Destination Truth (2007) s05e02 Episode Script

Return to the Haunted Forest; Belize Goblin

- On this episode of "Destination Truth".
.
My team returns to the scene of our most harrowing expedition.
And our most terrifying investigation.
- Aah! - Whoa.
He's gone.
Get out there! Come on! Romania's haunted forest.
Since we were here, have there been additional reports? My former cameraman Evan returns two years later to the woods where he was assaulted.
I don't like this.
I don't want to be here.
Will the forces in the dark forest attack him again? Do you hear me, Josh? Something's wrong.
Evan? Next, we jet across Belize on the search for a jungle monster.
You think he's real? Deep in the rain forests, I get in over my head in a flooded cave and discovers that I may not be alone.
Back up! Back up! Get on the other side of the cave! Guys, not kidding! Come on, let's get out of here! Hold on! I'm Josh Gates.
In my travels, I've seen some unexplainable things, and I've done some things I can't quite explain.
Now I've pulled together a team armed with the latest technology in the search for answers to the world's strangest mysteries.
I'm not sure what's out there waiting for me, but I know what I'm looking for.
.
The truth.
Here at Team Truth headquarters, we love getting feedback from viewers.
And no story has prompted more requests for a sequel than our expedition two years ago into Romania's famously haunted Hoia-Baciu Forest.
Considered one of the most para-normally active spots in all of Europe, the forest is famous for producing strange lights, phantom noises, and terrifying apparitions.
The focal point of the forest's power is a place known as The Circle, a perfectly round clearing deep in the woods where nothing will grow.
Our investigation ended when an unseen force in The Circle seemed to knock our cameraman Evan clean off his feet.
Aah! Whoa, whoa.
He's gone.
Get out there! Come on! Now, reports out of Romania indicate that the strange occurrences have become even more frequent since our first investigation, - Evan, it's Josh.
- How you doing? Listen, buddy, I got two words for you.
.
Haunted forest.
Hello? Hello.
Huh.
Must have lost him.
He'll come.
With new recruits, including our Medic Richie and field investigator Katy, and Evan hopefully on board to meet us, we packed our bags and headed out for the first ever Destination Truth follow-up investigation.
From Los Angeles, we flew a whopping 6,400 miles to the city of Cluj, and got hit with some serious jet lag.
Here we go.
After grabbing our gear and a triple espresso, we picked up a car and headed to a rendezvous point in the heart of the city.
I wasn't sure if my former cameraman Evan was going to show, and was relieved to see that he'd mustered the courage to make the trip.
- Hey! How are you, man? - All right, man.
- How you been? - I've been good.
I've been good.
It's been two years since I've been on D.
T.
Excited to be back? - I'm excited but a little nervous.
- That was a rough night.
- I just feel, like, itchy.
- Okay.
- (Bleep) Is that? - Yeah, you got scratched.
Those were not there before.
Those scratches are new.
They look like claw marks, Evan.
It was a rough night, but I'm ready to get back in there.
- Yeah, face your fears.
- Face the fears.
Let's do it.
- All right, come on.
- All right.
With my full team in place, we headed into the city's center to stretch our legs after a long day of travel.
We happened upon an arts festival in the main square, and Evan joined in on the fun, until he assaulted a local.
Oh! Sorry I hit you in the face.
I can hit you back.
Ohh! - Now we're friends.
- Thank you.
I also witnessed a unique approach to child care.
Why are you in a box? Which probably explains why Romania has the best mimes in the world.
We made our way back to the car and headed to our first interview.
Alright, next stop is Professor Adrian Patrut.
He's the real authority on the haunted forest.
We interviewed him last time.
Hopefully he hasn't cut that sweet hair of his.
Since we were here a few years ago, have there been additional reports? - Hundreds.
- Hundreds? Yes.
So this is our camera operator Evan.
And he was sitting alone in The Circle, and take a look at what happens to him.
- Whoa, whoa.
He's gone.
- Aah! And he has this experience where he's literally blown off his feet.
- Yes.
- What do you think happened to him? Patrut may be an authority on the forest, but the real experts are the people who have wandered inside of it.
So we headed to the rural villages on the outskirts of Cluj to talk to locals who have recently experienced the dark power of the woods for themselves.
She's been living next to the forest for the last 35 years, and she doesn't like to go in the forest at night.
She knows of at least seven people who committed suicide who hanged themselves into the forest.
Hanged themselves? And why do you think that they did that? She thinks there is a great negative energy in the woods, and this negative energy drove them to hang themselves.
The villagers were gracious in sharing what they knew about the forest.
.
They even invited us to stay for lunch.
Not wanting a handout, Ryder and I offered to help out with the chores.
You're up.
Come on.
Get over here.
Come here, come here.
Okay? That.
.
That goat didn't need to be milked.
I am the worst goat milker in Romania.
All right, give me a goat to milk here.
- Okay.
- Here we go.
Evan! Evan, you are not being milked.
Here we go.
Here we go.
Oh, yeah! Yeah.
Okay.
Nice work, buddy.
You got it.
- Delicious.
- Mm.
That is fresh.
A little sour, but good.
With our chores out of the way, we sat down to eat.
Josh, this feels like the last supper, huh? This might be your last supper.
I'm just saying, you and those woods don't get along very well.
Yeah well, I got the scars that prove it, still.
But, let's not think about that right now.
Right now is about eating and enjoying the last meal you'll ever have.
Well, there's a lot of meat here.
Once Ryder helped herself to a healthy portion, we got back to business.
- Cheers.
- Cheers.
With so much powerful energy reported in the forest by day and night, we wanted to conduct an aerial sweep and scan the canopy.
Of course we tried this once before, and just as our plane made it over the forest, we very nearly lost our lives.
The roof just came off! (Bleep) Roof just fell off! (Bleep) Damn it! With that near disastrous first flight still fresh in my mind, we headed back to the very same air field with a slightly newer plane.
My new audio specialist Adam, Evan, and I strapped in while Ryder and the rest of the team stayed in communication from the ground.
Okay, here we go, guys.
Okay, there it is.
The Hoia-Baciu Forest.
.
We're coming up on it.
Ryder, we have a visual on the forest.
We are going to head over now and begin filming.
Sounds good.
There's The Circle right there, Josh.
No doubt, that's it.
That's how I remember it.
Yeah, you're right, Evan.
That's The Circle right there.
I'm gonna try to catch it on the thermal.
It's really weird, that circle.
Nothing's growing in it.
Look at that.
Wow, that is weird.
It's giving off a huge, huge thermal head.
A lot of heat radiating out of there.
I don't know why.
It's a lot hotter than everything around it.
Very, very windy up here now.
- Yeah.
- Came out of nowhere.
Definitely picking up some strong winds up here.
Getting bounced around here pretty good.
Oh, no.
Not again.
Definitely picking up some strong winds up here.
Getting bounced around pretty good.
Oh, no.
Not again.
Okay, guys, we're gonna take it back down.
The winds are getting too heavy.
Here we come! Brace yourselves! Hang on! Okay, we're on the ground.
Hang on! We got it! Okay.
All right, we're gonna stop flying over this forest.
Thankful that the second most terrifying flight of my life was behind me, we transferred our gear to ATV's and set out for the forest in a trail of dust.
The path was winding.
.
And in some places the road seemed nonexistent.
Should be about 5 miles to our old base camp! Couple of fields, then we cut into the forest! Here we go! Here we go, into the woods! Okay, guys, this is it! This is the site of our old camp.
Let's get the cases out.
Get a shelter strong in case it starts to rain and get this investigation started.
We strung infrared and motion activated trap cameras throughout the forest in an effort to capture paranormal evidence.
I have trap number 2 up.
Our new tech manager Tristant would monitor all the cameras from camp and communicate with teams in the field.
So this is a very unique investigation for us.
It's the only place we've ever returned to.
Turned out to be a really terrifying location for us, particularly for Evan.
Before that event, I really wasn't a believer.
Now I just am, you know.
It happened to me.
I can't deny it.
I'm a changed person.
I just want to impart on all of you that this really was a scary place for us.
It's easy to get lost.
.
Whoa, Josh, guys, look at this over the.
.
Oh, it's there's a light right there.
See that? Right above the horizon right there.
Just above the horizon, there's a light.
On that camera.
This is what I'm talking about.
It's like we're not even out in the investigation yet, that's camera 3? Yes.
Okay, I'm gonna take a sweep team over to that field right now to check that out.
Evan, you'll come with me, Kyle, and Adam.
Ryder, why don't you lead a sweep team with Richie, Katy, and Dave? Okay let's do this.
Come on.
That light was coming from right over this horizon line.
Let me see if I can get it on the thermal.
Thermal's clear.
No animals.
This is weird, man.
It's just so strange being back.
Guys, I can see a path on the thermal.
Look at this.
Look at this.
Josh for Tristant, come in.
We're out on the field now.
We don't see a visible light, nothing with the naked eye.
Are you still seeing it on I.
R.
? No, I'm not seeing anything on I.
R.
Whatever it is, it either went away, or it's not visible light.
But we did just find a path into the forest.
We're gonna leave the field and follow it in.
I'll keep my eyes on the I.
R.
, and I'll let you know if I see anything.
But good luck in the forest.
Kyle, what do you see in night vision? I mean, this is a dense, dense forest.
Okay.
Shh, shh, shh, shh.
I just heard a voice? Did you hear it? Uh-huh.
It's like a kid's voice.
- Come on.
- No I'm not kidding.
I heard, like, a little girl's voice for a second.
I have goose bumps all over my body.
Look at this.
It sounds like it's been carried on the wind, and it's almost vocal.
Shh.
.
It's fading out now.
I can't hear it.
Let's press on.
We'll maybe find the source of it.
Okay.
This place is terrifying to me.
It's one thing when it's accounts from strangers halfway around the world, but when it's happening to people that you work side by side with, it's a whole different ball game.
Absolutely.
You watch that footage with Evan, and you get the chills immediately.
Hold on.
Shh, shh, shh, shh, shh.
I just heard something right over here.
Is there anybody here? - Shh! - What was that? What was that? I'll take a look in the night vision goggles.
Power 'em up.
We all heard it, and we all pinpoint it in that direction, so it's not like we're all imagining the same thing.
I'm getting something on this.
What are you picking up? What are you picking up? See that flash over there? Looks like a little uh.
.
Little light kind of like what we saw in the I.
R.
camera.
I can't see it with my naked eye.
I can only see it on the astro-scope.
Oh, my goodness.
I just saw it.
Do you see it? We have stuff happening all around us right now.
We really do.
I'm not seeing anything on the night vision goggles any more.
I think it went away because it's not there any more.
Let's just try to head in the direction of what we heard.
See if we can get to the bottom of it.
We saw the light.
Right after we saw it, we went to look for it.
We heard a noise.
The noise draws us into the woods, now we're deep in the middle of the woods.
- Like a scary movie.
- Yeah.
The hell was that? That sounded human.
That was the exact same sound we heard over there.
I think we should do an EVP session right here.
Let's do it.
This is an EVP session in the Hoia-Baciu Forest.
EVP session begins now.
Is there anybody here? We heard a voice coming from this area earlier.
Uh, it sounded like a child's voice.
Is that you? Needle's going all over the place.
Huge, huge hit on the EMF detector.
I have no idea what's setting that off.
It's calibrated for our equipment.
We've got a base line reading, and it's jumping all over the place.
- Ask another question.
- Okay.
I've been here before.
Are you the presence that has touched me before? Please make yourself.
.
Holy (Bleep)! What? Are you the presence that has touched me before? Please make yourself.
.
Holy (Bleep)! - What? - What the hell did you see? What the hell did you just see? Oh, my g.
.
This.
.
I can't even describe it.
I almost (Bleep) My pants.
What the (Bleep) Did you just see? Clear as day in my eyes I saw a shadow go like it was coming for Evan.
And when I said "whoa," gone.
We'll leave the digital recorder here.
Let's press on in that direction.
I feel like this forest goes on forever.
I'm a little on edge, to be honest.
Me, too.
I'm gonna take some photos of the area, see if anything pops up.
Yeah, great idea.
My heart's beating a thousand miles a minute.
The trail runs straight and true.
Those noises were coming over here.
We can bushwhack it a little off to the side and see if we can get closer to them.
Call me crazy, but this set of woods looks familiar.
Oh, hell, no.
Oh, my God.
We're in The Circle.
Oh, I'm getting a weird feeling right now.
Josh for all team members, we found The Circle.
We'd like to get a mobile base camp over here.
I think it's time for us to, uh, pay this place another visit.
Finding ourselves back at the site of Evan's infamous encounter, I decided to repeat our isolation sessions from our last investigation.
We repositioned our I.
R.
cameras and formed a mobile observation camp a quarter mile away.
One by one, we each took our place alone in The Circle.
All right, Josh.
Uh, so we're going to start the clock here.
You got 30 minutes.
Sounds good.
Here we go.
I know exactly how he feels right now.
Can you give me some sign of your presence? My thermal imager just stopped working.
I still have battery power, too.
It just has no signal.
Wasn't that one of the same things that happened last time you were here? It's the exact same kind of stuff.
Evan, do you remember this? It just feels like a repeat performance.
It feels like whatever that was is still here.
I hope it's not there for me.
I really do.
With my time up and mysterious malfunctions affecting our gear, Evan made his way back to The Circle.
Okay, Josh, I'm in position.
Copy that, Evan.
We've got good images of you on all four cameras.
Okay, I'm gonna.
.
I'm gonna do this.
Here I go.
I'm getting that sensation again.
Here we go.
Evan, talk to me.
What's going on, man? You look like you're in some distress.
Evan, can you hear me? Can you copy me? Evan, do you read me? Oh.
Oh.
.
What's going on? Do you hear me, Josh? What? What? I have a mix.
.
I have a bad transmission.
Go again.
Do you hear me, Josh? Something's wrong.
I got this big ringing in my ears.
Let's get him out of there.
I don't want him hanging out in there.
Oh, he's up.
He's running.
He's down.
Hurry in there, Josh.
He's stumbling.
Evan? I don't know what's going on right now.
- You okay? - I got a ringing in my ears.
- It's okay, it's okay.
- Really bad.
Just hang down there.
It's okay.
Just hang out.
You're fine.
You're fine.
Why is he bleeding? Cut yourself? You have a little bit of blood coming out of your ear, man.
Does he have a cut on his ear, or is his actual ear bleeding? It looked like it was coming from inside the ear.
It was like a "wo-wo-wo-wo-wah," and then everything went silent.
I don't like this.
I don't want to be here.
- This is.
.
- Your pulse is racing right now.
You need to chill out right now.
Take.
.
Take long, deep, slow breaths.
Okay? All right, listen, let's just get him stabilized.
Richie, when you feel like he's good to move, I want to get the hell out of here.
Come on, we're pulling out of here.
With the sun on the rise, our second night in the Hoia-Baciu Forest was finally behind us.
Relieved to be in one piece, my team headed back toward the safety of Cluj and then home to Los Angeles to analyze our findings.
After scrubbing hours of audio and video recordings, I sat down with Ryder and Evan to go over the results.
We started with the strange lights we saw during the investigation.
At base camp, before we even leave to go investigate, Tristant noticed this weird light on one of the infrared cameras, check this out.
- It's easy to get lost out here.
- Whoa, Josh, guys, look at this on the.
.
Oh, there's a light right there.
See that? - Right above the horizon.
- Just above the horizon there's a light.
On that camera.
The really interesting thing about this light is it's not an airplane.
There aren't running lights.
This thing didn't track across the sky.
It just stayed there and flickered and vanished.
And, Ryder, your team also, you know, saw a light while you were out investigating a little later on in the evening.
Oh, my goodness.
I just saw it.
Did you see it? You know, we actually heard a sound, which drew our attention over to that area.
And then we saw this orb of light, and it was actually giving off light.
It wasn't a reflection.
And this really lines up to eyewitness reports.
You know, these people are seeing strange lights above the forest they can't explain.
And we've got great recordings of both of them.
If you get two successful hits like this on investigation, that's a successful mission.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The whole night is ahead of us.
We then turn to our EVP sessions from the forest.
We went through the recordings.
We got some really weird results.
We isolated and amplified some of the sounds.
Listen to this.
This is during our EVP session.
We heard a voice coming from this area earlier.
Uh, it sounded like a child's voice.
Is that you? Oh, no.
We isolated and amplified some of the sounds.
Listen to this.
This is during our EVP session.
We heard a voice coming from this area earlier.
Uh, it sounded like a child's voice.
Is that you? Oh, no.
That's terrifying.
It's terrifying, right? Is that you? I mean that sounds like laughter.
That sounds like there is a kid there.
Doesn't it? Yeah.
Absolutely.
And the amazing thing is we asked something, and we got a response.
Exactly.
You got really strong EVPs here, and then right after this is when Kyle thought that he saw that shadow behind us.
If I remember correctly, you and I acted with a lot of dignity and grace during that.
Yep.
Very manly.
Please make yourself.
.
Holy (Bleep)! What? What the hell did you see? What the hell did you just see? Anyone would have had that reaction.
I don't care how bad-ass you are.
If we actually freeze frame here, it does look like you're reaching out to grab me for protection, it looks like.
I'm grabbing you because you'd be the first one I'd put in the way of this whatever's going for us.
Now, the problem, though, is that whatever Kyle thought that he saw behind us, we don't have a clear image of.
Just because something's not in a camera doesn't mean it didn't happen.
Exactly.
I mean, I think, from an evidence point of view, we have to chalk this up as a really compelling personal experience.
But we don't have anything to corroborate it in terms of footage.
And that brings us to The Circle, which really is the focal point of the forest, and that's when things really started to, again, get crazy, just as they did the first time.
Take a watch.
I'm getting that sensation again.
Here we go.
When I stood up, I felt dizzy, um, and I felt the ringing in my ears.
Cut yourself? You have a little bit of blood coming out of your ear, man.
When you see blood during a paranormal investigation, it's time to head for the hills.
You know once I saw that, we had to shut it down.
All right, listen, let's just get him stabilized.
Richie, when you feel like he's good to move, I want to get out of here.
We're pulling out of here.
Before the first time this happened, I didn't believe in any paranormal activity.
Now I'm a true believer, and not only do I think it's happened, I know it happened.
And look I think at the end of the day, when you take all the evidence together, these lights, noises, strange feelings, and this force, whatever this thing is in The Circle, they seem to be a constant.
So the fact that there's a repeatability here, that to me says that something's actually going on here.
I can tell you this.
There's definitely not going to be a third trip.
- I'm over it.
- Case closed.
Case closed.
Our first investigation in Romania was plagued by near disasters.
.
.
.
And seemingly physical contact.
- Aah! - Whoa.
He's gone.
However, proof requires repeatable results, and the Hoia-Baciu Forest didn't disappoint.
Hang on! The force that brought down our second flight, the fleeting shadows.
.
Holy (Bleep)! What? .
.
And disembodied noises in the dark.
.
Shh! What was that? .
.
Were all eerily familiar.
But it was The Circle, with its physical but unseen hand, that closed the case.
I don't like this.
I don't want to be here.
This is a place of power, of energies not understood, and perhaps best left alone.
Throughout the Central America nation of Belize, locals fear a creature called the Tata Duende.
Reports date back generations in several different local cultures.
Though small in size, these beasts are believed to be lethal.
People claim the Tata Duendes hunt deep in the rain forests of Belize.
These hairy creatures are just a few feet tall, and make a high-pitched whistle that echoes through the jungle, a warning that they're lurking nearby.
They also sport powerful claws, ideal for slashing through foliage or their prey.
Witnesses also say that Tata Duendes lack thumbs and have feet that point backwards, making them nearly impossible to track.
With recent livestock killings and locals on edge, our team made preparations to travel to the jungles of Belize on a search for this tiny terror.
From Los Angeles, we jetted 2,200 miles South to Belize City.
Ryder, can you "Belize" we're here? I know.
It's "unbeliezeable".
No, we are not doing that.
Oh, yes, we are.
You better "Belize" it.
The whole trip starts now.
After gathering our gear, including the essentials.
.
Okay.
I got my stuff.
.
.
We headed out into the hot and humid city ready to jump start our investigation.
Ryder, you call ahead and get a ride for us into town? Absolutely.
It should be here any minute.
Oh, my God.
Whoa, boy.
Really? Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
It's not the worst vehicle we've ever had.
No.
At least we know it runs.
Where are the seat belts in this thing? Feeling the need for a faster ride, we upgraded our carriage to a more appropriate vehicle with significantly more horsepower.
Belize City is a tumbled-down seaside town.
Its grungy streets and faded colonial houses are regularly abused by hurricanes.
As we rode through town, our gas guzzler had barely warmed up before we encountered one of the city's daily road blocks.
Uh-oh.
- What's going on? - I don't know.
Hello.
I see that the bridge is closed.
- Yeah.
- What's going on? Can I help you swing it so that we can go across it? - Sure.
- That's cool.
To allow boats to pass, twice a day every day, the bridge must be opened by hand.
Come on! - We just gonna.
.
- I got this! .
.
Use your genes! Oh, man! You guys ever heard of WD-40? - There we go.
- Oh! Oh, we got it.
- Medic! - Medic! Richie, I need a Medic! I think I need a Medic, too.
- Okay, it's open! - Oh, my God! It's open! Woo! Now we have to close it.
Here we go.
Heave-ho! Hard to believe they don't make this kind of bridge any more.
So convenient.
Our first order of business is to figure out if there could be another animal here that people might be mistaking for the Tata Duende.
Who wants to go to the zoo? - I do! - I do! Let's do it.
Belize is brimming with exotic wildlife, and skeptics point out that Tata Duendes might just be local spider monkeys.
We hoped to learn more from the zoo's resident primatologist.
And the likelihood that one of these is going to rip my face off is what? You think this could be the Tata Duende? There's similar characteristics between a spider monkey and the Tata Duende.
One is the four fingers which aids in their travel through the trees.
Also, their feet are slightly turned backwards to help with balance.
But the problem is there seems like there are more eyewitness reports than spider monkeys in the wild.
There aren't many of them in Belize, right? That's correct.
They are an endangered species.
Their numbers are.
.
Are dwindling.
Do you think that the Tata Duende could exist? That there could be some unknown primate that hasn't been discovered here yet? There's a lot that undiscovered about the jungle, and who knows? It's possible.
With the case still wide open, we left the zoo and headed deeper into the Belizean countryside.
In the small Creole community near San Ignacio, 60 miles to the West.
.
A farmer reported seeing the creature on his property just days earlier.
What would you say to people who claim that the Tata Duende does not exist? Do you think he's real? You found a skull? Can you show us the skull? The skull was found in the same area where Winston saw the Tata Duende.
And had odd protrusions that made it look utterly unique.
But what was it? It does look really strange.
Would it be okay if we photographed it? We measured and photographed the bizarre-looking specimen for later analysis in Los Angeles.
Following the sightings, we headed South to meet with members of the Garifuna Indian tribe, who have believed in the Tata Duende for generations.
Located deep in the jungle, we didn't want to show up empty-handed.
So if we're going to visit the Garifuna, we have to bring them something as a gift.
Their traditional foods are Plantains and Cassavas, so if we can find those two things in the local market, that should ingratiate ourselves when we meet them.
What's a Cassava? I don't know.
We decided to split up and started searching.
Do you have, uh, Cassava? You guys don't happen to have Cassava, do you? Do you have any Cassava? Ryder got a little frustrated when she couldn't track down the offering.
(Bleep) And I took a break from searching to pick up a little accessory.
You think I look good in this? Yeah? Ma'am, I look like Dora The Explorer in this thing.
But I'll take it because I'm a big fan of her work.
He looks good.
Finally, though, we found both Plantains.
.
- This too much? - And the elusive Cassava.
It looks delicious.
With gifts in hand, we continued South.
After several hours on the road, we reached the Macao River, gateway to the Garifuna and the most recent Tata Duende sightings.
All right, guys, here's the plan! We know there have been some sightings in the edges of these mangrove swamps.
We'll take the air boat out.
Keep your eyes open.
We got the binoculars.
I'll have the thermal imager going.
Maybe we'll get lucky.
Here we go.
Ryder, you see anything? Nothing yet.
Whoa, right there! Right there! Stop! Stop! Stop! Right there! Right there in the water! Whoa, right there! Right there! Stop! Just stop right there! Right there in the water! - Oh, right there! - Right there.
See it? Oh, yeah.
Richie, ride up on the front.
It went down right there.
Hey, guys, it's a Croc.
Oh, yeah, that's a big Croc.
Definitely dangerous.
Not a Tata Duende.
Guys, these mangrove swamps peter out.
If we want to get into the interior, we're going to have to use the rivers.
Let's head back to the docks.
We'll regroup.
Smaller boats? Much smaller boats.
We transferred to kayaks, allowing us access to rocky channels inaccessible by fan boat.
Pick up the pace, guys.
We've got a long ways to go.
After two hours of paddling, we arrived at the docks of a remote Garifuna village.
Hey, guys, we're here.
Despite arriving unannounced, the offerings were well received and helped convinced the Garifuna to open up to us.
And have other people here seen him? Some people say it's not real.
It's real.
So if I want to find the Tata Duende, where would you send me? To the South? And do you think, if I go to the South, that I'll definitely find him? The Garifuna directed us South through the adjacent rain forests and toward a cave where they believe the creature resides.
After three hours of hiking through the thick jungle, we arrived at the area of the most recent sightings and established our base camp.
We set up infrared cameras, trap cameras, and a perimeter alarm.
And as darkness fell, I set out on foot to the South with Richie, Adam, and Dave, while Ryder, Katy, and Kyle explored to the North.
I would not be surprised if one of us walks into the largest spider web you've ever seen in your entire life.
I know.
With the biggest, fattest spider in the middle.
That's true.
You should definitely walk first, Richie.
Thanks.
- Shh, shh, shh, shh.
- What was that? Did you hear that? Yeah.
.
- There it is again.
- What is that? I have no idea, but I got the chills.
All right, guys, it's coming from that way.
Let's head in that direction, see if we can track it down.
Okay.
Well, everyone we spoke to really, really believed that this creature exists out here.
Shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh.
Shh.
I just heard something right over here.
I don't see anything.
Whoops.
There it is.
- Oh, my God! - It's right there.
Whatever it is is right there.
Can you get it on the camera? I mean, I saw something.
You seeing anything on the thermal? No, nothing on the thermal.
Shh, shh, shh.
Something's walking back there.
Were you able to see a shadow, anything? I saw what looked like an animal with fur right there.
Ryder for Josh.
Josh.
What's up, Ryder? (Bleep), Mary, and Joseph, I am so jumpy right now.
Josh, we're in the woods just North of base camp.
We started hearing what sounded like thuds, something moving through.
.
- Oh, my God.
- I heard that.
.
I heard that over there.
Ryder, you okay? Something is moving right around us right now, and it's big.
Okay, copy that.
Whatever it is, don't get it cornered.
Copy that.
I'm not seeing anything.
It's so dense, though.
It must have moved off.
I think it's a good plan that we keep going.
See if we can see any other sign of animals.
Maybe we'll hear whatever it was again.
Sounds good.
No way through here without getting wet.
Let's see if we can climb up over this ridge.
These rocks keep going up.
Guys, I got a heat section in the FLIR.
Come here.
I thought it was an animal at first, but I don't think it is.
I think it's an opening of some kind.
See that? - Yeah, I do.
- It looks like a cave.
Let's follow it up and see what it is.
A lot of these rocks look like they're normally under water.
They're so slick.
In the rainy season, the river must come right through here.
Oh, my God.
Look at this.
Guys, we got a cave.
That is the biggest cave I have ever seen ever.
This must be the cave the Garifuna were talking about.
Yep.
Problem is it's flooded.
The whole thing's like a river.
You can't even get in along the sides.
Nice and deep, dark water.
Josh for Ryder, come in.
Hey, Josh, go for Ryder.
Ryder, we found a huge cave up here.
This thing is enormous.
It looks pretty flooded.
We're going to see if we can get inside it, so I'm sure we'll lose walkie contact.
We're going to power down our electronics as well, so you may not hear from us for a while.
Copy that.
Well, be safe.
You guys ready for this? - Yeah.
- Yeah, we're ready.
Let's go, boys.
Okay, guys, look for any dry areas.
.
Any spots, this thing might be living up on the banks.
Be really careful.
We know they got crocs here.
Who knows what the hell's living down in these caves.
Okay, this tunnel gets really narrow.
What the (Bleep)? There's something in the water! Back up! Back up! Guys, not kidding.
Come on, let's get out of here! We know they got crocs here.
Who knows what the hell's living down in these caves.
What the (Bleep)? There's something in the water! Snake! It's a (Bleep) Snake! Right there.
Back up! Back up! Get on the other side of the cave.
Guys, not kidding.
Come on, let's get out of here! Hey, guys, look like we've got a number of tunnels here.
Let's take a look around and see if we can see signs of anything living back here.
Okay.
Come on.
This crack opens up.
We can go through.
You okay? What happened? A spider just bit me.
- A spider just bit your hand? - Yeah.
Let me see that now.
It stings a little bit.
Make a fist.
Okay, wiggle your fingers.
Good.
Your engine motion is fine right now.
If the swelling gets worse, let me know, okay? - You're okay? - Yeah.
Hey, on the bright side, there is a serious possibility that you could develop super powers.
What was that? Base came for Ryder.
Base camp for Ryder.
Hey, uh, is there any chance you guys are near I.
R.
number 2? Yeah, we're pretty far North, but, um, I think we can get there pretty quickly.
What did you see? Uh, I'm not sure what it was.
I just saw something big and white come really close to the camera.
We're going to try to get there as soon as we can and see if we can spot what you saw.
You think it's this way, right? Let's go.
I see our cabling.
We're getting close.
Tristant, we're here now.
Can you tell me which direction it was going? It was going in the direction that you guys just came from.
I see you on I.
R.
number 2 now.
That's really strange.
That's pretty much the area we were in.
All right, we're going to look around a little bit.
Let us know if you see or hear anything else.
Okay, this one looks kind of low.
Goes a little further back.
Oh! Something moved.
Something moved.
- Here.
- Whoa.
Get a camera in here.
Get a camera.
Right there.
You see it? - I see it.
- Right there, you see that? Something just scurried right behind that log.
Check it out.
What did it look like? Something just took off as soon as I shone a light back here.
It just shot back there, and it went under the small tunnel.
Okay, let's keep moving, guys.
We continued to search the dry sections of the cave but found little else.
We eventually swam back to the entrance, met up with the rest of the team, and started our trip back to Los Angeles.
We began by scanning the footage from our expedition, but whatever we saw scurrying in the cave eluded our cameras.
The noises we heard in the jungle did match the descriptions of the Tata Duende but turned out to be howler monkeys, small primates famous for their human-like cry.
Finally, we took the strange skull we found to Dr.
Jim Dines of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.
Well, definitely strange shapes and textures.
But, uh, what we're looking at, it's actually just a fragment of a skull, and that's why it's hard to identify for anyone.
A lot of the features that would normally be on a skull - aren't really there.
- Right.
And when some of those bones fall off or are broken off, what's left behind is something that looks really weird, kind of like what you're seeing here.
And so any idea what species this is? Well, it's really hard to say, Josh, what this could be.
I can tell you what it's not, and that would be the Tata Duende, which is sort of like a hominoid creature, and this skull doesn't have the large cranial area that you would see in humans or even, even apes.
Well, that will be a great disappointment to the guy that owns this skull.
I'm sure it will be, but he can keep looking.
The Tata Duende may still be out there.
It very well may be.
- Thanks, Jim.
I appreciate it.
Cheers.
- You bet.
It would be easy to call the Tata Duende a myth, except that its story is shared by Mayans, Creoles, and Garifuna, all distinct cultures with unique experiences.
So what are all these people seeing? Belize's native spider monkey fits the bill, with similar dimensions and Anatomy, but is easily recognized by locals and isn't found in many of the sightings locations.
Somewhere, deep in the jungles, there may be another culprit hidden from view and just waiting to be discovered.
- What is that?