More than 400 years ago on a remote pacific island,a marooned island faced an apocalypse with no chance to escape. This is the story of Easter Island. Their civilization evolved in total isolation until the first European landed there on Easter Sunday in 1722. Islanders used its timber to erect their 80-ton statues and sustain…

Explorer: Cradle of the Gods

Academics have long believed that this dramatic change of evolutionary pace is the result of discovering how to domesticate plants and animals. Farming allowed us to settle down, which in turn gave us time to think, to create and to invent. That led to the first civilizations and eventually to who we are today. Now,…

The Secret is Out On Area 51

It’s the most famous military installation in the world, yet it doesn’t officially exist. Area 51 has been a magnet for conspiracy theorists and the overly curious for many years. The government has been up to something for decades and now the secret is out as insiders prove that there is a kernel of truth…

On a remote outpost in south central Afghanistan, a fire base called COBRA brought together 23 Americans that stood in the breach between the rule of law and the rule of terror. They are the U.S. Special Forces. Often referred to as “the thinking man’s ninja”, they navigate an unforgiving landscape and are never certain…

It was on Oct 14, 2012 that Austrian pilot and base jumper, Felix Baumgartner, went to the edge of space and made it back alive. His mission was to embark on a historic journey and complete the highest and fastest free fall ever by man. Felix also became the first person to skydive the sound…

Of all the legendary figures in American history, George Washington is in a class by himself. Founding father, Commander of the Continental Army, and America’s first president – his face is as familiar as the dollar bill. Most everyone knows this great man, or thinks they do. But we’re starting to learn that much of…

The U.S. Navy vs The Killer Tomato?

Watch out world, the U.S. Navy has developed a versatile new class of warships: the LCS (Littoral Combat Ship). These fast and agile combat ships are designed to take deadly threats emerging on the world stage and blow them out of the water. Their target? The Killer Tomato. No Joke. These giant red target balloons…

Leonardo da Vinci is perhaps one of the most famous—and most mysterious—figures of the Renaissance.  Extraordinarily gifted by all accounts, only around 16 of his works have survived the test of time.  But armed with new information, a team of scientists is poised to add a new painting to that short list and solve the…

How to Make a Mummy

by John RubinProducerIn Papua New Guinea, my team hired a number of locals as guards, porters, road repair crews, cooks and drivers, and we paid them all at a significant premium above the prevailing wage. Still, we couldn’t hire all of the locals, and some pursued other methods to get a share of the crew’s…

Monsters In My Closet

by Juliet BlakeVice President, ProductionI was never the type to tiptoe into a pool and let the cold water slowly take me over—cannonball right into the deep end is my M.O. It seems as though I would take the same philosophy when in comes to camping. I had never once spent a night in a…

American Doomsday

by Charles FitzgeraldProducer My research for ‘American Doomsday” uncovered what I first saw as a Stranglovian world of nuclear paranoia, secret bunkers and elaborate “Doomsday” plans. It was bizarre.But digging deeper I realized that America’s Doomsday plans were born of a very real and legitimate fear that if the Soviet Union launched a surprise nuclear attack,…

Can The Gulf Survive?

by Elliott Cowand Jr.Sound Recordist On April 20th 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform floating above 5,000 feet of water, 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana erupted in a fireball killing 11 crew members. Immediately following the BP oil spill, many were asking themselves the same questions. How bad is it? How long will it…

Inside Bioterror

“The power and the potential of a biological weapon is far more frightening than a nuclear terrorist attack. In part, because the construction is easier, and the effect, in many ways, is more devastating. Making these organisms is something that requires advanced biology, but there are lots of people who have studied advanced biology and…

Albino Murders

by Barney BroomfieldProducer/Director For me, one of the most impressive parts of our shoot in Tanzania was our visit with Albino United to Mwanza, the bustling east African hub on the shores of Lake Victoria. The lake is the second largest body of freshwater in the world, looking much more like an ocean than anything…

Survivors from Hiroshima

by Holly TaylorCo-Producer/Co-Writer I was a junior in High School when I first read the book Hiroshima by John Hersey. Never would I have chosen to read about war on my own initiative — but it was required reading; and by the end of the first chapter, I was riveted. The book tells the story…

Inside the DEA

By Tony GerberProducer In December 2009, I sat down in a conference room with DEA special agent Jim Soiles and three of the agents responsible for the high profile arrest of international arms trafficker Monzer al-Kassar. One couldn’t imagine a more disparate group. If you asked someone on the street to guess what these 4 men…

EMP Attack

Back in 1991, edgy German director Wim Wenders made a movie, “Until the End of the World.” There’s a subplot — one of many in the complicated flick — in which people on Earth are menaced by an out-of-control satellite that is threatening to fall from orbit. In the end, the failing satellite instead is…

On the Front Lines of War

by Tresha Mabile, “Talibanistan“ producer On assignment for National Geographic Explorer in October 2009 and February 2010, cameraman Richard Parry and I traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan to document the ongoing war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Although I have produced three documentaries in war-torn Iraq, and another on the drug war in Afghanistan, I have never before pondered…

Walking on the Moon

by Wesley Della VollaAssociate Producer The massive 2.5 ton explosion shot chunks of rock and plumes of dirt into the air, raining down around the newly-formed 70 foot crater in the middle of the desert. There were no plants to be seen — just rubble and sand. As I stepped over large rocks, some the…

Redwood Summer

In 1990, environmental activists organized what may be the largest act of civil disobedience for wilderness protection ever when authorities in northern California planned to chop down redwoods in an old-growth forest. The months-long protest became known as “Redwood Summer,” and during it, activists physically blocked the paths of bulldozers and chained themselves to the trees to…

Fatal Insomnia

By Tria ThalmanProducer/Director Fatal Familial Insomnia One of the greatest challenges in producing this film was locating families that suffer from Fatal Familial Insomnia. It’s a disease that devastates families, passing from one generation to the next with frightening tenacity. For these families, it’s the elephant in the room – everyone knows it’s there but…

Underwater Robot Test

By Katy B. Jones, Field Producer In a one hour program, there is always a lot of great footage that the audience doesn’t get to see. We’ve been working on “Explorer: Journey to an Alien Moon” off and on since 2008, when I was sent to film Stone Aerospace’s first underwater test of the robot…

Solitary Confinement

Alone in a cell for years or even decades, more than 80,000 Americans are estimated to be in solitary confinement. Cut off from human contact in an 8 x 10 cell, some say solitary is the only way for correctional officers to safely handle the worst prisoners, but others claim it amounts to psychological torture.…

The Diamond Smuggler

By Samih Ossaily Samih Ossaily is the first person to have ever been convicted for smuggling conflict diamonds. During 2001, he was smuggling diamonds from Sierra Leone to Liberia. These diamonds freely entered the market in Antwerp. Samih Ossaily spent 16 months is prison. This material is an exclusive excerpt from his memoirs. November 3rd: this…

Face to Face with a Chimpanzee

Explorer: Chimps on the Edge airs Tuesday March 30 10P et/pt FIRST MEETING By Peter Yost, Director/Producer Most of us have seen chimps before, either on TV, in magazines, books, zoos, or in circuses.  But nothing quite prepared me for spending some personal time with two boisterous, pre-pubescent chimps. While making our film about chimpanzees…