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Destination Truth: An Unreview

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 13th, 2007

Why have there been no reviews of the June 6th broadcast of “Destination Truth,” which was hosted by Josh Gates? Where are the reviews?

Malaysia Bigfoot Cast

Did you see it?

For me, it happened right in the middle of a week of activities that centered on my son’s awards assemblies and graduation, so I missed it. Did anyone watch it?

Malaysia Bigfoot

The limited, six-episodes of the sixty-minute long series are being carried on the Sci-Fi Channel. It is executive produced by Neil and Michael Mandt for their Mandt Brothers Productions, whose credits include ESPN’s very popular “Jim Rome Is Burning” show.

Malaysia Bigfoot Cast

If you saw it, what was your reaction?

Adeek

Readers of Cryptomundo, what’s your feedback and reaction to the program?

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


27 Responses to “Destination Truth: An Unreview”

  1. Mr.PassiveAggressive responds:

    I watched Destination Truth and, truth be told, I was entertained by the show. It did a wonderful job of using sharp cuts and deceptive camera angles to create the impression of ‘something’ going on.

    But, as a faux documentary, it left a lot to be desired. Chasing a ‘dinosaur’ in the middle of the night but not being able to follow up for tracks in the daytime because ruthless clearcutters and their big bad machines were there to stop any intruders (with no sign of said clearcutting anywhere the night previously), video images of ‘something big’ rattling trees and branches in the jungle sent for ‘analysis’ and no comment on what the analysis showed…. if the series continues with the bait and switch tactics, its going to be hard to say that this was nothing but an attempt to capitalize on the success of such shows as Ghost Hunters.

  2. DWA responds:

    The closest I can come to a review is:

    That footprint cast still looks to me like a rhino track.

    Have we gotten to the point with this issue where it’s not necessarily any longer true that any publicity is good publicity? If I were a scientist and all I saw of treatments of hairy hominoids was the kind of program that Mr.PassiveAggressive is describing (and no I didn’t see it but I can guess), I think I’d stick to studying mouse lemurs.

  3. pgb responds:

    the only truth is that this show was terrible.

    our adventurers have cameras pointed towards a dead chicken being used as bait at night. then some rustling in the trees as the ‘dinosaur’ approaches. instead of waiting to catch the animal on camera, Josh Gates runs out to the chicken to get the animal on film. personally there was no dinosaur, one of the staff moved the trees. they later try to tell us that maybe a saltwater croc moved them. gimme a break. this show had no direction and little science. just a way to sell an hour’s worth of advertising on the Sci-Fi channel. don’t waste your time. someone give me a camera and a show and i’ll get something worthwhile on film.

  4. Benjamin Radford responds:

    And people wonder why cryptozoology gets little respect or credibility…

  5. PsychedelicShroom responds:

    I thought the show was a cluster****.

    The only saving grace about it were the pretty pacific island women shown above.

    The show, as mentioned previously, was an attempt to capitalize on the success of Ghost Hunters.

  6. raisinsofwrath responds:

    Here’s the important question since I didn’t see it:

    How often were those smokin hot chicks shown?

  7. Unknown Primate responds:

    It was better than I expected it to be. I figured from the start that they wouldn’t find anything. I’m sure we would have heard about it first on Cryptomundo if they had. I DID get a kick outta Gates digging a giant hole in the exact spot where the remains of a “mermaid” were supposed to be buried.

  8. TheBlessedBlogger responds:

    SciFi has attempted ‘investigative’ shows several times in the past and always fails for the same reasons:

    1. The hosts/investigators are annoying, uninformed and argumentative.

    2. The investigations are half hearted at best and very rarely produce anything even resembling evidence.

    3. They sprinkle the show liberally with hearsay, urban legends, common misconceptions, blatant fantasy and half truths.

    4. There is never any definitive analysis or any scientific approach at all. It’s very loose, unprofessional and disorganized.

    This current incarnation is guilty of all of the above with the exception of number 1. The host/investigator is likable and at times amusing but no amount of joviality is going to make up for shoddy investigative work. Sadly, I’ve SciFi has lost any credibility or respect it ever had, with me at least. Their programming gets worse by the day (can someone explain what wrestling and anime have to do with science fiction?) and their original shows and movies are laughable.

    I was really holding out hope for this one but unfortunately it lived up to my very low expectations.

  9. cmgrace responds:

    I am currently watching the second episode. So far, I believe the host is more interested in entertaining the crew and potential viewers than conducting a scientific investigation.

    He gives no facts on anything he investigates and seems to spend most of the time “looking down his nose” at the local eyewitnesses. If you are going to investigate paranormal or cryptozoological happenings you generally need to have a open mind.

    I think it is generally a worthless show, but I will continue to watch in the hope it gets better.

  10. Alligator responds:

    What more can you add than what has been said here? I won’t knock myself out trying to watch this show again. Highly contrived and poorly organized and unscientific. I wish SciFi would start running Japanese monster movies again. At least they were fun.

    One thing about Papua New Guinea – it is the home of the Crocodile Monitor, the 11 foot long arboreal cousin of the Komodo Dragon. If Gates hadn’t run in when the tree was “shaking” he might have eventually gotten some terrific footage of a big monitor getting the chicken. I also want to know what kind of fool charges wildly into the bush at night, especially in a place like New Guinea? Forget the dinosaur bit, there are highly lethal snakes prowling at night and lots of nasty insects and arthropods that would find the dinosaur hunters sweet and tasty morsels. Oh yeah, I forgot the land leeches. Or what if he inadvertently broke through the brush and landed in a river or slough – crocodile bait. Obviously, none of the people associated with this production knew any of this. Then again, they probably scouted the area and rehearsed well ahead of time.

    No comment on the young ladies in the picture, lest my wife kill me. The National Geographic specials on cryptid animals are much more professional and interesting and at least try to examine why the stories are out there.

  11. know that it is responds:

    The show is as boring as watching a childrens cartoon…You would think after the small amount of information we have fought to bring to the public for the last 60 yrs or so on ufos, ghosts, bigfoot, etc., (from serious documintation and credible experts) that the Sci-fi Channel would find a btter program to come up with. It was a joke. This would be a good show to scare a 10 year old. The show shows nothing of interest and at the end of the episode you feel ripped off. I felt ripped off watching last weeks episode also. I think i’d rather watch my copy of “Fastwalkers” for the 20th time instead of watching the next installment of this series…boo, no good:(

  12. know that it is responds:

    I just saw this weeks episode again and it was just as dumb. (thought I would give it another try) but still…BORING!!!!

  13. Mr.PassiveAggressive responds:

    Watched the 2nd Episode. Nothing really changed about the way I feel.

    The host is entertaining enough, although, as mentioned above, his willingness to deride eyewitness accounts with sarcastic remarks tends to demonstrate that the intent of this show is to entertain, not inform or detect.

    That being said, they did find some interesting Electronic Voice Phenomena from inside the Thai crematorium. But EVP and/or ghosts doesn’t seem to fit into cryptozoology.

    The search for the Naga (sp?) was a joke from beginning to end.

  14. DWA responds:

    Mr.PassiveAggressive: what you say sheds some light on Ben Radford’s statement above, which could be interpreted as snide, but I won’t:

    “And people wonder why cryptozoology gets little respect or credibility…”

    Well, many of us don’t wonder at all. Who do we think is shooting programs like this? Certainly not cryptos. They’re savvy (at least in the realm of what’s entertaining to the masses) types who just want to bring in the ratings numbers.

    These “savvy” TV types add up the numbers:

    - Credulous people who will believe anything;
    - Credulous people who have had (or think they have, but of course!) eyewitness encounters with cryptids;
    - Hard-core cynics who just want a laugh at cryptos’ expense, fair payback for the day Mom and Dad told them about Santa Claus;
    - Serious cryptos who monitor the airwaves to respond to the way the field is being treated by the media….

    Need I go on? Heck, you only need to add one more category:

    - Folks who are tired after a hard day at work and want to: be titillated/given a thrill of hope/given at least a chuckle/want to see their fondest hopes about TV confirmed/see their most cynical derisions of the TV mentality confirmed/just spin the remote and oh look at this etc. …

    …to see that the numbers probably support adding yet another hunk of cotton candy to the desertscape of 250 channels and nothing on.

    IMHO.

  15. Valen responds:

    cmgrace said: “I am currently watching the second episode. So far, I believe the host is more interested in entertaining the crew and potential viewers than conducting a scientific investigation.”

    I couldn’t agree more. My 14 yr old daughter even thought it is a hokey show.

    They seem haphazard in their techniques and use of equipment. They don’t even know how to use a fish finder right (I have the same model used on the show).

    Not a serious investigation show at all IMHO.

  16. Unknown Primate responds:

    Seems I’m the only one on this board who’ll probably keep watching it (post #7). I agree, the host is goofy, it’s unscientific, and you can bet they’ll probably never prove anything of substance. I try to check out any crypto or paranormal reality-type program. I also watched “Into The Unknown” with George Noory. Enjoyed it too. This isn’t to say that I won’t change channels or stop watching if the mood strikes me. “Deadliest Catch”, “Dirty Jobs” and, yeah, even “Ghost Hunters” are about the only regular programming I really try to catch each week.

    Keep hoping that one day the tube will feature the ultimate scientific cryptozoological series. But until then…

  17. Lee Pierce responds:

    pgb said it all, except he left out Gate’s lame attempts at humor. The guy is fourth rate and the show was a slap in the face of believers everywhere. The Mermaid bit is so old even my 6 year old grandson knows it is a dugong. And not even a pretty one.

  18. sschaper responds:

    It is an entertaining show.

    Apart from that. . . .

    What if the serious researchers got together and proposed a show to sci-fi?

    Sure, have their Josh Gates or whomever, but get sci-fi (IF they have the money) to fund some serious research at a season’s worth of sites, or half a season’s worth, let you real researchers go to work. Maybe visit at the beginning with the host and film crew to set it up, and at the end, to look at the results. That way they can have the kind of people they believe draw ratings, but have some real research going on.

    It would take some work, but, why not give it a try? You can alway pitch it to other networks if Sci-fi doesn’t want it.

  19. DWA responds:

    I have a great idea!

    What if the serious researchers got together and proposed a show to sci-fi?

    Sure, have their Josh Gates or whomever, but get sci-fi (IF they have the money) to fund some serious research at a season’s worth of sites, or half a season’s worth,….

    OK, OK, it isn’t my idea. But sschaper’s is the kind of idea you wonder why you (or at least someone in cable TV) haven’t had yet.

    Why let all these shows run by, well, the people who have been running them, who know as much crypto as I do knitting, continue?

    I’d think that, with all the internecine strife, surely some amateur researchers would be able to come together enough to give this a go.

    Am I right…? Sounds like ka-ching to me. And the field could use some ka-ching.

  20. MrInspector responds:

    Just a thought, but does anyone really believe that you can solve a centuries old mystery by spending a couple of nights in the woods/jungle/on a boat in the river, lake, or ocean?

    As was stated earlier, these shows aren’t about solving the mystery, they aren’t about educating the viewer about the subject matter. It’s about entertainment.

    To tell the truth, the show falls short on many levels. However, I find it much more entertaining than say, American Idol for instance. I wouldn’t give up LOST to watch it, but keep it in a time slot that doesn’t interfere with one of the too few shows on that are worth watching, and I’ll tune in.

    I think they should have an attractive woman as the host, but then I think that about most shows. ;)

  21. LanceFoster responds:

    I watched the Thai episode. I’ll probably keep watching, for a while at least, because I like crap, let’s face it…however…he acts like an ass

    I read on the Destination Truth website that the host Josh got degrees at Tufts, get this…in archaeology and DRAMA…weird combo. I bet he was mainly a drama student that took a couple intro classes in anthropology or archaeology.

    As I am myself an archaeologist and anthropologist, the main thing that bothers me about his so-called archaeology background is his lack of cultural sensitivity and respect to his local hosts. His arrogance is not only terrible, as an archaeologist (which is a subset of anthropology in the U.S.), he was trained to know and behave better. Shame on him.

  22. Mnynames responds:

    Well, I wouldn’t say that the show was utter drek, and actually I found it better than I was expecting, but, yeah, this is light entertainment at best. I’ve only seen the first episode, and found the host to at least be somewhat knowledgeable of his subject matter, and at least not openly dismissive of CZ itself. Having said that, I found it HIGHLY suspicious that any real cryptozoologist would waste his time with the Ri, whose debunking I recall reading about as a teen in the late 1980′s. It truly struck me as a, “well here’s an easy one to make fun of” topic, and makes me suspicious of the rest.

    As for Sci-Fi programming in general, yeah, most of their original movies would make Ed Wood cringe, but I very much enjoy “Ghosthunters” and find the TAPS guys to be very sensible, down-to-earth fellows (Well, except Brian, he’s their Shaggy), and I found “Proof Positive” to be the best of their other paranormal fare, even if it sometimes gave negatives where they were clearly inconclusives, or even quite suggestives.

    I know it had it’s flaws too, but why can’t anyone match the quality of the late, great “In Search Of” series? Or better yet, what about “Secrets & Mysteries”, anyone remember that? Sure, the show was gimmicky in it’s format, but the information was good, at least…and I still want a room like that in my house!

  23. Mnynames responds:

    OK, am watching the Ropen/Chupacabra episode as we speak, and I’m afraid I have to agree with everyone else calling him an arrogant jerk. He’s the sort of clueless great white hunter who’d have half of his guides abandon him on an expedition in the old days, and if he made it back he’d no doubt claim that they ran away because they were scared and superstitious, not because he was a complete jerk.

    Here’s a clue, pal- be gracious to your hosts, lest they leave you in those bat-infested caves to your most-deserved fate…

  24. DWA responds:

    Mnynames:

    Maybe the host-abandonment scene is what they’re going for, and he just hasn’t been enough of a jerk yet. Reality doesn’t always deliver what the producer’s going for.

    You’d think that the real ratings boon in crypto would be to have real cryptos who know what they’re doing run the shows, and not excessively-groomed network scoff tools.

    But that may be just me.

  25. pixbergkid responds:

    The thing that gets me the most about this show is how bad the cameras that they use are. In Ghost Hunters you never have any problem with the infrareds. 95% of the time on this show all you are looking at is a black screen. The show is entertaining, the host Josh has his clever quips. But its nothing more than entertainment. I kinda get offended when they try saying it’s for real. Also it has ALOT of really bad voice overs. I guess they can’t think of clever things to say in the heat of the moment. I have watched all three episodes now and I think I’m over it.

  26. BryanH1963 responds:

    While I totally respect anyone’s opinions, does anyone REALLY expect to see anything substantial to be revealed OR to see the actual discovery of one of our beloved cryptids on this show? This show is meant to be fun, entertaining. I find the host to do a great job, tongue-in-cheeking through every episode. I applaud Sci-Fi for bringing a show like this (ala “Unsolved Mysteries” or “In Search of…”). This show is far superior to the show which I can’t even remember the name of that included that obnoxious Boston Rob from “Survivor” fame. I never expect to see ground breaking footage or gain new information when I watch any of the various shows that occasional air on TV. At least now we have a NEW weekly show to enjoy, not having to watch the same shows over and over again. So take it for what it is, sit back and enjoy it and try not to be too critical. IF and when something is ever discovered, I am sure CNN, MSNBC and ALL the local news stations would have it, it won’t be filmed and then aired months later on a show like this.

  27. LanceFoster responds:

    I saw the Ropen/Chupacabra episode the other night. Taking it all at face value, and ignoring all the showbiz and great white hunter posing, there were a couple of interesting things to be noted.

    The Ropen segment featured some kind of glowing object moving slowly through the sky, that the U.S. technical analysis was unable to identify as anything they had seen before. The Ropen was associated with these lights by the local people. Whether or not it is a flying pterosaur, it seems to be a phenomenon worth a further look.

    The Chupacabra segment resulted in three hairs being sent to a lab for DNA analysis. Two were determined to be human. But one hair could not be matched to any mammalian source. And what other than a mammal has hair? Again, something worth a further look, aside from the Hollywood hoopla.



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