Destination TruthEpisodes

Wild Man and Swamp Dinosaur
Season 2 - Episode 203
Wild Man and Swamp Dinosaur
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Cambodia: Wild Man

 

After reading reports of a "Wild Man" living in Cambodia, followed by accounts of a woman leaving him and being reunited with her father, Josh knows he has to investigate. He and the team pack up and fly to the capital of Phnom Penh, where they arrive ahead of their luggage.

Josh first talks with journalist Nick Ray, who broke the story of the girl's escape from the Wild Man and says the markings on her wrist indicate she was either snared by a trap or bound in captivity, convincing him there is a man in the jungle.

After arriving in the village of Oyadao, the team is brought to Sal Lou, who confirms the story. He then introduces them to Rochom P'ngieng, the daughter he lost for 18 years. Since her recovery, she has not spoken a word. However, she has recently made some drawings, which Sal Lou shows to the team. Josh takes saliva samples from Sal and Rochom, in the hope that their DNA will prove conclusively that she is his long-lost daughter.

All reports send Josh and the team into the jungle, first by vehicle and then by elephant and, finally, on foot. One eyewitness, Kong Tobar, recognizes the drawing of the Wild Man and confirms they're headed in the right direction.

The equipment is set up, and a bowl of fruit is set out as bait. Josh, Araceli, Ponch and Shush go into the jungle, hoping to find the Wild Man himself. The thermal camera picks up a large hot spot, but as the investigators move closer, it vanishes into the woods.

After studying the footage at camp, Josh, Ponch and Brad slog back into the jungle. Something comes close enough to spook Brad, but nothing concrete is discovered.

Back in the United States, Dr. M. J. Hajianpour of Gene Trek Genetics says that the DNA evidence Josh obtained is not sufficient to perform the necessary tests to confirm Sal's paternity of Rochom. As a result, Josh has no evidence about the Wild Man living in the Cambodian foliage and no proof of the veracity of Sal Lou's story.

Zambia: Mokèlé-mbèmbé

In Zambia, Josh and the team are on the hunt for the dinosaurlike Mokèlé-mbèmbé. Sightings of the brownish creature, which is roughly the size of an elephant, have been reported on the vast Lake Bangweulu. Some experts, such as World Wildlife Federation's Jerome Shitumbanuma, do not believe the reports, while others, including Innocent Daka, director of the Lake Bangweulu Nature Reserve, earnestly believe the creature lurks beneath the surface.

Every report points toward the northern edge of the lake, where the fertile swamp land provides plenty of cover for the creature, as well as vegetation to sustain it. On a boat, the team heads out for the swamp. As they near the northern quadrant of the lake, they spy a gigantic crocodile. Later, they see something break the surface in the distance. They're too far away to tell what it might be, but a short time later, something under the surface makes a close pass at the boat.

That night, the team uses a variety of tools, including underwater sonar and a night-vision scope, to seek evidence of Mokèlé-mbèmbé. Josh is excited when something bubbles just beneath the surface and he hears a loud splash, but no one sees anything conclusive, nor is any creature caught on camera.

Back in the United States, Casey digitally enhances some of the footage. Nothing can be discerned from the thermal scans, but the creature that surfaced far from the boat is enlarged and proved to be two hippopotamuses coming up briefly for air, creating the impression that something serpentine had risen from the depths.

Josh concludes that stories handed down from generation to generation make people who live near the lake believe they see a mythical creature, when the reality is far more mundane.

 

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