Episode #01 - The Yeti
Nepal: Yeti - In Los Angeles, Josh Gates assembles his team to head to the Far East and investigate
the Yeti sightings that have been recorded for more than a thousand years. He chooses to bring
along Casey, Brad and Araceli. They pack their gear for the flight to Nepal.
After passing customs, they meet with Dr. Shrestha, the senior scientist for the Animal Health
Research Division, who explains his suspicions that the Yeti is a once-extinct species that may have
re-emerged. Based on reports and recommendations, Josh decides to investigate a valley where the
most sightings have occurred. Aboard a cramped 30-year-old prop plane, they head to the village of
Lukla and begin their four-day trek into the Himalayas.
The most eventful part of day one is the sighting of a distant cow in the hills. On day two, near
Mache, they find a retired Sherpa guide who was an eyewitness to a Yeti sighting. He directs them
three miles to the west. That night, Josh leads his team into the tree-filled hills despite sub-zero
temperatures. They find a cave that has some sort of animal droppings by its entrance but its interior
is devoid of life.
On day three, the thin air at 11,00 fee above sea level begins to slow the hikers. Dawa, their Sherpa,
takes them to a monastery that is said to have a Yeti head on display. Upon arrival, the party is
welcomed – but their cameras are not. A monk threatens to throw a stone at Brad if he tries to bring
the camera inside.
That night, a mysterious woman comes to the team and says she will help speak on their behalf.
Sure enough, the council of four leaders approves her entreaties and the team is permitted entrance
to the monastery, with their cameras. Within a metal case is a glass enclosure that holds what might
be a Yeti scalp. One of the elders explains they don the scalp to perform ceremonies to ward off
evil. Brad asks for a single hair to perform DNA testing but is rebuffed. Yeti or no, they’re told, the
people believe the artifact to be significant and that should suffice for proof.
Day four finds the hikers at a river within the valley. That night, they split up and begin hunting. A
moving hot spot is picked up by the thermal camera but the contact is too brief to be definitive.
Closer to the water, a Sherpa, Tul, finds a footprint. Josh is thrilled beyond belief when one perfect
and two partial footprints are found in close proximity. He summons Casey and Brad to quickly
bring the casting powder. They take impressions just before the evening mist turns to rain. Despite
the wet weather, Josh has them fan out on both sides of the river to try and find additional evidence.
They repeat the process at daybreak but find nothing conclusive.
A helicopter retrieves Josh and his team and whisks them back to the airport. Much to Josh’s
surprise, word of his discovery has gotten out and he’s besieged by the international media. His
discovery has made worldwide headlines.
Josh brings the three castings to Los Angeles and the first thing he and his teammates do is review
all their recordings. Casey says he has enhanced and studied al the thermal images but the moving
hot spot can be identified only as “something organic” – a more definitive finding won’t be possible.
Josh then heads to the University of Idaho, where he meets with Dr. Jeff Meldrum, a renowned
expert in footprints. He’s impressed with the castings and has a three-dimensional laser scan made.
The partial heel print is just about a perfect match for the full footprint and the doctor rules out the
likelihood that these were plants by someone perpetrating a hoax. Given the distance between
impressions, he reasons the creature that made this was well over six feel tall and weighed between
300 and 400 pounds. He also rules out the prints belonging to a bear because of the differences in
markings and toe shapes. He then shows Josh how similar this footprint casting is to one of
unknown origin taken in the Pacific Northwest, possibly made by a Sasquatch.
Meldrum considers Josh’s evidence a “significant discovery,” which delights Josh.
Episode #02 – Haunted Island & Devil Worm
Tanzania: Haunted Pemba Island – Making a rare trip into paranormal territory, Josh brings his
team to Pemba Island, a territory of Tanzania off the eastern coast of Africa. Recent reports indicate
that fisherman avoid it, frightened by the spirits of dead slaves who linger there.
Heading out toward the Madoni Ruins, Josh encounters Jakob Marley, a farmer. He invites Josh and
the team to visit with him and his family and explains that about a quarter of a mile away there is a
tree where ghosts gather every evening at midnight. He explains that people who see the ghosts die
the next day – including his own 19-year-old daughter, who succumbed after a quarrel with the
Jakob brings Josh, Casey, Brad and Araceli to the tree during daylight. They begin to set up their
equipment and sprinkle the hole in the tree’s trunk with rosewater as an offering. As night falls, they
are asked to participate in a ceremony thought to appease the spirits. Jakob’s brother, Jamil, is said
to be a vessel through whom the spirits will speak while one of Jakob’s three wives shrieks,
possessed by a different spirit. She objects to how Araceli is dressed but is placated with apologies.
A female spirit possesses Jamil, who accepts the offerings of fruit, rosewater and a chicken. Josh
pleads for the chicken to be spared; it receives a seemingly token bite from Jamil but is allowed to
live. When asked if Josh and the team can visit the tree that night, the spirit replies, “Let them go if
Fighting the clock, the team members race back to the tree to complete their set-up and begin
recording sights and sounds. They hear a sound in the air; Josh rules out an airplane but the low
rumble continues. Then they hear the sound of a little girl laughing, but they find no source.
Just as the EMF detector registers unusual spikes, the microphone inside the tree shorts out. As they
investigate, Casey picks up two heat signatures, which might be spectral orbs. Ponch, the team’s
audio technician, thinks he sees someone walking out of the nearby ruins. After half an hour, Josh
calls an end to the recordings.
Back in Los Angeles, Josh asks Dan Mewhinney from the Southern California Paranormal Research
Society to help analyze his team’s recordings. Dan points out that as the mic is placed in the tree, a
human voice is heard; he thinks it is saying “get out,” but it’s unclear. He also hears the rumbling
noise but can’t identify it.
Josh asks if it might be something organic, such as tectonic plates shifting, but Dan doesn’t think so.
The orbs seen on the thermal recording are intriguing but inconclusive. One camera, responding to a
motion, recorded something moving on the left edge of the screen. Because everyone was accounted
for at another position, it is also an anomaly.
Dan concludes that unexplained evidence suggests that the tree on Pemba Island is surrounded by
intense paranormal activity.
Mongolia: Devil Worm – Josh brings the team with him to Mongolia’s Gobi Desert in search of the
fabled devil worm, a.k.a. the death worm or olgoi-khorkoi. The frequency with which people have
reported sightings of the worm over the last century intrigues Josh, and after hearing of an entire
village recently abandoned because of the worm, he decides to concentrate his efforts in that vicinity
Getting there requires a two-day, off-road excursion using only GPS coordinates to help plot the
team’s course. At the halfway mark, in the town of Dalanzadgad, he and his team sample the local
food and get additional eyewitness reports of the worm and its attractive to things yellow in color.
When they find the village, they meet Osman, its sole inhabitant, who says he remains out of respect
for his departed father and brothers. He tells of hearing sounds that drove away his neighbors, but
admits he saw nothing himself.
Josh and his team set up cameras on the outskirts of the village, where a network of underground
tunnels might be the work of rodents or the worm. One camera is wrapped in yellow fabric as an
enticement. Despite the rapidly dropping temperature, Josh goes out with the thermal imager to look
around. He finds what appears to be a fresh hole and asks the others to come so they can take
samples. A thermal camera picks up residual heat images and they hear what could be scratching
sounds but nothing is seen.
Brad spots something flashing orange in the distance but when they investigate, they come up
empty. With the frigid air draining their battery power, Josh calls it a night.
Back in Los Angeles, the four soil samples are studied by Carol Case at the Babcock & Sons
laboratory. She says the samples are identical and contain nothing organic. Josh has to say that
while the stories are fascinating, there is not enough evidence to corroborate the existence of
Mongolia’s feared devil worm.
Episode #03 – Wild Man & Swamp Dinosaur
Cambodia: Wild Man – After reading reports of a “Wild Man” living in Cambodia, followed by
accounts of a woman leaving him and being reunited with her father, Josh knows he has to
investigate. He and the team pack up and fly to the capital of Phnom Penh, where they arrive ahead
of their luggage.
Josh first talks with journalist Nick Ray, who broke the story of the girl’s escape from the Wild Man
and says the markings on her wrist indicate she was either snared by a trap or bound in captivity,
convincing him there is a man in the jungle.
After arriving in the village of Oyadao, the team is brought to Sal Lou, who confirms the story. He
then introduces them to Rochom P’ngieng, the daughter he lost for 18 years. Since her recovery, she
has not spoken a word. However, she has recently made some drawings, which Sal Lou shows to
the team. Josh takes saliva samples from Sal and Rochom, in the hope that their DNA will prove
conclusively that she is his long-lost daughter.
All reports send Josh and the team into the jungle, first by vehicle and then by elephant and finally,
on foot. One eyewitness, Kong Tobar, recognizes the drawing of the Wild Man and confirms
they’re headed in the right direction.
The equipment is set up, and a bowl of fruit is set out as bait. Josh, Araceli, Ponch and Shush go
into the jungle, hoping to find the Wild Man himself. The thermal camera picks up a large hot spot,
but as the investigators move closer, it vanishes into the woods.
After studying the footage at camp, Josh, Ponch and Brad slog back into the jungle. Something
comes close enough to spook Brad, but nothing concrete is discovered.
Back in the United States, Dr. M.J. Hajianpour of Gene Trek Genetics says that the DNA evidence
Josh obtained is not sufficient to perform the necessary tests to confirm Sal’s paternity of Rochom.
As a result, Josh has no evidence about the Wild Man living in the Cambodian foliage and no proof
of the veracity of Sal Lou’s story.
Zambia: Mokèlé-mbèmbé – In Zambia, Josh and the team are on the hunt for the dinosaur-like
Mokèlé-mbèmbé. Sightings of the brownish creature, which is roughly the size of an elephant, have
been reported on the vast Lake Bangweulu. Some experts, such as World Wildlife Federation’s
Jerome Shitumbanuma, do not believe the reports, while others, including Innocent Daka, director of
the Lake Bangweulu Nature Reserve, earnestly believes the creature lurks beneath the surface.
Every report points toward the northern edge of the lake, where the fertile swamp land provides
plenty of cover for the creature, as well as vegetation to sustain it. On a boat, the team heads out for
the swamp. As they near the northern quadrant of the lake, they spy a gigantic crocodile. Later,
they see something break the surface in the distance. They’re too far away to tell what it might be,
but a short time later, something under the surface makes a close pass at the boat.
That night, the team uses a variety of tools, including underwater sonar and a night-vision scope, to
seek evidence of Mokèlé-mbèmbé. Josh is excited when something bubbles just beneath the surface
and he hears a loud splash, but no one sees anything conclusive, nor is any creature caught on
Back in the United States, Casey digitally enhances some of the footage. Nothing can be discerned
from the thermal scans, but the creature that surfaced far from the boat is enlarged and proved to be
two hippopotamuses coming up briefly for air, creating the impression that something serpentine has
risen from the depths.
Josh concludes that stories handed from generation to generation make people who live near the lake
believe they see a mythical creature, when the reality is far more mundane.
Episode #04 – Sea Monster & Bat Demon
Vietnam: Tarasque – A run of new sightings prompts Josh Gates and his team to travel some 20
hours to Vietnam to hunt the Tarasque. Although sightings date back centuries, he was told by Mai
Dinh Yen of the University of Hanoi that the first recorded report dates back to the 19th century and
might be something akin to a giant, underwater snake.
Dr. Vu Ngoc Thanh of the Hanoi Zoological Museum directs Josh to a northern region where fishers
live in a floating village. Arriving in Halong Bay, the team comes prepared with squid for bait,
hooks, an anchor, rope and other supplies. After talking to eyewitnesses, they head out on a large
boat in search of their prey. Using a hydrophone and fish-finding sonar, the investigation begins.
When the team gets a hit indicating a large mass moving under their boat, Josh and Casey don their
scuba gear and dive in. Their visibility is at best murky and the duo cannot see anything. Soon
after, a second hit is detected and the two make another dive. While searching, another vessel comes
too close and its engines create a strong undertow that nearly drags Josh and Casey into a large rusty
As night falls, the team takes to a kayak and a rowboat to begin exploring the area. Josh finds a cave
and heads inside, noting he hears plenty of bats high overhead. As he goes deeper, he finds what he
describes as “an enclosed lagoon” and hopes this might be the Tarasque’s lair. He lights a flare,
hoping that the light will attract the creature. Instead, he’s greeted by silence. Outside, Casey notes
a new reading coming close, so Josh returns to their position. The two boats follow the reading back
toward their base but find nothing.
Once aboard, they set out their fishing hooks, laden with squid and await a response. Hours pass and
nothing happens. Exhausted, the team leaves the cameras running while they turn in for some muchneeded
rest. A handful of hours later, they awaken to find the bait gone but no creature caught on
tape. Apparently, some time between the tape running out and the sun rising, something stealthily
ate the squid from their hooks.
Back in Los Angeles, Casey processes the one image they captured. Even with software
enhancements, it is hard to identify. Josh sends the image to Dr. Thanh, who makes an educated
guess that it was a whale shark, though they are not normally seen so near to the coast. Josh is left to
theorize that, over the years, whale sharks might have wandered close to the fisherman and the
natives crafted a legend about the unfamiliar aquatic mammals that has been handed down through
the generations as they legend of the Tarasque.
Zanzibar (Tanzania): Popobawa – Josh brings his team to the African island of Zanzibar to
determine if a spate of reports about the demonic Popobawa might be real. The bat-winged, light
emitting creature has been sighted periodically and as recently as 1995. What makes this interesting
is that sightings are now being reported in Zanzibar’s capital, Stone Town, as well as in the jungle
Josh speaks with several eyewitnesses, including two who say they fought the Popobawa and
survived. One describes being overwhelmed and “violated” by the Popobawa. He then talks with
Dr. Sharrif Amed, who was hired by the government to help it deal with the creature. Amed gives
Josh a substance both to attract the demon and to protect him from it. Downing the “nasty dirt,”
Josh is ready to continue the investigation.
Because the creature allegedly can fly, Casey sets up cameras atop the highest roof in Stone Town
while Josh, Brad, Araceli and Ponch hit the streets. Twice during the night, Casey picks up
suspicious readings but both times, the team is unable to locate the flying creature. In fact, the night
is quiet and peaceful. Reviewing the footage, Josh suspects Casey spotted bats, whose size does not
match the reports of the Popobawa.
Josh then does some research and correlates the timing of Popobawa sightings and attacks with
Zanzibar government elections. He speculates that the opposition party exploits superstitious beliefs
to evoke feelings of terror among the people, for political gain. The Popobawa, he concludes, is an
electoral tool – not a flesh-and-blood threat to humanity.
Episode #05 – Flying Dinosaur & Sloth Monsters
Brazil: The Mapinguary – Given the media attention devoted to Brazil’s legendary mapinguary,
Josh leads his team south of the border. They speak with Dr. David Orin, who believes the creature
exists and might be a descendant of the giant sloth, a species long thought to be extinct.
Further south, in Rio Branco, professor of paleontology Dr. Jonas Souza disputes Orin’s hypothesis
and dismisses the mapinguary as nothing more than a legend. Josh brings his crew to Porto Velho, a
small village, and they begin the hunt by renting a boat and cruising upriver for an additional three
As evening descends, Brad and Araceli remain at base camp. Josh and Casey head into the
rainforest and begin their search. Some time later, snapping branches alert the people at base camp
that something is moving in the jungle nearby. Josh and Casey patrol the camp’s perimeter and also
hear the sounds. They find evidence that something snapped and trampled several large palm
fronds, something no local animal is thought capable of doing.
Through the night, the team continues searching for the creature that made the noises. No animal is
found but Josh and Casey remain convinced that whatever broke the branches is circling the
campsite. Because of the density of the foliage, the team’s thermal imager is only able to detect heat
signatures within a range of 10 to 15 feet, limiting the team’s ability to track the animal. After
several hours, the sounds cease; the creature has clearly moved on. The encounter hasn’t been a
total loss, however: Josh has the audio and video recordings as evidence.
When he returns to the United States, he plays the footage of the encounter for Mike Dee, a former
curator of the Los Angeles Zoo. Dee says that the animal most similar to what Josh has described is
a tapir, but he doubts that a tapir was what harassed the camp.
Josh thinks it’s more likely that the thick rainforest has fueled superstitious fears of a mythical
creature than it is that a giant sloth somehow survived the last Ice Age and has evaded detection for
all of human history.
Zambia: Kongomato - Josh and the team come to Africa seeking the winged kongomato. They stop
in Lusaka to speak with Michael Mumba, the most recent alleged eyewitness. Based on his reports
and those of other natives, Josh is directed to Lake Mweru, near the swamps where the creatures are
said to live. A local game warden, Clifford Kandonga, suggests that rather than some flying
dinosaur, the kongomato might be a shoebill, a rare kind of bird, or perhaps a giant bat.
Renting a banana boat, the team paddles into the swamp to begin their hunt. Seeing nothing on the
water, they return to land and begin hiking through the area. When the skies darken and the weather
turns nasty, Josh, Brad and Araceli blunder into a stand of trees infested with bats. As the sun begins
to set, thousands of bats take to the sky and fly screeching in every direction.
That night, fixed infrared cameras are set up at the base camp while Josh heads out alone. After
walking a few miles, he takes a rickety canoe out onto the lake to continue his search. Disappointed
that nothing is being detected, Josh returns to land and continues on foot. Finally, something highpitched
and loud is heard, a sort of chirping sound whose source cannot be located. It stops abruptly,
and all Josh can find with the thermal imager are smaller birds or bats in the trees. Then something
large but unseen flies over his head. He summons the others to bring additional cameras and then
the team spends the rest of the night searching in vain.
Back in Los Angeles, Mike Dee notes a shape caught on the thermal camera, and he suggests it
might be a giant bat. All Josh knows for certain is that thousands of miles of swamp and jungle
around Lake Mweru remain unexplored – a perfect place for something previously unknown to be
lurking and awaiting discovery.
Episode #06 – Giant Anaconda
Brazil – The Amazon Basin: Giant Anaconda – Josh brings his team to Sao Paulo, Brazil, in search
of the much-reported giant anaconda. Their hunt begins with a visit to Dr. William Ernest,
coordinator of biodiversity research at Inpa. Dr. Ernest explains that with 96 percent of the Amazon
rainforest left unexplored, new species of life are found there all the time.
Similarly, Dr. John Francisco of the Manaus Snake Research Center says the biggest anaconda
recorded to date is about eight meters (25 feet) long, but it’s possible that something larger might be
out there. Before leaving for the rainforest, Josh enters a pit and handles an anaconda to give
himself a sense of what he might be getting into.
Traveling in a series of progressively smaller boats, the team penetrates the Amazon rainforest.
Along the way, Josh visits small villages, where eyewitnesses have reported encounters with the
giant reptile. One man shows Josh the makeshift harpoon system he built with a tree branch and an
empty soda bottle, and then he bequeaths it to Josh to aid in his hunt for the creature.
Josh heads out alone on a small boat, leaving Brad and Casey to keep an eye on the four cameras
mounted in fixed locations. When Josh is out of range, three of the cameras detect something large
moving out of sight, and Brad and Casey are frustrated that they cannot raise Josh. Casey heads to
the riverbank but cannot find anything. Neither can Josh, so when Casey calls in to report that he
sees something, Josh turns his boat around to come investigate for himself.
When they still find nothing, they rewind the tapes to get a clue where to look. Josh and Brad set
out, leaving the others to prep their gear as rain, thunder and lightning ominously descend. Along
the way, Brad admits his childhood dislike of snakes and confesses that this entire adventure makes
Just then, their translator, Beto, calls out. An anaconda has been found, and the team’s local snakehandler,
Abigeus, helps immobilize it. The snake measures approximately 3 meters long and was
captured 20 to 30 yards from the river. The team examines it a bit and then lets it return to the wild.
The following day, the team goes to another village and meets with its leader, Ramaw. He
welcomes them with gifts, including a strong beverage and spicy fried ants. He tells them of a
hunting trip during which a Giant Anaconda killed all his people’s dogs.
Josh and the team travel some 45 minutes upriver, to where Ramaw’s event alleged occurred. That
night, Josh and his team venture out by boat. Josh uses a thermal head-mounted camera. A fish
jumps into their boat, surprising them, but then they see movement in the reeds. Josh focuses on it,
and they trace its wake and bring the boat close to where it is lurking underwater.
All four men leap out of the boat and struggle to bring the snake out of the water. Abigeus identifies
it as a particularly aggressive species of boa constrictor, which tests Josh’s strength as it writhes in
his arms. Abigeus estimates the snake is five meters (15 feet) long before they release it back into
A new storm arrives, trashing one of the team’s computers, a camera and other equipment, so Josh
calls off the hunt. In the end, he decides that, unlike many other creatures, there’s enough
unexplored terrain in the Amazon to persuade him that the giant anaconda’s existence is a distinct
Episode #07 – Yowie & Haunted Mosque
Australia: Yowie – In the Australian wilderness of Queensland, an unidentified being creeps around.
This creature resembles the Himalayan Yeti and the North American Bigfoot.
A bizarre, hybrid beast resembling a cross between a human and ape, it is said to emerge at night
looking to eat whatever it can find.
Malaysia: Haunting – An abandoned mosque in the jungles on the Malaysian peninsula is reported
to be the home of an evil spirit. Villagers in the surrounding region, as well as a powerful Imam,
refuse to approach the Mosque after sun down.
Josh and his team travel to Kuala Lumpur to investigate the case of this haunted ruin.
Episode #08 – Orang Pendek & Worm Monster
Sumatra: Orang Pendek – Orang Pendek (Indonesian for “short person”) is the most common name
given to an unconfirmed animal, that reportedly inhabits remote, mountainous forests on the island
Sightings of the animal have been documented for at least one hundred years by forest tribes, local
villagers, Dutch colonists and Western scientists and travelers. According to witnesses, the animal is
a ground-dwelling, bipedal primate that is covered in short fun and stands between 80cm and 150cm
Iceland: Worm Monster – A huge worm-like creature is said to reside in the remote Lake Lagarfljót.
This remote body of water is reortedly where the Worm Monster lives. It has been spotted
consistently since 1345 and is one of the oldest lake monsters ever recorded. It is presumed to be
longer than a football field and has been seen coiled near the lake by countless eyewitnesses.
According to reports, it has been spotted in both water and dry land. To add, it is believed that it can
slither into forests. Feared by locals and relatively unexplored by science, the truth behind the
Icelandic worm is a mystery waiting to be explored.
Episode #09 – Burrunjor & Cermai Cave
Australia: Burrunjor – In Australia, an Aboriginal tale tells of a creature called the Burrunjor. This
creature walks on two legs and has two small forearms. This creature is said to be very dangerous
and is about 25 feet long.
Cattle ranchers in Northern Australia, found many of their cattle killed or half-eaten by a mysterious
animal. The ranchers found giant bipedal tracks, some heard roars, and other heard it crashing
through the jungle at night. A farmer recently saw a Burrunjor from a distance of about 60 – 70
meters (around 250 feet).
A tracker later gave an account that he saw a huge reptile walking on two legs through a swamp near
the Gulf Coast. He said it was about 25 feel tall. In addition, New Guinea, Bolivia and South Africa
have sightings of similar creatures.
Is a dinosaur roaming in the Australian Outback? With the help of Aborigines and an exploration of
the Australian frontier – we may just find out.
Indonesia: Cermai Cave – In the most remote corner of Indonesia is a mysterious cave that is both
revered and reviled by local villagers. In one of the two entrances, villagers make offerings to the
protective spirits that reside within and are alternately terrified of approaching the other opening.
Regional news reports indicate that this cave is believed to be the source of great power and Josh and
his team are compelled to investigate.
Episode #10 – Ahool & Pinatubo
Indonesia: Java - According to mainstream science, the world's biggest bat is the Bismark flying
fox, an animal that never gets larger than six feet from wingtip to wingtip.
According to cryptozoology, mainstream scientists might be wrong. Many sightings from seemingly
reliable people suggest that this might not be the case.
The island of Java, not very far from the Bismark flying fox's home of New Guinea, is supposed to
harbor a bat with a twelve-foot wingspan called the Ahool. It cries sound like "A-hool" and it eats
fish. It has gray fur and a flattened face with black eyes. Its head resembles a monkey's head. This
creature is not attributed with supernatural powers, and seems like such a plausible animal that it has
drawn the attention of naturalists.
The Philippines: Pinatubo Monsters - Reports coming out of the Philippines describe five “huge,
black creatures” swimming in the Tikis River, near the former mining village of Buhawen, scaring
Aeta families six years ago.
Aeta natives first spotted the 7-foot long mysterious creature in 2001, after mistaken it for floating
logs. The strange creatures have been seen swimming in the river below Labuan, which is enclosed
by tall, thick bushes. Since the monsters’ heads and tails were not seen, no one could venture what
these locally named "Pinatubo Monsters" could be.
Two tribal leaders were requesting that "biasang tau (scientists)" come and assist them with the
mystery surrounding what the creatures might be.
At last word, no scientists have volunteered to go look and reports of the huge creatures continue to
Episode #11 – Haunted Forest & Aswang
The Philippines: Aswang – Aswangs are ghoulish creatures in the Philippines, and, in fact, are the
most feared supernatural creatures in a nation already rich in colorful folklore. They find their way
into a wide variety of myths and stories. Aswangs feed on people and stolen cadavers, leaving
behind facsimiles that they create out of tree trunks and other plant materials. It is their appetite for
children, however, that really gets the attention of believing locals.
Mt. Fuji, Japan: Haunted Forest – A crowded, dark forest bordering Mt. Fuji, Aokigahara is
infamous throughout Japan as a popular spot for those taking their final journey. In 2002, 78 bodies
were found within it. By May 2006, at least 16 new suicides had been found. No one knows how
many bodies go undiscovered. Signs emblazoned with messages are nailed to trees throughout the
forest. No sounds can be heard other than those produced by the forest itself. Aokigahara is
considered the most haunted location in all of Japan. Spiritualists say that the trees themselves are
filled with a malevolent energy, accumulated from centuries of suicides.
Episode #12 – Issie & Icelandic Elves
Lake Ikeda, Japan: Issie – Said to inhabit the depths of Lake Ikeda, Issie is Japan’s answer to
Nessie. Legends of a mythical creature in the lake have been swirling for centuries. In 1978 a
tourist snapped a series of photos that made Issie headline news. While scanning the lake in the
aftermath of an initial sighting, he quickly took a series of photographs. One of the photos seems to
show two humps with spinal ridges.
Nearby Ibusuki deployed its tourism department, which offered a reward of 100,000 yen to anyone
who could produce a photo of Issie. The tourist’s single shot of Issie impressed officials enough that
they awarded the tourist prize. Since then, reports of Issie have been common, and a recent surge in
eyewitness testimonials indicates that Nessie’s cousin may finally be ready for a close-up.
Iceland: Elves – Icelandic elves may be petite; they may be mild; and they may be myths, but they
are a valued constituency. Government officials have rerouted a road in order to avoid disturbing a
rock believed to shelter elves. Polls indicate that most local residents won’t rule out their existence.
Children have reported encounters with the wee race, but so have some adults.
According to Birgir Gudmundsson, an engineer with the Iceland Road Authority, there are people
who can actually negotiate with them. A medium who has talked to the elves told road crews that
the creatures moved near the stone and asked the authorities to be casual about it all so that the
elves’ community isn’t harmed.
Episode #13 – Ninki Nanka & Kikiyaon
Gambia: Ninki Nanka – Ninki Nanka is a legendary creature based in West African folklore.
Descriptions of the creature vary, but the consensus is that the animal is reptilian and possibly
dragon-like. According to tradition, the Ninki Nanka lives in the swamps of West Africa.
The animal is said to be extremely large and dangerous. It is believed that when children disobey
their parents ago into the swamp, the Ninki Nanka will take them away. This creature’s tales were
never recorded but the story of it has spread from tribe to tribe all over Africa.
A group of “dragon hunters” from the Centre for Fortean Zoology went to Gambia in the summer of
2006 to investigate the Ninki Nanka and take testimony from those who have seen the creature. One
interviewee who claimed to have had an encounter with a Ninki Nanka said it looked similar to a
Gambia: Kikiyaon – Then, meet one of the most terrifying and least-seen forest creatures: the
Kikiyaon. Its very name can conjure a look of terror. It is described as resembling a large owl of
human proportions. It has a large beak and raking talons on its arms and feet. In many respects it is
a mixture of bird and human. The Bambara people say it has a huge pair of feathered wings that
grow from its back. Sharp shoulder spurs serve as weapons if its razor-sharp claws fail.
The Kikiyaon is said to be covered in short greenish-gray hair, and some reports speak of a short