From lost cities to buried treasure and stolen art, the world abounds with fascinating, iconic legends. In Travel Channel’s new original series “Expedition Unknown,” premiering Thursday, January 8 with a special two-hour episode at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, avid explorer Josh Gates sets out on a global journey in pursuit of answers to some of the world’s most puzzling stories. Armed with a degree in archaeology, a quick wit and a hunger for adventure, Gates investigates the latest developments in each unsolved legend before embarking on a fully immersive exploration. To separate fact from fiction, Gates inserts himself in different cultures to understand the world as they do. Whether he’s trekking through Fiji in search of Amelia Earhart’s remains or diving the deep seas of Panama to locate Captain Morgan’s pirate ship, Gates’ authentic roughshod adventures lead him one step closer to finding the truth. “Expedition Unknown” is comprised of 11 hour-long episodes plus the two-hour premiere.
“I’ve traveled to nearly 100 countries, but still feel like I haven’t scratched the surface of what’s out there to explore,” says Gates. “There is such a deep well of fascinating and mystifying stories in the world, and each one connects so uniquely to different cultures. I’m driven by curiosity – and I’m on a mission to find answers.”
In the two-hour series premiere, Josh Gates embarks on an expedition to investigate what might be the most iconic unsolved event in the world – the disappearance of Amelia Earhart during her attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 1937. Several incredible new leads in the story take Gates on an adventure through aviation history and remote areas of the world. These clues might finally lead to answers behind the greatest cold case in history.
Gates begins his expedition in Papua New Guinea, the location where Amelia Earhart’s plane last took off from before disappearing. Connecting with a remote tribe, Gates embarks on an arduous trek through the dense jungle to explore potential pieces of evidence. Next, Gates heads to Fiji and turns his focus to the latest and most shocking piece of evidence to date. Noted aviation historian Ric Gillespie, the Executive Director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), has confirmed a piece of aluminum that washed up on the remote island of Nikumaroro in 1991 may, in fact, be a unique piece of sheeting installed on Earhart’s plane before her ill-fated flight.
Gates is intrigued to learn more about the human bones found on Nikumaroro more than 50 years ago. They were shipped to Fiji for safekeeping, but vanished upon arrival. In light of the recent findings, Gates heads to Suva, Fiji to launch a hunt for the lost bones – a crucial element that could finally put this mystery to rest. Clues lead him from the island’s archives to a traditional village in the distant jungles where he links up with John Grey – a Fijian who, in 1968, discovered a mysterious skull beneath his childhood home. Gates is shocked to learn that not only has the skull has gone missing, but authorities never conducted a proper search for other remains in the area. Securing permission to conduct an investigation, Gates personally uncovers what appear to be human remains. Could they possibly be the long-lost bones of Amelia Earhart? Potentially groundbreaking answers await, as the bones currently undergo scientific analysis.
“Expedition Unknown” is produced by Ping Pong Productions for Travel Channel. For Ping Pong, the executive producers are Brad Kuhlman, Casey Brumels and Josh Gates. For Travel Channel, the executive producer is Daniel A. Schwartz.