Episode: Destination Truth 3.05 – “Alien Mummies/Van Lake Monster”
Original Air Date: October 7, 2009
This episode was pretty crazy. Like all the paranormal shows on the SyFy Channel, they usually put the really interesting case up front and the case with much less evidence or activity on the second half of the show. This episode was split pretty even, with both cases getting about half of the forty-minute hour each. However, the first case was still the most interesting.
The case involves alien sightings and remains found in Northern Chile, in an area near Pre-Spanish mines. The locals have claimed to see strange lights at night and small, humanoid figures disappearing into the mine shaft. The team flies to Lima, Peru, then rents a car to drive the remaining 26 hours to Chile down the Panamerican Highway (which is a very long toll road) and through a desert considered the South American Roswell. While still in Peru, Josh decides to be crazy with his appearance instead of his stomach and gets a haircut by the local barber. It could just be a “me” thing or a “chick” thing, but why in the name of everything that’s holy would you get your hair cut by just anyone?! For me, finding a stylist is like finding a doctor; you get one that understands you and you only go to that one. Otherwise, you end up looking like Josh (bald spot accentuated with a “regional” look).
They stop in Nasca the next morning to check out the Nasca Lines from the air (which is awesome for an art nerd like me). The one in the cap above is referred to as the “Astronaut”.
They finally make it to Chile and stop at a place called “Stargate.” It’s a monument built in a part of the desert that locals believe is a portal to another world, and sadly not a big metal circle located in Colorado that’s a portal to another world. Josh and Jael talk with one of the guys who built the monument, and he gives them some basic descriptions of the aliens. Next, they head into a local town (where Josh saves a dog from having to get itself out of a fountain) to talk with a local UFO researcher who’s been tracking the recent sightings. He tells them the same stuff they’ve been hearing about the aliens and the lights and says they should talk to someone in the Aymara tribe if they want to go to the actual mines. So they wander around the desert some more, then meet up with a tribe leader who personally witnessed the strange lights. He tells them the light was brighter than a star and vanished quickly, then tells them exactly where an opening to the mines is located. When Josh calls the opening a sarlacc pit, he’s not joking. That is a HUGE hole and the team repel right into it (which will make it difficult for them and their gear to get back up and out). The group breaks off with one set staying at base camp and the other going to check out the tunnels that have rocks falling from the walls and ceilings.
While walking around, they literally step into a grave with something wrapped in burlap. They bag it and send it back to base camp with Jael and Rex (who think they have a rock chucked at them on their way back). The remaining four continue investigating, and that’s when some crazy stuff goes down. They catch a flyby of a couple of white lights at the end of a tunnel that quickly disappear down a vertical shaft. After chasing the lights, they find an alternative way out of the mine along with an extremely bright light across the canyon. As soon as it starts to fade away, the audio equipment starts to bug out. The parabolic dish, that isn’t plugged in, starts making strange mechanical noises. Supposedly, this dish only collects sounds and doesn’t produce sounds. That was really weird. An hour later, they all head back into the mine, collect the rest of the team and equipment, and head back out again.
They have to give the actual corpse to local officials (the whole bringing a rotting dead thing on a plane probably wouldn’t go over so well nowadays), and they take pictures of it back to the States. Neither of the animal experts they take the pictures to can identify what kind of animal it is, though both are pretty certain it’s not a bird. The footage of the light on the other side of the canyon doesn’t yield any conclusive evidence either since they couldn’t get a good focus on it. What they are able to determine is that it doesn’t look like it’s moving like an airplane.
The second case takes them all the way to Turkey, where video footage of a supposed lake monster is causing a stir (CNN and AP ran stories about it). The picture above is from said footage. The team stops first in Istanbul (not Constantinople – waa-waa) and do the usual making friends with the natives.
They get to see the Hagia Sophia (so jealous about that one), walk through a bazaar (only made it 6ft. into the market before someone tried to sell them a rug), try on hats, and just have a goofy time joking with sellers. I LOL’d a few times; it’s the “get to know the culture and people” moments of the show that are the most entertaining. After all that, they talk to the journalist who first aired the video footage. He seemed pretty certain it was really a lake monster (as does everyone they talk to about it). So they rent a truck that comes with complimentary dirty pillow and crusty undies on the driver’s seat and make their way down to the town of Van to check out their lake monster.
Once there, they meet with the mayor, really get to know the locals (there was a parade going through town), and even get Mike to go native by having a local barber give him a Magnum P.I. ‘stache. Long and short, this town is pretty serious about there being a monster in their lake. Once out on the island everyone keeps pointing the team toward, they set and do their things, but the conditions are pretty cruddy for an investigation (super cold, windy, and it starts raining/snowing pretty good). Before the night is over, they freeze their bits and pieces off in and out of the water, Josh’s boat gets bumped by some … thing, and they get quick glimpses of unknown shapes on the underwater cam and the thermal cam.
Back in the States, their animal expert feels that the video footage is probably a hoax (it really looks like something is getting dragged through the water) and isn’t able to positively identify the thing in the close up (the thing looks like an Asian elephant head to me). The probability of a large creature living in that lake is slim: while the lake is large (about the size of Rhode Island), it’s extremely salty and the fish that do inhabit it only get about a foot long. However, like with most cryptozoological creatures, the possibility is still there for them to exist.
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
This episode bothers me. They found something buried which could be evidence. They turn it over to the local authorities yet they don’t follow up on it! I love this show, but they leave us all hanging.