Sunday, November 13, 2016

Treasure Quest, Season Two, Episode Two - A New Boondoggle


I had said to myself that I would not review this program after every episode but give them a chance to pull their fat out of the fire. There are hints that they do find some treasure. After last night’s program I changed my mind because they really fell off the rails.

To begin, we are treated, once again, to the big pot they found in the mud but now we get to see what was inside. Nothing of human origin. It was a couch shell. Our pal, the archaeologist/diver Meghan Heaney-Grier, declared that it was of Incan origin. Now, if couch shells were only found on the west coast of northern South America I might buy that. As near as I can tell, no one did any test to determine where the shell might have originated and even a basic Internet search showed they turn up on many parts of the world and are used for many things. They even describe the variations in the shells which means they might be able to identify its place of origin if they give it a shot. The fact that the Inca Empire used them does not translate into proof that this shell had ever been in the hands of anyone from that empire. We don’t even get an idea of how old this mud-covered shell might be and the cynic in me still wonders if it wasn’t planted.

Then we have the danger. First, we’re treated to Cappy off to find another bottle of booze when we hear screams or shouts or something to alert the camp. He’s spotted two big green eyes but the animal ran off into the jungle. They find a print in the mud that they tell us is of a big cat, a jaguar, the apex predator in the area, and that it will be watching them from afar or some such. According to their guide jaguars have been known to drag people out of tents…

Next they’re back in the river, because they are certain that the treasure, if kept in the village would be in the part that fell into river centuries ago. No worries about piranha or caiman because they can block off the river with a net. They do find
This is a little more elaborate than the
one they found but gives you the idea.
what they call a nose jewelry or face plate, which they say the Inca used. Okay, I have no knowledge of this, but it isn’t one of the super rare, super valuable ones made of gold. Does it connect to the Inca Empire? Hell, I don’t know but that’s what they claim.

They find nothing else after several days of diving, so they decide the treasure isn’t in that place, so they head out to the southeastern edge of Paraguay for the next part of their search.

During this show, they have been calling this the Treasure of the Trinity, and talk, as I did in the last post about the Portuguese adventurer, Alexio Garcia, who amassed the fortune. But then they also explain that it was part of the ransom for the Incan Emperor, Atahuallpa. The problem here is that the ransom, that supposed to have filled a huge room with gold and silver, is reported to have been dumped into a lake by an Inca general RumiƱahui after the emperor had been killed. He wanted to keep it out of the hands of the Spanish. This is known as Treasure of the Llanganates, so now I’m wondering if they actually know what they’re looking for, and if they do, they seem to be in the wrong place because everything suggests that the Treasure of the Llanganates is hidden in Peru but I digress.

So they are now in a town, sitting at an open air table, discussing their finds with the local expert who apparently sent them to the wrong place first. He’s impressed with what they have, though I’m not. Someone else is, as he walks by the table a couple of times and one of the men goes off to confront him about his interest in their artifacts. (I’m wondering why they are conducting this discussion outside where everyone can walk by to see the valuable artifacts they had recovered.) Once the conference is over, they’re off to an old Jesuit mission that night where they might find a clue or two.

I still don’t know why they would make the trip in the dark unless the hotels where they were really sucked. I would have thought it would be better to make the trip in the daylight, but then I’m not an experienced treasure hunter or adventurer. I’m just a guy who chases UFOs when I’m in the mood.

There is another confrontation during this drive with great tension as someone in a big truck (I’m thinking pickup) who suddenly turns on his bright lights and speeds up. The guys in the lead vehicle are shouting over the radio to those in the second, “Don’t let him pass. Don’t let him pass.” So they maneuver to prevent that as the truck, with the bright lights, speeds up and slows down. I’m thinking, “What a bunch of road hogs. Maybe all the guy wants to do is pass a slower vehicle.”

After several minutes of this drama which might have been interrupted by a commercial break, it’s so unimportant that I don’t remember, the guy with the bright lights turns off. I mean, what conclusion do you draw about this? American road hogs wouldn’t let one of the locals pass so that he could get home. They are really dragging this one out. Apparently the only danger was from a guy who was in a hurry and not some hijacker out to take their artifacts.

They reach their destination; they find the remains of a church and tell us that the Jesuits often hid treasure on their grounds. We get ground penetrating radar and more searches with metal detectors, but they don’t seem to find anything and decide to use a drone so that they can search the surrounding jungle. What would a treasure hunting show in South America be without a drone? We end with the drone having found a clearing of some sort and the team moving rapidly to it.

But I don’t care because Gold Rush is next and we know that Parker and Tony Beets will find gold, millions of dollars of it, and Todd Hoffman has made what looks to be another bad move because he’s only finding a couple of thousand dollars (okay, he’s doing a little better but it’s not looking all the prosperous for him). So, I’ll watch the real treasure hunters while those people in South America find a clearing.

1 comment:

Craig McDaniel said...

This is what I think about the SA Treasure Hunters. They are fakes. Educated, knowledgeable about SA and possible treasures, but still fakes or shills for a TV producer looking to cash in on treasure hunting shows.

I thought they made another mistake. This the holes in the cave on Snake Island. To say or suggest that the alignment of those holes in a cave was the outline of a coast miles away is just a hoax. Those holes could have been stars to something of a completely different meaning.