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Series / Destination Truth

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Destination Truth is a documentary show that aired on Syfy from 2007 to 2012, totalling 55 episodes over 5 seasons. It stars Josh Gates and a team of investigators as they travel around the world to seek the truth behind various sightings of cryptids and alleged hauntings.

The show is noted for traveling to exotic locations and for the charisma and humor of its star Josh Gates.

The Destination Truth crew consists of Josh Gates, Richie Fung, Katy Murakami, Adam Butler, Kyle Wheeler, Tristant Icaza, and Erin Ryder.

Former members include Jael de Pardo, Ali Zubik, Gabe Copeland, and Araceli Haldeman.

Josh Gates has gone on to host the Travel Channel series Expedition Unknown.

Destination Truth provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Area: LOTS of them.
  • The Alleged Car: A Running Gag on the show is that every car they get is a rough collection of spare parts held together by little more than hope. In Indonesia, the car caught on fire.
    • With variants: the alleged plane, the alleged helicopter, the alleged tank... See Running Gag, above.
  • All Flyers Are Birds: The "Ropen" episode repeatedly refers to pterosaurs as birds or dinosaurs. Barring the fact that there's really no difference between birds and dinosaurs, pterosaurs were not birds, nor dinosaurs.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology:
    • Say it with me... pterodactyls ARE NOT DINOSAURS!
    • They're also NOT BIRDS!
    • And if hunting what you believe to be an iguanodon, a dead chicken is pretty much the very last thing you should use to bait it.
    • Despite Josh acknowledging the fact that they have fossils to base their digital recreation off of, the show's interpretation of the Moa depicts it as a savage predator with colorful feathers and razor-sharp teeth. Yes. Razor-sharp teeth on an herbivorous bird.
      • The show does this with every avian creature, actually. The Kikiyaon (a giant owl), the Thunderbird (a giant eagle), and the aforementioned Moa were all depicted with teeth,
  • Bears Are Bad News: When traveling to Hokkaido Josh is dismayed to find out that in addition to the abandoned town they're visiting being haunted it's also frequented by bears. And he's in a country that doesn't allow guns, unlike the time they were in the Alaskan tundra and their guides carried shotguns specifically to ward off bears.
  • Big Fun: Josh is taller than average and very playful.
  • Camera Abuse: Since the team members walk around with camera rigs there are frequent instances of them falling down cliffs, into water or otherwise damaging themselves and the equipment.
  • Creepy Doll: More like a whole island of them when the team visited the Island of the Dolls in Mexico.
  • Crossover: Grant, Jason, Steve, and Tango of Ghost Hunters often appear to analyze evidence that Josh and crew have gathered from their ghost investigations. This has proved controversial with Destination Truth fans who prefer the show not associate with them. Josh himself has appeared on Ghost Hunters.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: While not exactly a moron, Josh does act like a wise-cracking goof most of the time, especially when they first land at their destination, but the Badass and Real Life entries show he really knows his stuff.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Kind of inevitable when among the many Alleged Cars are essentially tanks or when they had a truck with a tiki hut on the back for some reason. And then there's the time they were driving in Italy and everything up to and including nuns were among the obstacles.
  • Executive Meddling: It's doubtful that the many appearances by members of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International are Josh's idea, or the numerous other Syfy personalities who show up as guest investigators to plug their own show.
  • Eldritch Location: Hoia Baciu Forest in Romania.
    • The first time they go there, as they're approaching for landing and pass over the forest, the roof of the aircraft's cabin tears off in flight, causing real concern that the wings might have been damaged also, forcing an emergency landing. Then, while doing solo EVP sessions in the central clearing, one of the crew gets physically flung like a rag doll over 20-30 feet, on multiple cameras by something that's never seen on camera. At a speed that's not possible for any human being to have thrown him, literally sitting on the camp chair one-second recording, then in the next frame of the perimeter camera looking at him, the blur of him being flung upward and to the side is seen, then he's gone from the camera's view. On the crew member's Harness cam (which is facing towards his face), he's shown screaming and flailing in terror as he's thrown, clearly at a high speed from what can be seen. When Josh and the rest of the team rush to find and help him, they find him unconscious/dazed, with signs of something having grabbed him. When he comes to, he can't remember what happened. They then find out that cuts like claw marks have somehow appeared under his sleeves. Then, to top it off, the medic helping him out suddenly gets sick and throws up. They shut down the investigation right there and then for safety.
    • When they revisit the location a second time, as they fly over the forest, wind picks up out of nowhere, and it's so powerful the have to land. They bring back the crew member who was previously attacked before to help him find some answers for himself. And again, while in the clearing, things start happening again, and the crew member has signs of bleeding from his ears, again, forcing the crew to back off for safety.
  • Faux Action Girl: Ryder. Despite coming off somewhat tomboyish and semi-rugged, she also is the first to freak out and scream if anything remotely spooky or creepy happens. Also, even with her athletic build, she'll probably trip twice an episode. Even on flat ground.
    • Zig-Zagged as she is also willing to jump out of a helicopter into open ocean and swim to the shore of a haunted island, race an ostrich, climb cliffs, and generally not shy from extreme sports despite her klutziness.
  • Four Is Death: It's not commented on in-episode, but when the team is in a haunted town in Hokkaido a spirit of a little girl is often seen on the fourth floor of an apartment building. When they reach the actual building they find a shrine located in the same room where they get a thermal hit.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: In one episode, when they touch down in Nairobi, they notice that Josh has ripped the crotch of his pants. He then has to strip in the middle of a crowded Kenyan marketplace and sit there in his airplane-print boxers while the seamstress mends them.
    • His excuse, "I'm an adventurous guy, I wear adventurous underwear."
  • Grand Finale: in the last episode, Josh and Tony grow epic beards, the team flies down to the southernmost city on the planet, and from there sails to Antarctica to perform a ghost hunt there.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Former team member Ali is very tall and felt awkward in Japan because of her height.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: On investigations, Josh heads out with The Heart, Gabe, and audio guy. The two other male investigators and other cameraman head out on their own. The tech person stays at home base to monitor cameras and stay in touch with the teams.
  • Lighter and Softer: The first season was pretty straight-forward; those that followed featured more and more of the team's traveling arrangements Josh interacting with the local culture.
  • The Load: Ryder, who continually trips, falls, stumbles, and otherwise harms herself on even the most slightly uneven terrain (and sometimes even on perfectly flat land). She also freaks out the most whenever wild animals turn up and her main job seems to be providing the team with its traditionally horrible vehicles.
  • Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious: The show's tracked some pretty obscure cryptid types.
  • Paranormal Investigation: Usually half of the episode segments feature a haunting investigation while the rest deal with cryptids. In an effort to distinguish itself from other paranormal shows like Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures, Destination Truth focuses investigating more exotic and interesting locations like the Great Wall of China or the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia.
    • This is a genre slip from its earlier run where Josh would only rarely investigate anything to do with ghosts simply because as he put it, it was better off left to the guys on Ghost Hunters. That said, in following seasons, his investigations have slid to a pretty much even ratio of haunting/cryptid per episode.
  • Real Life: Josh is a member of The Explorers Club, has a degree in archaeology, and is a qualified SCUBA diver. All of his skills are put to good use on the show.
  • Running Gag: Every automobile Josh and the gang uses seems to either stall or break down at some point.
    • On an episode in Alaska, Josh even wonders why they can't just have gotten a car that worked for once.
      • Not to mention the airplane that partially disintegrated mid-flight!
      • And the boats...
    • On an episode of Fact Or Faked Paranormal Files (which features former team member Jael), a guest-starring Josh lamented that their three-person teams get to ride in comfortable SUVs, while he had to cram at least twice as many people and equipment into the crappiest rental cars available.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: The rest of the crew usually plays The Straight Man to Josh's wise guy.
  • Tank Goodness: While in Siberia looking for the Almas they use an old Soviet transport vehicle, which works pretty well (until it overheats).
  • Travelogue Show: Some tune in just to see what crazy far off place Josh and crew head to. Every segment shows the team arriving at their destination(they don't travel first class), them interacting with the locals, and their transportation to the investigation.