National Geographic Channel is known for taking viewers to never-before-seen places, exploring new and unseen cultures, and going inside some of America’s best guarded and most mysterious locations. This week, we are upping the ante with Secret Access Week — featuring new specials that provide an all-access pass into America’s most valuable vaults, stealth technologies, extravagant mansions and covert operations.
Just a few weeks ahead of the presidential election, we’ll take you inside the Secret Service to find out what it takes to safeguard the world’s most powerful man in Secret Service Files: Protecting the President. From President Bill Clinton’s diplomatic visit to Pakistan in 2000, during which terrorists were actively plotting against him, to a live grenade launched at President Bush in 2005, Secret Service agents recount personal stories of presidential protection. These high-risk events over the past 20 years have shaped the international protective strategies used today.
“I came more and more to value what they did. The risks they took and the risks they avoided — if they weren’t around, it would be harder to do the job as well as riskier to do the job,” shares former President Bill Clinton in an interview for the special.
Then — you’ve heard of Area 51, the military base shrouded in secrecy and the frequent subject of conspiracy theories — but have you heard of Plant 42? Known by aerospace experts as the “black world,” this facility houses off-the-record projects that are developed in secret. In Top Secret, host Jake Ward, editor of Popular Science, pushes back the shadows to shine a light on the covert technology hidden all around us. From mysterious triangular aircraft to killer bots, NGC shows viewers what the future might look like.
Later, some say it’s what makes the world go round: money. Ward returns to host America’s Money Vault, as NGC goes inside the Federal Reserve System, where hidden deep under the streets of New York City, hundreds of billions of dollars in gold bars — the wealth of nations — are tucked away in a bunker that is anchored to the bedrock of Manhattan Island itself. Never-before-seen footage taken from the New York Fed’s security cameras on 9/11 helps to tell the story of how the Fed’s actions prevented the terrorists from crippling the financial markets in the days and weeks that followed the collapse of the twin towers. Then, one of the most powerful men in the world of money, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, provides a window into the history of economic meltdowns.
Each night during the week of Oct. 8, go inside with NGC during SECRET ACCESS WEEK. Premieres include:
Monday, October 8, at 8 p.m. ET/PT
National Geographic Channel takes a look inside the Secret Service and FBI response teams responsible for protecting the presidents of the United States and moving them safely and securely overseas. Four of the closest calls involving modern presidents are examined, such as the 1992 Panamanian riot that threatened the first President Bush and a 2005 incident where a live grenade was thrown at President George W. Bush at a speech in Tbilisi, Georgia. The special takes viewers inside key presidential protection events over the past 20 years that shaped today’s international protective strategy, including President Bill Clinton’s 2000 diplomatic visit to Pakistan, where terrorists including Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda were actively plotting against him and the United States.
Tuesday, October 9, at 8 p.m. ET/PT
If you haven’t heard of Plant 42, you are not alone. Go inside America’s “black world” of off-the-record projects developed in secret. Host Jake Ward, editor of Popular Science, explores the little-known projects still being built in America that are so confidential, some are said not to exist. His mission: to shine a light on the covert technology hidden all around us. From futuristic aircraft flying faster than the speed of sound, to stealth weapons and propulsion systems, Ward works every angle he can — on and off the record — to take us as deep inside each secret site as possible. We’ll follow the clues … no matter where they lead.
Wednesday, October 10, at 8 p.m. ET/PT
Follow Drug Enforcement Administration agents on their quest to track down and bust narco-submarines in one of the most violent regions of Colombia — the coastal town of Tumaco. NGC joins the investigation, taking to the streets and swamps with armed marine patrols. We’ll meet a drug sub informant who ventures out to mark a sub site for capture — and subsequently goes missing. And meet one of the very first drug sub inventors, now “in hiding,” as he shows original “test” footage of his creation. We’ll also examine a seized semisub for clues to its makers. And our cameras are there for a first-time look inside the biggest prey of all — a fully submersible cocaine sub!
Thursday, October 11, at 8 p.m. ET/PT
It is said that money makes the world go round. But when it comes to cash, gold, diamonds or even bits of digital data, without the engines that power the world’s financial systems, the money machine would grind to a halt. National Geographic Channel and host Jake Ward of Popular Science magazine take you inside the vaults of some of the world’s largest and most secretive cash stashes. For more than 80 years, armored vehicles have navigated Manhattan’s narrow streets carrying millions and sometimes billions in gold deposits in and out of the central bank of the United States … the Federal Reserve System. The New York Fed, one of 12 banks that make up the Federal Reserve System, is trusted to guard almost one-quarter of the world’s entire gold supply. Just down the road, gold is given new life in New York’s Diamond District. On roughly two city blocks, $24 billion in cash changes hands every year. Go behind the bargaining counters to see how everybody from low-end street sellers to high-end brokers deals in the precious metal. And whether it is handing out new bills or replacing old, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the Federal Reserve work together to print and protect America’s cash.
Friday, October 12, at 8 p.m. ET/PT
When the richest man in America decides to build a new home, it has to be something special. When John D. Rockefeller started to build his country house in Westchester County, New York, he was 69 years old, and his controversial years as a businessman and oil baron were behind him. An hour’s drive from New York City, the stone-built neoclassical mansion is one of America’s most famous private residences. All Rockefeller wanted was a simple house where he could retire with his wife Cettie. The construction was anything but simple, and it went way over budget. It eventually became home to four generations of Rockefellers, but from the very beginning it was controversial. Before the house was even completed, the Rockefeller family had to contend with threats of kidnapping, arson and even murder.