Josh Gates Responds To Cryptomundo

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 18th, 2009

In all due fairness, I pass along to Cryptomundo an email just received, without edits (except for the addition of the link to the posting in reference) from Josh Gates, the host of “Destination Truth.”

I was just forwarded your article entitled, “Destination Truth Retreats from Cryptozoology.” I was really disappointed to read that your thoughts on our third season and I thought I might clarify a few points for you. Neil Mandt is a close friend and your reporting about his company no longer producing the show due to pressure to diminish the the quality or standards of DT isn’t accurate at all. In fact, the show has evolved greatly from season to season. We made the switch to high-definition, began employing 3D animations, maps, and a host of high quality field equipment for our investigations. Ping Pong Productions, who now produce the show, have been incredibly hands on. Both owners of the company, Brad Kuhlman and Casey Brumels, travel in the field, work behind the scenes, and appear on camera, which is a real testament to their commitment to the series. I do not serve as an executive producer on the series, as you reported.

In terms of of the topics covered on the show, we have always tried to cover a wide range of stories that involve mysteries around the world. Even in season one we investigated hauntings as well as cryptozoological creatures. As the show has expanded (we now produce more than double the amount of episodes per season that we made in season one) we have continued to explore the paranormal, while maintaining a strong focus on cryptozoology. The only one-hour, one-topic, episode of the season was devoted to the Bhutan Yeti. We also brought the show to the U.S. for the very first time and focused both of our stateside segments on cryptozoological animals (thunderbird and skunk ape). In the 9 episodes that just aired, every single one of them had at least one segment devoted to a cryptozoological subject.

We’ve always appreciated the support that you and Cryptomundo readers have given to the show and promise to continue to produce high-quality episodes that feature exciting investigations into the planet’s most fascinating mysteries.

All the best, Loren.


Josh Gates
Host/Producer – Destination Truth

Destination Truth Productions Los Angeles, CA 90046

Malaysia Bigfoot Cast

The Internet Movie Database notes that Gates is a producer. I was informed, apparently incorrectly, that Josh Gates had assumed a more hands-on role in the program by taking on executive production duties starting with Season II of “Destination Truth.” My apologies to Mr. Gates for being wrong on this point.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

19 Responses to “Josh Gates Responds To Cryptomundo”

  1. LanceFoster responds:

    Everybody has different paradigms they are working with when considering cryptozoology. Many people are fervent adherents to one or another of these schools of thought, to the point of attacking the other schools.

    It seems to me from comments I read that most of the readers of Cryptomundo fall into one of two camps. The majority fall into the “cryptids are all biological organisms that science just hasn’t confirmed yet” or biological school. The great successes of the coelecanth, the okapi, etc. are the poster children for this school. Bigfoot and his kin are just anthropoids we haven’t captured yet.

    Then there is the minority of the two schools which is it’s mostly all hokum, deluded people with perception problems, aka the Skeptic school.

    Most people here argue back and forth between these two schools of thought.

    Then there are the other/fringe folks who don’t seem to post much here because both the Biology and Skeptic schools jump all over them. These would be the paranormalists, the folklorists, the conspiracy theorists, etc.

    I think the “either/or” schools of thought have problems. Some cryptids are definitely either new species of animal or misidentified species of known animals (or “blobsquatches!). Some cryptids are folklore, stories handed down from a friend of a friend, and then touching off “experiences” by all-too-human witnesses in true error or fear or seeking attention. And some cryptids defy rational explanation (some of the Skinwalker Ranch “things” like the giant “wolf” and the “shape that crawled out of some other dimension”).

    Now we could all be off our nuts, no doubt. The people who never doubt their sanity are the ones most likely insane. It is a good thing to suspect one’s own perceptions when encountering such anomalies.

    But my own personal worldview is that there is a host of experiences, organisms and entities that have been conflated by popular culture and groupthink into something called “cryptozoology.”

    Some are indeed biological animals. My own experience seeing what I have tentatively identified as a Shunka Warak’in in the museum in Ennis, Montana assures me of this (although certainly genetic testing would help). Some are misperceptions and misidentifications by the well-meaning. Some are hoaxes and jokes by the funsters and money/attention-hungry. And some are just reminders of the fringes of human knowledge, the kind of thing that Keel and Fort studied.

    I enjoy “Destination: Truth” because I take it for what it is, rather than what it is not. It is entertainment. It takes me to places I will never go, seeing things I will never personally see. Ghosts, dwarfs, lizardmen, man-eating plants, who knows? It’s freaking -entertainment-, people! It is not science.

    People confuse the use/misuse of technology with science all the time, whether it is cryptid hunters or ghost hunters. Technology is a tool but it is not science. Tools can be misused. Science is a way of seeing the world, empirically, with a particular methodological approach. “Ghost Hunters,” “Destination Truth,” etc. are lots of fun and EDITED experiences, but they are not science. The analysis of video is not a science. The analysis of hair and scat samples — USE scientific methodology but are not infallible (Science if it is honest makes no pretensions to infallibility).

    I guess I understand Loren’s and other folks disappointments with “Destination Truth,” because the Biology school is committed to that particular avenue of inquiry within their paradigm. Ghosts and sorcery don’t fit their interests.

    But people should just take “Destination Truth” for a good time, learning about places and people and beliefs from faraway places. Like Josh, I am also a trained anthropologist. I approach everything, including cryptozoology, from an anthropological/cultural paradigm. Some things turn out to be based on physical organisms, but some things turn out to be psychocultural. And some things are just mysteries 🙂

    After all, apologies to Scooby Doo, but mysteries are not necessarily and always to be solved…mysteries with a capital “M” are to be contemplated.

    I like “Destination Truth” because it brings both mysteries and Mystery into the convenience of my living room 🙂

  2. on the track responds:

    I really have to agree with Josh on this. I am a big fan of cryptozoology (heck, I have the word tattooed inside a banner wrapped around a heart on my arm!) but I see nothing wrong at all with investigating paranormal cases outside of the realm of mystery animals. I actually prefer the variety. I also think that the original post about this season that Loren made had it sounding like this season of DT wouldn’t be dealing with cryptids at all and again I side with Josh in the fact that they actually did dealt with a lot of cryptozoological things. Branching out and exploring all types of strange and fortean cases around the world is, in my opinion, certainly something to be encouraged and applauded, not something to be looked down upon.

  3. Ferret responds:

    I agree with Josh. As a cryptozoology enthusiast I’m sad to see DT doing more non-CZ Fortean topics and less of the cryptozoology we love so well, but we have to keep in mind that Destination Truth never set out to be a cryptozoology show, but rather an investigation of “mysteries around the world”. Heck just listen to the intro “I’ve seen some unexplainable things…I’m not sure what’s waiting out there for me, but I know what I’m looking for: the truth” nothing about cryptozoology there, very clearly a Fortean theme. I think it’s important to recognize what Destination Truth is a judge it based on that, and not try to hold it to a standard it never set out to meet. I personally really like DT, while I haven’t been able to watch much of the newest season yet, and admit that I sometimes disagree with the conclusions, on the whole I like it a lot, and look forward to seeing where the show will go in the future.

  4. inbetween responds:

    I consider this to be just a crap show, if it’s entertainment then it’s on the level of tv wrestling. I have never seen an episode that mattered. Mostly it’s just undefined noises from the dark as the cast runs around shouting this and that with no evident plan or direction. I see no scientific advancement ever coming from this drivel. There always the narration about how they are running out of time, usually in the first couple of minutes of the program. I have an idea, if your flying all the way to Bhutan why not do a week long investigation and cover a much larger area, in other words do the job so something gets accomplished and find some real data.

  5. MountDesertIslander responds:

    Tastes are pretty subjective when it comes to reality televison. With that disclaimer out of the way, I feel like this season of Destination Truth was very strong. When I consider the other paranormal, crypto, unexplained reality genre on SyFy, A&E, et al I think that DT was the only one that had a stronger season than the year before. It wasn’t even close.

    Josh had a great year. His irreverant sense of humor was on full display as was his professionalism. Jael was an outstanding addition to the cast. She is perfect as a counterbalance to Josh. The werewolf, Romanian haunted forest, Aubulox (sp), Bermuda Triangle, and desert dinosaur episodes were surprisingly strong. The mid season ending Yeti hunt was head and shoulders the best of their season.

    I was quite happy to invest an hour a week watching Destination Truth. I say well done.

  6. geekomancer responds:

    Uhm, it’s a fun show. If they happen to run into something, great. If not, well, then me and my dad just spent a fun hour in front of the TV together. We’ve both enjoyed the show since it started, and I’ve got a feeling we’ll continue to enjoy it.

  7. cryptidsrus responds:

    Kudos to LanceFoster for his insight. Like him, I watch DT promarily for the wealth of information about Cryptids it provides. The fact that it does not produce “results” is secondary to me.
    Sorry, Inbetween. And I also have no problem with DT covering non-Cryptozoological subjects such as ghosts.
    In fact, I like the more “Fortean” subjects the show has been tackling.
    Thanks also to Josh for his clarificatory email. 🙂

  8. ParticleNoun responds:

    I’m firmly with Lance on this one. It is an entertainment show, first and foremost. People seem to be either

    1) entertained by it or

    2) completely disdainful of it.

    That is fine. However, as was also mentioned above, I think the show is being held to a higher standard than it aspires to.

    I’m a fan of DT, as an entertainment show for sure. It’s like scooby doo for adults. In the meantime, they have every chance of stumbling across something interesting, as they have with the unclassifiable hair sample.

  9. dharkheart responds:

    I find it very disappointing to see the state-of -the-art equipment used in, the travel funding and accessibility to labs and experts wasted on this show: they end up with cursory investigations and little, to nothing, in the form of hard evidence. I guess when you go crashing through a jungle scaring away the thing you’re trying to capture on camera, results are the last thing considered.

    I like Josh and his crew but I think their investigations are excuses for travel. How do I get that gig? Geez.

    p.s. sorry for being crabby–lack of sleep 🙂

  10. yo responds:

    I thought that I would be disappointed when Destination Truth started showing more of the paranormal episodes, but I absolutely loved the Haunted Japanese Forest and Chernoble episodes. The show continues to hold my fascination even though I would have enjoyed having more of the hour long versions on cryptids. Josh makes it very fun to watch with his sarcastic humor, even if they don’t always find anything.

  11. c.stark responds:

    Thanks for the post Loren,

    People in the crypto- community take themselves way too seriously… When this topic first came up, I freely admitted that Destination Truth is one of my guilty pleasures. Josh is clearly using the network to fund his own personal vacations, but who cares, this show is good fun! It’s an adventure show with cross demographic appeal. I for one am happy that DT is introducing a mainstream audience to the concept of cryptozoology. (Any publicity is good publicity!) When I want in depth crypto analysis I come to cryptomundo; when I want mindless entertainment I watch DT.

    Some people have expressed disappointment at the resources “wasted” on DT. The idea that legitimate research is being denied because DT is on the air is garbage. DT is not funded by the academic community, it is paid for by a media corporation, the idea that other cryptozoologists would be in competition for that money is preposterous.

    PS. On a lighter note, as a college student, I like to play the Destination Truth drinking game. When the team arrives at their destination, you watch the background, and count the number of people smoking cigarettes next to open gasoline. When you see someone light up, take a drink… LOL 🙂

  12. mikfoss responds:

    I was afraid I was going to not enjoy this season, I was wrong. The season has turned out great, and its nice to have something I can enjoy on the tube. I only wish there were more shows out there covering crypto topics that I could get my hands on, instead of all the other junk I see on the TV . . .

  13. Dr Kaco responds:

    It is on Syfy not Discovery or NatGeo so lighten up!
    Fun show to turn on to rest your eyes after trying to view those pesky Blobsquatch.
    Now keep on hating and keep on watchin!!!
    You go Josh!!
    Hip Hip Hooray!

  14. JMonkey responds:

    Seriously he did some good work this year. While not all of it is to some of the reader’s of this sites high standards. He caught a Florida Panther on Camera. This is no small feet. Some of the wildlife rangers in the area that are out every day have never seen one. He found undidentified hair samples, a small corpse, fossilized dinosaur tracks, and One of his team members got midget tossed by some force in a haunted forest. Thats pretty good investigation for just a couple of days on the ground.
    I think we get caught up in the whole idea of this being an actual expedition. These are cursoiry expeditions as someone has already pointed out, but when he finds footprints, hair samples, and strange remains, it opens the door for others to do more in depth studies.
    I will concede that some shows are a major bust, but still they are entertaining and it beats watching ET or CSI Miami. I can remember a time when you would have never seen anything like this on TV, and if someone had been brave enough to talk about their beliefs or a strange sighting they would have been labeled as nuts.
    All in all I think we need to take it easy and remember that Rome was not built in a day, but pillar by pillar it became a magnificent city. Support those that are finally bringing these ideas, and this type of entertainment/research to the forefront, and more, better studies will follow. Congrats to Josh.

    PS It does not matter who is right or wrong about these posts. Josh is great at what he does, which is entertain while still doing a cursory investigation. Loren is a true researcher proven many times over. If you want to know who is more entertaining then I would say Josh. If you want me to pick one to do an investigation in the realm of cryptozoology then it would be Loren every time. Does DT serve its purpose? Well yes it does, just like Cryptomundo serves its purpose, however different they may be.

  15. springheeledjack responds:

    DT is one of those shows that one minute I’m thinking, this could be good, and the next minute I’m shaking my head.

    I believe the crypto-crowd gets excited because this is a show that pertains to cryptozoology. To that end, I think it is good…yeah it’s coming from Sci-Fy, and yeah, it’s hokey (sorry man, but it is what it is), but for better or worse, it’s cryptozoology television, and me being a junkie, I go to the dealer for a fix.

    On the other hand, I think people (and I’ll include myself here, because I’ve been a dissenter on more than one occasion) who support cryptozoology get bunged up about it because most of the episodes end up with them crawling through the woods in the dark with their cameras, and the minute they encounter noises and rustling brush, they run (and seriously, hunting for a raptor in the Alaskan wilderness at night…). I just think cryptozoologists, the field people and the armchair fanatics just want a show that validates their passions–and a lot of times DT falls short.

    I don’t think this show does a ton for Cryptozoology, other than advertise that it’s out there…but maybe that’s all it should be…or at least maybe that’s all we should expect from it.

    As for me…I’m taking c.stark’s advice…

  16. hudgeliberal responds:

    Unlike those who claim to enjoy variety, I wish we could have one really good CRYPTOZOOLOGY show. NO GHOSTS, NO CRAZY PARANORMAL/MYSTICAL sasquatch nonsense either, just flesh and blood Cryptozoology 100%. I am so sick of all the ghost shows on television, ugh. I say go Sasquatch 24/7/365! Never enough sasquatch for the true enthusiast.

  17. sschaper responds:

    Gates is an excellent protagonist, I just wish all that talent and money were invested in real research. Then have the team go visit the researchers in the field.

    And most critters are active at dusk and dawn, not midnight. If you want dusk to be creepy, you can do that.

  18. LanceFoster responds:

    One good cryptozoology show for those wanting 100% biological, flesh-and-blood animals is “River Monsters” on Animal Planet.

    Although most have been described, they are little-known and some might as well be cryptids for all that science and the public knows about them. Watch the episode on the Goonch Catfish in India for example, which has been blamed for the disappearing of men and livestock. I saw it again this last week and it was excellent.

  19. KristyBeast responds:

    I love Destination Truth. It’s fantastic.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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