Friday, September 11, 2009

Destination Truth Recap: Haunted Forest; Alux

On this 3rd season, Josh Gates has a bigger role besides host and that is of producer. Having more control, he can run the show his way. Along with the first-hand duties, he has a new team going with him on all the new destinations. They are Bicha Gholam, case manager; Evan Stone, cameraman; Gabriel "Gabe" Copeland, cameraman; Jael DePardo, researcher; Mike Morrell, audio; Rex Williams, medic; and Sharra Jenkins, tech manager. With his new team they set out for their first investigation of the paranormal activity in the Hoia Baciu woods in Romania.

FIRST INVESTIGATION: "Haunted Forest", Hoia Baciu, Romania
The Hoia Baciu woods are also known by the locals as the haunted gateway to the other side. This dark forest is very disorientating and feed on our darkest fears. Deep in the back woods of Transylvania, stories of bright lights tower skyward from the forest at night are seen by many of the locals. A couple of research teams that went into the forest were spooked with some of their pictures that had ghost-like human figures in them. They saw nothing with the naked eye while walking around in there. Now the locals are afraid of traveling to the Hoia Baciu forest and call it the most haunted spot in Europe. With over 45 ghost sightings in the past 6 months, Josh and his team were hoping for an incredible investigation with great evidence. They flew 6,000 miles from Los Angeles to Cluj, Romania and Josh called ahead to rent an SUV using what little Russian he could muster up. What they ended up with was a tiny two-door, filthy 4X4 which Josh said, "must mean that it is only 4 feet by feet and can only fit 4 comfortably. The entire crew squeezes in and off they go having some car problems at the beginning. They head off to the center of Cluj to find a professor that is an expert in the study of strange phenomena. Adrian Patrut, professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Cluj University is who they met up with and is an expert on the forest. He has several pictures of the bright lights and human like apparitions on nine different trips in the past three years that he took. He tells Josh that most of the sightings are concentrated around a perfectly circular clearing in the woods. The circular area is a natural vegetated dead zone where nothing grows. All the strange pictures are what started all the interests and investigations. Since he could not give them an exact location of where the circle was located, he pointed them to a small village outside of town near the forest where many of the residents have seen strange lights hovering over the forest. Their Romanian road trip was adventurous needless to say. It was bumpy and they came across some oxen pulling carts and felt like they were back in the 1800's. It didn't take them long to find a local that was willing to talk about the haunted forest. This man tells them that there is definitely a strong energy there while another local tells Josh not to go to the forest. Josh asked “why not go” and he tells them that you will remain there and never come back. They decide to chart a plane to get the best visual location of the mysterious circle and chart it on his GPS so they can find the place on foot. They rent a plane that Josh said looked like it escaped from the Air and Space Museum and was quite the antique. He tells everyone to get in the coffin or rather plane and off they go. Right away the roof of the plane flew off and panic sets in. They had to go back and were glad when they landed safely and hugged the ground. Needing to find another mode of transportation, they rent some ATV's and follow the map that professor Patrut made for them. They wanted to find the circle before it got dark and had to stop somewhere near it to set up base camp. They set up four infrared camera around base camp about 300 yard radius and four wireless trap cameras about a mile beyond that. These cameras have GPS tracking on them so they can locate there whereabouts and will shot anything that comes in front of their lens.

They spend the first night looking for the clearing or mysterious circle. In this area is where most of the activity was reported. Josh, Rex and Evan set off to the south where Josh spots a small light through the trees. Josh has everyone turn their headlamps off to see if it is one of his crew. After realizing that it wasn’t any of the team, they run towards the light and Rex falls down and hurts himself. He is fine but goes back to base camp to rest. Jael and Gabe hear noises so Jael takes several pictures of the surrounding area. She captures weird lights and orbs in the photos. Mike joins Evan and Josh and not having to walk very long, they found the elusive circle which was close by base camp. Right away they get a high EMF reading and take soil samples to see if they could explain why vegetation won't grow. Through the trees they see a light moving and run towards it. They experience the thermal imaging camera all of the sudden shutting off. Then Josh decides that each will sit in isolation in the circle with him going first. Josh keeps hearing noises all around in the woods. In the base camera they see a light behind Josh near his left shoulder. It looked like someone was walking behind him. As he turns to glimpse at the lights, it disappears off the camera. Now it’s Evan's turn to be alone in the circle where he kept hearing female voices behind him. On the camera they see him all of a sudden disappear like an unseen hand grabbed him and pulled him back. This happened right after hearing a big wind sound. They quickly ran to see what happened and found Evan lying on the ground. He had a burning feeling on his arm, lifted the sleeve and noticed deep scratches that were bleeding. He said that it felt like a big wind blew him backwards which freaked him out. Back at base camp, Rex fell sick. Not wanting to endanger anymore of his team, they took the evidence they collected back to Los Angeles for analysis. He took the soil samples to Wallace Laboratories to see if there was something biological or natural in why nothing would grow in the circle. They checked samples taken inside and outside the circle for analysis and concluded that there was very little differences in both samples. There was no explanation for why nothing grew in the circle. He took the photos, video and audio evidence to Jason and Grant to get their opinion of what they captured. On one EVP they caught a voice that sounded female moaning or yelling and another sounded like a female laughing. Because of the elements of the area the female sounds could be an animal or bird native to the area. To me it sounded like females voices. In the pictures they concluded that the orbs could be dust, but could not explain the weird lights and shadows. Then he showed them footage of Evan being blown away like something grabbed his arm and showed them the scratches. They couldn't explain what happened because he had a heavy jacket on and he only scratched his arm. They felt like Evan had a paranormal experience and that something unexplainable is going on in those woods. How did a full grown man in a sitting position get picked up and thrown around like a rag doll? How indeed?

SECOND INVESTIGATION: "Alux Creature", Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

The Alux is a mythical pygmy like creature that has been seen deep in the jungles of Mexico in the Mayan ruins. These stories of a "Mini Me" called the Alux, which are child size beasts, have been reported for centuries. About 90% of the indigenous residence believes the creature to be real. There have been a spike in sightings in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula in just the past month. It is described at a small human like creature with dark fur and an aggressive disposition. This creature, which is less than 4 foot tall, lives primarily in caves and the ruins that are deep in the jungle. After a 5 1/2 hour flight from LA to Cancun Mexico, they had to stay focused even though the margaritas were calling. They rented a jeep, headed due west, and noticed all the Alux houses along the highway built to appease the creature. They meet up with professor Carlos Cervantes and expert in Mayan history who has been tracking the recent run-ins with the Alux. He tells them than 95% of the people living there believe it is real and they are very afraid of the creature. He tells Josh that the creature lives in caves in the jungle. While in the jungle, he met up with a Shaman whose people came face to face with the creature. He directed Josh and his team to where the Shaman is located and they immediately headed off to seek him out. Along the way they ran into a bunch of male belly dancers that seem to take a shine to the team. Back on the road they ended up in the town of Merida by nightfall and decided to relax and let loose. They had some fun at the towns Carnival and ran into "Santa", the potato head float and did some dancing. The announcer told the crowd that Josh was in the Batman movie and he became an instant celebrity. He woke up in the morning with a female officer's phone number written on his hand and clearly it was time to leave. Just kidding of course, or was he, lol. On their way to see the Shaman, they stopped in a remote town where they heard that a young boy was taken by the Alux. Luis and Betty Kuilton, the boy's parents, felt that their son Jesus, is in the jungle with the Alux, alive and still there. They mapped out the jungle and figured that they needed to cover an area with the radius of 20-25km in diameter. They drove as far as they could but since the deep jungle terrain was so thick, they had to reach their destination on foot. They first set their sites on the remote caves that used to be dry and are now filled with water. Jael and Josh descend into one of the caves where they find human remains deep inside of the belly of the cave. He says he saw a part of a human skull and other bones that could have been there for thousands of years. They finally got to the Shaman village by nightfall and the locals did a ceremony to make contact with the Alux. They had to drink a special beverage that the Mayan used to protect them from the Alux and blessed them with leaves. Josh and Jael did a preliminary sweep of the area and saw lots of spiders, many of which are poisonous. They come across some ruins where the Alux is known to live. They use the parabolic dish to pick up any unusual sounds because they heard that the Alux makes a high pitch sound almost like a giggle. Mike picked up a sound and said it was like a kid screaming, a high pitched sound off in the distance. Was this the Alux letting them know it was there? Josh spots a huge snake and quickly moves everybody out of the way. They head out deeper in the forest and come across an enormous cave and step inside to investigate. They light their torches to investigate the cave which has long tunnels and experience their lights going out. They see a hive for some critters along with other poisonous creatures and find bones but can't describe the nature of origin of the bones. They gather some evidence and leave the cave. After the sun came up they took the evidence back to LA and the natural history museum. Some of bones could be from a goat and the others from chickens, but they still didn't know what may have killed them.

Great season premiere and from what I read, the shows highest ratings to date.



  1. Oh man, that haunted forest was AWESOME! When Evan all of a sudden flew backwards...he was yanked. No way could he have done that himself so violently for effect or to up ratings or whatever. (I haven't heard anyone criticize this, but I'm sure there are skeptics.)

    That was some of the creepiest footage I've ever seen. The lights thru the trees were creepy too. It was a good episode. But I miss the blond girl he had on last season. she was a cool chic. Everyone is this time too, but she really kept Josh in line. (Can't think of her name tho...)

  2. This was an awesome article Mike and Julie!! Romania is right after Great Britain (from what i can tell scanning paranormal news) in the massive amount of strange events it generates with a nation of I think around 24 million people!! best to you both-just realized I nevr finished Mike's short story-if I am online tomorrow will do so then-making a note to myself now-hopefully soon we will have a "bone-chilling" 90 degree day-Mike I believe who said this was right-and I am sure many of us "Z0nies" feel it-seems like November anymore before things even get halfway decent!!

  3. Courtney, that was definately one of the creepiest footages I have ever seen too. The fact that a grown man, sitting on the ground with his legs crossed, can be picked up off the ground and pull backwards, is just incredible. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The blonde from last season's name, I do believe was Ryder. As least that was her last name.
    Devin, always glad to see you. I do believe that area is a hot bed of paranormal activity. I bet Josh and his team could spend months investigating that area alone.

  4. I really enjoy the show (especially this episode) and I thought all the footage in the haunted forest was very interesting. The first light moving through the treetops intrigued me. The footage showing behind Josh in the circle was very weird that his team could see it but he could not. The Evan footage knocked my socks off. However, there is one caveat with that footage. It appears that Evan is yanked by his right arm and he later says that it is itching terribly. They pull up his jacket and pull off the right glove but then camera cuts to his left arm with scratches (go back and watch it). Why do they do stuff like that and not discuss it? Makes it look like they are manipulating the data. And that is too bad because I thought the raw footage was just outstanding. Also, anyone else think of the movie, Predator, and Greek mythology of the sirens? Wonder if the girl would have experienced anything in the circle.