Destination TruthEpisodes

Spirits of Easter Island/The Moa
Season 3 - Episode 315
Spirits of Easter Island/The Moa
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Spirits of Easter Island

The Case: The closest human neighbors to the Rapa Nui of Easter Island are 1,200 miles away. Non-human neighbors? Those may be on the island itself. The Moai statues, one of Easter Island's trademark images, are said to be inhabited by the spirits of the dead island chiefs they represent. Many Rapa Nui report strange feelings, apparitions, even voices speaking the ancient tribal language while in the presence of Moai.

The Adventure: Team Truth heads to the island to investigate. Josh talks with the Rapa Nui tribal leader, who tells him of Aku-Aku, feeling of bad spirits or demons while in dark places. Aku-Aku can come anywhere on the island, and performs an ancient protective dance to help Josh and the team.

A local medicine woman sends Josh and Ryder for the Matuipua plant. They must obtain the leaf to protect themselves. The duo searches the hills around the treacherous crater of Poike on horseback, alone. The tea has an immediate effect: both lose feeling in their tongues.

Later, Josh catches sight of a "crazy glow" in the distance. Chasing, he only finds a Moai sitting on its back with nothing else around. Beyond lies the empty ocean.

Evan feels hands all over him, disturbing him enough to shake off everything he's carrying, including his shirt. Rex hears a disembodied voice saying his name.

The Findings: Deep in a cave, Josh's light hits a pool of water, causing odd reflections on the walls. The cave also holds a clear moaning on the wind. Deep inside, something crashes around. Ryder reports chills all over her body. On investigation? There's nothing there.

Josh is at a loss to explain the light. He dismisses the banging noises in the cave, suspecting an animal. What answered "no" to Mike during the EVP session in the cave? Josh has no explanation

The Moa

The Case: On the South Island of New Zealand is said to live a creature straight out of the past. Could one of the largest flightless birds ever to have existed— a species said to have been hunted to extinction 500 years ago by the Maori— be making a comeback?

Team Truth heads to the virtually uninhabited 5,000 square mile area of the South Island called the Fiordlands to investigate where recent sightings were reported, and moa bones as well as the remains of nests have been found.

The Adventure: A helicopter takes the team to hills where bones were recently found. These hills are covered in snow and ice, and one slip takes Josh sliding down at breakneck speed, dragging Evan with him. Evan's quick-thinking saves them both. Team Truth then takes to Lake Manapouri— heart of the back country reports— by sea and air to scout possible locations in the old growth forests.

That night, Josh gets a large hit on the FLIR. He gives chase, only to hit a small dropoff and fall a few feet. Near the dropoff, Ryder finds animal (possibly mammal). Josh wants to figure out what animals are really local, perhaps they can discover just what people are seeing.

A birdlike call sounds, but they've never heard a bird that sounds like that before. Mike gets a stumbling sound on the parabolic, like something walking around in the brush. Ryder's initial surprise at mice jumping at her from the ground ebbs when she realizes what they are.

A gunshot in the distance causes Ryder and Josh to nearly jump out of their skins.When they reach the perimeter alarm transmitter, Ryder gets the scare of a lifetime as something is in the bushes when they get there. There's the sound of a low growl just a few feet of them.

The Findings: While Ryder finds bird feathers, Josh and Mike find footprints in the vicinity. Both trace back to birds known to live in the area. There's no reason to conclude that the moa live, but if the creatures were adaptable, it's not out of the question.

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