Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter

Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter

by Josh Gates


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743491723
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 10/11/2011
Series: Sci Fi Declassified Series , #2
Edition description: Original
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 64,634
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

1: “We Must Go Back”
Cluj, Romania, 2009

Wind is suddenly screaming into the cockpit of this aging Antonov biplane. Charts and a half-assed, handwritten flight plan whip by my face and through the cockpit door into the main cabin. In the rear of the plane our director of photography, Evan, who has been filming out the open door, is suddenly thrust forward toward the edge of open space, only to be yanked to a stop by his four-point harness. Documents eject past him and into oblivion.

The sound is deafening and the pressure change so abrupt that I try to brace my arm against the roof to steady myself. Instead, my hand is forcefully bent back by what feels like icicles slicing through my fingers, and I instinctively retract.

Open air. I’m immediately overwhelmed by a terrible realization. The cockpit ceiling is gone.

Our audio engineer, Mike, has the common sense to kick the pilot’s door shut from his first-row seat behind me, closing off the wind tunnel coursing through the interior of the plane and sealing me into the roofless cockpit.

Moments ago I was actually bored, fiddling with a camcorder to get a close-up of the plane’s antiquated controls and weathered gauges, the altimeter needle quivering from the vibration of the plane’s beleaguered engine. The pilot, a stout Russian in a thick wool sweater, was languidly operating the stick. Now I’m craning back to get a view of the tail stabilizer through the gaping maw above me, praying the debris from the roof hasn’t clipped it on the way by. I think twice about unbuckling my harness for a better look and instead concentrate on the ground below, which is getting closer by the second.

I probably shouldn’t be surprised by any of this, of course. As the host of the Syfy Channel’s Destination Truth, I’ve spent the last four years traveling to far-flung locales following reports of cryptozoological creatures and paranormal phenomena. Since there aren’t exactly nonstop commercial flights leading directly to the doorsteps of the world’s most enduring mysteries, I’ve made a career, such as it is, out of flying on board the planet’s most laughably derelict aircraft.

But even by my admittedly lax standards, this plane is a piece of shit. I arrived at the airfield (and I do mean field) after two straight days of begging our field producer, Allison, to procure a plane—any plane—that could take us up and over the purportedly haunted Hoia Baciu Forest, the subject of our current episode. After exhausting every possible charter from here to Bucharest, she managed to find this flying Russian coffin and offered a few bucks to a local pilot to coax it back into active service.

The Antonov An-2 is not the sort of plane most people would agree to climb aboard in the first place. Basically unchanged since its design in 1946, it has wings covered in fabric, not metal. The plane is a flying dinosaur, originally intended for agricultural use. A function it might still fulfill as it threatens to fertilize nearby farms with the remains of my crew.

It is common in moments of potentially fatal catastrophe for the world to close in around us and become much smaller. Disaster is often countermanded by an intense focus, even if it happens to resolve on strange and seemingly arbitrary details. Looking over at the captain, I’m suddenly engrossed by his bald head. Where once there was a comical comb-over, there is now this emancipated ribbon of hair dancing in the vortex and joyfully reaching up to the heavens. It looks like one of those inflatable noodles outside a used-car dealership. Like any pilot worth his salt, though, he seems utterly unfazed by his new coif or by our circumstances in general. Where can one buy a little of that Right Stuff bravado required to shrug off the fact that your airplane is now a convertible?

When Captain Chesley Sullenberger famously ditched that crippled US Airways jet in the Hudson River after a flock of geese turned themselves into engine-flavored pâté, it barely seemed to raise his pulse. He casually noted to air traffic control, “We’re gonna be in the Hudson,” as though he was stopping off there for a cup of coffee. My distress call would have consisted of a jumbled litany of swearwords arranged in no particular order followed by an ecstatic, “Holy JESUS we’re going to crash into a river! MOMMY!” During this particular aviation mishap, I do my best to stay calm and not soil my pants. This is the best I can muster under the circumstances, and I’m feeling fairly heroic about it.

The pilot adjusts the flaps and begins to bank around toward an open field. Time continues to slow down, and I think about the circumstances that brought me to this moment.

How did it come to this? How on earth did I end up here, plummeting in a partially disassembled biplane toward some anonymous field in Romania? A few years ago this would have been inconceivable. But now it’s just another day at the office. I manage to catch the pilot’s gaze for only a moment; above the din he leans over and yells, “We must go back.”

Indeed. We must. Five years, to be exact.

© 2011 Universal City Studios Productions, LLLP.

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Destination Truth 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Jay_Green_ABQ More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of Destination Truth, and of Josh Gates. I have a great deal of respect for his accomplishments, and find him to be an entertaining host. This book reflects his abilities to entertain, enlighten, and engage his audience. Any fan of the show will love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My finace bought this book for me for Christmas, as I've been a fan of the Syfy show 'Destination Truth' and it's colorful and humorous host Josh Gates. This book is absolutely wonderful! It gives much perspective to what goes into making such an awesome show. The text provides beautiful mental images of far away lands and their natives. It's filled with adventure and of course humor! The author opens up about his adventures and of course the fears he has triumphed over in his search for the world's most elusive creatures. I would recommend this book to ANYONE, it's a story to get lost in as Josh Gates takes you with him on his treks across the globe. Thank you Mr. Gates!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like the show youll love this book! I love it because its funny, informative, and fun to read.
morgansvoice More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, because I love Josh Gates (of Destination Truth fame, obv.) and I thought the book was funny and insightful, especially reading his views on travel and how he feels about life. Great book, great person that wrote it, LOVE it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you love Destination Truth and think Josh Gates is a hoot, ya'll love this book. I read it and watched the episodes simultaneously; that was great. The book is also amazingly well written. Josh Gates is multi-talented. Enjoy the book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the DT series the show is great and the crew is always fun to watch and Josh Gates humor is tops. Its wonderful reading the story behind the show and how he got started in this field. I found myself going back watching the shows he was talking about on itunes. Its a great read for anyone but even more so if you have watched DT ENJOY!
Candy_HFShowVIP16 More than 1 year ago
I read this book in 3 days (I had to sleep or else I would've had it done in 1 day). Any Destination Truth/Josh Gates fan must get this. I love both and it was a great book. I love the behind the scenes stories and the inside jokes. It made me want to become a world traveler even more. I can't wait for more of his books. Great job Gates! Congrats!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like his style of writing. I want to be a monster hunter.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've already read it four or five times! Its soo good!
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Celestial_Skies More than 1 year ago
This book is a great read. I enjoy the stories where he tells what we don't get to see on the show. And what he does tell, lets us know that we really just get a slight glimpse into the down and dirty parts that would just be too much for most of us to fare. I love the show and love the book, Josh Gates is hilarious and just has a way with words when it comes to very real situations, such as the cigarettes and the containers of flammable fuel nearby. I hope he can continue the show for quite sometime and keep entertaining us and living his dreams as a traveler/researcher extraordinaire.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you've seen the show, then you know Josh is very funny and his writing is even more hilarious! I couldn't believe his trip to husband and I were dying laughing for hours over that! Great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a fantastic book. I find it hard to get into books, but not this one. I didn't want to stop reading it and still don't. This book is an inspiration and a joy to read. Highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was engaging and funny. I couldnt put it down. A must read for travelers and monster hunters.
Angelbegin More than 1 year ago
Huge fan of the show. Love the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you haven't seen Destination Truth on SciFi, do yourself a favor and check this out! This book is like a behind the scenes companion guide, but Josh Gates has such a wonderful personality and sense of could really be read as a stand-alone piece if one was no knowledge of the show. I look forward to more; I totally devoured this book.
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justblamjane More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge fan of the show, and Josh Gates. Decided to read the book, and was not disappointed. A great read for all DT fans.
VoraciousReader2 More than 1 year ago
I happen to be one of those individuals that loves Destination Truth and think Josh Gates is hilarious, courageous, and totally nuts. I bought the book not because I was hoping for more monster facts, but because I wanted the in depth stories behind the adventures. What we got was mere glimpses and rehashes of the show. Don't get me wrong, the book was well written, funny in spots, but the parts I loved the best were the step by step disaster recollections (like the trip to Mexico) that were deep. One thing is for sure. I'll let Josh make the trips. I'll continue to watch Destination Truth, at least... until SyFy cancels it like they do every other successful show I've liked.
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