Hold on Destination Truth Fans and Welcome to Wormholeriders!
We have another exciting adventure this week on Destination Truth – Spirits of Tikal/Creature from the Black Lagoon, so buckle up, grab a backpack and here we go with Joshua Gates, Erin Ryder and Team Truth which consists of Kyle Wheeler cameraman, David D’Angelo cameraman, Katy Murakami field investigator, Adam Butler audio tech, Tristant Icaza equipment tech, and Richie Fung medic.
Spirits of Tikal
First up we are setting down in Central America, headed for Guatemala with our final destination being the ancient city of Tikal. Tikal is located deep in the jungle and is the home of ancient Mayan ruins. Tikal was once one of the largest Mayan cities with a population of over 100,000 people from 200-900 AD. Locals are now reporting that victims of unimaginable human sacrifice haunt the city, these blood rituals were observed to appease temperamental gods. 1200 years ago, the city was mysteriously abandoned. Archeologists have heard disembodied voices, and former guards recount incidents with angry spirits.
The Mayan calendar also mysteriously grinds to a halt on December 12, 2012. Paranormal activity has been reported to be on the rise. With that date fast approaching, let us see what we can find with Josh and his team as we explore the ruins of Tikal. Team Truth takes off from their Los Angeles, Ca offices and fly 2200 miles to the Central American city of Belize.
The gods were looking kindly on Team Truth as they escaped the airport unscathed and actually loaded up in a decent 4×4! Josh tells us that there are hundreds of ancient ruins scattered throughout the jungles of Central America. Before we go to Tikal, we are stopping at another site, Lamanai, located in northern Belize. Josh, Ryder and the team are going there to talk to a man that formerly worked at Tikal and have first hand reports of the ghosts that reside there. Lamanai is the only ancient city not reachable by road and after 100 miles, Team Truth trades in their wheels for a luxury watercraft! Hello, people, this is Destination Truth, see the boat below! Josh does finally get the engine to turn over and off we go!
We are headed about 25 miles up river to the ruins of Lamanai. Josh reminds everyone to keep their arms and feet inside the boat as they are in crocodile country! Soon we read our first destination and travel inland awhile to meet up with Amir Reyes, former Tikal guide. Amir tells Josh that after dark you hear the sounds of masons working, as if the spirits have not gone to rest yet. Amir tells Josh that the team should go speak to a local Shaman in Guatemala that he can bless them, to keep them safe from the angry spirits when they journey to Tikal. To reach the Shaman the team heads back up the river to Lamanai then travel inland about 70 miles to the town of Candelaria.
We have one problem, the team needs to cross the border into Guatemala and with the weekend coming, and the border office is closing, the race was on. Josh also mentions that he has a couple of unpaid parking tickets in Guatemala and for everyone to act calm. The customs office closes at 9pm, and that is exactly the time Josh shows up. After begging the customs official with praying hands, she lets them cross and away we go!
The next morning Josh and Team Truth travel to a cave where the Mayan Shaman lives who has the power to invoke the spirits of Tikal. They find the cave and travel through darkness, quite away inside, over rocky terrain to reach the Shaman. He agrees to share his knowledge of the spirits of Tikal and with Katy translating, we learn that the buildings are not ruins, they are sacred temples. That they hold the energy of the Mayan ancestors. Tata Pedro, the Shaman, says the energy is most abundant around the seven temples and that you will see spirits in Tikal. A ceremony is then preformed to protect the team from the dark spirits of Tikal. Then were back on the road, headed for Tikal!
Before the investigation, we are going to meet an eyewitness, who happens to run an antiquities museum and a radio station. Josh and Ryder, being the expert radio announcers that they are, lent their morning drive time commentary for the locals listening enjoyment! Josh then meets with Oscar Acosta, he tells Josh that he was at the site excavating and felt hands grab his legs, which pulled him away, almost 40 meters! No matter how hard he tried, he could not hold onto anything, the supernatural force kept pulling him! He also relayed that Tikal, the name itself also means the place of voices or place of spirits.
Team Truth then heads out for Tikal, they arrive, get base camp setup in Tikal’s great plaza, this site covers 23 square miles and contains over 3000 structures. Team Truth decides to concentrate their investigation in the epicenter of the paranormal reports, the 7 temples. With the IR cameras and base camp ready to go, Josh takes Richie, Kyle and Adam to being exploring! Josh mentions that there is no electricity or people, other than his team at the location. This makes for a clean investigation and no outside interference. Ryder, Katy and David have headed out in another direction. Ryder tells us that the energy of these temples supposedly travels up and out the tops of the structures. She says if they want to feel anything that they need to get up and into one of the temples. Ryder and Katy and David reach the top tier and decide to conduct an EVP session, just then the wind picks up. Ryder invokes the spirits to give them a sign to let them know if they are there. Just then they hear a noise and David’s camera goes down, the zoom and focus totally freaked out. They decide to go check out one of the other structures but to leave a voice recorder running to see if any evidence can be recorded.
It is almost midnight as we join Josh, Richie, Kyle and Adam as they seem to be having trouble with the thermal imager. At the same time Kyle’s camera has set itself to strobe and is also acting up. Josh comments that with two totally separate electronics malfunctioning at the same time, something is up. It might be the humidity but the thermal imager is reading cold. Josh comments that it does feel like something is playing around with the cameras a little bit. Strange happenings at Tikal my friends!
Josh decides to take a look at the main building, then hears a weird roaring noise, like a deep rumbling sound. They do realize that it could have been an animal and Josh alerts them to be careful as they head in the direction of the noise. We then hear a scream, and they run towards the sound! The sound was a moaning or crying and was really deep! They end up at a severe drop off and are looking out over the jungle towards another structure, just then, the base of pyramid four lights up! Josh says that this pyramid four is the tallest pyramid on the site and that Ryder’s team is nowhere near there. Josh and his team head towards pyramid four. The burst of light and the noises are coming from there! Here we go!
Its just a little after 1:00 am and Ryder, Katy and David are investigating the north acropolis. Ryder hears something just as David sees a white shadow move across his field of view. They head into the direction of what David saw and Katy gets the chills. Ryder says it is like they are standing on one big tomb! Josh, Richie, Kyle and Adam have headed for pyramid four to investigate the light and sounds. They have come upon the back of the pyramid and hear something in the jungle, Josh says for everyone to back up! They see nothing, with their eyes or on the thermal camera. All of a sudden rocks are being thrown at them, from directly above their heads, falling from the sky! Josh finds the culprit, it is a monkey!
Ryder, Katy and David while walking to another structure come upon what seems to be a very large animal. Ryder tells everyone to back away! She contacts Tristant at base camp to see if anything is on any of the cameras that he is monitoring. Just then whatever it is roars, really loud! Whatever it is, it seems to be moving towards them, they have come upon a very large animals habitat and it is not happy about it! They back away and whatever it was seems to be appeased by them leaving its area! Ryder and her team head back to the safety of base camp, its just not safe to be roaming around the jungle, at least not right now!
Josh, Kyle and Ritchie arrive at pyramid four and figure out that the light they saw was coming from a window near the top of the pyramid structure. The only way to get to that spot is up a very tall, very unstable looking wooden ladder, about 150 feet up. So of course, up they go! They arrive at the spot of the light and they determine that there is nothing that could have been a source of light. Just then Kyle tells Josh that he is picking up a breathing pattern on his audio equipment. Then they can all hear is with their ears! They come upon an opening in the pyramid that is producing the sounds of breathing and Josh determines that this could be the source of what the locals are hearing, it does sound like the structure is alive and breathing!
They searched the site until the sun came up, packed up base camp and returned to Destination Truth’s home office in Los Angeles, Ca to go over the evidence and review their findings! Josh and Ryder poured over hundreds of hours of recordings. What they discovered was that not only were the cameras and electronics freaking out, they were being taken over, not just turned off. When the equipment was working, they did pickup some really weird stuff, the roaring sounds, and especially the illumination at pyramid four. Their EVP recordings did produce results, Ryder‘s EVP question was ‘Is that you‘, ‘Can you give us another sign‘ ? Then the EVP response sounds like ‘Fuera‘, which is Spanish for ‘Go Away‘. In addition, all team members had personal experiences, chills, sightings and sounds. Josh says that something strange is going on at Tikal, something that we cannot identify.
Creature from the Black Lagoon
This creature is reported to have come from the inky depths of the South Pacific Ocean, but recent sighting have happened in usually peaceful shallows of the mangrove swamps on the coast of Fiji. It has a diamond shaped head and rows of razor sharp teeth. It locks down on its prey and rips through flesh. The skin is covered with scales and thrusts through the water at terrifying speeds. Fiji’s army was even called in to investigate; locals are on high alert after reports of recent narrow escapes. Team Truth has packed up their gear and we are headed to Fiji!
The team travels 5500 miles from Los Angeles, Ca to city of Suva, Fiji. Once their luggage was collected, they headed to catch a Ferry. Ryder seems content until which Josh assures them, is not nice. Arriving on the Ferry, Josh has everyone draw straws to see who would get the 1 bed in the 1 passenger cabin. Richie and Josh won and the rest of the crew had to sleep wherever they could find a place to crash. Ryder is not happy. There are team members scattered throughout the bleak, and not so pleasant Ferry.
It does seem like Josh and Kyle might have had a little more energy and happiness than everyone else. Well, Monster Hunters need their beauty sleep!
While sleeping, or trying to, the team traveled 150 miles, crossing the churning seas of the South Pacific, to arrive in the town of Savusavu. Like all of Fiji, Savusavu rests atop an ancient volcano and with steam escaping, boiling pits are noticeable all around the islands.
Team truth immediately grabbed a vehicle and headed to the Marine Research Facility. Once there they met with Edward Lovell, the Professor of Marine Studies at University of the South Pacific. Professor Lovell reports that he believes that when a local reports that they have seen something, that he takes note. In addition, he believes that there are many, many new species to be discovered because the majority of Fiji is still unexplored.
This fueled Josh excitement and they then turn to locals for eyewitness reports. They found a local fisherman, Vikesh Kumar, that just days before had seen an unknown sea creature. He said it was really big and that it hit his boat. He had never seen anything like it before, he thought it would eat him alive. This mans report was not unique, dozens of reports of the creature were coming from all over the island during the past year near the coast.
Josh and the team head for the coast, its time for their own investigation. They split into three teams. Tristant and Richie survey the Mangrove Rivers on foot, Ryder, Katy and David took to the sea, while Josh, Kyle and Adam took to a helicopter to get a bird’s eye view of the area.
All teams are concentrating on the mangrove swamps where the most sighting have occurred. Josh is using the thermal imager to look for temperature changes in the water. Ryder and Katy were the first to see anything, a black shape cruise along side their boat. They radio the hit to Josh who begins scanning that area for a heat signature. Katy is dropping the aqua-cam into the water to see if they can pickup anything. Josh widens his search a little and hits a hot spot in the water! Something big just came to the surface!
The teams all converge at the dock get into the boat and head to the GPS location of the thermal hit. They suited up, strapped on the tanks and began to search the reefs that surround that area of the island.
Ryder deploys the ROV, underwater remote camera and now they have additional eyes in the water. The water surrounding the island is spectacular and very clear, this will aide in seeing anything substantially large in the water. Just then, Ryder sees something on the sonar, she alerts Josh who is not seeing anything at the moment. Then the boat is hit, and we can hear it! Josh is seeing what hit the boat and relays that they are surrounded by Sharks! The sharks are in excess of 6-7 feet long and are circling. They only wait for an opening to head to the surface where Ryder, Katy and David help them all into the boat – very fast!
Josh wants to get more eyewitness accounts of the sightings. They travel to a local village and talk with a woman who recently saw the creature. Ateca Disukanvanua, reported that she was fishing and then saw a big black thing in the water. She said it was about 15 feet long and has a diamond shaped head, she said it was some kind of monster. Josh asks her is she thinks maybe it could have been a shark or an alligator and she responds that she has been fishing in that area for 43 years and she hasn’t seen anything like that her entire life.
Josh then goes to speak to the village chief, Tepeca Nakuvu, who has been tirelessly searching the local waters for the creature. After hearing the reports of the monster from the villagers, he called the police and the army. They came straight to the village to investigate the reports. They took spear guns and went to sea in search of the creature. They never did get a good look at the animal, but claim to have had some close calls. He tells Josh that if he goes looking for it, the monster could attack and eat him. He then directed Josh and the team to the exact spot of the recent sightings and even loaned them his boat for their journey. So down the river we go, monster hunting! The river took them down a small peninsula and eventually to the edge of the open ocean.
When they reached the location for the investigation, they unloaded the gear from the boat and immediately got to setting up base camp. With night approaching the investigation is about to get underway! Josh reminds his team that these eyewitnesses are sure they have seen something that is not your local marine life and that everyone needs to be on alert and careful! They will be investigating in mostly shallow water, inside the reef. If anything large is spotted, they must move quickly!
Josh, David, Katy and Adam are taking the boat and moving up the coast. Ryder, Richie and Kyle will be moving up the peninsula while Tristant will be monitoring the IR cameras from base camp. Looks like we are ready to catch a Sea Monster! Josh comments that whatever the people saw should not be in water this shallow. Josh says that by the description from the primary eyewitness sounds almost like a crocodile, but there are no crocodiles in Fiji and that in itself this presents a mystery. Tristant picks up a substantial break in the water from IR camera 3, he radios Josh the position. Josh heads over to the location but they see nothing, he pulls out the thermal imager to see if they can pickup any heat signatures.
We join Ryder, Richie and Kyle who are searching in the peninsula area. Ryder is stating that when people who have lived in this area their entire lives refuse to fish in specific areas, there has to be a reason for it and it has to be significant. Richie spots a break in the water and they catch it on camera. They take off running towards the location and catch it with the thermal imager! Then it disappeared, it crested then submerged just as quickly and swam away from the camera. They are standing in a little over ankle deep water when something slides by Ryder’s feet, she screams and Richie realizes that it was a fish! Whew! (Scared me)!
Josh and his team are searching near the banks of the mangrove swamp when they hear something rustling near the bank of the river. Nothing comes up on the thermal imager due to the denseness of the overgrowth. They decide to drop the aqua-cam and the hydrophone to see if they can see or hear anything under the boat. They cannot see much, lots of soft sand, but they are hearing something swimming around, then they pick up something swimming by on the aqua-cam! They see a tail and part of a body on the camera but nothing breaks the surface.
Ryder, Richie and Kyle get another hit of something large on the thermal camera. They can see it with their eyes also and it looks like its checking them out. Then it is gone. Ryder radios Josh; they compare sightings and decide to pickup the ROV. The ROV is a manually operated remote underwater camera vehicle. It can traverse the sea floor and give the team eyes in the dark water, from the safety of a boat or the shore!
Josh, David and Katy go pickup Ryder, Richie and Kyle, they all head to the location of Ryder, and Richie’s sighting. They deploy the ROV, the water seems murky but Ryder sees something. Josh spots an old bamboo raft and decides to try to use it to get to where the ROV has traveled. He thinks the raft will be more quite than the engine on the boat, therefore making him stealth.
Josh feels something moving behind the raft and Ryder sends the ROV over. Josh feels something right underneath the &%$#%)@ raft! The sonar is going off like crazy! Something seems to hit the raft and Josh goes down, in the water! The team races to rescue him, pulling him into the boat as fast as possible! With none of this being picked up by their cameras Josh decides they should head up river and see if they can find what knocked him off the raft! They continued to sweep the river until sunrise but did not see anything else. They returned to base camp packed up their gear and began their return to Los Angeles, Ca
After returning to Los Angeles, Ca, Josh visited Pepperdine University to discuss their finding with Professor of Biology, Dr. Lee Kats. Dr. Kats explains that Fiji is a biological hotspot. He says there are so many areas in Fiji, with new species of fish and vertebras that have not been seen or documented before, therefore undiscovered. Allot of the evidence reviewed, had too much silt and sand in the frames to really tell what it was they saw. In addition, the image’s from the thermal camera did not show any breach of the surface, the FLIR image from the helicopter was a good hit but not definable. The one thermal image from the lagoon was the best capture. Dr. Kats responded by saying that recently an invasive iguana not normally in the Fiji area has seen there and they are 2-3 times bigger, 6-7 feet long and much bigger than normal iguana’s. They actually have a diamond shaped head, and this could be what the locals were seeing.
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