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Expedition Unknown

Expedition Unknown

Photo Credit:  The Travel Channel
  • Premiered: 
    January 8, 2015
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Travel
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Adventure
  • Tags: historical

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Plot Synopsis

EXPEDITION UNKNOWN is a one-hour reality series that follows explorer Josh Gates, as the travels the globe searching for the truth behind the world's iconic legends. Before embarking on each adventure, Gates investigates the latest developments in each unsolved legend, and then inserts himself in different cultures to separate fact from fiction. In each episode, Gates investigates a different story, including: Amelia Earhart (in the two-hour series premiere), as Gates treks to uncharted tribal lands in Papua New Guinea and ends his journey in Fiji, hoping to uncover the pilot's remains; The Temple of Doom, as Gates travels to the remote and land-mine-riddled jungles of Cambodia to investigate the lost city of the Khmer Empire and search for a mystical relic that gave its god king the power to incinerate his enemies more than 1,000 years ago; The World's 8th Wonder, as Gates starts in St. Petersburg, Russia, to track down the missing Amber Panels, priceless pieces of art stolen by the Nazis during WWII; and more lost cities, buried treasures and stolen art.

Season 2 of EXPEDITION UNKNOWN premiered on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT on Travel Channel. From excavating ruins in search of the real Robin Hood to sailing the high seas investigating Christopher Columbus and exploring Nepal's "sky caves" for Shangri La, Gates continues his mission to find the truth behind each iconic legend. In the Season 2 premiere, Gates travels to England, Wales and Scotland to explore one of the greatest legends of all time -- King Arthur. The King of the Britons has been celebrated and written about for more than 1,500 years, as Arthur, the wizard Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table are among some of the most filmed characters in cinematic history. Gates meets up with two cave experts and together they descend into the caverns, searching for evidence. But with hundreds of miles of underground caves, the exploration is daunting and dangerous. The new season -- which is comprised of 19 hour-long episodes, one two-hour special, and seven hour-long repack episodes -- also features these expeditions: Blackbeard's hidden gold (Cayman Islands/US); Christopher Columbus (Dominican Republic/Haiti/Portugal/Spain); Fenn's treasure (US); Genghis Khan's tomb (Mongolia); the lost city of the Kalahari (Botswana); the missing Kruger millions (South Africa); real-life vampires (Bulgaria/Romania); the real Robin Hood (UK); Shangri-La (Nepal); stolen Nazi treasure (Austria/Germany); Suleiman the Magnificent's heart (Hungary/Turkey); the Yonaguni Ruins (Japan) and more.

The third season of EXPEDITION UNKNOWN premiered on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 9pm ET/PT on Travel Channel. In the new season, Josh takes on such lingering questions as: Who was D.B. Cooper and what became of him? Is Captain Kidd's lost treasure still out there waiting to be found? Where is Attila the Hun's tomb? From excavating ruins and jumping out of planes to diving for treasure in the deep seas, Gates goes on 16 new expeditions -- and they are some of his biggest adventures yet. In the season opener, "Plummer's Gold," Josh heads to Montana -- Gold Rush territory -- to search for the missing fortune of notorious Old West sheriff, Henry Plummer. Traveling from Virginia City to Bannack and into the Montana hills, Josh investigates the legend behind the lost loot -- meeting with local experts and using the latest technology to explore hidden cave systems and blast open an unexplored, century-old sealed mine in hopes of striking gold. Upcoming expeditions this season include an exploration into the collapse of Greece's Minoan civilization; a search for World War II-era gold and diamond treasures in Germany and Corsica; trails that could lead to the location of the Ark of the Covenant in Israel and Africa; and an investigation into the possible re-emergence of Australia's extinct Tasmanian tiger.

Season 4 of EXPEDITION UNKNOWN premiered on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 at 9pm ET/PT on Travel Channel. This time, Gates' insatiable curiosity and appetite for adventure leads him to destinations around the world, uncovering the truth behind more illustrious legends and fascinating lore. With access to the latest research and scientific technology, Gates tackles 12 all-new expeditions, including: the history of the mighty Vikings; the mystery of Stonehenge; the lost tombs of the Mayan Snake Kings; the search for a ship trapped in the dunes of Australia; a quest for the true identity of Nefertiti; and the hunt for 12 buried treasure boxes hidden right here in America. "This season of EXPEDITION UNKNOWN is all about icons," said Gates. "From discovering the true origins of Stonehenge to exploring beneath the enigmatic pyramids of the Mayan empire, we're making incredible discoveries at the world's most impressive landmarks. But, we're also tackling iconic items such as the lost treasure of America's most notorious pirate and the stolen ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Plus, we're hot on the trail of history's most infamous characters, from Wild West bandit Butch Cassidy to high-ranking Nazis in South America and the sunken tomb of Cleopatra. These are our biggest adventures yet, and I can't wait to take our fans with us on the journey." The season kicks off with a two-part episode focused on the mysterious and powerful Vikings. From Denmark and Iceland to the United States and Canada, Gates treads into Viking territory in an effort to unlock answers to their most enduring secrets. How did they attain and sustain their power? Why did the population in Greenland just vanish? How far did they really travel? Many believe the Vikings' lost settlement, "Vinland," established in 1000 AD, is in Canada, but could new evidence prove that it's actually here in America? It's a revelation that could rewrite history.

EXPEDITION UNKNOWN made its Discovery Channel premiere on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT. This series kicked off its Discovery debut with a two-part Season 5 premiere, as Josh Gates and his team joined noted archaeologist Dr. Richard Hansen on an adventurous quest to the lost-city of El Mirador deep in the Guatemalan rainforest. Their mission: to find the hidden tombs of the mysterious Maya Snake Kings. Archaeologists have discovered that the sprawling ruins of this ancient mega-city are larger than Los Angeles and contain what might be the largest pyramid in the Americas. Josh explores overgrown temples, plaster-paved roads, and evidence of advanced engineering and art. Using advanced laser scanners and remote sensing technology, Josh and his team reveal the secrets of why this incredible civilization suddenly and completely vanished. Their search for the tombs of the elusive Snake Kings leads to a thrilling and dangerous adventure, and culminates in what may be the most significant discovery in EXPEDITION UNKNOWN history.

Season 6 of EXPEDITION UNKNOWN premiered on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 9pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel. In the 75-minute season opener, "Deciphering the Last Nazi Code," Josh Gates ventures into the former Third Reich in search of an elusive Nazi fortune hidden with a code allegedly created by Hitler's private secretary, and embedded into a piece of sheet music. After World War II, the looted treasure vanished without a trace... until now. Later in the season, Josh dives into the frigid waters of South America's Lake Titicaca on the hunt for the Atlantis of the Andes. And in France, he scours the countryside to crack a devious puzzle that leads to a golden statue. Plus, Josh embarks on a quest for some of the most important relics in history... The Dead Sea Scrolls.

Discovery Channel premiered its seventh season of EXPEDITION UNKNOWN on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 9pm ET/PT. This season, Josh Gates connects with innovative researchers and uses cutting-edge technology to tackle history's most challenging mysteries. The search for answers -- and adventure -- will take him into the most extreme climates on the planet, as he braves sub-zero temperatures to snowmobile across the Siberian Tundra investigating one of the coldest cases of the Cold War: the baffling deaths of nine hikers on Russia's infamous Dead Mountain. Josh also takes on the scorching heat of the Negev Desert as he descends into newly discovered caves and tunnels that could hold the next Dead Sea Scrolls. In addition, Gates dives into the waters of Panama and the mysteries of Sir Frances Drake's lost fortune. And, bushwhacking into the rainforest of Puerto Rico, Josh pushes his limits (and the boundaries of science) to explain the infamous cryptid, the Chupacabra. In an exciting EXPEDITION UNKNOWN first, Josh returns to follow up on some of his most fascinating stories from seasons past, revisiting the lost city of El Mirador and going back to the 1980's to crack the perplexing puzzles of "The Secret." Every week, Josh will take viewers around the world in 60 minutes, solving some of the planet's greatest mysteries in the heart-pounding new season of EXPEDITION UNKNOWN.

EXPEDITION UNKNOWN returned for its eighth season on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 from 8-10pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel. This season, Josh faces his most daring expeditions yet, from searching for the only large U.S. commercial airliner to vanish off the face of the earth to a quest across Africa to unearth the many missing links between modern man and our earliest ancestors. In the two-hour season premiere, "D-Day Uncovered," Gates travels to the D-Day battlefields and the beaches of Normandy where he joins investigators making history-changing discoveries about the Longest Day. Josh explores alongside military historians using cutting edge technology to uncover shocking secrets about the invasion, including a never-before-discovered complex of Nazi bunkers as well as an unexploded bomb frozen in time in the waters off Normandy's coast. Josh's in-depth investigation reveals forgotten mysteries surrounding the most important battle in modern history. Throughout the season, Gates takes viewers on thrilling global adventures including a trek across the U.K. in the footsteps of a Celtic warrior queen and a journey to the islands of the Seychelles to decipher a cryptic code that may lead to lost pirate treasure. Finally, in a two-part season finale, Josh will sail in to the enigma that is the Bermuda Triangle on a dangerous voyage of discovery.

Season 9 of EXPEDITION UNKNOWN premiered on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 8pm ET/PT on Discovery. How does a plane carrying three Navy airmen crash into the Pacific without a trace? Why has the stolen loot of America's most notorious bank robber never been recovered? Where did the legend of El Dorado come from and could the City of Gold be hidden in the Colombian jungle? Uncovering some the world's greatest mysteries involving history's most iconic legends, Josh Gates is back and ready to explore the unknown. In the season opener, "Dillinger's Lost Loot," Gates brings the Dillinger legend out of the past and into the present, adding a gripping new chapter to the story of America's greatest bank robber. Dillinger became a legend after a string of bold bank robberies and daring prison escapes. Josh travels to Dillinger's family farm to investigate new leads that millions in stolen loot may soon be found. Using a newfound map that may have belonged to Dillinger himself as well as cutting-edge technology, Josh's in-depth investigation may rewrite the story of "Public Enemy Number One." Throughout the season, Gates takes viewers along for the ride as he tackles enduring mysteries including an historic search for a WW2 torpedo bomber off the coast of Southern California, investigating the only unsolved skyjacking in American history, and bushwhacking through the dangerous Colombian jungle in search of both truth and treasure surrounding the legend of El Dorado.

On Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 8pm ET/PT, EXPEDITION UNKNOWN returned for its tenth season. In the premiere episode, "Hitler's Buried Secrets," the first of an unforgettable two-part exploration, viewers will follow Josh and his crew as they rush to Poland to be the first people since World War 2 to enter a recently discovered hidden Nazi tunnel inside an extinct volcano. Josh and his team make historic finds as they seek stolen art and uncover other dark secrets sealed away since the end of the war. Throughout the season, audiences follow Josh on other thrilling adventures including an exhilarating dig in Saqqara, Egypt that unearths a mummy and its buried secrets; a trans-Atlantic search for "Lindbergh's Lost Rival" and his legendary plane that vanished while attempting to make aviation history. In addition, viewers will witness Josh cracking The Rock as he retraces the greatest prison break of all time and proves there's more to the 1962 escape from Alcatraz than the FBI maintains. Other highlights include following in the footsteps of the Knights Templar across Poland and the U.K. to unearth the truth behind the secret society's vast riches and treasures including the coveted Holy Grail; braving the frigid conditions of the Donner Pass to unlock the real story of America's grisliest pioneer mystery, and much more.

Season 11 of EXPEDITION UNKNOWN debuted on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at 9pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel. In the new season, adventurer Josh Gates travels throughout five continents to dive into sunken tombs in Africa, reclaim stolen and looted statues in Cambodia, and discover a pirate's lost treasure in the frigid waters of the UK -- with one excursion giving him the most terrifying moments of his career. In a two-part investigation, Josh travels to the Royal Necropolis of Nuri to investigate alongside archaeologists on the verge of a potentially groundbreaking discovery. Beneath a crumbling pyramid, there may be an undisturbed royal tomb preserved in the darkness of flooded, subterranean chambers. A treacherous dive is the only way to chase a monumental find: the mummified remains of an ancient king. Throughout the season, Josh brings viewers with him on exciting adventures to Israel as he joins two teams of researchers who each claim they found Bethsaida, a lost Biblical town where Jesus is said to have performed miracles. In the UK, Josh hunts for the greatest pirate treasure ever plundered, and sets out to uncover mysteriously vanished WWI minesweepers at the bottom of Lake Superior. In Cambodia, Josh works to unearth a long-buried temple, and joins the fight to bring the looted treasures of the Khmer Empire back where they belong.
EXPEDITION UNKNOWN returned for its 12th season on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at 9pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel. Josh Gates is back scanning the depths of the ocean, trekking into the heart of Central American jungles, and diving into flooded tunnels beneath an active volcano in search of answers to the world's greatest mysteries. In the two-part season premiere, Josh travels 6,000 miles to the tiny, South Pacific nation of Micronesia to investigate Operation Hailstone, America's daring response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Using cutting edge technology and eyewitness accounts, Josh dives in to help Project Recover on their mission to locate 40 downed planes and 200 American heroes lost in the mission, leading to a stunning and historic discovery. Throughout the season, Josh also sets sail into the Bermuda Triangle to seek the richest stash of sunken gold in the Americas, journey across northern Europe in search of a Viking king's tomb and treasure, use a long-forgotten map to locate a lost Maya city, and team up with a former FBI agent to chase stolen loot and priceless historical artifacts from America's most notorious couple, Bonnie and Clyde. Driven to find the truth behind the world's most captivating legends, Josh Gates is on a mission for answers.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Ping Pong Productions