Destination TruthEpisodes

Iguanodon and Ri
Season 1 - Episode 101
Iguanodon and Ri
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Papua New Guinea: Iguanodon

Spurred by news reports of SWAT teams searching the jungles of Papua New Guinea for a dinosaurlike beast, Josh travels to the little-explored South Pacific island nation to investigate sightings of an iguanodon near Tinganavudu, a remote village on the island of New Britain. After arriving in the capital city of Port Moresby, Josh meets with Dr. Linus Digimrina, an anthropology professor at Papua New Guinea University who provides photos of bones thought to be the remains of an iguanodon.

Josh and his crew embark on the arduous 495-mile journey to Tinganavudu. Once at the village, they're told they must be initiated into the tribe by eating the mind-altering Buai nut before questioning anyone about the iguanodon.

Once recovered from the Buai's narcotic effects, Josh discovers that the local who found the skeletal remains from the photos had already sold the bones. Josh then visits Albert Buanga, mayor of Tinganavudu, who explains that he mobilized the SWAT team to ensure the alleged iguanodon wasn't a danger to the village.

Josh and his crew head to the location of the sightings and surround the area with infrared cameras in the hope of catching some glimpse of the creature. Movement is detected in the middle of the night, and Josh tracks something deeper into the jungle. But his progress is soon stopped by impassable swampland.

The next morning, Josh and his crew decide to retrace their steps, but this time their search is cut short by a shady band of bounty hunters looking for gold bars missing in the aging wreckage of a plane crash. To avoid a confrontation with the bounty hunters, Josh and his team head back to Port Moresby to send the video evidence to the United States for expert analysis.

Papua New Guinea: Ri

Before returning to the United States, Josh opts to investigate a second local legend, of a mermaidlike creature called the Ri, which has been reported in waters off the island of New Ireland. After a short flight, the crew treks to Nokon Village, near where the sightings were reported.

A local fisherman shows Josh where the remains of a Ri have allegedly been buried, but Josh's digging turns up nothing. A second fisherman claims to have seen the Ri at a nearby reef that very morning, and Josh investigates. Equipped with a sonar unit and an underwater listening device, he dives down to 30 feet in search of signs of the Ri. The crew on the boat detects an object moving near a sunken boat, but Josh finds nothing. He decides to question another witness, whose description convinces Josh that the mysterious Ri is actually a type of manatee called a dugong, and not a mermaid.

Expert Analysis: Iguanodon

Upon returning to the United States, Josh meets with Dr. Andrew Egilis, a zoologist at the University of California–Davis who has been examining the iguanodon evidence. The bones, Dr. Egilis says, are likely the remains of a sperm whale, and the movement caught on video could be a saltwater crocodile searching the edges of the swamp for food. But he leaves open the possibility that Josh's team had encountered a previously uncataloged creature.

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