Wednesday, April 2, 2008

DESTINATION TRUTH - Sea Monster & Bat Demon

SciFi Channel - Original Air Date: 3/26/08

Josh and crew first go to Vietnam to hunt for a sea monster called the Tarasque.  The country is beautiful, and the crew picks up some exotic fishing gear (big anchors) and a big boat to hunt the beast.  They then go to a remote floating village to try and find the monster.  The local cliffs are dotted with caves where the creature supposedly lives.   They set up their detection gear and, when something big turns up on the fish finder, Josh goes night diving for the monster.  They don't find it -- and they nearly get killed by an intruding boat full of rubberneckers.  Then they break out the kayaks and chase the mysterious finder echo into a cave.  After some splashing and some exciting moments, they escape the caves with their lives, but without a monster.  During the day, however, they did manage to get film of a shadowy shape in the bay.  It's something big, and computer enhancement proves it to be... a whale shark, a very rare creature, possibly mistaken by locals for the mythological sea monster.

Next, the team travels to Zanzibar to look for the cyclopean bat demon, Popobowa.  If the show is to be believed, Stone Town in Zanzibar is a city in decay -- filled with uninhabited buildings and winding alleyways. The town looks like something out of a Tomb Raider movie.  Popobowa sightings seem to be cyclical, and we're now in the middle of another rash of them. As usual, the locals insist the bat demon is a dangerous creature, and some witnesses claim to have been attacked.  Josh also talks to a healer contracted by the government to help the locals deal with their Popobowa problem.  After that, the crew sets up in the city and scans the sky for the monster.  What follows is a confusing chase through the deserted streets and up to the rooftops. Josh almost falls off of an unfinished stairway as he chases the creature, and the crew catches a fleeting image on video -- probably bats.  In the end, the crew reaches an interesting conclusion.  Fear of the Popobowa seems to spring up regularly during the local election cycle.  A prominent history professor confirms that the monster stories seem to be part of the opposition's strategy to foment dissatisfaction against the government.  Josh comes to believe that the monster is nothing more than a political tool  He concludes, "And you thought the American political system was corrupt."

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