Inside America’s Money Vault

Whether it’s cash, gold, or digital-data bits, we all know that money makes the world go round. But what our host, Jake Ward of Popular Science magazine discovers in this one hour special is that without the engines that power the world’s financial systems, that world would grind to a halt.

For the first time, National Geographic Channel takes you inside the heart of the money machine to places that you’re not allowed to bring a camera… straight into the vaults of some of the world’s largest stashes of what you want, need, and bust your butt to get: Money.

America’s Money Vault follows 55 million dollars worth of gold as it makes it’s way down into the most valuable gold vault in the world. Hidden deep under the streets of New York City, hundreds of billion dollars in gold bars—the wealth of nations—are tucked away in a bunker that is anchored to the bedrock of Manhattan Island itself.

Next, we head above ground to a place where twenty four billion dollars changes hands every year, New York’s Gold District. Jake goes behind the storefronts to see how everybody from the street level to the brokers make their money buying, selling and even finding gold. He meets Onikwa Thomas who calls himself the urban miner and claims to earn up to four hundred dollars a week off of gold specks found in the cracks of sidewalks.  And steps away thousands of dollars in transactions take place, made by Dimitriy Nezhinskiy as he wheels and deals in the world of gold hawkers.

America’s Money Vault then takes you to Washington, DC to hear from one of the most powerful men in the world of money, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Chairman Bernanke gives us a window into the history of economic meltdowns.

Jake then heads to East Rutherford, New York where a vault that can reportedly hold $60 billion in cash sits in the middle of a suburban neighborhood. EROC is one of The Fed’s currency operations centers. Here rows and rows of cash and coin are counted, sorted, stacked, cleaned and shredded. EROC is equipped with special machines that are designed to detect counterfeit cash.

From the engraver’s studio to the production floor at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Jake goes deeper in the world of counterfeit deterrence and profiles the next generation $100 bill that’s not yet in circulation.

Finally, America’s Money Vault profiles the exclusive story of how the New York Federal Reserve Bank responded to the 9/11 crisis. Never-before publically-seen footage taken from the New York Fed’s security cameras help 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.

Secret Access Week Continues with America’s Money Vault Tonight at 8P!


  1. CJ
    October 11, 2012, 9:53 pm

    Hope more folks watch this when it airs again. too bad the debates conflicted. This was cool–and I didn’t know how important the fed was for our country. really educational.

  2. REF
    October 20, 2012, 12:08 pm

    When will this air again?

  3. Dr. D.
    October 26, 2012, 4:36 pm

    Will you air this again?

  4. Michael P. Shipley
    February 3, 2013, 2:47 am

    Wow, didn’t know National Geographic was a shill for the corrupt banking cartel headed by the Federal Reserve. Disgusting. Who owns NG now? The CIA? JP Morgan? Goldman Sachs? Satan?

    According to this NG propaganda film, before the Fed it was financial Armageddon. Not true. Watch this video by Harvard graduate Dr. Thomas Woods to find out the truth:

    Economic Cycles Before the Fed | Thomas E Woods, Jr.

  5. jessica f
    santa clarita ca
    July 11, 2014, 12:01 pm

    Can anyone tell me how to contact jake ward regarding the plant 42 episode? Any help is appreciated, thx all

  6. Raffi Stepanian
    December 23, 2015, 3:16 am

    My name is Raffi Stepanian. In June 2011 The New York Post ran an Article on me for finding gold and diamonds on the sidewalks of the 47Th Street Diamond District. After learning that Discovery Channel, Penn and Teller falsified and fabricated that I was making $300.00/day I dumped, “Ken Rosen, who is/was an alleged talent agent employed by “Madison Avenue Sports and Entertainment” and “Al Roker Entertainment Inc.” that did negotiate with Discovery Channel and knowingly acquiesced with the publication and dissemination of false information about me over the Internet. On account of Ken Rosen’s and Madison Avenue’s conduct I requested immediate termination of my contract with them. I have emails to prove this. In addition to this fact, Ken Rosen did not make a single effort to correct the false information that he was aware and used such information to deceive the public, in addition with many other Websites that exploited Discovery Channel’s deliberate lies, notwithstanding that the majority of the Websites and bullshit artists did not contact me or interview me or contract with me. These charlatans falsified such information and claims alleging that I was earning figures of “$300.00, $500.00, $800.00, $900.00 up to $1,800.00/day and/or /week. They are lying and no such information can be true. So I dumped Ken Rosen and Madison Avenue Sports and Entertainment on their ass and told them that I cannot, nor will not endorse their lies, as I am devoted to truth and honesty. And they were made aware of this from the first day that I met with them. And many parties have continuously attempted shatter my credibility to make out to be a liar at the expense of their own exposure, which can be viewed on my YouTube page. This also includes the NYPD, City of New York, my Family members and many degenerate, sociopathic dirt bags in the Jewelry Industry. Onikwa Thomas is no exception and knowingly falsified that he’s the “Urban Miner” and deliberately and knowingly stabbed me in the back. The proof of this can be seen in the initial Sizzle Reel link below, that Onikwa Thomas was invited to guest on by “Madison Avenue Sports and Entertainment” and “Al Roker Entertainment Inc.” Onikwa’s statements make his intentional actions with National Geographic very clear – that he lied, with reckless disregard:

    On Wednesday, November 30, 2011 6:34 PM Ken Rosen sent me the Contract Termination letter, upon my request and I terminated the relation with Madison Avenue Sports and Entertainment.

    On Wednesday, February 29, 2012 4:36 PM a National Geographic producer by the name of “Drew Pulley” contacted me and requested to do a shoot with me to make a Television show about mining precious materials from the Diamond District. Drew Pulley filmed the shoot and never followed up with the alleged Television Show that he said was going to be named “Money Makers.” Drew Pulley was very rude, deceptive and misleading, representing National Geographic.

    On October 11, 2012 National Geographic knowingly used Onikwa Thomas in this alleged story, knowing that Onikwa was not and is not the “Urban Miner.” Onikwa Thomas knowingly agreed to engage in the National Geographic “Inside America’s Money Vault” story knowing that he was about to lie to the public and knowing that he was going to stab me in the back. Onikwa clearly knows that he is not the “Urban Miner” and he did not and could not have earned “$400.00” per week from the Diamond District sidewalks, which is a deliberate lie. Quoting the article, “He meets Onikwa Thomas who calls himself the urban miner and claims to earn up to four hundred dollars a week off of gold specks found in the cracks of sidewalks.” This is a bunch of bullshit and it is impossible to earn $400.00 consistently from the diamond district sidewalks. I know this because I am an expert in the ratios. And there is no possible way that Onikwa could have processed $400.00 worth of pay dirt every week. That is the greatest tell tale sign of a National Geographic Lie.

    Madison Avenue Sports and Entertainment, National Geographic and Onikwa Thomas engaged in fallacious acts with reckless disregard for truth and lied to the public. My challenge to Onikwa Thomas and National Geographic is to prove that Onikwa earned $400.00 on any, I repeat on ANY week, from gold specks found in the cracks of Diamond District Sidewalks. It was absolutely impossible for Onikwa to accomplish such a feat over a year later. And National Geographic has no shame in misleading the public.

    Best wishes and regards for rewarding prospects,

    Raffi Stepanian