Myth Hunters reveals true stories of quests seeking legendary objects – hordes of lost Spanish gold, the Temple of Solomon, the body of King Arthur, the relics of Joan of Arc; objects that offer their finder either unlimited power or wealth - or both. For most of us, these are the stuff of fantasy and movies as seen in Indiana Jones or The Mummy; but these are the real stories of real adventurers who thought these myths were true. These true life action adventures are exciting stories filmed in HD. The series features dramatic reconstruction, expert witness testimonies, specially shot location material and archive footage.
The Tokugawa treasure legend is Japan's most famous story of its kind. The story is rooted in the 1860's, when the Tokugawa Shogun was about to be destroyed by the new, incoming Meji government. A high-ranking official in the shogunate ordered their gold coins to be buried in order to keep the treasure from falling into the Meji's hands, and to store military funds for a future attack against the government. Legend tells of a treasure worth ten trillion yen buried in Mount Akagi, in the Gunma Prefecture. The legend originated with Mizuno Tomoyoshi, born in 1851 as the third son of a Tokugawa retainer. Mizuno received a mysterious letter from a former neighbour, Nakajima Kurando, who was an employee in the financial magistrate as an investigator, who fought against the imperial forces and had been missing since 1868. Nakajima had an illicit relationship with Mizuno's mother, and as a result of his relationship he helped transport the gold from Yamanashi Prefecture to Mount Haruna during the first four months of 1868. However, when Nakajima later returned for the money in Mount Haruna it had been moved and he believed it was reburied on Mount Akagi. Legend has it that the local financial magistrate, Oguri, ordered the treasure to be moved to a more secure location. That final location was Mount Akagi, And there is a dark twist to the tale: to keep the location secret, the 1500 porters who helped dig and transport the shogunate's money had been killed and buried with the gold. After years of research Tomoyoshi used his own money to start digging in the most likely locations in 1888. The quest for the lost treasure of the last shogunate has driven three generations of the Mizuno family, down to the most recent "heir", Mizuno Tomoyuki who still digs around the mountains of Gunma today.
A look at the search for a 13th-century Japanese sword that disappeared after World War II.Watch Now:Amazon
This is a story of one man's magnificent obsession. It would cost him terrible personal tragedy and sixteen years of his life, but it would ultimately end in triumph. Mel Fisher was a chicken farmer from Indiana. From an early age he had fallen in love with diving - in particular diving for treasure. Fisher became obsessed with the lost Spanish Galleon the Nuestra Senora de Atocha ("Our Lady of Atocha"), that had sunk off the Florida coast. It was loaded with fabulous treasure looted from the New World - including copper, silver, gold, tobacco, emeralds, jewellery, and indigo. But she was caught in a hurricane 35 miles off Key West in the Florida Keys and sank. 265 people drowned. Mel uprooted his wife and four children: and took them to Florida in his hunt for the Atocha. For sixteen years they found nothing. In the middle of these lean years, as money ran short, tragedy struck. On July 13, 1975 Mel's oldest son Dirk, his wife Angel, and diver Rick Gage died after their boat capsized during their quest for the treasure. Mel kept going through these hard times thanks to his motto; Today's the Day. Finally, on July 20th, 1985, his son, Kane Fisher, captain of the salvage vessel Dauntless, sent a jubilant message to his father's headquarters, "Put away the charts; we've found the main pile!" Ecstatic crew members described the find as looking like a reef of silver bars. At long last, the wreck's "motherlode" had been found. But this is not the end of the story -it continues today with Mel's grandson - Sean...
When a British Spy and adventurer go on a quest to find the mythical Labyrinth, he uncovers a secret that would rewrite history. Greek Mythology tells of the Labyrinth, an elaborate maze designed and built by the legendary artificer Daealus for King Minos of Crete. Its function was to hold the Minotaur, a mythical creature that was half man and half bull. Daedalus had so cunningly made the Labyrinth that he could barely escape it after he built it. Theseus was aided by Ariadne, who provided him with a skein of thread, so he could find his way out again. But was the Labyrinth the stuff of legend - or could it really have existed? The search for the Labyrinth became an obsession for Sir Arthur Evans. In his early years he was an adventurer, a spy, and a journalist. His adventures took him to the Balkans - where he often travelled packing a sidearm. In the late 1870's he wrote extensively about the region, reporting on the suppression of the Christian insurrectionists by the armed forces of the Ottoman Empire. His passion for antiquities drove him on a quest to find the Labyrinth. Evan's attention was drawn to a site in Crete. Evans believed that Crete was the home of the Labyrinth. When he began to excavate he uncovered a magnificent palace, filled with beautiful artwork - could this be the fabled labyrinth? It appeared to be a complex maze of rooms and corridors. The palace featured pieces of art featuring bulls. Could this be the cradle of the Minoan civilisation? More than that - he uncovered writing that had never been seen before. It pre-dated Phoenician, Greek and Egyptian script. Could Crete in fact, have been the cradle of all western civilisation?
An amateur Filipino treasure hunter seeks gold stolen and hidden by the Japanese during World War II.
Nazis search for an ancient manuscript written by the Roman historian Tacitus.
Two amateur explorers discover the Maya civilization in the early 19th century.
A German journalist and a former Marine believe the Nazis may have hidden stolen gold in Austria's Lake Topiltz.
In the Wild West, one legend of lost gold endures above all others. The story begins after a few years after the American civil war. A young cowhand, raised in the Wild West hears of a tale from a stranger as he sits around a camp fire. It's a story of greed, duplicity and cold-blooded murder all fuelled by an insatiable lust for gold. Dick Holmes is hooked. A mysterious German - or was he a Dutchman - struggled out of the Superstition Mountains in Arizona in 1868. His name, he said, was Jacob Waltz, and in his pockets were samples of rock filled with gold. There was, he said, a mine with the richest seam imaginable deep in the mountains. Later, as Jacob Waltz falls critically ill, Dick Holmes seizes his chance to hear his deathbed confession. He manages to tell Holmes a few cryptic clues before dying. Underneath the Dutchman's bed Brownie finds a box. It contains 48 hundred dollars worth of high-grade ore. Proof that the mine is real. But Dick Holmes has to stop his search when he is injured by a horse. The mantle is passed to his son, Brownie. He meets up with a famous amateur treasure hunter, Adolph Ruth. Ruth sets off into the Superstition Mountains. He never returns. An expedition is mounted to find him. It came across his clothes, containing a detailed map of the where the mine was and a note with the words "veni, vidi, vici"- "I came. I saw I conquered". He must have found the mine. Weeks later his body was discovered, crumpled in a gully. It had two bullets in the head. What had happened? And had he found the mine?Watch Now:Amazon
According to the Bible, King Solomon possessed gifts of gold given to him by the Queen of Sheba. Legend has it, the gold came from the mysterious land of Ophir, known as King Solomon’s Mines. This is the story of one man’s search for King Solomon's Mines.
At the turn of the 20th century, Dave Arnold, guided only by a cryptic old map, searches for buried treasure in Texas.
The hunt for crystal skulls, which are said to contain mystical powers or be cursed, is examined.
An artwork in the USSR known as the Amber Room is sought after it disappears during World War II.Watch Now:Amazon
Captain Kidd, the infamous pirate who buried his treasure. He takes his secret to his grave. But centuries later, Richard Knight makes an incredible discovery. This is a story of high seas and high adventure in the search to locate Kidd’s buried treasure.
The Ark of the Covenant is sought by amateur archaeologist Ron Wyatt.
As famed archaeologist stared into an empty pit, had he finally realised his boyhood ambition and found the final resting place of King Arthur? The search for the bones of King Arthur reached fever pitch at the turn of the 20th century. Frederick Bligh Bond was one of Britain's leading archaeologist and he was determined to prove that King Arthur, the wielder of Excalibur, the founder of Camelot and the Lord of the Round Table, had been real. The story goes that, in 1191, the monks of Glastonbury Abbey uncovered the body of a gigantic man. Wounded several times in the head, he had succumbed to one last fatal blow. The bones of his wife, along with a tress of her beautiful golden hair, shared his large oak coffin. An ancient lead cross found with the burial was inscribed "Here lies buried the famous king Arthur with Guinevere his second wife, in the Isle of Avalon". To find the grave, Bligh Bond pioneered new techniques in archaeology, which revealed stunning details of the Abbey. During the excavation he's visited by colleagues - and a 10 year old boy, Ralegh Radford, who's captivated by his mission. Bligh Bond's findings amaze the Church, but later he confesses that he'd been communicating with the Abbey's long dead, mediaeval monks in seances. The Church was outraged and Bligh Bond was pulled off the site, disgraced, and the excavation closed down. 30 years on the quest is taken up by Ralegh Radford, an ambitious and talented archaeologist. Excavating under the Abbey he came upon a pit - and found himself staring into that gigantic man's grave - the grave of King Arthur. Had he really found the legendary king's final resting place?
A local newspaper editor and businessman in South Africa unwittingly finds himself at the epicentre of a legend of buried gold. It's a story that began nearly 100 years ago. In the midst of the Boer War South African President Paul Kruger orders his gold bullion in the form of coins to be shipped out of Pretoria, away from the approaching British Army. In charge of the bullion was Fritz Duquesne. On the way to Mozambique, Duquesne buried the treasure near the small town of Ermelo, where he intended to return to reclaim it. But it was not to be. Duquesne was captured and deported from South Africa. The legend of Kruger's millions was born. As for Fritz Duquesne - in World War Two his hatred for the Allies caused him to become a master spy operating in New York. He was caught and finally jailed. Eighty years after the Boer War, Athol Stark unwittingly found himself caught up in the legend. A group of Zulu men asks Athol to help them search for the gold; they discover a strong box buried in the soil. Inside are Kruger Pounds. Athol Stark searches for the Kruger gold himself, and discovers a small statue of President Paul Kruger buried in the ground near his house. The discovery slips out to the media, treasure hunters descend upon Ermelo convinced the gold is there. Gold fever strikes Ermelo - and Athol discovers more of the valuable Kruger gold. Today, Athol continues to search for the Kruger Millions, and is the head of a treasure-hunting syndicate, where it's only a matter of time before once again, he strikes gold...
SS reichsführer Heinrich Himmler embarks on a mission to find the Holy Grail during World War II.
A map drawn by the only survivor of a doomed French expedition into the Rocky Mountains is believed to provide a clue to the location of a fortune in gold bullion.
Hitler's quest to find the spear that pierced Jesus' side when he was crucified.
A look at British explorer Percy Fawcett's attempts to find a mythical city of gold in the Amazon before he disappeared in 1925.
It's one of the most powerful and enduring myths ever created. The Garden of Eden. It is the very definition of paradise: a land of endless plenty where there is no work, no sorrow, no hunger and no disease. But could it be true? Did the Garden of Eden exist as a real place? The only clues to its whereabouts lie in the Bible, which states that the garden is the source of four major rivers: the Tigris, Euphrates and Pishon and Gihon. The sources of Tigris and Euphrates are easy to find, as they are up in the Torus mountains. However they are hundreds of miles apart. So the key to finding Eden would be to locate the other two rivers' sources. The trouble is no one has any idea where the Pishon and Gihon are. The names have long since fallen into disuse. One maverick scholar thinks he may have cracked the code. Professor Juris Zanis thinks he knows where Eden really was and why it really disappeared. To find the answer, Zarins took a multi disciplinary approach; using geology, anthropology, archaeology, linguistics and hydrology. Zarins started to look at the cultures who inhabited the area where the Tigris and Euphrates Meet: Southern Mesopotamia. He believes that the Sumerians who lived 7000 years ago created large-scale urban settlements: the world's first cities. Among their legends was a bountiful garden, a paradise called Dilmun. Dilmun sits on the East coast of Bahrain. Could this be the remnants of the Garden of Eden? Now he had to confirm the stories of the Sumerians using the latest land sat technology. This would give Zarins a "birds eye view" from space at the geology of the region, able to view the rock formations clearly both on land and underwater. Would it give him the final confirmation that he had found the fabled Garden of Eden?
A Christian relic called the Titulus Crucis, or Title of the Cross, a piece of wood that may have hung on Jesus' cross when he was crucified, is examined.
When an ambitious young scientist was sent on a quest by Himmler to find the lost people of Atlantis, little did he know it would become an expedition embroiled in political intrigue and lost integrity. Ernst Schaefer was one of the great explorers and scientists during the interwar years. By 1937, he had led two American-backed expeditions to the Himalayas to study geology and ornithology, his great specialism. But he was desperate for a third trip. The trouble was, with Nazism on the rise, American money could not be found. Schaefer managed to raise 80% of his funds from German companies, but he still needed more. Then he received a summons from Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS. Himmler said that he would back Schaefer on two conditions. The first was that the expedition would add anthropology to its list of sciences. Himmler revealed that he was convinced that Tibet contained the remnants of a long lost race - the "Hyberboreans." Referred to by the German philosopher Nietzsche, these were said to be an Aryan people with remarkable skills. They had been the people of Atlantis - a people, legend said, that had created the first civilisation of all. All other civilisations - the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Chinese, even the Incas, had learned from these Hyperboreans. Plato had written that Atlantis had disappeared beneath the waves and despite many explorers, no one had ever found it, though there have always been several candidates. Himmler's point was that Atlantis may be lost, but its people lived on in the Himalayas. Schaefer's task, Himmler said, was to find these Hyperboreans and prove that the Germans were their direct descendants. Himmler's second stipulation was that all members of the expedition would become members of the SS. Schaefer agreed to both demands. Propelled by the Nazi Party, it would be an expedition that would lead him ultimately into a tale of mountain madness, greed and sacrifice.
Forensic pathologist Dr Philippe Charlier, known to the French as the "Indiana Jones of the graveyards" faced his biggest challenge yet: to uncover the truth behind the remains of France's most famous daughter - Joan of Arc. Joan of Arc, maid of visions and miracles, had achieved the seemingly impossible when she broke the military back of the English at the Siege of Orleans in 1429 to successfully see the Dauphin finally crowned Charles VII of France at Reims. But her subsequent capture by the English and trial at Rouen for witchcraft and heresy ended in her being sentenced to death by burning at the stake. In modern day France, Dr Philippe Charlier subjected these fragments to the full panoply of 21st century forensic analysis: mass, infrared and atomic-emission spectrometry; electron microscopy; pollen analysis and DNA analysis. One of the bones was not human but feline. Could it have been a cat burnt along with Joan? Black cats were often burned in the fire of those reputed to be witches. But, its origin was not even European. Charlier found nothing in the organic material that matched anything that would have existed in 15th Century Burgundy. In a final, stunning confirmation: carbon dating placed the fragments of bones between the 7th and 8th Century BC. This was no Joan of Arc, this was an Egyptian Mummy! Black tar-like coating on the fragments had nothing to do with burning, but rather embalming. Somehow an Egyptian mummy had ended up being in an apothecary's jar labelled as the remains of Joan of Arc. Yet may hold the belief that the remains of Joan of Arc are still to be found, and returned to a place of honour.