TRAVEL CHANNEL'S DON WILDMAN REVEALS SURPRISING SECRETS OF AMERICA'S EXTRAORDINARY MONUMENTS IN NETWORK'S NEW ORIGINAL SERIES "MONUMENTAL MYSTERIES" PREMIERING THURSDAY, MAY 9 at 9:00 P.M. ET/PT
Host of Network's Highly Popular "Mysteries at the Museum"
Brings His Expertise as History Explorer to New Series
Don Wildman Hosts "Monumental Mysteries"
CHEVY CHASE, MD (March 27, 2013) - Where did the term "flying saucer" originate? Who was an inspiration for Bram Stoker's "Dracula?" Did John Wilkes Booth escape justice and live out his life in Texas? In Travel Channel's new original series "Monumental Mysteries," history explorer and museum enthusiast Don Wildman uncovers some of America's most intriguing events, greatest triumphs, well-known disasters, and even some notorious crimes that are linked to many of the nation's monuments. These include iconic buildings, bridges, memorials, national parks, statues, sculptures and gravestones across the country. The 13-episode one-hour series premieres Thursday, May 9 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
"Monumental Mysteries" scours the United States for the nation's history-rich monuments and unveils tales that are unknown to many Americans. These fascinating stories include why New York's Ellis Island served as a beacon of hope for the world-famous Von Trapp family, why the hands of a huge clock on the island of Hawaii are forever frozen in time, and how a newlywed couple inexplicably vanished in Arizona's breathtaking Grand Canyon.
"Monuments are popular destinations for summer travel," said Wildman. "How many statues, plaques, and landmarks have I walked or driven by without thinking of the amazing stories and legends behind every one of them? There's a compelling reason that marker exists in the world. 'Monumental Mysteries' tells us why."
In the premiere episode, Wildman first explores the Gravestone of Mercy L. Brown in Exeter, Rhode Island. This teenage girl sadly fell ill with tuberculosis, but her legacy arose from this very cemetery as her death is said to be an inspiration for Bram Stoker's "Dracula." Wildman then heads to New York to see the Brooklyn Bridge, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Statue of Liberty, and the General Grant National Memorial. While many Americans have visited these sites and national parks, few are aware of the con-artist connection among these monuments, and the birth of the expression, "If you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you." Another monument explored in the premiere is Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, California. Here, the history explorer takes a look into the first - and little known - escape from the world-famous prison. He then visits the Statue of the Republic in Chicago, Illinois. Standing 24-feet high, this golden lady is a replica of a statue that towered over Chicago World's Fair. And while this was one of the biggest celebrations of the 19th century, it was also the event where dozens - maybe even hundreds - of fair-goers went missing. Next, he looks into the origin of the term "flying saucer" at Mount Rainier National Park in Ashford, Washington. And lastly, Wildman questions the truth behind the John Wilkes Booth story at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. The body of the vengeful assassin is buried in the Booth family plot in Baltimore, but there is evidence that justice may have not been served.
"Monumental Mysteries" is produced by Optomen Productions, Inc. for Travel Channel. For Optomen, executive producers are Nicola Moody and Dominic Stobart. Series producer is Eve Rodrick. For Travel Channel, executive producer is David E. Gerber.
TRAVEL CHANNEL (http://www.TravelChannel.com) is a multiplatform travel lifestyle brand with the core mission of providing inspiring and compelling programming that takes viewers beyond their everyday destinations, making the unfamiliar familiar, whether it's around the world or around the block. A dual feed network that is also available in HD, Travel Channel is the world's leading travel media brand, and is available in over 94 million U.S. cable homes. Owned and operated by Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), Travel Channel has offices in Chevy Chase, MD, and New York, NY. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI) also owns and operates HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country.