Legend Quest (2011) s01e02 Episode Script

Excalibur & The Lost Cintamani Stone

Tonight on "Legend Quest" I journey across Europe in search of king Arthur's legendary sword, Excalibur.
And I take on the jungles of southeast Asia We need to rappel down there.
Help! Ash! Looking for the magical wish-granting Cintamani stone.
It's a small chamber here.
I've seen this city before.
Oh, look at this.
We have to get you down here, Kinga.
Excalibur-- Right here in this room.
My name is Ashley Cowie.
I'm an author and archeological explorer Specializing in ancient symbols and mysterious legends.
I've spent years studying some of the world's most fascinating relics.
Now I'm on the hunt to find out where they are.
Some would hope that these secrets remain hidden.
But I'll leave no stone unturned to uncover the truth in my Legend Quest.
Excalibur, king Arthur's legendary sword, is one of the most sought-after artifacts in history.
To this day, people literally tear up the English countryside looking for the mystical blade of Camelot.
Legend says that in the 6th century, the magical sword was given to king Arthur by the lady of the lake.
Excalibur was said to have the ability to defeat any foe in battle, blind enemies with its gleaming blade, and even shoot fire from its tip.
One of Arthur's biggest challenges came when he encountered Lancelot, the greatest swordsman in the kingdom.
They fought.
Arthur was nearly defeated, and his victory came at the cost of his magical weapon being broken in two.
Arthur called upon his trusted sorcerer, Merlin, to mend the sword.
It took all Merlin's skill and power to repair the mighty blade.
With Excalibur whole once more, Arthur went on to defeat all challenges to the crown and unite britain under one throne.
Years later, after his final battle, legend says Arthur ordered one of his knights to throw Excalibur back to the waters from where it came.
The knight tossed the sword out over the water.
The lady of the lake caught it and slowly pulled it below the surface.
Excalibur was never seen again.
If Excalibur existed, perhaps it was not returned to the lake.
Kings were usually buried with their swords and would never go to the afterlife without them.
If we're to have a chance of finding the sword, we have to begin by locating Arthur's burial site.
And I think the key to finding it lies in an old welsh text.
Many believe Arthur was buried in shropshire, england.
There's an old welsh text, "The Red Book Of Hergest," which points to bass church as the area where a king of the period may have been buried.
Putting it all together, we're headed to the highest point in the landscape, only six Miles from bass church-- The Hawkstone caves.
An early medieval poem that's been deciphered in the last few years, and there's reference to the Hawkstone cave being the burial place of king Arthur, hence the reason we're here.
If this is the burial place of king Arthur, we could be on our way to finding the legendary sword of Camelot.
Chisel marks-- 4th-century chisels.
So this thing's been used for 1,600 years.
Look at that.
This is a man-made arch.
They call it the druid's temple.
Merlin was a druid.
Arthur may have been here, but there's no sign of his grave.
I can't believe there's nothing here.
There we go.
Here's a lion.
Oh, wow, yeah.
This is some piece of work.
I wonder if this indicated a connection with Arthur.
Lions were always used to represent leaders.
I've got a theory-- There's one king of england who modeled himself after Arthur, who I know had possession of a seriously valuable sword.
It makes sense in the context of this statue-- Richard the Lionheart.
History records that centuries after Arthur, england was in jeopardy.
So its ruler, king Richard, signed a treaty with the powerful ruler of Sicily, king tancred.
Tancred gave Richard vast military resources, and in return, Richard gave tancred a sword.
One sword for a whole army? We really need to check out the tancred/king Richard connection.
Here's a visual representation of the treaty between Richard and tancred that was created around the time it happened.
There's tancred.
That sword right there-- That ain't an Italian medieval sword.
That's a Roman sword from the time of Arthur.
See the pommel on top, straight hilt.
In fact, the sword is higher than the king's head, and that, again, is unusual.
Did Richard come here and find Arthur's sword? I think we have to try and find the sword that was given from Richard to tancred.
That could be Excalibur.
The place we've got to start is Tancred's kingdom, in Sicily.
Well, we got to go, then.
So we're on our way to Tancred's palace in Palermo, Italy-- The hub of Tancred's kingdom And the place where he kept his most important possessions-- To see if Excalibur might be there.
We have to look for mosaics, to look for architecture, to look for symbology or iconography leading us to Excalibur.
Look at this.
It's almost overwhelming.
Although it looks confusing and mesmerizing, every single piece was done with intention.
Every single thing means something.
Typically, ancient civilizations used their buildings to document dramatic events and display messages that would endure through the centuries.
Paper burns and people die, but these buildings have lasted.
There are thousands of clues here, and one is screaming, "Excalibur.
" We started our search for Excalibur in england at the Hawkstone caves and found signs of king Richard, who modeled himself on king Arthur.
We know as part of a treaty, king Richard gave king tancred of Sicily a sword-- Possibly the legendary Excalibur.
So we're here in Tancred's palace, looking for a clue to its whereabouts.
The clue is in these mosaics.
We're gonna start in the northeast corner.
The builders followed this lead of the Bible, which said Jesus was the cornerstone on earth.
They laid the first stone in the northeast corner.
This is the northeast corner here.
What we need to do is see if we can find anything that could be related to the legend of Arthur and Excalibur.
Look here-- Water.
It's quite unusual to see water so high up in the base of a church.
You normally find that in the crypts down below.
Could that reference the lady of the lake, where Excalibur came from? And look beside there-- What do we know about Merlin? He was called "The Stag Of The Woods.
" Right there behind it-- Where did Arthur live? Camelot.
We have a castle right there.
I see it.
The mosaic elements are all adding up to this place having a connection with Excalibur.
And in order to find its location, we need to look directly across from this mosaic to the second most holy location-- The southeast corner-- Because that's where tancred would leave a clue as to the location of the sword.
What do you see? Mary and Jesus.
It is.
Look what's in front of Mary and Jesus-- A sword.
I don't see any other swords in here.
Look behind Mary-- There's a cave That's exactly what that is.
Telling us that Excalibur arrived here and that sometime in the last 900 years, it's been moved, by someone, to a cave.
Perhaps a holy cave, as indicated by Mary and Jesus.
So what we've got to do is find some form of indicator or clue leading us to the whereabouts of a cave.
You know what that sign is? That the cross of the knights templar.
The knights templar were called upon to protect many of Europe's most sacred relics.
Kings across the region turned to them to help hide treasure.
In return, the kings were supposed to pay the templars.
But many kings were either broke or corrupt, and so some treasures are still thought to be in the possession of the templars today.
The fact that there are indications of the templars here in these mosaics leads me to believe that tancred may have entrusted Excalibur with the templars for safekeeping.
There are several images of angels Which may represent the templars overseeing and protecting the sword.
One of the angels is even pointing to the entrance of the cave and the image of Mary and Jesus.
Where's the cave? We need to find the templar cave, and I know exactly how we start.
The same orientation the templars would use to begin construction of a building would be used to create alignments from one holy site to another-- The northeast, derived from the most sacred point in the sun's annual cycle.
To determine where they went with the sword, we need to draw a line from the center of Tancred's palace, here in Palermo, through the northeast corner of the building and beyond, looking for a sacred templar location with a cave system.
Following the alignment, there's only one place that fits all our criteria-- The templar stronghold of Ostuni.
We're meeting a contact of mine in Ostuni, who will take us to a cave located directly underneath one of the most significant templar holy places in Italy-- The Ostuni cathedral.
The templars used the cave during the time of king tancred, and it would have been the perfect place to safeguard any sacred object, such as the sword.
It's huge-- It's like a big natural dome.
See where the back of the cave goes in, where it starts getting dark? That arch is very, very similar to the mosaic.
If this is the cave depicted in the mosaic, Excalibur could be right under our feet.
There's only one way to find out.
Keep a listen.
Let's see if she's under there.
Be careful, Ashley.
Okay, I'm at the first hole.
I'm gonna try to hook my body through.
You know, you got to kind of hang yourself to get through this.
It's so tight in here.
Me and the camera man can barely squeeze through.
Oh, man.
Look at that drop.
So many places it could be.
There's a small chamber here-- Perfect hiding place for Excalibur.
Never seen anything like this.
This is tearing me apart.
Ahh! Searching through king Tancred's palace, in Palermo, I found a series of images indicating Excalibur may have been hidden in a cave by the knights templar.
We're here below the Ostuni cathedral, where the templars may have hidden Excalibur.
There's a small chamber here.
This is tearing me apart.
There goes the watch.
It opens up in that chamber you can't even see the back.
What about down here? Okay.
Let me see.
If it's not in this spot, it ain't here.
There's nothing.
Never seen anything like that in my life.
I do believe we're on the right track.
We have to keep on the trail of the templars.
That cave in Ostuni may well have been where the knights templar kept Excalibur for safekeeping.
However, towards the end of the third crusade, there was an awful lot of unrest in Italy, and the templars would have known that for safekeeping, Excalibur had to be moved on.
Now, I've contacted one of the grand priories of the knights templar.
He tells me that it's believed a cache of relics that had been stored in Ostuni was moved to France shortly after the third crusade.
What if Excalibur was among them? If that was the case, where did it go? I have a theory about that.
It's known that many templars transporting valuables into France went to one place in particular.
If the Ostuni treasures went to France, that is where they may have been taken.
So we're heading deep into templar territory, to a templar fortification with a vault-like catacomb-- The templar commanderie in Marne-la-Vallée in northern France.
Here we are, guys-- The commanderie.
I need to check out the commanderie chapel to see if there are any clues to where Excalibur might be.
Wow, it's beautiful.
Look here, Kinga-- Right there.
Mary with Jesus-- Exactly what we saw in Palermo.
And look here-- The horsemen on the left.
Remember in Palermo on the wall? And on the right, the angel on the other side of Mary.
The horsemen, the angel, Mary, and Jesus-- Everything synchronizing it.
You can't ignore the similarities linking this location with Tancred's palace.
I'm getting a really good feeling about this place-- The kind of place the templars would have taken the sword to keep it safe and secure.
We know this place has a vault-like catacomb.
Now, this is underneath the commanderie, and it would have been the ideal, perfect place to store something as valuable as Excalibur.
Classic templar arch here, with a triangular keystone.
And here we have a passage which could have been used to move artifacts, relics, or monies, indeed if the place was under attack.
All the hallmarks of a vault are here.
Excalibur may well have been right here in this room.
If it was here, it certainly isn't here today.
I need to find a little more out about the history of this place.
What I need to do now is find out if there have ever been any swords recovered here.
I've come here looking for one thing in particular-- A sword.
Is there any history or record of a sword having been kept here? How old was this sword? Yeah.
6th century? That's the exact time period of king Arthur.
Can I see that sword? Can you take me to see it? I can see a 6th-century sword that was discovered here in the British museum in London? Yeah.
Dennis, that's fantastic.
I wonder if the British know what they might have in their possession.
Why would they be interested in a sword found here in France? Could it be that they believe it's the legendary Excalibur? So we're heading to London to examine the sword, looking for any clues that might suggest it's king Arthur's mighty blade.
Here we are, guys, back in england.
We've come full circle.
The sword from the commanderie was acquired by the British museum over 100 years ago.
I've arranged for special access to view the sword where it's being stored-- A restricted area in the museum's basement.
As we walk through rows of stored artifacts, it's incredible to think that Excalibur may be hidden away in one of these locked cabinets.
But I want to view it up close to see if anything about the sword can confirm its identity.
Under the strict supervision of the museum archivist, we're allowed to examine the 6th-century sword up close.
When "Legend Quest" returns That there could be the clue to establish that this is Excalibur.
Then we head to the tropics in search of a stone that will grant your every wish.
Oh, look at this.
The sword from the commanderie was acquired by the British museum over 100 years ago.
Why would they be interested in a sword found in France? Could it be that they believe it's the legendary Excalibur? Look at that.
Well, well, well.
You know, people think about a mystical sword with gold and silver, emblazoned with jewels.
That why it's been missed, possibly, 'cause it isn't.
This here is a real-life, tangible artifact that could well be Excalibur.
Was this sword recovered in the marne valley in France? Yeah.
The marne valley.
That's right, yeah.
This could be Excalibur.
It's a huge claim to make, but absolutely based in reality.
This is a 6th-century sword.
It came from the marne-la-vallée in France.
We tracked the sword all the way to there, and this sword was recovered there.
And look at this here-- Look at this break.
It's been repaired at some time in the past.
Remember the legend of the sword, when Arthur fought Lancelot? The sword got broken And repaired.
It could be the clue we're looking for to establish that this artifact is Excalibur.
This could be it.
We could be looking at king Arthur's legendary sword, Excalibur, right here, hidden away in a drawer for the last 100 years.
The clues have all added up for us.
It's been some journey.
The sword in the museum could be any old sword.
However, it's entirely possible we were looking at the legendary Excalibur, locked up there in the basement.
Whether or not the British authorities know what they might have is open for debate.
Regardless, many will still believe Excalibur lies waiting for the once and future king to reappear and claim the throne of england.
Only then will we know for sure.
It's a stone that grants wishes, provides untold riches, and gives eternal life.
It's a mysterious, legendary relic, of vast importance to far-eastern civilization-- The Cintamani stone.
Legend says it fell from the sky-- A meteor that crashed in Tibet 1,600 years ago.
Tibetan Buddhists revered the stone and believed it to have wish-granting powers, but recognized the dangerous temptations of such an artifact.
So they hid it away in a mystical, secret city called Shambhala.
Serious expeditions to the himalayas searching for Shambhala have been launched in the past century-- Hitler and the Nazis, Roosevelt and a team of Americans, and even a famous Russian explorer named Nicholas Roerich, all looking to possess this priceless object.
But none were able to find the city of Shambhala or the stone.
But perhaps they were all looking in the wrong place.
I recently learned that just before Roerich died, he planned to search for the stone in the Philippines.
After reviewing some ancient texts, I think the Russian explorer might have been on to something.
First, Shambhala is described as a tropical paradise, and the freezing-cold himalayas don't fit that description.
Second, one version of the legend says it can be found on an island across a Southern sea, due east of India.
Due east of India points to the Philippines, a tropical island across the South China sea where the Tibetan monks could have taken the stone to get it as far away from their homeland as possible.
That's why I've decided to begin my search there.
Here in the east, it's believed that the stone is protected by a series of physical challenges-- You know, journeys through water, over mountains, through caves have to be faced before Shambhala can be accessed.
So, we're heading to the Buruwisan falls, which is the most sacred site in the Philippines.
Now, "Buruwisan" translates to "mouth of God," and the water here is said to flow from the mouth of God.
Legend tells us that Shambhala's protected by a watery cave.
Let's think about where we're going-- It's a sacred site, it's got water, it's got almost everything we're looking for.
We're going up there, looking for a cave.
The entrance to Shambhala, possibly even the stone itself.
All right, guys.
We're here.
Before we go up, I want to show you this.
Now, I've been researching Shambhala buddhism for the last couple of years And this here is a symbol called a Kalachakra mandala.
It's a representation of the lost city of Shambhala, where the stone is said to be kept.
Look how it's a ring inside a ring inside a ring, containing a square temple.
So, mandala, Shambhala-- They're one and the same.
It could be a key to helping us find the stone.
We pick up a local guide to lead us to the falls.
I'm Kinga.
Nice to meet you.
Thanks for coming, Mike.
The Cintamani stone, that's right.
That's great-- We need to speak to somebody local, and an elder would be perfect.
If this guy can put us on the right track, we're in business.
Guys, I'd like you to meet Philipe.
Thank you for meeting us, Epong.
Cintamani stone is this big, like an egg? No place where it is.
The elder's being pretty vague.
But when he learns that we're hiking to the sacred Buruwisan falls, he throws in a warning.
And you can help us overcome these spirits.
The fact that he knows about the stone here in the Philippines is a good sign that we're in the right place.
Blessings with you.
The legend, Roerich, the shaman, the sacred falls-- Everything is lining up to suggest we're on the right track.
And now we need to find the stone.
Whoa! It's massive.
You know what? Think of the legend of Shambhala-- Protected by water and a series of challenges.
The height of this fall here-- We need to rappel down there.
Rappel down? We know that Shambhala's protected by a watery cave.
This waterfall is known locally as the mouth of God.
Could it be that the entrance to Shambhala is hidden behind the waterfall? We've got to get down there and check it out.
All right, Kinga, I'll stay in touch.
Be careful.
If the entrance to a cave, and possibly Shambhala, is here, it'll be hidden behind the waterfall.
Whoa! But getting there is not gonna be easy.
What's behind the waterfall? There's a cliff system here that seems to cut in underneath the waves, behind the waterfall, so I'm gonna try and swing in underneath.
Real difficult getting up momentum.
But I can use the branches to take me there.
There we go.
Oh! Oh Ash! Ash! Help! I'm in the Philippines searching for the mystical Cintamani stone, said to be kept in the mythical city of Shambhala-- A place legend has it is protected by a watery cave.
I'm scaling down a waterfall known as "The Mouth Of God" to try and find any evidence of a cave, this secret city, or the stone.
There's a cliff system here, so I'm gonna try and swing in underneath.
Oh! Oh Ash! Help! Oh.
Ashley, are you okay?! Oh, my God.
There's no sign of any caves.
We need to look at this a different way.
We have to get you down here, Kinga.
There's no cave entrance that could be a gateway to Shambhala behind the falls, so Kinga and I are gonna check out the lagoon below for signs it could be hidden underwater.
I mean, we've explored the whole lagoon.
I was in behind the waterfalls.
No entrance to Shambhala.
The sacred waterfall was a bust-- No sign of the stone.
Since the entrance to Shambhala is believed to be a cave, perhaps we need to focus on the cave part of the legend.
A sacred cave possessing other elements of the Cintamani legend could be the key to finding the entrance to Shambhala and the stone.
Looking at a map of the area, I've located a cave that the locals here consider sacred.
And I asked our guide, Mike, if he's heard of the place.
So if you go into the cave, it brings good fortune.
That fits the legend of Shambhala.
Good fortune-- We know the Cintamani stone is the bringer of good fortune.
It grants wishes.
Can you direct us? The fact that the cave we're traveling to is linked to good luck-- A key part of the Cintamani legend-- Really excites me.
We're heading inland to the Sagada region.
Kinga's hired a local caving expert to help us explore the sumaging cave.
Okay, you lead the way.
On our hike to the cave, our guide tells me that the local people, the Igorots, consider the cave one of their most sacred sites.
Oh, my goodness.
Look at this.
That's an enormous mouth.
Oh That's huge.
Hey, George, what are these? Coffins? We're in a very sacred place, guarded by spirits discouraging local folk from poking around inside.
That could have made it a very appealing place for the Buddhist monks to hide the Cintamani stone.
We're looking for a chamber in the cave, protected by water, that could be the entrance to Shambhala.
So we need to go as deep as the cave will take us.
There's bones everywhere.
Can you see them? Oh, my gosh.
That's huge.
It's an enormous cavern.
You can see why they thought this was such a sacred place.
It's like descending into the underworld.
Oh, it's cold down here.
Very, very cold-- It's like a draft coming up from the heart of the cave.
I think we should keep on going this way.
You're gonna get a shock.
Oh, my gosh! We follow the water straight down for more than an hour.
The water's near freezing.
Ohh, bastard.
That's cold.
All the water throughout the cave is running right down here to this spot-- Just a small, dark hole, there.
There's a cavern right here-- A small, natural hole right at the heart, at the deepest part of the cave.
Maybe in here.
Just when it seems like we're making a breakthrough, I hit solid rock.
Oh, it's just stone.
There's nothing here.
We haven't found Shambhala.
It's another dead end.
We still don't have the Cintamani stone.
I'm so disappointed.
But I'm not giving up.
We've come too far.
And it feels like we're just one step away from putting it all together.
There's just got to be something here.
We're looking for anything manmade-- Deliberate cave painting, symbols, anything carved into the walls.
It's not looking good.
But then, back at the mouth of the cave, we get a break at last Wow.
Look at this.
This is a very interesting symbol.
I've seen this symbol before.
Hidden at the entrance, carved into the wood.
I know this symbol.
It's Buddhist.
The gecko means "fiery wind.
" It could simply be a decoration, but it's the only carving here.
This coffin is apart from all the others.
And why would anyone engrave the symbol for fiery wind on their coffin? It's entirely possible this is a clue left by the Buddhist monks as to the location of Shambhala.
But the lost city is said to be linked to water.
So what's the connection? Our guide's arranged a meeting with one of his village elders.
If there's a link between Shambhala and this lizard symbol, I'm hoping he'll tell me what it is.
The people in the culture from this area-- Could you give me some of the history, please? Okay, so, the people have traveled to this area from elsewhere? A volcano-- Could that be what the symbol was telling me? To the Buddhists, the lizard represents fiery wind, just like a volcano.
To the Igorot, it's their ancestral home-- The base of Taal volcano.
Thank you very much.
Thank you, sir.
Kinga, we've got it.
He said that his people were a marriage of cultures-- People that came from far away and the native Igorots.
What if the Buddhists used the Igorots to help build Shambhala right on the edge of the sacred volcano? The volcano erupts.
The Igorot and the Buddhists were driven north.
And that's why we saw the Buddhist lizard symbol at the Igorot burial cave.
It could have been a signpost to Shambhala.
When the volcano erupted, Shambhala may have been covered.
That's where the Cintamani stone might be.
Right now, today-- Shambhala, Cintamani stone, lake Taal.
We need a helicopter.
Lake Taal is right in the crater of the Taal volcano.
And when I see it from the air, I feel like our search has just kicked into gear.
If Shambhala is anywhere, it's here.
We are flying to our latest destination in search of the lost city of Shambhala and its prize-- The legendary Cintamani stone.
So far, my search has come up empty-handed.
Now I'm following a symbol I found at the sumaging caves-- A gecko meaning "fiery wind.
" And it's led me here, to the Taal volcano, where Shambhala and the stone could have been consumed in a blazing eruption.
is becoming clear to me.
Remember the mandala.
What we have here is the circle within a circle within a circle.
And if you look out there, you see a circle, a circle, and a circle-- Water, earth, water.
From this vantage point, you can picture Shambhala at the very center.
A perfect match for the mandala, secret and protected, until the volcano erupted And buried the city forever.
We've got to get down there.
We're using cutting-edge sonar technology to scan the whole lake bed to look for any signs of Shambhala.
Now, we've been 'round the volcano, there.
It's just constantly the same.
It's like a plateau.
That's almost an hour now of constant flatness.
We need, like, a rise or a depression, something to break up that constant bottom.
But look at this here.
What is that? That's a slight rise.
Now, can you see it's leveling out? Yeah.
It's pretty big, too.
We're over the top of it now.
Could you stop, please? Cut the engine.
You can see how it's come up here, and we're-- You know, it's maybe 30, 40 feet of a rise.
And now, can you see the dropping off? There's, like, a ledge here, right under here.
Drop the anchor, guys.
We're gonna dive here.
Having scanned the entire lake, the sonar detects a landscape rise.
It's the only structure down there that could be the lost city.
Time to see for myself.
What is your visibility like? Okay, Ashley, I need you to come up, then.
The conditions are too bad.
Get out of there.
Ashley, you're cutting out.
What happened down there? Well, I followed that rise we saw on the sonar.
I took the cliff that went down.
It's a vertical drop, literally.
It looks man-made from the top, but as you go down, strands of seaweed come all the way up to the top.
It's just like a soup down there.
Do you have any ideas what that was-- The entire thing that we saw on sonar? No.
It was impossible for me to see.
If Shambhala's there, it's safe from me.
Shambhala and the Cintamani stone have been elusives for centuries.
But we found traces of the legend, suggesting Shambhala and the stone could be in the steamy tropics of the Philippines.
It's quite possible that signs we have covered could be pointing to a hidden city and legendary stone are even a molten fortress.
Perhaps, for eternity.