Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Review: Search For the Lost Giants on The History Channel
The first episode of "Search For the Lost Giants" had me on the edge of my seat, enthralled and proved once again that The History Channel knows how to make a show for intelligent human beings!
I was very thrilled for the next episode - the week went toooooo slowly! It takes a lot to make this geek excited, but the search for giants by some guys who are very well qualified and have just the right amount of skepticism, knowledge, and backbone, is really exciting. It's like Jonny Quest without Bandit!
Warning: Spoilers (not like it matters because you are going to want to see this for yourselves!)
In the Ozarks of Southern Missouri, the men start out in the "Land of Giants," on the road. They are spending two months on their question on their own dime. That's passion and determination!
University of Massachusetts was informed of the last site they studied in the opening episode, the tunnel.
Accounts of race of cannibalistic giants in an area of the Ozarks, were told by the Natives. Bless these researchers' hearts for realizing that Native tales tell history, not fantasy. Examples of caves of cannibals were found around the world. In fact, a kid in the 1930s, Billy Harmon, found an 8-1/2 foot giant in a cave in the Ozarks where the men are headed.
James Clary, a local enthusiastic about giants, knows the Puckett's Cave where the boy found the giant. The men get together and climb the bluff.
They look inside the cave for signs of where the giant was dug up. Looking at newspaper clippings, they start trekking around inside for clues. They find a depression that might be the spot that was dug up.
Brad D'Houbler, a friend and geologist, brings some tools into the mix so they can check it out more closely. The men know that the Internet has lots of hoaxes and so they need to ask the locals about these people and verification that there truly was a find.
The men (Jim and James) go looking in the town for someone related to the kid who found the skeleton. They found a live relative willing to talk to them at his farm, who verified that, yes, there was a find.
I cannot say enough how beautifully this show is filmed and edited. It is fast enough paced that you never have a lull, and the men separate into groups and you get to find out what each group is doing simultaneously which keeps the pace interesting. It is apparent the brothers are sincerely desirous of knowledge and discovery and not egos or posturing. They are humble enough to ask for help and experts and handle it quite professionally so that any find is legitimized.
Meanwhile, the men in the cave (Bill and Brad), take a metal detector around to see what they might find.
Jim and James go through the library and microfilm from the year the skeleton was discovered. They found the front page June 15, 1933 - an ancient skeleton found! There is a photo of the skeleton. They show a 6-foot dude next to a big skeleton. A photo (as James points out) is a game changer in proving giant skeleton finds!
No surprise, the bones went to (drum roll) the Smithsonian.
While in the cave, Bill is going over some leaves and finds a tooth. It's a huge tooth. They thought about what animals it could be. Looked human.
They follow the rules and take the tooth to a coroner in case it might be human. The coroner thought it looked human but was too big. He wasn't sure what it was from. They decide to send it to a professional lab.
Next, the brothers head out to Arkansas. They are going to investigate an even bigger giant reported to be found in a cave and written by Victor Schoffelmayer. A person interviewed described a 10-foot length skeleton and a few skulls in a cave. The only problem now is that Beaver Lake was formed by a dam and the cave is probably 30 feet under water. A cave diver, Mike Young, agrees to help them.
Bill is a certified diver, so he was going to dive with Mike. Cave diving being a dangerous practice, it's rather nerve wracking watching and waiting to see what happens when they dive to find the cave. It's murky down there and then all of a sudden--a cave!
They find obvious stacked stones. Bill is a stonemason and he knows this was a wall of some kind. They equipped Mike with a high-resolution camera to film the cave and see if they can find clues they wouldn't see with the naked eye.
The brothers review the footage, looking for pictographs, bones, or any evidence of giants. They think on the wall, they might see a face carved into the rock.
They can't prove anything from Arkansas, but they have a photo of a potential giant skeleton from the newspaper and a tooth from Missouri.
They bring the newspaper findings to an anthropology expert, Todd Disotell, who scoffs it away, saying if the Smithsonian had these things, they would have them on display and making money off of it. They then hand him the tooth. Todd says it doesn't seem human, but if it is, it's a huge human. The men decide to send it to a lab.
Yet again, another episode I could not stop watching!
Next week, they go back to the tunnel from the first episode and it looks very tense! I can hardly wait!
Okay, I admit it, the show curls this geek girl's toes. I suspect I'm not the only one hooked on their honest quest for proof!