s not too far out of the way, Josh heads over to see if perhaps he can get a clue of what happened to them. We are teased with a box that might be of value, but after the commercial break it’s revealed to be empty. But wait, there are more remains.

It is believed that some remains purported to be from the legendary crash were actually put into a box and stored under a house. When 13, John Gray, said he found those bones and turned them in. While investigating this angle, it appears the bones may have been handed down to other members of the family and Josh sets out to try and locate them. This of course means another hazardous trip to a remote tribe that might give him permission to look around or they might turn him into stew. Just kidding, nobody gets turned into stew.

He comes to find out that all the family members associated with the discovery are indeed deceased. With not much else to go on, heads to the childhood home of John Gray and heads under the house to sift around where the box of remains was stored. Oh my, he discovers some bones. Clearly some are from a box of chicken, but not all.

Josh believes the best course of action is to call the police and have them continue the work so he doesn’t disturb the crime scene. After filling out reports, Josh learns that the CSI team is sifting through the dirt and that some of the bones were human. In short order the investigation is over with Josh adding a lot of theory to the legend, but alas, no more tangible evidence than when he started.

But that doesn’t mean this episode wasn’t exciting and fun. I’m so glad Josh is back with a new show. His travel adventures are so full of mishaps and unusual events, like the earthquake in the tribal village and the volcano that looks like it’s going to blow any second. It has the same feel that made Destination Truth so much fun to watch. You knew Josh wasn’t going to find anything, but it was all about the journey, the people, the culture, the food, the drinks and the broken down vehicles.

And let’s not forget, Josh did uncover two different wrecks, with the plane in the ocean having human remains still in the cockpit. Perhaps, they will be able to identify the pilots and give them a proper burial. That made the trip worthwhile didn’t it?

The mystery of Amelia Earhart is alive and well. She may be gone, but clearly not forgotten. Her adventurous spirit lives on and until her remains are found, she will just be considered missing. As Josh says, she didn’t crash, or fail, or go off course, nor did the trip end in disaster – Amelia simply disappeared.

Other Articles of Interest:

Constantine – Master of the Dark Arts

image I’ve been tuning in for this new show called Constantine and so far it has proved to be quite amusing and interesting. It’s an adaptation of the comic Constantine which I’m in no way familiar with. But I am familiar with supernatural forces, demons, demon hunting and the occult – from a purely television and fiction perspective I assure you.

So, who is this John Constantine and what does he do? He’s a Master of the Dark Arts, or so his business card says and he’s out to find and contain the oncoming onslaught of demons. How does he know about these demons? Well, he can see them. Something is stirring in the Underworld and Constantine is looking to put a lid on it. What’s causing this bit of uprising? He’s not quite sure yet, but with the help of his partner who’s two main jobs are to drive him to the next job and keep him out of jail once they get there. They’ve also got support from a psychic who’s learning to hone her powers and helps the team see what dangers lie ahead.

Sort of lingering on the fringe is an angel who pops in from time to time to help lend a hand and point them in the right direction. Angels aren’t allowed to directly influence humans and their "freewill", but that doesn’t mean you can ask for a wee bit of help and advice from time to time. And let’s not forget that John has plenty of demons of his own. He’s been at this awhile and not every exorcism has gone according to plan. He’s lost a few along the way and a young girl is currently gnawing at his soul. He plays pretty fast and loose with his own life, but he will for damn sure stand his ground to save the life of another.

If this all sounds a tiny bit familiar, there could be a reason for that. There was a little show you may have heard about called Supernatural that had some similar themes. I thought the first season of Supernatural was quite a bit of fun so this show appeals to me. Plus, John Constantine has this devil may care attitude which is quite amusing to watch. "What could possibly go wrong? We’re all going to be consumed by the darkness anyway."

It’s well worth a try if you want to get mixed up in some demon hunting and spell casting. And who isn’t up for a little bit of that now and then eh?

And as an aside, this is now the second show I’ve seen where the main character gets to use their natural speaking voice, or at least not dull it down which is nice to hear. Goodness me, we might be on a trend!

Other Articles of Interest:

Ghost Stalkers – Farrar School – S01E06

imageJohn and Chad head to Farrar, Iowa to investigate a small school that is believed to hold supernatural energy and even potentially dangerous entities. The town currently has a population of only 30 people and the school has been a focal point during it’s history. But now, the school is reportedly home to some dark energies and other investigators have made the claim of seeing dark shadows and being pushed. Oddly, there is no reported events of death or tragedy in this place. From everything they can tell, this is a normal school that simply did it’s job to educate the young children of the area. So where did this legend of paranormal activity get started?  John has a couple of theories.

He thinks it may have started with the energy seeping over from the cemetery nearby. This was then coupled with paranormal investigators who used Spirit Boards to try and communicate with the dead. He believes this may have opened a gateway and something slipped through.

So what does the evidence reveal?

Chad is the first to take a solo tour of the school and as you might expect it’s riddled with him screaming out into the darkness and every bang, bump and creak from an old and abandoned building. At this rate, Chad is going to give himself a heart attack.

While investigating he feels he hears footsteps and someone whisper "God dammit Chad" into his recorder. He now feels he may have angered the spirit known as The Principal.

John is up next and he has a few surprises of his own. He sits down in the boiler room where a group of investigators supposedly were on the receiving end of some shoves from an unseen force while using a Spirit Board. John believes this sort of behavior has brought the entity into being. He feels cold spots repeatedly going back and forth over him. He hears some bangs and what he feels is a tap in response to him asking for a sign.

But, up on the third floor is where John feels he has his biggest encounter – with a dark shadow figure that appears out of nowhere. His sketch of the figure makes it appear to more of a female figure, but unfortunately we don’t get more than his sketch.

He also runs into trouble with his recorder. While in the school it no longer picks up his voice and records anything. All he can hear is static. When he steps outside the door to the school, it works as expected. Back inside, the recorder malfunctions again. What do we have here?

After all is said and done, they have a few interesting personal experiences but no tangible evidence. Do we really have a haunted school as John suggests? With a guardian spirit that watches over the school, but keeps the living at bay? Or is this simply an old school building, whereas with any old building, stories have been started and rumors have formed. Is this an example that people can convince themselves of events even when there’s no evidence to support them?

What do you think? Does the Farrar school have entities or residents with active imaginations?

Other Articles of Interest:

Recent Comments

Items of Interest