Spirits of Tikal
The Case: Deep in the forests of Guatemala lie the ancient ruins of a city named Tikal, where human sacrifice was once common. Now, locals claim to have witnessed paranormal activity in the area—could this be the work of spirits who can’t find rest in the afterlife? When you factor in the fact that the Mayan calendar also ends in the year 2012, this becomes a case for Josh Gates and the Destination Truth team.
The Adventure: From Los Angeles, the team journeys 2,200 miles to Belize City, Belize to begin their circuitous route to Guatemala. First stop, the Mayan ruins of Lamanai in northern Belize, which are only accessible by boat. There, the team interviews a former Tikal tour guide who suggests that Josh visit a shaman before traveling to Tikal. After another very long journey, the team finds the shaman, who practices his art in a cave. The shaman conducts a ceremony to protect them from the dark spirits of Tikal and then the team heads off to do one more interview—this time with a man who claims to have been dragged 40 meters by an unseen force. Local research complete, the Team Truth heads to Tikal to set up base camp and explore a small cross section of the expansive ruins in the area. During the night, Tikal does not disappoint. The team encounters odd noises, unexplained lights, what appears to be a wild animal and, perhaps most important, much of the team’s equipment goes haywire. Are the spirits of Tikal trying to communicate? When the sun comes up, the team heads back to Los Angeles to assess their findings.
The Findings: Back in LA, the Josh and Ryder analyze their findings and still aren’t able to explain much of what they saw in Tikal. Some of their experiences can be chalked up to animals—a temperamental monkey in particular—but the multiple equipment failures and mysterious lights force Josh and Ryder to conclude that something unexplainable is indeed happening in Tikal.
Creature from the Black Lagoon
The Case: In the ocean near Fiji, sightings of a strange monster have terrified the locals. Often seen near the mangroves, this amphibious monster is said to have a diamond-shaped head, huge razor-sharp teeth, and an impenetrable armored shell of scales. Sounds like a case for Team Truth.
The Adventure: The team packs their gear and heads out. 5,500 miles later, they arrive in the city of Suva on the island of Fiji. After drawing straws to see who gets the comfy bed on the overnight ferry to the town of Savusavu, the team heads to a marine research facility to meet with a professor who is well versed on the creature as well as a local who claims to have seen it, firsthand. While searching off the coast of the island, the Team Truth gets a brief hit on the thermal imager and rushes to investigate by diving into the murky depths. Things get scary when Josh ends up surrounded by dangerous Bull Sharks but he escapes and decides to continue the search at a nearby village known for frequent creature sightings. After setting up base camp not too far away, the team hunkers down to see what the night brings. During the nighttime investigation, there are plenty of brief glimpses of large water-based animals and something large even knocks Josh into the water, but what was it? As the new day begins, the team packs up and heads home.
The Findings: At Destination Truth HQ in Los Angeles, Josh decides to consult with Dr. Lee Kats at Pepperdine University. While Kats admits that Fiji is an area that is largely unexplored and rife with new biological possibilities, much of Josh’s evidence is unclear. After taking a hard look, Dr. Kats suggests that what the locals may be seeing is a rare type of oversized iguana with a diamond-shaped head that can grow up to 6 feet long. That information is good enough for Josh to close the case.
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