Destination Truth (2007) s01e04 Episode Script

Big Foot and Nahuelito

NARRATOR: On this episode of Destination Truth So, you saw three Bigfoot? NARRATOR: Josh responds to reports of Bigfoot sightings in the jungles of Malaysia.
JOSH: That looks like a Bigfoot print.
NARRATOR: Will he discover the missing link? Or will he become missing in action? JOSH: (WHISPERING) Move, move! NARRATOR: Then Josh makes a run for way, way south of the border to track down Argentina's answer to the Loch Ness Monster.
JOSH: Well, there is something really big out there.
Something's splashing around out here.
I'm Josh Gates.
My travels have taken me to the most exotic and mysterious places on Earth.
I've seen some unexplainable things which have raised some strange questions.
Now, I've pulled together a crack team armed with the latest technology to search for answers.
(BAT SQUEAKING) I'm not sure what's out there waiting for me, but I know what I'm looking for.
The truth.
While everybody's heard of the Bigfoot legend, in Malaysia, he's been headline news ever since some fishermen spotted a family of the creatures.
Now people from all over the country are coming forward to share their own Bigfoot encounters.
Of all the guys in Bigfoot suits, this may be the worst right here.
This is just rock bottom.
Okay, so where exactly is Bigfoot there? Well, the Bigfoot thing is huge in Malaysia right now.
There've been sightings all over the Malaysian peninsula.
Most of them have been here.
Endau-Rompin National Park.
There's just been a lot of sightings there.
We've got eyewitnesses who've seen Bigfoot all over the Malaysian peninsula.
So, Blake, how many infrared cameras do we have? We have four.
Four right now.
Each one has its own area on the screen.
And these thing can operate in zero light conditions? BLAKE: Absolutely.
And we have 50 foot of cable per camera.
Per camera.
And we got stands for the cameras as well? Yeah.
Where's the laser thermometer? It's right here.
And that's all powered and ready to go? Yeah.
This is the MARC: Night shot deal's up here.
Uh-huh? Works on the same principles, like Blake's cameras, and his cameras are actually meant for infrared light.
So, you should be able to pick that up with your camera.
Should be able to shoot at will.
JOSH: We packed up our surveillance equipment and made our way to the airport.
Eyewitnesses have spotted the creature crossing roads in Malaysia's Endau-Rompin National Park and at the riverbanks of the jungle.
Some even claim to have found footprints.
And if there was anywhere that Bigfoot might be hiding out, it would be in one of the oldest and least explored tropical rainforests in the world, with sections cataloged to be 248 million years old.
But with no direct flight to the middle of the rainforest, we first needed to stop in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
After being stuck 20 hours on a plane where the only in-flight movie was Battlefield Earth, I was ready for anything Malaysia might throw my way.
What I didn't expect was for them to be throwing a party.
I decided I should do some additional cultural research at once.
All right, it's not really research, but the Bigfoot eyewitnesses would still be available tomorrow and the parade with beautiful Thai women and dragon fly-bys was one night only.
Since Bigfoot wasn't coming to my room to change my sheets and bring me fresh towels, I hit the road to find Vincent Chow.
Mr.
Chow? Yes, how do you do? Hi, I'm Josh Gates.
Very nice to meet you.
Good to meet you.
JOSH: A member of the Malaysian Nature Society, Mr.
Chow is the country's foremost expert on cryptozoology, the study of unexplained animals.
We've heard there's been a lot of sightings and activity up in Endau-Rompin National Park.
Okay.
And could you give us directions to this area? JOSH: With only 10% of Malaysia's jungles having been explored, Dr.
Chow made a persuasive argument for the possibility of a large creature like Bigfoot staying hidden in Endau-Rompin.
Plus, he'd personally spoken to dozens of eyewitnesses.
Before this sighting, did you believe in this? Did you believe in Bigfoot? You studied zoology.
Right.
Very hairy.
JOSH: With a background in zoology, Eva seemed like the last person to mistake an ordinary ape for Bigfoot.
Plus, she arranged for us to meet a driver who claimed to have seen a whole family of Sasquatch on the road to Endau-Rompin.
So, you saw three Bigfoot? Three.
And they walked right across the road here? Were they moving slowly or were they moving fast? And were there other cars around? Did anybody else see this? Just you.
What do you think? What do I think it was? Yeah, what do you think it was? A Gorilla? Orangutan? No, but there's But the weird thing is, there's no orangutans on this part of the peninsula.
So, there's I mean, There's no gorillas on this part of the peninsula.
JOSH: These sightings were interesting, but I wanted to head inside Endau-Rompin so we could set up camp, break out our tracking equipment, and try to find Bigfoot or whatever animal was roaming the rainforest here.
You've been outside for four minutes.
You're like a lobster, look at you.
NEIL: That thing is Oh! Where is it right now? NEIL: It's in that corner.
Oh, my God! NEIL: Show him the pictures.
Look at it! It's bigger than my hand.
Look Hold on, look at the fangs on the front of it.
I don't even want to get near the picture.
JOSH: We finally arrived at the park where we met up with a guide named Adan.
(STAMMERING) One of your friends saw Bigfoot's nest? Uh, yes.
Is it possible to walk out to that area? Or to hike into that section in the interior? JOSH: He couldn't take us into the park.
But he agreed to take us to another witness.
When they came face to face, what happened? (SPEAKING IN BAHASA MALAYSIA) You mean the sexual organs? It has human So they went at night so they wouldn't startle Bigfoot or embarrass him.
Yes.
Okay.
JOSH: We can communicate with him? Yeah.
And what did he say? JOSH: Presented with this description of a naked, bashful, English-speaking Bigfoot, I did what any good investigator would do.
Okay, let's go.
After our quick detour to crazy town, our next stop was the nearby jungle river, which was the only way to get into the heart of the park where the Bigfoot sightings were reported.
But before hitting the bush, we needed some supplies.
JOSH: It's a what curry? Yeah, curry's always a good food to have right before you go into the jungle.
Going back country with a big bag full of curry strapped to me.
Perfect.
Just perfect.
Protein bar? No, no, no.
Boiling hot curry? Please.
Yes.
I'd like to bring that with me into the jungle.
JOSH: Wow.
Monkeys.
There's like six monkeys sitting on the hood of our car.
Is that okay? Can we just leave them there? Okay, there's 20 monkeys on our car.
Marc? This guy's got 20 gallons of open fuel, his foot's on the fuel line, cover's off the engine and he's smoking a cigarette six inches away from it.
I don't mind the jungle, I just don't want this guy to Hindenburg this engine.
Hey, guys? How's the engine? No? Bad? You fix? (INDISTINCT CHATTERING) What does that mean? Chinya? Chinya? Totally busted? In Malaysian, is that what Chinya means? JOSH: After a few repairs and answered prayers, we hit the river and headed for the Bigfoot sighting hotspots.
The first stop was a riverbank where a fisherman said he had seen a pack of the creatures.
How big was the footprint? How big was it? (SPEAKING IN BAHASA MALAYSIA) Was it bigger than my foot? Any other evidence at all? (SPEAKING IN BAHASA MALAYSIA) Did you see the footprint that he drew on the ground? It was like Armstrong's moon boot.
No toes, big prescription pill, right in the ground.
And then I was like, "Did it have any toes?" And the guy was like, "Oh, yes, yes, yes.
" And he started drawing toes on it.
Taking one small step for man and one giant leap away from fantasy land, we headed deeper into Endau-Rompin to investigate the grounds of the most recent Bigfoot sighting.
JOSH: It's really, really dense in here.
(MEN SPEAKING NATIVE LANGUAGE) There's definitely a lot of depressions in the ground around here.
The leaves are all matted down.
It's hard to see specific kind of toe prints anywhere, but definitely a lot of depressions in here.
Definitely starting to see what seems like a trail here.
All headed in the same direction.
Another big impression here and another one right on top of it, leading up onto this large stone area.
All sorts of busted branches all throughout here, things just look snapped.
A lot of these trees have fallen over.
JOSH: I needed a little more evidence than broken trees to convince me that the missing link had pushed its way through the jungle here.
Although there are no giant apes in Malaysia, there are rhinos that could have made the clearing, and that's when I found something that surprised even me.
Dude, look at that! JOSH: What's that on camera one? Move! Move! Okay, let's double back down and look as we go down and see if we can see any more, because a lot of this has just been washed out by the rain.
This has a footprint-ish look to it.
Dude, look at that! Definitely looks like a large foot impression with digits.
And the heel would be right here.
You can see these toes.
One, two, three, four, five.
Right there.
What do you think about that, Marc? Do you have that casting material with you? MARC: Yeah.
This is footprint casting powder.
State crime lab! "Do not breathe or ingest dust.
" Somebody else do this.
It didn't look like the type of print that a rhino would make, but I needed to be sure.
All right, so we've got a bit of a wait.
Is there like a Denny's around here or something? (ALL LAUGHING) JOSH: So, the print's gonna be destroyed by doing this, because we're not We had to clear all the soil out.
(WOMAN SPEAKING NATIVE LANGUAGE) (DISTANT GUNSHOT) JOSH: What was that? It wasn't the tone, it was the shotgun I was concerned about.
Basically, I'm just trying to dig out the surrounding area from the cast.
It's not very thick, so I'm trying to do it without snapping off any pieces of it.
All right, here goes nothing.
(GASPING) Wow! Was it a print? I wasn't sure, but it was definitely worth more investigation.
I decided we should stay and find whatever made this impression.
Our boat guides, however, had another idea.
They agreed to pick us up in the morning if we wanted to stay out here, but they were headed home, because once the sun goes down, the animals come out to feed.
This is gonna be in my tent tonight, is what I'm really excited about.
MARC: Well, this is what you get when you come into the jungle, right? JOSH: There are snakes all around.
That snake is on the ground, and that's totally gonna be on me later tonight.
Having already had one close encounter with a nocturnal creature, it was time to bust out our motion detectors, heat sensors and infrared cameras to try to find any conclusive evidence of Bigfoot's existence.
The four motion sensor cameras, we kind of want to sweep out in this direction, so let's put one in this tree right here, and then if we can get one that just sweeps straight up this way.
We set up base camp and placed our cameras in prime locations, so if anything was moving around the jungle, we'd catch it on camera.
And with our sensitive audio equipment, we'd hear anything abnormal as well.
JOSH: (SOFTLY) Keep an eye on the monitors.
I'm gonna make a sweep of the perimeter and see what I can find.
So right now I'm using the laser thermometer to read the temperature of the jungle, which is about 75 degrees.
But if the laser hits me, it jumps up to about 85 degrees.
So I'm gonna continue to sweep the area with the laser, watch for any jumps in temperature that could be Bigfoot or any other large animals in this area.
All right, it looks like this section is clear, so let's sweep the rest of the perimeter.
What's that on camera one? Yeah, right there.
Right there.
We got a bat coming through camera one.
BLAKE: But, hey, we got a bat, right? JOSH: We got a bat.
BLAKE: We know it works.
BLAKE: The camera just moved.
JOSH: Which screen? BLAKE: Camera two.
JOSH: There it goes again! BLAKE: Maybe it's just the wind.
(GROWLING) JOSH: What the hell was that? JOSH: Did you hear that? Move! Move! JOSH: Anything pop up yet, Blake? BLAKE: The camera just moved.
JOSH: Which screen? BLAKE: Camera two.
JOSH: There it goes again.
BLAKE: Maybe it's just the wind.
BLAKE: Two's down.
JOSH: Move! Move! Oh, hold on, hold on, hold on! (JOSH SHUSHING) It's picking up something.
(DISTANT GROWLING) Did you hear that? It sounds like a growl.
Everyone keep their ears open.
Let's follow that sound.
Guys, you okay? BLAKE: Yeah.
JOSH: Let's watch the water through here.
The waterfall's right there.
It drops right off.
Go ahead.
(BLEEPING) JOSH: What's the matter? BLAKE: Go! BLAKE: The thorns ripped up my arm.
MARC: (STAMMERING) We went through a huge thorn bush.
JOSH: Are you okay? I think whatever was out here is gone now.
By dawn, we had found a river and plenty of thorn bushes, but no Bigfoot.
With the strange growl captured on tape and our footprint cast in hand, we headed back to civilization.
JOSH: Hey, do you think the car's still there? I don't know.
I'd say I'd give even money either the monkeys Did you see what the guy said to us when we parked the car? He asked me to park it really close to the tree because it makes it harder for the locals to steal it.
And then as we got into the boat, there was a thousand monkeys on the hood.
Dude, the monkeys did a number on the car.
All the other cars are fine.
Our car? Monkey poo town.
BLAKE: Isn't this the spot they told us to park in? Yeah, it is.
Exactly, the guy was like, "Leave the car right here.
" MARC: Close to the tree.
This is where monkeys love to just sit, crap and play with it.
We left the jungle and headed for the first car wash we could find with some intriguing evidence.
But when word of our discovery got out, we learned that we wouldn't be allowed to take the only cast of the footprint out of the country, so we needed to make a copy in order to undertake additional scientific analysis back in the States.
And before you could say "paparazzi," we found ourselves in the middle of a media storm.
I never would have thought that a piece of plaster shaped like a foot would cause a media frenzy, but in Malaysia, we were headline news.
As to how conclusive this is, I think it's something unexplained.
The most important thing is just that it helps to raise more questions, propels us to investigate the unknown and find the truth.
I'd gathered enough evidence to believe that there was something big roaming the jungles of Endau-Rompin National Park.
And I was off to take our evidence back to the States to get some scientific insight into the strange noise we captured on tape, and to see if the print we found in Endau-Rompin could actually be attributed to something the likes of Bigfoot.
Our first meeting was with Michael Dee, curator of the Los Angeles Zoo, to go over our audio evidence and see if he could identify the sounds we captured as coming from a familiar creature.
There are cricket noises, but there's noise throughout.
There's a kind of a droning noise.
What do you think? It's obviously something, but that certainly doesn't sound like any mammal that I'm familiar with.
Yeah, that noise isn't something that you can readily identify? No.
Unable to get anything definitive from our audio evidence, we hoped that the cast we made would provide some answers.
So we flew to Idaho State University where we met with Dr.
Jeffrey Meldrum, one of the country's foremost primatologists and also the resident Bigfoot expert, to see what he made of our footprint.
My research involves primate and human evolutionary biology, so that's what brings my interest particularly to footprints both ape and human and pre-human.
So this is right up my alley.
I'm very anxious to take a look at this and see if what you have really suggests an unknown bipedal primate.
JOSH: Let's take a look at the actual cast and you can tell us what you think.
Well, there are a number of things that are puzzling about this.
Primate foot has a tendency for a natural kind of curvature.
The point being that the divergent toe is typically on the inside of that curvature, whereas here we've got the opposite situation, where what you might think would be a rudimentary first digit, it's on the opposite side one might expect.
It's sticking off to what would otherwise be interpreted as the outside edge of the foot.
Sure.
So, that is really odd and unusual and in this situation, you're always at the mercy of your own interpretation, of what you see as a series of impressions.
Sure.
Considering all the particulars, I think it boils down to essentially three possibilities.
One is it's just a series of potholes that have a strong resemblance to the eye, resembling a foot.
The other possibility would be that it is the superimposition of the track of a commonly known animal, say, a rhinoceros.
The third possibility would be that, in fact, this may represent a plantigrade pentadactal foot.
A flat five-toed foot, which has some resemblances to the reports of Bigfoot in footprint evidence from North America.
JOSH: While the indentation in the ground might have been just a pothole as suggested by Dr.
Meldrum, the pronounced digits and the track-like pattern discovered in the area was certainly unusual, and were consistent with the eyewitness reports which had sent us to that very location.
We did capture a strange growling sound that Michael Dee couldn't attribute to any known mammal.
And something knocked over our camera.
Based on our evidence, I feel it's possible that a large, unknown creature could have made a home in Endau-Rompin.
And it's clearly only a matter of time before I end up back in the jungle looking for Bigfoot, perhaps next time with a bigger net.
In the meantime, however, I read reports of a giant lake monster terrorizing a resort town in Southern Argentina.
The creature is called the Nahuelito.
The Nahuelito is the Latin version of the Loch Ness Monster, and is reported to share similar features to its Scottish counterpart.
It is described as having a large hump, a long neck, and a head that looks kind of like that thing that explodes out of John Hurt's chest in Alien.
Witnesses have suggested that the Nahuelito travels in and out of its home in Nahuel Huapi Lake by slithering through a 300-mile underwater tunnel system leading to the Pacific Ocean, meaning that, one, it's not an easy creature to track, and, two, it apparently has a lung capacity rivaling Lance Armstrong.
So, we packed up and hopped a plane to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to meet with Fabian, a local reporter who claims to have caught the creature on camera.
Hola! So we have to take another cab because his car just broke down.
There's taxi.
Don't worry.
Sure.
Okay.
Does this happen often? Car breaking down? Not in the Too hot today.
Too hot today.
Too hot.
Too hot today to drive? Too hot today for the car.
All right.
Okay, so we Sorry! It's okay! Hey, what are you gonna do? We need another cab.
And here's the tow truck, right on time.
It's amazing.
It takes 20 minutes to get a cab, two minutes to get a tow truck.
It doesn't make any sense.
With our taxi out of commission, I took a bus to the Natural History Museum, where we met with Fabian.
Do you believe, as a journalist, that there is enough evidence to support the idea that a creature of this size could be living in this lake? (SPEAKING SPANISH) He says, "Yes.
Absolutely.
There's definitely something there.
" JOSH: While working as a reporter for a local news station, Fabian claimed to have caught the monster on film.
Who actually shot the footage? (SPEAKING IN SPANISH) One of their cinematographers.
He came down the mountain.
And he saw it in the lake.
And that's when he turned on the camera.
Actual footage of a creature seemingly born out of nightmares and folk tales right here on video.
I couldn't wait to see it with my own eyes.
You see, dobló.
(GASPING) Oh, my God! JOSH: So, here we were in Buenos Aires, watching professionally captured news footage of the Nahuelito.
It seemed as if South America's answer to the Loch Ness Monster was ready for its close-up.
Yes.
Oh, yeah.
You see, dobló.
(GASPING) Oh, my God! Oh, there is something really big out there.
All right, maybe "close-up" was too strong a word for it.
This was more like nosebleed seats at the Super Bowl.
But what I could make out suggested that it wasn't a seagull or a local water-skier making waves in Nahuel Huapi Lake.
Thank you very much for showing us this footage, (SPEAKING SPANISH) I actually find this footage very, very, interesting.
I certainly wanted to get to the bottom of the sightings, and one thing was for sure, I wasn't gonna find a giant lake monster in downtown Buenos Aires.
Gracias.
Buen día.
Gracias.
Hasta luego.
My team and I caught the next plane to Bariloche, a town nestled high in the Andes and on the edge of the Nahuel Huapi Lake, the spot where the creature reportedly calls home.
The Nahuelito is, after all, named after it.
Covering a surface area of about 2,927 square miles, and with a depth of over 2,000 feet, similar to that of Loch Ness, this was the perfect spot for a giant prehistoric serpent to call home.
Upon arrival in Bariloche, I interviewed another eyewitness, Coli, a local journalist who had his own experience with this monster in the same section where Fabian's footage was originally shot.
We hopped a chairlift to high atop the mountain where Coli was able to point out the exact spot where he claimed to have seen the Nahuelito.
You saw two fins coming out of the water? Yeah.
Like a double arch.
Like a double arch? And they were moving? (STAMMERS) And they Yes, they were moving, I mean, walking speed.
Okay.
Maybe six, seven kilometers an hour, right? Okay.
So you were able to follow the fins for how long? A minute or two.
So quite a long time.
Quite Quite a long time.
And all these people were on the shore, walking along, following this? Everyone was.
Yeah.
All of those people that were there that day, they all believe? They all believe.
That's a common experience where they believe they saw something big in the water? Yes.
And so, what do you think we're talking about here? You think it's a dinosaur? Do you think we're talking about just a fish that's not supposed to live in these waters? I don't know.
You don't know.
I don't know.
Coli couldn't tell me exactly what the creature he'd seen was, or where it came from, but suggested that I speak to a local named Antonio Las Herras, who, besides having impeccably groomed facial hair and a house decorated entirely with portraits of himself, had been studying the Nahuelito for decades, and had a theory as to the origins of the lake monster.
Muy bien, muy bien.
Good.
(SPEAKING IN SPANISH) TRANSLATOR: There was a German investigator named Ronald Richter who investigated an island in the middle of Nahuel Huapi.
(SPEAKING IN SPANISH) What Las Herras was saying was that in the 1940s nuclear experiments were being conducted on an island in the middle of Nahuel Huapi Lake.
It was these nuclear experiments and their resulting disposal of toxic waste into the lake that Las Herras used to support his theory.
(SPEAKING IN SPANISH) It's very possible that after that, for example, people's throwing out trash in Nahuel Huapi might have affected the consistency of the water.
And genetically altered things living in the water? Absolutely.
A monster born from the bowels of a nuclear experiment gone wrong? Did I just step into the pages of a Stan Lee comic, or what? Either way, Antonio Las Herras' theory was interesting, so I grabbed a boat and headed for the place he told me about, a hidden, long-since-abandoned area known as the Island of Dr.
Moreau.
No.
My mistake.
Wemmel Island.
So this is now the lake, it's an enormous body of water.
It's a glacial lake connecting a series of other finger lakes around it.
This is Wemmel Island, where, in the late '40s, Perón commissioned a scientist, Ronald Richter, to devise an atomic device.
It was never successful, but he did experiment here and tried to build a primitive atomic facility on the island.
According to some legends, that atomic material may have gotten in the lake and created some sort of super-creature.
With dilapidated structures at every turn, the island looked like a science fiction movie where mad scientists from the '40s had used the island as a testing ground to perform nuclear experiments and then just abandoned the place when everything had gone wrong.
I kept telling myself that this wasn't a movie and the reality was that mad scientists from the '40s had used this island as a testing ground to perform nuclear experiments and then just abandoned the place when everything had gone wrong.
But as strange as the place was, could the Wemmel project have created a giant, sea-dwelling monster that still lives here today? Hello? My team and I scoured the island for any evidence of an abnormal inhabitant.
And while some of the buildings certainly weren't up to code, there were signs of nuclear testing everywhere.
But that's all we found.
This is one of Richter's labs where they claimed they had succeeded in doing thermonuclear experiments.
Most people say that he never achieved the sort of heat that would be required to actually pull that off, but this is one of his labs here on the island.
Kooky Nazi scientist.
As desperately as I wanted the crazy scientist becomes obsessed with power, tries to develop nuclear fission and ends up creating a giant monster theory to be true, it just didn't pan out.
That being said, I still felt that the most compelling eyewitness I met was a local fisherman, Carlos, who was so sure that he had seen the creature that he never returned to the lake again.
This was surprising considering that this was a man who lived with a terrifying beast of his own.
Lovely.
He's very, very friendly.
Man's best friend.
It was evident that it would take something seriously scary to spook him.
You are, or were, a fisherman here in Bariloche.
(SPEAKING SPANISH) Sí, sí.
Do you still fish now? (TRANSLATOR SPEAKING SPANISH) No.
And why did you stop fishing? (SPEAKING IN SPANISH) He'd heard about this, but he never believed.
He never believed in Nahuelito.
Until one time he saw it.
When the creature itself came to the surface, you did not see the head and you could not see any characteristic features.
TRANSLATOR: This is all he saw.
You saw a mass come to the surface? CARLOS: Yes.
And then it would just disappear.
Sí.
And so water was just pluming up? (SPEAKING SPANISH) It was very clear what it was.
Yeah.
Was it this event, this sighting of this creature that caused him to stop fishing entirely? Yeah.
And you were known in the town as a fisherman, and you fished all the time, and you just gave it up after this event because you're scared to go in the lake? Is that right? Sí, sí, sí.
This guy's life was fishing and mine is truth seeking.
If something was in the lake, I'd need to investigate further.
So it was time for a swim.
Strange splashes in the water.
Can't see anything though, it's just so dark.
Okay, that's freaky.
We headed to the spot of the giant lake where the sightings of the Nahuelito lake monster had been most frequent.
Marc and I hit the water armed with dive cameras, sonar and underwater headsets.
If there was anything of size in this lake, our gear was going to pick it up.
But the locals didn't find any of this cool stuff to be nearly as interesting as I did.
What? While Eric and Lindsay stood by for contact on the shore, Marc and I, covered head to toe in Neoprene, took the plunge.
We had our sonar to detect any large objects that might be moving at the bottom of the lake.
But what we weren't counting on was the utter lack of visibility.
With so much silt and debris in the lake, the sonar and our cameras were rendered relatively useless.
Unable to collect any evidence from below, we knew our only option was to do a night search from the surface.
The fisherman had claimed to have seen the Nahuelito at sundown, when no other boats were on the lake.
Underwater predators tend to feed on the surface during dusk, so it was time to lay bait for our monster, a process known to fishermen as chumming.
Eric and Lindsay were monitoring our four night vision cameras from land while Marc and I scanned the lake with our night vision camera and thermal imager for any disturbances on the surface of the water.
If we had any chance of catching the Nahuelito, this was our best shot.
They get to stay on land and set up cameras and we get to go out in the middle of a rough lake in complete darkness and look for a giant monster.
Camera one, black.
Camera two, black.
Three, it's more of a dark gray, and four, beautiful, beautiful moonshine, actually.
Very nice.
Almost all the eyewitnesses have seen it when it's been very quiet, when there hasn't been a lot of activity.
And they have a ban here in Bariloche for boats coming out here after nightfall.
So we're really the only boat on the entire lake right now, which is kind of amazing, if you consider how large this lake is.
We're the only boat out here, we're completely alone.
The swells kind of group together, and for a minute, it's like an optical illusion.
For a minute it looks like something is traveling through the water, but then it all breaks apart.
It's picking up all sorts of strange stuff, but it all just looks like waves and white caps, but a lot of activity out here.
There's a lot of water moving around.
Eric, come in.
Are you guys there? ERIC: Yeah.
It's really dark out here.
We've just switched over to night vision.
We're pretty far from shore at this point.
It's just pitch black out here.
We're imaging the surface of the water with the night vision and with the thermal camera, but it's really difficult to make anything out out here.
It's a pretty dark night.
JOSH: We're gonna try to cruise out to more towards the center of the lake.
It's a bit choppy out there though, but we really want to get out there and survey that area.
Josh, keep an eye on your gas.
You only had about a quarter tank when you left.
I don't want you swimming back.
Let's go.
(MOTOR STARTS) Let me know if you find anything on the cameras, okay? We don't have a visual of you guys, you guys are really on your own, so be very careful.
Everything looks really promising for a second.
And then it kind of reveals itself and just falls apart and you just notice it's a bunch of waves.
It's getting rough as hell out here, though.
It's so dark out here that our visibility is limited to just about 30 yards.
Eric, we're gonna start chumming the water.
ERIC: Okay.
A squid.
That is a big mass of shrimp.
Everyone's favorite.
Big, dead fish heads.
Nothing yet.
What was that? Something splashing around out here.
Damn it.
Eric, we got a problem with the motor out here.
Please tell me you didn't just say that.
All right.
Come on! JOSH: What was that? Something's splashing around out here.
MARC: Do you see anything? Just a lot of creepy water.
There's all these swells out here.
Some of them get kind of white caps on them, but just some loud, strange splashes in the water.
MARC: Hey, Josh.
You picking anything up on your infrared binoculars? JOSH: Right there.
Right there.
You see that? It looks like something comes close to the surface of the water.
It looks like a shadow passing below the surface.
Okay, that's freaky.
It's just so hard to see because of the lack of Right there! Right there! There's a shadow.
Right there! Part of those splashes seem to be coming from over in that direction.
Hold on, we're going over there now.
(MOTOR SPUTTERING) Come on.
Come on! Let's go! Damn it! Eric, come in, Eric.
ERIC: Yeah.
Eric, we got a problem with the motor out here.
Please tell me you didn't just say that.
ERIC: I don't even know if I can ask anybody to come get you.
You guys aren't supposed to be out on the lake at this time.
Yeah, that's a good point.
(GROANS) Give me a couple of minutes.
We'll get it We'll get it started up.
I hope they don't get stuck out there.
Come on, Josh.
Eric, do you have a visual on us on any of your cameras? Josh, you're way too far out and you probably only have fumes left in your gas tank.
ERIC: I'm not gonna say I told you so.
Okay, well don't say, "I told you so.
" Come on, come on, come on, come on, come on! Come on! There we go! (MOTOR STARTS) Eric, I got the motor up.
We're coming in now.
Thank God.
You think whatever you heard out there's still there? No, whatever it was, it's long gone now.
Carter, we're headed in.
JOSH: Like our eyewitness, I was confident I'd seen something on the lake that night.
However, with a faulty boat engine, no sonar, and a good chance of getting arrested for violating the boat curfew, I felt that it was about time that we left the lake.
In the morning, I spoke with Dr.
Roger Whewell, who is not only a highly regarded scientist in the world of seismology but also, as he claimed, a Nahuelito witness.
The good doctor gave us a technical explanation for what he believes causes the disturbances on the surface of the lake viewed by himself and many others.
I saw a What looks like the wake of a boat.
Okay.
From where I was, you get quite a wide view of the lake.
The lake at the time was absolutely dead calm.
And this thing went across, and so on the Monday I called Valdivia.
You know, the Chileans have a seismic center in Valdivia.
Uh-huh.
And just about that time there had been a measurable seismic movement.
His theory was this.
There's a known aggressively violent fault line passing under the lake, the earthquakes from which have killed 40,000 people over the years.
His theory claims that the Nahuelito sightings were little more than waves caused by the floor of the lake vibrating under the seismic pressure, and then sending turbulence and debris to the surface.
If you imagine what I saw on flat water with a normal wind coming this way, and the weight going that way, it will create rises in the water.
You know, this is the first sort of Um Logical explanation that I've heard.
Dr.
Whewell's tiny earthquake theory made a lot of sense, but I wanted to have our video forensics experts back in the States analyze the footage that Fabian's news crew had shot.
So we met with Gregg Stutchman of the Stutchman Audio/Video Laboratory.
A leader in forensic video investigation, Gregg was confident that if there was any way to identify what this image was, he would find it.
So, you have this Nahuelito footage.
Yes, this we do.
Now, were you able to do anything with this at all? Very little.
Very little.
JOSH: Yeah.
Why were you able to do so little with it? Well, mostly because there were so many copies of it made.
If it was a first-generation copy, then we might be able to do something with it.
Every time it's copied, you lose approximately 10% of the quality, so you got down to, say, maybe five, six copies, you've lost half the resolution.
And if you didn't have great footage to begin with, it's a waste.
Right.
We went to this lake.
I can see kind of the area that it's taking place in.
We went up this chair lift and it's leaving a large area of wake behind.
So, at least in that sense, it does look like something that had some mass to it.
You can see some different coloration pattern in the water.
There's definitely something there.
But who knows what? All right, well, thanks for trying on this one.
It was a challenging piece of footage.
Yeah.
Yeah.
But we appreciate you guys looking at it.
You're welcome.
Thanks a lot.
But I wasn't finished yet.
I met with fisheries biologist Tim Hovey, who gave us his thoughts on the strange shadow moving below the surface of Nahuel Huapi.
Does that look characteristic to you of anything or no? Uh Yeah, that looks I mean, the water surface is really rough.
And it looks like you're getting light depth maybe a foot or two down, but it doesn't look like anything alive.
If it was something large moving through the water right below the surface, it would display eddies on the surface of the water.
And I don't see anything like that there.
All right, well, thank you very much for your help.
Sure.
No problem.
I really appreciate it.
My time searching the Nahuel Huapi for this Argentine lake creature was certainly educational.
While the eyewitness accounts of a large animal surfacing in the Nahuel Huapi were compelling, Fabian's video evidence was too poor-quality to hold up to the analysis of the forensics experts.
According to Dr.
Hovey, the shape we saw moving below the water was probably nothing more than a trick of the light, and the loud splashes we heard may have just been fish feeding on our Nahuelito bait.
I feel that Roger's theory of earthquakes below the lake causing disturbances on its surface could explain many of the eyewitness accounts.
Without definitive proof, I have a hard time believing that a giant monster lives under the Nahuel Huapi.
Perhaps in time, more evidence will be found, but until then, I have other sightings to investigate and many more secrets to uncover.