Thursday, October 29, 2009

DT: Werewolf; Arica Monster

FIRST INVESTIGATION: WEREWOLF IN ROMANIA
Most believe that werewolves are fictional, turn from man to beast, and howl at the moon. To many of those living in Romania, they are a very real and dangerous predictor. Could these people be mistaking these nocturnal creatures for regular wolves or even bears? Just recently a Romanian village was so scared; they unearthed a human corpse, removed its heart, and drank its blood as some sort of ritual to ward off the creature. Near the rural Romanian town Brad, most of the recent sightings have been reported deep in the woods. The locals were so terrified, the abandoned their homes and fled to safety. The werewolf is believed to be a fast runner, have a very aggressive disposition, stalks isolated Romanian forest in the dead of night, coved in a dark fur, rises up on two legs when it attacks its victims, its mussel is larger and broader than a normal wolf, and its distinct call can be heard for miles.

They flew 20 hours to Bucharest, Romania where they find they luggage a mess. After they were momentarily detained at customs for putting their reason for visit as "werewolf hunting", they headed off to begin their werewolf search. Josh starts with talking to Ion Ghinoiu, a leading anthropologist, an expert in all things werewolf. He tells him that this werewolf tradition is prehistoric and is still believed by the people of Romania today. He told them that they needed to take a train to the back woods of Romania and talk to the people living there. After finally getting on the train, Josh and the DT team travel over 100 miles to the town of Sibiu. The weather there was extremely cold and they arrived at nightfall. After finding lodging, they talked to the owner about the werewolf sightings and enjoyed some fun dancing. The owner, Coldea Sorin, tells Josh that many in the forest area do believe in the werewolf. No one will walk in the forest at night for fear that the creature will get them. He tells them that they need to travel further north to Brad where a werewolf was recently sighted and the villagers fled. He also told him that there was a cave that the villagers were convinced that the werewolf hides in it. In the morning they made it to Brad and went to their make-shift zoo to check out the wolves there. Then they spoke to some of the villagers about the werewolf. They pointed up in the mountains where the village was abandoned and 60 families used to live. Now only 14 people are left living in Brad.

They headed up to where the villagers told them the white cross was located marking the beginning of the abandoned village and also where the cave was located. They had to climb a very shear cliff to get to the location of the village and cave. After finally reaching the top, they hiked up higher and found the cave. Josh, Evan and Mike went inside to check out the main tunnel, while Sharra and Bicha stayed at the mouth of the cave, and Jael, Rex and Gabe checked out some of the side tunnels. While inside, Josh notices claw marks and finds human bones and hair fibers or could be fur. They leave the cave and find a ride on a horse drawn wagon to the edge of the abandoned village. They finally arrived at the cross marking the village’s edge, set up base camp 100 yards from the village, and set up cameras with raw meat underneath them. While Josh and Sharra headed west with the flir camera, Jael and Bicha headed east, and Rex monitored the equipment back at base camp. On the flir Josh gets a hit and they run towards it. When they got to the location, it was gone. Meanwhile, Jael and Bicha hear a strange noise in the dark woods. Josh and Sharra arrive at the abandoned village and check out the ruined buildings with caution. They noticed that things were left like the people left there in a hurry. It begins to snow so he and Sharra return to base camp. Jael and Bicha discover some large footprints while Jael feels very cold and becomes ill. Back at base camp Josh decides that he, Rex, Mike and Evan will return to where the footprint was found. They find it, take pictures and castings of the prints for analysis. Evan sees two eyes through his camera while they all hear howling. Josh sees the eyes too and they move towards it, and then Evan takes a tumble and falls. They continued until dawn then return to Los Angeles to have their evidence looked at. The fur analyzes turned up to be just a Romanian wolf. They took the castings to Dr. Jim Dines, a mammalogist, who said that the prints were canine footprints or wolf. The larger prints he couldn't say, which makes Josh wonder if they belonged to the elusive werewolf or another type of mysterious canine animal.


SECOND INVESTIGATION: ARICA DINOSAURS IN CHILE

The Arica desert in Chile covers 70 thousand miles uninhabitable and unexplored rock. Over 20 million years old and 50 times drier than the Californian desert, it was not a place Josh really wanted to be. On the lonely desert road, people have reported seeing a dinosaur-like creature keeping pace with their cars. This Arican dinosaur has reported to have survived in the baron caves and desert of Chile. This creature has been reported to have leathery skin, very large in stature, presumed to live near a water source, stands upright on two legs and attacks with its razor sharp teeth. It leaves a unique three-toed print and reported to be a very fast runner.

They flew over 5,000 miles to the city of Artofagasta, Chile and drove to the town of Arica. This is the town where several recent eyewitnesses have seen the creature. Along the way they stopped to talk to Caodero Santoro, a paleontologist about the recent sightings. He has been studying the possibility of the monster for years and could tell him if the recent sightings were plausible. He tells Josh that the Arican desert is one of the places that used to have dinosaurs. Eyewitnesses tell him that they saw the dinosaur while driving on the desert highway. Some say that it just stood in front of their car, stared at them, and then ran off. All the sightings have been narrowed down to a section in the Pampa Ancha area. Josh decides to charter a plane to spot the green oasis area where the creature might use as a food and water source. But after referring to the pilot as Mr. Magoo, he felt uncomfortable to fly with him. They rent quad runners and head out to look for any signs of the creatures existence. While driving around, Josh spots a huge footprint with three toes. They took castings and went on foot from there. They set up base camp and cameras, and set out to check out the perimeter.

Josh and Jael get a hit on the flir moving up in a canyon area several hundred feet in front of them. They try to fine a way to get to it but have trouble finding a path. Meanwhile, Rex hears noises and rocks falling off the canyon walls around him. He tries to find the source but has trouble getting anywhere. Back to Josh and Jael who find a paw from some animal that looked like it was eaten. Slipping and sliding around they make their way down where Jael spots some excrement for which they bag for evidence. They all meet back at base camp where they have different groups head out again. Sharra and Bicha hear something moving around, like it was something heavy. Suddenly they take off running and said that something was chasing them. Meanwhile, Josh, Mike and Gabe find a graveyard and hear water running. They follow the sound of rushing water and hear something large moving in the bushes. They move towards it, then it makes a loud noise and runs off. They chase it down and find the water source they were looking for.

Back in Los Angeles they took the footprint cast to Dr. Luis Chiappe, paleontologist, who said that it looked like a print from a meat eating dinosaur. This footprint fit the stories that the local witnesses told about seeing the dinosaur. Also, a huge ostrich-like bird could be what the eyewitnesses have seen which resembled the dinosaur.

~Julie~

Thursday, October 22, 2009

DT: Haunted Lost City; Thunderbird

FIRST INVESTIGATION: MACHU PICCHU, PERUThe ancient City of Machu Picchu is Peru's most recognizable tourist attraction and one of the most familiar symbols of the Inca Empire.

“The Incas started building it around AD 1430 but was abandoned as an official site for the Inca rulers a hundred years later at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. Although known locally, it was largely unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American historian. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction.”

Hearing stories about Alex Chionett’s investigations of a lost city of Peru, which is not found on any map, and is haunted, Josh and the DT team set out to investigate the reports. This “haunted lost city”, sits more that two miles high in the Peruvian's Andes mountains. The story is told that the residence of this lost city buried their gold in tunnels under the city to hide their riches from the invading Spanish army before disappearing. Now, about hundred years later, local farmers have reported seeing moving figures and chimes of a phantom bell tower as if the city was still there. The South American explorer, Alex Chionetti, had to turn back before reaching the summit of this ancient city while investigating alone. Josh plans to pick up the investigation where he left off.

They flew over 4,000 miles from Los Angeles to the City of Lima, Peru. After gathering their gear, they headed out to get in touch with Alex Chionetti at the monastery where he was comparing his field notes to the record of history buried in the library. He told Josh that the farmers living below the city were terrified because they see figures of light and hear lots of eerie sounds. There are stories about the many tunnels that hold treasure and hundreds of skeletons. He continues to tell Josh that the roads in that area have been abandoned for hundreds of years and he and his team will be the first film crew to go up there and investigate the area. Starting in Lima, Peru, they will drive several hundred miles into the Andes and hope to make it to the tiny village below, the last inhabited village before the ruins. The dirt roads leading up were very dangerous, steep, and muddy with foggy weather. They finally reach the tiny town, sliding their jeep to a halt. They talk to some of the residence that feel they are living in the shadow of a haunted city. Always at night they report hearing voices, and tell Josh that they see ghosts. It will be at least a full day’s hike to reach the ruins so they decided to start fresh in the morning.

Getting an early start the next morning, they set out on a long hike of more than 3,000 feet into the clouds. They hike was grueling so they decided to try using donkeys. Before taking off the donkeys became spooked. Finally they were able to continue on up the steep, slippery, dangerous terrain. Gabe's donkey got spooked and dumped him off. After that, the locals would go no further so they headed off on foot by themselves. Winded and very tired, they got to the top and set up base camp. They set up cameras around base camp while Josh and Jael set out to explore the area. Using the Flir camera, Josh gets a hit hidden in some trees. Josh plans to hike down to where he saw the heat signature, when they all hear a strange noise. It sounded like a howling and they thought that it could be some sort of animal. They hear it again and this time it sounded like crying or howling. Josh and Jael get to the location where the heat signature was and see nothing. They did hear movement in the bushes and Josh's foot falls into a hole where a tunnel is located. They find more tunnels and have Rex bring a camera to put down into the space to see what is down there. Next they do an EVP session to see if anything or anyone unseen was with them. Back at base camp, Sharra notices some flash in front of one of the infrared camera set out in the perimeter. After checking in at base camp, Josh, Jael and Mike head out again. They come across the ruins of the old bell tower. They break out the parabolic dish to hopefully pick up the phantom bell ringing or another sound. They do capture a strange sound and also got a feeling like someone was up there with them.

Back at Los Angeles, they analyze the noises but the evidence was inconclusive. They did pick up a strange noise in the tunnels from the EVP session, an apparent voice saying, "touch him". For the rest of the evidence, they turn to Steve and Tango to get their opinion. Steve wasn't sure what the thermal hit could have been, there was all kinds of possibilities. The flash on the infrared camera could be some sort of energy passing by the camera.

SECOND INVESTIGATION: THUNDERBIRD, MANOKOTAK, ALASKA This creature, the Thunderbird, is massive, dark brown in color, enormous beak, sharp claws, and a wing span of nearly 30 feet. The journey begins north to the frigid weather of Anchorage, Alaska. While waiting for their connecting flight, some locals were telling their stories of the Thunderbird. They tell them that the temperature has been 20 degrees to below 35 at night. They then boarded their flight from Anchorage to Dillingham, an isolated town that can not be reached by road. It was whiteout conditions when they arrived there. Josh talk to a local pilot, who told them that what he saw was no ordinary bird, it was much different. In order for them to get a sweep of the area, they took an airplane up to check it out. They chartered a 1961 classic plane, and scouted out the area where they spotted the tiny town of Manokotak. This was the town where most of the sightings have been reported. Back on the ground in Dillingham, they geared up for the long trek to Manokotak. Josh wants to look for eyewitness to help them target the best investigation sight. Using a fleet of snowmobiles and local guides, they head off in the below freezing weather to Manokotak, a.k.a. Thunderbird country. On the way, Bicha flips his snowmobile but is ok. The yuk’ip natives fed the crew some local cuisine, and moose fat. Then they hooked up with Timmy Evon, an Alaskan pilot who spotted the Thunderbird very close to where they were. He directed them to the exact location where he saw the creature. They found the area and set up base camp.

Rex tells them to watch out for the wolves and to back away from them if spotted. The temperature was dropping while Josh and Jael head out to put one of the trap cameras with bait underneath. Afterwards they head out in the negative weather. Gabe and Bicha heard a boom sound while sitting at base camp. While investigating the sound, they experience twigs breaking above them and suddenly hear a sound like something buzzed over them. Josh and Jael head back to base camp to see what was happening. After reloading the cameras with new batteries, they head out again. Using the Flir and parabolic dish, they begin to hear noises above them. They hear something moving around and Josh gets a thermal hit on the ground. Fearing that it could be a wolf, they back away and head to base camp. On a computer at base camp, one of the cameras caught something strange flying in the area. Josh and Bicha do another sweep of the area and see something flying between two trees. It was a black object but hard to make out. They also noticed that the bait was gone around the trap camera leaving no prints almost like a bird swooped down and grabbed it. They did see claw marks in the snow and took pictures of the area. The trap camera took several pictures as well.

Back at Los Angeles, they take a look at all the photos that the trap camera snapped off. They did catch on the infrared camera something large buzzing through the trees. Wanting an expert opinion, Josh took the evidence to Mike Dees for his analysis of their findings. The footing of the object flying between the trees proved inconclusive and the photos taken by the trap camera showed the image too close to see what it really was. He said that is can be feathers in the photos and that a massive sea eagle could have migrated there. This could be what the locals are seeing and not the elusive Thunderbird.

~Julie~

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mysterious Ape Island

The picture is by artist Peter Oberdorf

For centuries a terrifying beast has been haunting the Pacific Northwest, more specifically Sasquatch sightings on Vancouver Island. This island has over 12 thousand miles of fast moving rivers, rugged beaches and sits about 15 miles southwest of Vancouver, Canada. Many hikers and hunters are attracted to this beautiful island but there appears to be something else lurking there as well. This rain soaked island has many stories told by the Native Americans that a large hairy beast is known to inhabit the area. Many witnesses have seen an ape-like creature and said that it walks on two feet, stands about 9 feet tall and has an estimated weight of 800 pounds. This hairy man-like creature has a long stride and likes to stay along the coastline and rivers edge. The native legends stretch back many centuries giving the beast several different names and say it is a beast to be respected and feared. The stories also are told that if you harm one of this creatures that within 7 years you will die. More than a century ago, as westerners explored the island, and came face to face with the big hairy beast. The earliest sightings were around 1900 where a trader was exploring the area known as "the forbidden plateau" which is located in the central part of the island. The two guides with him refused to go further in the area because it was the place where the so called "monkey man" has been seen. The trader was not afraid and headed out on his own. The next day by a waterfall, he saw the beast for himself. It was washing food in the water. He moved closer, raised his rifle and before he could pull the trigger, the beast stood up and yelled out a bone chilling scream, and then ran off into the forest.

There have been so many stories told of eyewitnesses having encounters with the “Ape Monster”. One man tells the story of a cold night while sleeping in his motor home, it started shaking violently. He jumped to his feet and ran outside where he was met with a very foul odor. In the darkness he could hear the heavy footsteps walking nearby, and then walk away. He thought afterwards how crazy he was to go outside with no means of defense.

The great northwest has been known for a long time for its Sasquatch sightings. With its vast wilderness it makes for an excellent place for a creature to hide. Vancouver Island's population is less than 800,000, which is small in comparison to the size of the island. Because of the many rivers and salmon swimming around in them, this makes for an excellent food source for the mighty beast.

Of course scientists say there is no way these creatures could find its way to Vancouver Island. They feel that there is no proof of its existence nor is there any fossils left by the creature. If it is an ape, there is no proof of how it got to the island because the only way to reach the island is by water. The salt water canals separating the island from the mainland are about a half mile wide. There are videos of bears and primal apes swimming across rivers, so why couldn’t a Sasquatch?

Some stories are told that of people who visited the island as well as some locals, gone out in the woods and just disappeared. Another man tells of his encounter with the beast. He was driving on the highway near the river and noticed a large hairy creature lying on a log with its hand in the water fishing for salmon. He sat there watching this creature crouching on a log for a short time, surprised by what he was watching. Another witness tells his story of seeing the creature while on his fishing boat with his crew, traveling on the east isolated part of the island. They notice that there was no wildlife in the area where they was the days before and thought it to be a bit strange. All of a sudden, they smelt an awful smell and then a creature appeared on the shoreline coming out of the brush. It looked nine or ten feet tall, probably weighed about 400 pounds with red piercing eyes and was crouching down hiding from the spotlight. They watched this massive creature for almost an hour from the safety of the boat feasting on claims until after three long strides; it disappeared in the heavy woods.

About 12 thousand black bears live on Vancouver Island. Some wildlife scientists are convinced that the sightings are probably misidentification between the bear and the beast. The problem with that is Sasquatch does not have pointed ears on top, and a defined snout. It has a long stride and walks like a human. This is not typical for the black bear. Many are convinced that what people are seeing is a great ape so the experts continue to constantly investigate all the reports. They keep track of the areas where the sightings have been reported, which is in the more isolated areas of the island. Forensic pediatrics looks at the castings that were made by witnesses of the hairy beast. They come to the conclusion that they are human-like but not made by a human. They also conclude that the tracks were made by an unknown mammal or species.

The Monster Quest team has gone to the island to investigate the stories of the Bigfoot sightings. Monster Quest focuses their investigation on Meares Island, a place that has more reported sightings than any other place. The team follows the man back to the area where he saw a large hairy creature lying on a log with its hand in the water fishing for salmon. They check out the log and surrounding area to see if there was any evidence that a Sasquatch was there. It was now nightfall, and as they were walking upstream, they caught a heat signature on the camera, lurking in the distance. As they got to the place where the figure was seen, they noticed that on a tree near that area was a heat signature, almost like something big touched it. They also noticed the shell fish all over the area and feel that this is one of the creature’s favorite foods and could be why it stays around the island. The next day the team puts cameras in various places along with some fish to entice the beast. The also set up two base camps with equipment and wait until nightfall to do some investigating. While on the boat they use call blasting to try to lure the beast out or perhaps get an answer. They use night vision cameras and other equipment but the dense fog makes the investigation difficult. They did get a response to the call blasting and will have to analyze it later. Next they move off the boat and back to base camp to check the cameras and bait and found them untouched. They check out the river bank where a creature was seen lying on a log fishing, the next day to see if they can find any tracks from the creature. They find a very sandy spot but find no physical evidence of the creature. Next they check out the trap cameras and find a dark shape in one of the photos. They didn’t find any tangible evidence but they know that with all the eyewitness’ sightings, many more will continue to be in search of the beast on Vancouver Island.

~Julie~

Thursday, October 8, 2009

DT: Alien Mummies; Van Lake Monster

FIRST INVESTIGATION: ALIEN SIGHTINGS IN CHILEAbout 67% believe in aliens and one in four believe that they have visited our planet. For all that believe, there a skeptics saying, "Why haven't we found any alien corpses?" According to recent reports in Chile, they have. Not long ago an alien mummy was exhumed deep from within the Chilean desert. Even though the remains looked a bit suspicious to Josh, there have been numerous reports by local Indians that claim to have had close encounters of the third kind. They have claimed to have seen tiny living creatures living in the mine shafts along with mysterious lights and UFO's. Looking for aliens is a first for Josh and his team, but with all the sightings, they just couldn't resist investigating. They flew 12 hours to Lima Peru, where in the remote desert in Northern Chile is where the most recent sightings have been. After getting their rental car, they made plans to travel thousands of miles south of Lima to some old abandoned mines where the sightings took place. From Lima they drove 26 hours south to Chile along the remote Pan American highway. After going through several tolls, they pulled over in a small town where Josh decided to get a haircut. In the morning they stopped in De Nasca, which is famous in alien culture. Josh and some of the crew took a plane for an aerial view of the land. From above they could see complex shapes and patterns carved in the desert's face. They were etched a few thousand years before human aviation and meant to be seen from above by those of another world. After witnessing these remarkable symbols, Josh still wasn't convinced he was in the presence of alien beings. Then they drove another 2,000 miles and finally reached Chile. Their first stop was at a place called Stargate, a stone monument erected in the middle of the desert which some claim is a portal to another dimension. Daniel Mamani's family helped build the Stargate monument and has personally seen these aliens. He claims that they are built some what like people but are very small. He tells Josh that the lots of paranormal activity were near the mines and the locals believe that the aliens were causing it. They next head off to a small town to have someone help them to locate the mines. They met up with Alejandro, a UFO researcher, who tracked the recent sightings near the abandoned mine. He tells Josh to talk to the Aymara Indians because they can guide him to the mines. After several miles in the baking sun they met up with Montano Biza, an Aymara tribal leader. He has personally witnessed the strange occurrences such as a strange light, larger than a star, hovering over the landscape, and then disappearing. He believes they are extra terrestrials and was able to outline the exact location of the mines for Josh and his team.

INVESTIGATION: Getting to the mine just before the setting sun they noticed that to climb down into a large hole. Josh and Evan got on their climbing gear and headed down first. Once everyone got down safely, they set up base camp on the landing they descended on. While some of the team stayed at base camp, Josh and the rest checked out the tunnels. The smell below started to become unusual and then Evan's foot fell into a soft spot causing a hole. Josh notices a burlap material and inside the hole they saw bones. A very foul odor was coming from the hole where more bones had been found. The skeletal remains looked humanoid but the feet looked like hooves. It looked like it was buried there on purpose and had its head removed. They bag the bones so Jael and Rex can take them back to base camp. On the way back to base camp with the evidence, Jael and Rex see something. After asking is anybody with us, a rock was thrown at them. Josh continues on with Evan and Mike where they cross a small wooden manmade bridge. Josh feels a breeze coming and sees a light and chases it down. They follow the breeze to an opening, left the tunnels and headed over to a ridge line. They see a bright light across the canyon just above the rim. They try to focus on it while it was moving around and appeared to be pulsating. Mike picks up a weird noise coming out of the parabolic dish even without it being plugged in. It sounded mechanical; maybe even an alien type sound. They spent 12 hours underground for this investigation and had lots of activity. Unable to take the remains they found back to Los Angeles for research, Josh had to photograph them.

RESULTS: He took the photos first to the Natural History Museum of LA to Dr. Jim Dines a mammologist. Josh shows him the pictures and asked what he thought it was. He says that the feet are proportioned wrong for any kind of human or primate and was completely stumped on what it could be. Josh decides to take his findings to another expert, Mike Dee, retired curator from the Los Angeles zoo. He notices that the two feet are hoof like and definitely doesn't think it is a bird. He also saw no evidence of any type of feathers and was also puzzled by the remains. Josh was amazed that he could not get any positive identification of the remains from either of the two experts. The species that Josh and his team uncovered deep in the Chilean mines is still a mystery. Also, after replaying their recordings of the strange lights that they saw, they remain a mystery too.

SECOND INVESTIGATION: VAN LAKE, TURKEY, MASSIVE SCALY MONSTERWhen both CNN and the associated press made headlines of a large lake monster, Josh and his team had to investigate these reports. For centuries many have talked about the Van Lake monster but it wasn't until recently that a man’s video taped a large creature swimming around in the lake. Since then, hundreds of people have also reported seeing this mysterious animal. Van Lake is found in far Eastern Turkey in a remote region near the border of Iran. It is nearly 1,500 square miles and is nearly the size of Rhode Island. Most of the sightings are reported just off the lake's southern coast. Eyewitness say that this creature measures about 40 feet long, with dark scaly skin, long spiny back, and a muscular tail has a devastating whip against any person or vessels that goes near it. It also has a horse like head with razor sharp teeth and a massive jaw. The team flies nearly 17,000 miles to Istanbul, Turkey which took 17 hours. After such a long flight they emerge into the city of Istanbul which is an exotic mix of East and West and is the dividing line between Europe and Asia. After haggling over the price of a carpet, Josh left the market and met up with a local journalist, Gerguim Cuench. He was the one that obtained the original footage of the creature that later became international news. He tells Josh that it has been a part of Turkish history that this monster exists. He goes on to tell him that many believe that the monster exists but there was never any proof. Next the team heads out from Istanbul on a flight to the city of Van which borders the lake. The team was beyond tired and acting a bit goofy at this point so they hop in another DT special rag-tag vehicle to the Pearls of the East or the shores of Van. People have been inhabiting these shores for over 7,000 years where places of it's ancient ruins can still be seen. Because the story of the monster was so huge in this town, the local government formed its own team to search for it and even erect a statue of the monster. He talks with the Mayor, Nazmi Sezer, who tells him that there is definitely a creature in the lake and divers have seen eggs that the creature had laid. He also tells Josh that the creature can be found near the fresh water of Akhtamar Island. After getting Mike to shave off his beard and keeping his mustache, they got back on the trail of searching for the monster. Before investigating they spoke with a couple of local boat captains who shared their stories about the creature. Afterwards the team splits up to survey the area. Josh and Mike headed up in a helicopter, Jael and Rex kept watch on the Southern bank and Bicha and Sharra stayed north.

INVESTIGATION: Sharra spots some dark shadowy figures along the surface. Shortly afterwards Jael and Rex see it as well. They tell Josh that is black and coming out of the water, and then going back down. Josh flies over the area but whatever it was had already disappeared. After returning from the flight, Josh and the team head out to Akhtamar Island in a boat. They land on the rocky coast and set up base camp. Evan and Josh head out first into the extremely cold water of Lake Van to get a look at the underwater area. The visibility was about 3 feet tops and the water was very cold and salty. They decided to search topside where the creature is known to surface at night. Josh and Jael head up to the highest point on the island to get a better look of the lake. They come across some ruins of an ancient church where they see drawings of a large monster eating people and found graves as well. They head back to base camp where Josh and Rex head out to do a sweep of the lake in a boat. Jael and Bisha do a sweep of the coastline. While out in the boat, it starts to rain and snow while the temperature drops to freezing. Base camp was experiencing lots of rain and their tarp filling up with water. It collapses spilling water on some of the equipment. The equipment was fine and they were able to fix the tarp. Meanwhile back on the shore, Jael hears noises and a very loud splashing and a moaning sound. They see something moving in the water so Josh submerges the underwater camera. Something hit the zodiac boat Josh was in and they saw something swimming by the camera. Then they see something big surface which makes a loud splash. They kept pursuing whatever was making the sounds and kept surfacing, but didn't find anything. After fixing the base camp's tarps, Josh went out in the zodiac boat again with Jael. Quickly they see ripples in the water, and then get a long shape on the thermal imaging camera. Then they hear a noise and then see a large shadow near their boat. Daylight was coming so they headed back to shore. They investigated from the coast the rest of the time then headed back to LA to analyze their findings. The thermal did show something about 20 feet in the water and on the underwater cameras there wasn't a clear enough image to tell what it was. Because the lake if fairly sparse, logic would dictate that something large would not be able to survive in that lake. Because they did experience something, Josh took the original footage to a marine biologist, Dr. Scott Cooper to get his opinion of what it was. Because you couldn't see in front of the object, he was skeptical that something could have been towed. In the clip of the object still in the water, he commented on the breathing being continuous bubbles as if there was an air hose or something causing it. Josh asked if they were looking at something biological and he told him that the skin looks leathery but the rest doesn't look credible to him. He felt that they were looking at a hoax. Josh then show him the footage of theirs from the helicopter showing the dark black objects bobbing at the surface. He tells Josh that it is unlikely for a huge creature to exist in this very salty lake and there is only one species of fish in the whole lake. His conclusion is that it was either a school of fish or methane sediments that bubble to the surface and appear to be a very large object. Because of the hundreds of sightings, there is the possibility that something could be hiding deep in the murky waters of Van Lake.
~Julie~

Thursday, October 1, 2009

DT: Ghosts of Chernobyl; Sal'awa

FIRST INVESTIGATION: Chernobyl, Pripyat, Ukraine (11 miles from Chernobyl)The Chernobyl Disaster was a nuclear reactor accident that happened on April 26, 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union. It is considered to be the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history and the only level 7 instance on the International Nuclear Event Scale. It resulted in a severe release of radioactivity following a massive power excursion which destroyed the reactor. Two people died in the initial steam explosion, but most deaths from the accident were attributed to radiation.

Many people have experienced seeing ghostly figures, with some resembling those who died in the accident. These reports have begun surfacing more frequently lately. No group has ever stayed there from dusk to dawn. After securing permission from the Ukrainian government, Josh and his team will set up the world’s first investigation of the ruins of Chernobyl. They needed special gear, like fallout radiation suits to protect them from any exposure to radiation. They headed out to investigate the plant where the most deadly nuclear accident occurred.

They were told to expect military scrutiny at all the checkpoints in route to the abandoned city. When they picked up their luggage at baggage claim, one was open with all the stuff spilling out all over. After Josh gathered everything up, they got into the rented vehicle which resembled Scooby Doo and companies' Mystery Van. They headed off to their journey and started in Kiev where there are many military armories. Then from Kiev to what the government calls the Zone of Exclusion checkpoint. In the center lies Prypiat, this suffered the direct fallout and remains radioactive still to this day. In order to get to the city, they have to go through three separate security perimeters which increases in restrictions and radioactivity. Traveling in these zones are strictly prohibited adding to that, the guards at the remote posts are acting on their own authority. They are faced with being denied at any of the checkpoints and being deported from the area all together. After having all the passports checked at the first point, they were assigned a soldier to escort them to the town of Prypiat. He loans them equipment that detects if the activity is too high that they need to leave immediately. Before they stop at the next checkpoint, they had to pass through a screen to check and see if they were not personally contaminated before they could eat. There was a cafeteria set up and they were somewhat reluctant to eat there, but did. They had to take an additional blueberry flavored liquid antidote as a persuasion. While they were leaving they met a military officer that had a ghostly encounter the night before just inside the restricted zone. As Josh asked the questions of his encounter, their translator and guide refuse to let Josh know what the man said. One of the local drivers steps in and translated for him. He tells them that he saw a round spear in a room just floating there. Another woman tells Josh that she visits the place from time to time and has witnessed seeing the ghosts of some of friends and family that died during and after the accident. She told them to focus on the areas that the children would play. They reached the second checkpoint and with all the paperwork in order they were allowed to pass through. As they headed closer into town, they noticed rotting buildings, freighters, and canals that stood exactly how there were on April 26, 1986. They hit the last gate and getting passed they arrived at the city that was evacuated nearly 25 years earlier. Their drivers and guide left them to conduct the investigation.

INVESTIGATION: They all put on the radiation suits then Jael, Gabe and Josh checked the hospital first where the man had seen an apparition. They experience their equipment power off and on. They enter what used to be the surgerical room and find a patient register with dates. As they move into the pediatric room, Josh captures a human figure on the flir in the window outside. They move around to another room where Josh sees a shape of a person peering from around a pole right behind Evan. The Geiger counter started to go off so they had to leave while the equipment kept malfunctioning. Back at base camp they form another plan and Josh takes Rex, Mike and Jael with him. They come across the remains of an amusement park where Jael thought she saw someone sitting in an empty bumper car. The radiation was high in the area so they decided to leave. Then they see a light coming from the building and chase it down. They check out the rooms and find an old piano. After leaving the room they hear a sound like the piano started to play. They run back but find nothing. They continue to walk around, find a creepy doll, and then the meter spikes to its highest. The meter continues to spike when Jael screams because they saw a huge black shadow behind her. Then they hear a bottle or something flying off a shelf. Josh does an EVP session to see if a spirit is with them. Jael jumps and runs because something pulled her hand then she heard someone running out of the room. The meter went off because the radiation was high so they left.

They turn to Jason and Grant to look at the evidence they captured. The strange dot of light could have been a small animal; the window that Josh caught the figure on the outside could have been a reflection; the other human figure caught on the flir which looked like someone stepping out from behind the pole, they couldn’t say what it was. That was an expressive piece of evidence according to Jason and Grant.

SECOND INVESTIGATION: "Sal'awa" Cairo, EgyptThe Sal’awa is a monstrous wolf like creature, with a bushy tail, large pointy ears, large hind legs with immense claws to aide in speed and jumping. It also has a course coat of fur, is stronger and faster than an ordinary dog, and hides in the dense sugar cane fields. Sal'awa is Arabic for scary wolf.

They flew into Cairo, Egypt after a 17 hour flight. They hopped into a jeep and headed out for their 200 mile drive along the Nile crossing the river in the ancient city of Luxor. From there they went on to the city of Armant where the recent sightings of the Sal'awa have been reported. They met up with Ramy to help them by utilizing his translation skills. They next went to Egypt's leading bounty hunter, Mamdouh, who the government had investigating the resent attacks. He said this was a new animal and very dangerous. He tells Josh that it will attack him and his team and rip them to pieces. He warns Josh that the Sal'awa is elusive and very deadly. Before sending Josh on his way, he showed him the deadly cobra he had. He appeared to hypnotize it and told Josh that he had to kiss the cobra. If it bits you, you die, so you have to bit the cobra instead. Makes sense to me but is very crazy! Josh thinking that Mamdouh is nuts, bends down and kisses the cobra and says that he also peed his pants. Then Mamdouh proceeds to bit the cobra, putting its head in his mouth. Can you say nut case? After that they headed south to the village of Armant cruising over sand domes to get there. After a game of soccer with the locals they finally arrived to the destination. They had one more stop before heading to the sugarcanes with a Mother of a seven year old boy who was recently attacked. She told them that if she did not fight off the animal her son would be dead. She also told them that she was certain it was not a dog or a wolf, it was a Sal'awa and that hunters have chased it further East into the sugarcane fields behind her house and lost it in the high brush.

INVESTIGATION: They set out to the sugar cane fields talking to workers along the way. They each had a story of the elusive beast. They set base camp right on the edge of the sugar cane field and placed cameras all around. Josh and Jael set off to check out the perimeter through the sugar cane field. He finds some excrement and bags it for evidence. They use the flir through the dense field and spot some animal prints that Josh cast for evidence. Jael sets out to investigate on her own, hears growling and freaks out. They are also hearing lots of noises back at base camp too. They move out to investigate some more and hear more growling and see something moving around. On the camera they caught something grabbing the bait and running out. It looked huge and furry. They also see some eyes watching them from inside the field. They hear howling and movement from the small field to the sugar cane. They chase after it then head back to camp. They head out on parallel course in the field to see if they can flush out whatever is there. Josh and Mike hear something moving and follow it. Evan meets up with them and they hear a creepy growling near him. They all can hear it too so they end up crossing over the field to see if whatever that was can be found. After safely getting out of the sugar cane they all meet up and head back to base camp.
After that scary investigation, they head back to Los Angeles to analyze the evidence. The footprint casting proved to be canine. Josh played the sounds for Mike Dee, formerly from the LA Zoo, to see what his impression of it was. The loud growling, he said sounded like a very large dog. They did catch a fox on the camera stealing the food and could be what the Sal'awa really was and the locals fears are making it more than it appeared.

~Julie~
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