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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