ANIMAL PLANET'S "LOST TREASURE HUNTERS" RACES TO FIND LONG-LOST DIAMOND MINES OF INDIA
Network's "Indiana Jones" Expedition Unearths the Raw Nature Of Our Fascinating Planet
(Silver Spring, Md.) - On Friday, August 24, at 10 PM et/pt, an elite team of leading prospectors, gemologists and miners set off on an adrenaline-fueled adventure as they head to an ancient Indian city believed to have been the source of some of the world's most valuable diamonds, including the Hope diamond and the Koh-i-nor. Now, the city's mines are about to be submerged under the waters of a newly constructed dam.
Joining forces, these LOST TREASURE HUNTERS share a common mission: unearth the ancient diamond mines of India's Golconda region. But they must defy a myriad of obstacles, including extreme weather, treacherous locations on land and in water, venomous snakes, crocodiles and language barriers. In addition, they face a culture that's rife with superstition and an unshakeable belief that anyone who attempts to upset the Golconda region will be cursed.
Legend has it that the diamond mines of Golconda dried up 250 years ago, but LOST TREASURE HUNTERS leader Sam Speerstra believes there are still riches to be found. Acquiring ancient maps to help guide his mission, he has been searching for these gems all his life. The impending construction of a dam will soon erase the mines from the Indian landscape. So Speerstra knows this is his last opportunity to unearth the treasures before they are submerged forever. Speerstra calls upon a cadre of respected colleagues who bring unique experiences and special skills to the hunt. The all-star team includes the following:
Sam Speerstra - "Leader" - As the leader of the expedition, extreme prospector Speerstra has dedicated nearly his whole life to finding lost treasures and has spent the last 14 years searching for the lost diamond mines of Golconda. Speerstra believes this is the most important mission of his life.
Dave McCracken - "Underwater Miner" - McCracken, a former Navy Seal, is one of the best underwater miners around. Speersta has known McCracken for 30-some years and is convinced he could be the key to locating underwater diamonds that were never accessible before.
Rob Towner -- "Engineer/Mechanic" - Towner is a modern-day MacGyver who knows everything there is to know about mining machinery. He has worked in India before, so he knows the lay of the land and is no stranger to the challenges set before him.
Dr. Steve Newbery - "Geologist" - Newbery has an extraordinary grasp of geology and the latest technology that can help pinpoint the source of the diamonds.
Susanna Girolamo - "The Apprentice" - This is Girolamo's first major expedition with Speerstra, but her proficiency for languages, experience with third-world medical missions and her logistical skills serve her well as translator, medic and logistics coordinator.
Every prospector has heard about the famous diamond mines of Golconda, but for centuries, none has been able to transform legend into reality. In the attempt to make history, the LOST TREASURE HUNTERS sets out to become the "re-discoverers" of these gems and hopes to make a bigger finding than ever before.
"Animal Planet explores the profound bonds between people and animals and also our deep relationship with this vast planet," says Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet. "LOST TREASURE HUNTERS exemplifies our excitement, passion and curiosity for the rich planet we inhabit."
LOST TREASURE HUNTERS is produced by Ping Pong Productions for Animal Planet. Brad Kuhlman, Casey Brumels and John Slaughter are executive producers for Ping Pong Productions. Keith Hoffman is executive producer for Animal Planet. Charlie Foley is the senior vice president of development for Animal Planet.
Animal Planet Media (APM), a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the world's only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and enrichment. APM consists of the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 96 million homes in the US; online assets www.animalplanet.com, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; the 24/7 broadband channel, Animal Planet Beyond; Petfinder.com, the #1 pet-related Web property globally that facilitates pet adoption; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service; mobile content; and merchandising extensions.