Wednesday, December 1, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Super Guns. An examination of guns that exist on the cutting edge of firearm technology. Fighting battles on computers decades before an actual shot is fired, these super guns may make the world safer...or more dangerous than ever before. 8-9pm -- Modern Marvels - Washington Monument. The U.S. capital boasts many memorials, but none with a more bizarre history than the obelisk erected to America's first president. Over 55 stories high and weighing over 90,000 tons, the Washington Monument stands stalwart in the city's center. From concept to completion, it took 100 years--years filled with mystery, ceremony, conflict, government action, and inaction. Proposed in the late 1700s by a group of prominent citizens and finished in the late 1800s by the Army Corps of Engineers, the exterior is mainly Maryland white marble, while the interior is made of granite, iron...and a few surprises. How did it come together and why did it take so long? Historians tell stories of stalling bureaucracy, secret societies, and triumphant engineering. Stark and daunting on the outside, we let viewers know what's inside. 9-10pm -- Full Throttle - El Camino vs. Ranchero. The concept is simple--we give two teams classic cars in similar disrepair and supply them with a garage, tools, and parts. After 20 hours of repair time, we hold an old-fashioned drag race on a legal, certified track with safety devices for the novice drivers. The winner gets to keep both cars. The loser gets nothing. As we follow the teams, we interject history at each step they take, including factory footage and interviews with the legends behind the vintage vehicles. In this episode, the eternal Ford/Chevy battle continues when we take an El Camino and Ranchero--the first "sport utility vehicles"--and put in two new crate engines and racing transmissions--giving these classic machines over 400 horsepower! 10-11:25pm -- Band of Brothers - The Breaking Point. Having thwarted the Germans at Bastogne, Belgium, an exhausted Easy Company must now take the nearby town of Foy from the enemy. Several are killed and wounded in fierce shelling, compounded by the incompetence of their new commander, Lt. Dike (Peter O'Meara), about whom Winters (Damian Lewis) can do nothing. Easy takes Foy, but at an enormous cost. ____________________________________________________ Thursday, December 2, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Cranes. One of the most useful machines ever created, the crane is a simple but important combination of the pulley and the lever. Though cranes have been helping us build civilization from at least the time of the Egyptian pyramids, the modern steel-framed construction cranes are a relatively recent development. Put on your work boots as we ride through the history of cranes from ancient days to skyscraper construction sites, ocean-freighter docks, and the International Space Station. 8-9pm -- Hitler and Stalin: Roots of Evil - An examination of the minds of two of the 20th century's most brutal dictators and mass murderers--Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Based on recent psychological and medical studies, the program explores the personalities of these ruthless leaders, who were directly responsible for millions of deaths--their paranoia, suspiciousness, cold-bloodedness, sadism, and lack of human feeling. Includes interviews with Martin Bormann's son and Hitler's butler. 9-10pm -- Hitler's Lost Plan - In 1958, in a sweltering, converted torpedo factory in Alexandria, Virginia, historian Gerhard L. Weinberg was combing through massive stacks of documents that the U.S. had captured from Nazi Germany. In a faded green box, Weinberg came across an unknown prize--a secret book dictated by Adolf Hitler in 1928, the unpublished sequel to Mein Kampf. Mixed in with Hitler's racial hatred, the book contained shocking revelations of his master plan for continuous war. We follow the clues to its discovery and show the rigorous steps taken to authenticate the document--the book is considered legitimate. And we reveal the contents of the book, including Hitler's plan for global domination culminating in an invasion of America! 10-11:15pm -- Band of Brothers - The Patrol. Easy Company arrives in an Alsacian town near the German border, and is ordered to send a patrol across the river to take enemy prisoners. Lt. Hank Jones (Colin Hanks), fresh from West Point and eager for combat experience, volunteers to lead, though he must convince a skeptical Winters (Damian Lewis). Also assigned to the patrol is Pvt. David Webster (Eion Bailey), back in Easy after rehabilitation of an injury. While successful, the mission costs a soldier's life. ____________________________________________________ Friday, December 3, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Dead Men's Secrets - German Death Trap. The Kammhuber Line, an integrated system of air defense stretching from Denmark to Paris, protected Germany from Allied bombers and thwarted Allied intelligence efforts to crack it. But Allied scientists soon discovered the secret warning systems that detected approaching aircraft and directed German fighters to the incoming Allied bombers. We explain how the Kammhuber Line worked, how British scientists cracked the code, and how Allied flyers got through Germany's technologically advanced system. 8-9pm -- A-10 Tankbuster - A-10 Tankbuster. The most feared aircraft in the Air Force arsenal, the A-10 Tankbuster was the first aircraft in U.S. aviation history designed specifically for Close Air Support. From its first taste of battle in Desert Storm to the recent assault on Baghdad, the A-10 carries enough weaponry into battle to disable 16 main battle tanks, and with its amazing 30 millimeter 7-barrelled cannon, the "Flying Gun" dominates the skies. Features interviews with A-10 pilots, many of whom flew in Operation Iraqi Freedom. 9-10pm -- Battlefield Detectives - World War I: The Somme. During WWI, trenches and barbed wire ran across Europe from the Mediterranean to the North Sea. On July 1, 1916 at 7:30 a.m., after a week of artillery bombardment designed to destroy German barbed wire and concrete bunkers, 27 British divisions advanced on 16 German divisions. Expecting minor resistance, as they picked their way across no man's land, guns opened fire, shells burst overhead, and waves of men were gunned down. Almost 60,000 British were killed or wounded--a military catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. Filmed at the battlefield, in laboratories, and on firing ranges--archaeologists, military historians, and other experts, including metallurgists and geologists, conduct tests to replicate and understand the factors that turned one terrible day into the British Army's bloodiest. 10-11:10pm -- Band of Brothers - Why We Fight. Easy Company finally enters Germany to surprisingly little resistance, and relaxes for the first time in months. A patrol in a nearby forest discovers an abandoned Nazi concentration camp, still filled with emaciated prisoners. The local citizenry, unbelievably disavowing knowledge of its existence, is made to clean it up. Suddenly, news arrives from Berlin--Adolf Hitler committed suicide! ____________________________________________________ Saturday, December 4, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Conspiracy? - Princess Diana. Conspiracy theories capture the public's imagination, and in this hour, we explore the death of Princess Diana--the world's most photographed woman, who lived and died amidst media madness. On August 31, 1997, while being pursued by paparazzi, the frenzy turned fatal when the car carrying Princess Di and boyfriend Dodi Fayed crashed inside the Alma Tunnel in Paris. From the start, conspiracists suggested that Diana's death was political. The official French inquiry, conducted in near-total secrecy, ignited numerous theories--mainly placing British power behind her death. And while the "official" British inquiry is slated for release in 2005, its findings will likely do little to squelch skeptics. 8-8:30pm -- Great Blunders in History - The Failure of the Kamikaze. Investigates the Japanese use of manned torpedoes, speedboats packed with explosives, and midget submarines in WWII. Most were poorly designed and badly piloted, failing to achieve any real success and costing many lives. 8:30-10pm -- We Stand Alone Together - This documentary, executive-produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, tells the remarkable story of "Easy Company" (the men in "Band of Brothers") in their own words. Featuring recent interviews with the real-life company members, whose deeds are dramatized in the miniseries, combined with rare and archival photographs and film footage. 10-11:15pm -- Band of Brothers - Points. Major Winters (Damian Lewis) leads Easy Company into the Bavarian town of Berchtesgaden--once home to top Nazi officers--and receives orders to take the abandoned Eagle's Nest, Hitler's mountaintop fortress. As German officers hand over their weapons, soldiers raid wine cellars and snap up souvenirs. But their elation is short-lived--most of the division faces redeployment to the Pacific Theater. A closing vignette tells what happened to the men of Easy Company after they returned home. ____________________________________________________ Sunday, December 5, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Conspiracy? - Majestic Twelve: UFO Cover-Up. What really happened in Roswell, New Mexico in the summer of 1947? Did a flying saucer crash in the vast desert scrubland? The initial Army Air Force press release claimed they had recovered a flying disk. But a day later, the story dramatically changed--now they called it a weather balloon! In 1987, secret documents surfaced indicating the existence of the "Majestic 12"--an elite group of scientists and military and intelligence officials, allegedly brought together by President Harry Truman. Did the MJ-12 truly exist? If so, did these men forever trivialize the most talked-about UFO event in history, as well as all UFO sightings thereafter? 8-9pm -- The Bible Code: Predicting Armageddon - Is there a prophetic, highly accurate code locked within the Bible that outlines past and future events? Does the Code contain hidden messages about people such as Napoleon, Einstein, and Hitler, and key world events like WWII, the Kennedy brothers' assassinations, and 9/11? More frightening are references to future events--including Earth's impending end. We take a balanced look through the eyes of Code supporters and critics and let viewers determine its accuracy in predicting the future. 9-11pm -- Ben Franklin - Meet Dr. Benjamin Franklin--a far more complex figure than the squeaky-clean, larger than life Founding Father whose grandfatherly visage graces the hundred dollar bill. Inventor, politician, writer, businessman, scientist, diplomat--that, of course, is the mythic, legendary Ben Franklin. But it's not the only Ben Franklin. By his own admission, Franklin had more than his share of shortcomings and failures. Photographed largely on location in Philadelphia in High Definition, and featuring in-depth interviews with biographers and historians, as well as liberal doses of Franklin's own, often humorous observations, the special allows viewers to "walk" in Franklin's footsteps. In this vivid portrait, we meet an earthy, brilliant, and flawed Franklin that one biographer believes would feel right at home in today's world. Hosted by Nicolas Cage. (Please note: Mr. Cage hosts the December airings only!) ____________________________________________________ Monday, December 6, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - The Tool Bench: Hand Tools. Well over 2-million years before modern man evolved, his primitive ancestors were making tools. The ability to extend the hand and strengthen the arm is considered one of the keys to human evolution. Join us as we nail down the history of hand tools, and look at a new generation of computer-designed, high-tech hand tools. 8-9pm -- UFO Files - New UFO Revelations: The Gray's Agenda. According to ufologists, the Grays--beings from another world--abduct humans, implant devices, and conduct reproductive experiments. The most "familiar" alien, we see their images in every media. What do they want? Where are they from? Do alien life forms kidnap humans in order to replicate their dying race? Is our government in collusion with extraterrestrials in exchange for advanced technology? Hundreds of eyewitnesses swear they encountered aliens and dozens claim they have actual physical proof. To test their claims and sift fact from fiction, we conduct a hypnotic regression in which abductees relive shocking alien encounters, witness surgery to remove a foreign object, and sweep the night sky looking for possible alien-inhabited planets. So join us as we go in search of the Grays and their alien agenda. 9-11pm -- Boys Toys - Private Collections. Priceless collections. Compilations devoted to with such passion, entire lives have been spent perfecting them. From rescued trash to treasure-troves with values known to only the most discerning eye, people collect for many reasons. For some, the thrill is in the find; for others, collecting is an escape from daily life. But all collectors have one thing in common--they love it! This 2-hour special shows what people hoard--from the largest Star Wars collection to the largest private collection of Elvis memorabilia--and the extent to which they go to satisfy their hobby, their passion, their addiction. Among the collections we view are Steven Seagal's ancient Japanese swords and rare guitars, Arnold Palmer's golf clubs (over 10,000), and Penny Marshall's sports memorabilia (she often battles Billy Crystal for the top online bid). Boys' Toys week is hosted by Carmen Electra. ____________________________________________________ Tuesday, December 7, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - The Tool Bench: Power Tools. The history of civilization could easily be measured in terms of our ability to make, use, and improve tools--an activity that is at least 4-million years old! At the tip of our toolmaking timeline are power tools. We'll examine today's power tool industry, which is booming thanks to more powerful, lighter, and quieter cordless tools. 8-9pm -- Wild West Tech - Massacre Tech Mormons massacre a wagon train filled with overland settlers. Horse thieves decimate a camp of Chinese prospectors. Yavapai Indians slay a stagecoach full of passengers. No stranger to the Old West, technology often lent a helping hand to atrocity. From the swivel gun of the 1830s to a makeshift armored car in 1914, host David Carradine looks at the role technology played in some of the most heinous crimes in Wild West history. 9-11pm -- Boys Toys - Motorcycles. Set the sedan's safety brake and hop on your "hog" for a 2-hour high-speed history of the motorcycle--from the 1868 "steam velocipede" to the early 20th century, when they were a low-cost alternative to automobiles; from Harley-Davidsons preferred by Hell's Angels and police to motocross riders who take bikes into the air and onto the dirt. We also look to the motorcycle's future, featuring Jay Leno's jet-propelled Y2K sportbike and Erik Buell's bike-without-a-gas-tank creation. Boys' Toys week is hosted by Carmen Electra. ____________________________________________________ Wednesday, December 8, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Bathroom Tech. From tub to toilet to toothpaste, here's everything you ever wanted to know about the most used and least discussed room in the house. From the first home bathrooms in ancient India, Roman latrines, and bizarre Victorian-era bath contraptions, to modern luxurious master bathroom suites, we trace the history of bathing, showering, and oral hygiene. And we reveal the messy truth about what was used before toilet paper--brainchild of the Scott Brothers of Philadelphia--and why astronauts wear diapers. 8-9pm -- Modern Marvels - Engineering Disasters 15. A series of construction errors causes a devastating flood that brings Chicago to a standstill. A deadly accident traps hundreds in a smoke-filled Alpine tunnel, with no ventilation. Three boilers explode on a Mississippi riverboat resulting in thousands of deaths and earning the disaster the title of the worst in maritime history. Two buildings, halfway around the world from each other, collapse from the same type of shoddy construction methods--14 years apart. And a cockpit warning system malfunctions, causing a fiery, fatal crash before the jetliner ever takes off. We interview design and construction experts as we investigate what went wrong. And we talk with rescue personnel, eyewitnesses, and victims as we visit the tragedies' sites to see what improvements have been implemented to insure against these kinds of disasters. 9-10pm -- Boys Toys - Full Throttle: Gremlin vs. Pacer. History heads to the drag strip as popular cars of the past are transformed into fine-tuned machines, revamped and ready for the speedway. Part reality show, part history, we give car lovers a chance to get under the hood of some of their favorite rides. In a "Battle of the Uglies", the 1970s are back, when two of the history's homeliest cars go head-to-head in a drag race--bracket style. We put modern high-performance technology into these machines, including a shot of horsepower-inducing nitrous to make them roar to life. Two teams are supplied with garages, tools, and parts, and just two days to get their wheels into high gear as they prepare to compete in an all-or-nothing drag race. The winner drives away in both cars; the loser walks away empty-handed; the viewer gets an adrenaline dose of automotive history! Carmen Electra is host of Boys' Toys. 10-11pm -- Boys Toys - Limos. Limousines have been stretched to greater and greater lengths--as has the notion of what can be done inside them! You can have a rolling disco in a stretched SUV, go for a rumble off-road in a monster truck limousine, or take a direct hit in an armored limo and still make your meeting. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride of your life as we review the history of chauffeured limousines--from weddings, proms, and funerals to the ultimate adult playpen and the president's "Cadillac One". Carmen Electra is the host of Boys' Toys. ____________________________________________________ Thursday, December 9, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 6-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Robots. "Unchecked, robots will enslave our entire species." So said Isaac Asimov, who, through archival interviews explains how science fiction inspired generations of young scientists to tackle robotics. We visit the minds and laboratories of some of the greatest inventors of the 20th century to witness the 2,000-year history of the robot. 8-9pm -- The Mysterious Howard Hughes - Reclusive, elusive, and blatantly bizarre, billionaire Howard Hughes was a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Aeronautical genius, film producer, financial wizard--he dwelt in a weird world of his own making. When the devious prankster died, the hoaxes continued and the mysteries intensified. Join us as we unravel a few. 9-10pm -- Boys Toys - Howard Hughes Tech. An in-depth look at the technology conceived or developed by America's first billionaire. A passionate aviator, Howard Hughes built and flew planes that broke speed records, and developed war machines, spy aircraft, and commercial airliners. Despite the impressive heights reached by his technological empire, his health and mental well-being were fragile. During his last years, he wasn't seen publicly or photographed, rarely left the hotel suites he occupied, and was terrified of germs. But when Hughes died in 1976, he left a huge legacy in aviation and technology. When we board an airliner, view TV via satellite, or marvel at America's military might, we might do well to remember the risk-taker who flew faster than his peers and was at heart an aviator obsessively dedicated to both the art and science of flight. Carmen Electra hosts Boys' Toys. 10-11pm -- Boys Toys - Tactical to Practical: # 10. The military has developed some of the world's most sophisticated technology. In a special episode, host Hunter Ellis counts down his top-10 favorite "toys" from the season. Then, on the civilian side, Hunter examines the Draganflyer remote-controlled gyro-stabilized helicopter, custom choppers, jet skis, and hang gliders. On the tactical end, he checks out high-tech military wearable communications gear and armored clothing. On the practical side, he shows how special gear makes extreme sports safer. Carmen Electra is the host of Boys' Toys week. ____________________________________________________ Friday, December 10, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Radio: Out of Thin Air. Though now considered a country cousin when compared to the sophisticated television, merely a century ago, the radio galvanized communications as it linked the world without wires. The program examines the long life of the radio. 8-9pm -- Battlefield Detectives - The Mexican-American War: Battle of Palo Alto. On May 8, 1846, Mexico and the United States met in battle at a place called Palo Alto, near Brownsville, deep in Southern Texas. The two countries had been anticipating war since the annexation of Texas in 1845. The future President, General Zachary Taylor led the Americans--among his officers, 51 future generals, including Ulysses S. Grant and George Meade. But for over 150 years, what really happened has remained obscure. The official contemporaneous sketches implied the battle ended in a draw. Yet by day's end, the Mexican army was in full retreat. Now, battlefield archaeology is working on the hidden story of Palo Alto. Archaeologists, forensic scientists, and historians join forces, and aided by tests at the U.S. Army's Yuma Missile Proving Ground, are cracking this military mystery. 9-10pm -- Boys Toys - Private Jets #1. From today's ultra chic, state-of-the-art private jets to Lockheed's 1957 Jetstar, this 2-part special investigates the history, the luxury, and technology of America's corporate jets. In the first hour, we meet a few of the men and women who pioneered them--Bill Lear, Clyde Cessna and his nephews, Walter and Olive Beech. Carmen Electra is the host of Boys' Toys week. 10-11pm -- Boys Toys - Private Jets #2. Actor Michael Dorn explains what it takes to buy a previously-owned jet. Then, we travel to Dallas to visit the Associated Air Center, a company that creates very high-end, lavish jet interiors; review the latest in kit jets; and look into the new must-have of the super rich--personal jets the size of commercial airliners. Carmen Electra hosts Boys' Toys week. ____________________________________________________ Saturday, December 11, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Boys Toys - Limos. Limousines have been stretched to greater and greater lengths--as has the notion of what can be done inside them! You can have a rolling disco in a stretched SUV, go for a rumble off-road in a monster truck limousine, or take a direct hit in an armored limo and still make your meeting. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride of your life as we review the history of chauffeured limousines--from weddings, proms, and funerals to the ultimate adult playpen and the president's "Cadillac One". Carmen Electra is the host of Boys' Toys. 8-10pm -- Ben Franklin - Meet Dr. Benjamin Franklin--a far more complex figure than the squeaky-clean, larger than life Founding Father whose grandfatherly visage graces the hundred dollar bill. Inventor, politician, writer, businessman, scientist, diplomat--that, of course, is the mythic, legendary Ben Franklin. But it's not the only Ben Franklin. By his own admission, Franklin had more than his share of shortcomings and failures. Photographed largely on location in Philadelphia in High Definition, and featuring in-depth interviews with biographers and historians, as well as liberal doses of Franklin's own, often humorous observations, the special allows viewers to "walk" in Franklin's footsteps. In this vivid portrait, we meet an earthy, brilliant, and flawed Franklin that one biographer believes would feel right at home in today's world. Hosted by Nicolas Cage. (Please note: Mr. Cage hosts the December airings only!) 10-11pm -- Weird U.S - From Alaska to California to Florida--from all across America we investigate macabre legends, peculiar places, and strange stories that aren't written up in history books, but merely whispered about in the Weird U.S. In Morristown, New Jersey, our hosts and travel guides Mark Scuerman and Mark Moran expose the gruesome tale of a man who was hung in 1833, dissected...then turned into wallets! In Tennessee, Mark and Mark untangle the twisted tale of folks claiming descent from the first American settlers--not Pilgrims, but Melungeons. And after investigating Cold War nuclear bunkers, they head to Florida to tour the country's most unusual retirement community, where the circus sideshow comes to rest. ____________________________________________________ Sunday, December 12, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Siberia: How the East Was Won - #2. Siberia today is a land with a tragic past and a problem-riddled present. To really understand Siberia, one must first understand the Gulag--the prison labor camp system begun by Stalin. Today, the Gulag is purposefully forgotten; physical traces have all but disappeared. But Russia cannot escape its psychological legacy. The Gulag helped give rise to a servile mentality in the Russian people that persists to this day--a fear of power and a conviction that to rule a country, freedom must be restricted. But when the Iron Curtain finally fell, capitalism arrived--accompanied by crime, drugs, prostitution, abandoned children, and AIDS. Yet Part 2 reveals Siberia's sense of hope and promise. Buried deep beneath Siberia's frozen soil lies oil--and Siberia has sprouted dozens of Wild East Towns to exploit it! 8-9pm -- Ultimate Survival - Defiant Courage. This is not a typical WWII combat tale. The mission it recounts failed, yet seldom has a war story documented such astonishing heroism and human determination. Our story begins in March 1943 with a team of 12 expatriate Norwegian commandos, disguised as fisherman, sailing home from a secret British training base. Bound for the coast of Nazi-occupied Norway, their mission was to organize and supply the Norwegian resistance above the Arctic Circle. Betrayed by Nazi sympathizers, German soldiers ambushed the platoon. Only one man survived--Jan Baalsrud--and this is his story of fortitude against incredible odds. Astrid Scott, author of Defiant Courage, provides an intimate portrait of Baalsrud, while arctic medical expert, Dr. Peter Hackett, explains what an amazing medical feat it was that Baalsrud not only survived, but fully recovered and returned to Norway as a commando one year later. 9-10pm -- Ultimate Survival - The Rescue Season. Severely injured and perched 14,000 feet up the rocky face of Alaska's Mt. Augusta, extreme climber Jack Tackle will die if help doesn't come soon. Fortunately, a squad of U.S. Air Force Parajumpers, or PJs, is ready for action. Thus begins one of the most daring rescues in the history of Alaska's storied 210th Pararescue Squadron. Over the next 30 hours, PJs from the 210th risk their lives to save Tackle. To most of us, it's a story of extreme physical acts of bravery in one of Earth's most dangerous landscapes. But it's just another workday for the PJs, who are able to parachute from rescue planes in full scuba gear into frozen seas, fast-rope from helicopters into glacial crevasses, or perform surgery on the high cols of Alaska's 17 mountain ranges. There's a saying: When Air Force One dials 911, a PJ answers the call! 10-11pm -- Conspiracy? - Oklahoma City Bombing. At 9:02 a.m., on April 19, 1995, a massive explosion detonated outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, collapsing the 9-story building and killing 168, 19 of them children, and wounding more than 700. Convicted by the federal government and executed in June 2001, Gulf War veteran Timothy McVeigh claimed he acted alone. Yet, multiple eyewitnesses identified McVeigh at ground zero with unknown accomplices before and after the blast. The original indictment charged McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and "others unknown" with conspiracy and murder. Was the bombing part of a greater pattern of Middle East-sponsored terrorist attacks, including the 1993 World Trade Center attack, bombing of the Khobar Towers and the USS Cole, and 9/11? Were homegrown neo-Nazi militia groups involved? ____________________________________________________ Monday, December 13, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Breaking the Sound Barrier. For decades, the sound barrier loomed as an impenetrable wall against manned flight that buffeted planes with shock waves as they approached the speed of sound. Scientists thought the barrier couldn't be breached--until the development of jet technology and rocket fuel at the end of WWII. This is the dramatic story, told through the eyes of many who were there, of the work leading up to October 10, 1947, when 24-year-old test pilot Chuck Yeager smashed through the sound barrier in a Bell XS-1 aircraft. 8-9pm -- UFO Files - New UFO Revelations: China's Roswell. Legends from China tell of 716 mysterious stone discs, known as "The Dropa Stones". Some believe the stones hold secrets about ancient contact with extraterrestrials. Discovered in a cave in 1938, each 12" disc contains a double spiral of tiny hieroglyphs that are said to contain the historical record of an alien race called the Dropa that crash-landed in an isolated region of China 12,000 years ago. The story of the Dropa Stones is an amazing tale filled with mystery, deceit, and conspiracy, and today, skeptics and true believers wage an ongoing battle over what they are, what they mean, and if they even exist at all. Regardless, the Dropa Stones continue to consume the imaginations of scientists, journalists, historians, UFO buffs, and stargazers in general. 9-10pm -- Ultimate Survival - Mawson's Will. In 1912, Australian explorer Douglas Mawson tested his will against Antarctica's frozen wilderness and miraculously survived. 85 years later, explorer Mark Stasik evoked Mawson's spirit with a treacherous Alaskan journey. This is the story of two men and one obsession--to explore the limits of human endurance in Earth's most forbidding landscapes. In the winter of 1912, Douglas Mawson lost expedition partner Belgrave Ninnis to an icy crevasse. He and his other partner Xavier Mertz were stranded 320 miles from base camp with few supplies. After Mertz died, Mawson somehow made it back alone. In the winter of 1996, Mark Stasik survived marauding wolves, a tent fire, avalanches, and near starvation. Discover the grip the frozen wilderness has on the human spirit and imagination and the allures that high-risk treks hold for those determined to live at the edge of Ultimate Survival. 10-11pm -- Ultimate Survival - Disaster on the Mountain. On the surface, the gentle slopes of Mt. Washington seem tame. But this New Hampshire mountain has a ferocious weather pattern that equals any in the Himalayas. Mt. Washington has the highest recorded wind velocity in history at 231 mph, and more than 100 climbers have died on its slopes. Hugh Herr was a mountaineer skilled enough to challenge Mt. Washington's dangers. At 17, he was considered one of the world's best rock climbers. On January 23, 1982, he and climbing partner Jeff Batser set out to test Hugh's sense of invincibility against the intensity of Mt. Washington. This is the story of what happens when a fearless climber challenges a ferocious mountain. Today, a professor of biomedical engineering at Harvard and MIT, Dr. Herr explores new horizons in technology to help others with disabilities and his goals are now aimed higher than the tallest mountain. ____________________________________________________ Tuesday, December 14, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Hangars. Come in for a smooth landing as we explore the history of hangars--stark, massive structures that house and protect flight vehicles. We visit the first hangar, built on a German lake; Boeing's Delta Four rocket hangar; Hangar Number One in Lakehurst, New Jersey, that housed all U.S. airships built in the 1920s and '30s; and the Space Shuttle's hangar--as big as four Chicago skyscrapers! Back in Germany, Cargolifter's mammoth hangar, big enough to enclose the Superdome, signals the rebirth of an industry. 8-9pm -- Wild West Tech - Biggest Machines in the West In this episode, we find out that size did matter in the Old West, where cowboys wanted big toys! Big profits required big equipment to dig, dredge, paddle, and plough through the wilds of America. Technology would replace the pan and the pick with massive machines roaming the forests and deserts like dinosaurs, feeding on the minerals above and below the soil. Even weaponry was super-sized! We take a look at the huge and deadly Hotchkiss cannon and the cumbersome Colt Buntline Revolver, carried by famous frontier personalities like Wyatt Earp, Frank and Jesse James, and Judge Roy Bean. And we review the history of the infamous Mankato Gallows, built to execute 38 Dakota warriors at the same time on December 26, 1862 in Minnesota--the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Hosted by David Carradine. 9-10pm -- Modern Marvels - Ice Road Truckers. During the harsh winter of Canada's Northwest Territory, remote villages and work camps are cut off from the world. To keep them supplied, a tenacious group of long-haul truckers drive their rigs over hundreds of miles on ice roads cut across the surface of frozen lakes. Sometimes the ice cannot support the heavy rig, and driver and cargo plunge through the ice and sink to the bottom. Hitch a risky ride along with the Ice Road Truckers as they drive headlong into bone-chilling danger. 10-11pm -- Modern Marvels - Icebreakers. They are the toughest ships in the water, plowing headlong into one of nature's hardest obstacles. Modern icebreakers can smash through 10-foot thick ice sheets without stopping, allowing scientists and commercial shipping access to some of Earth's most inhospitable spots. Join our blustery journey as we patrol the Great Lakes on the USCG Cutter Mackinaw and traverse the infamous Northwest Passage on the maiden voyage of the USCG Healy, the newest Polar Class Icebreaker in the U.S. Fleet. ____________________________________________________ Wednesday, December 15, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Air Shows. From barnstormers to Blue Angels, antique aircraft to supersonic jets, each year there are an astonishing 425 air shows in America alone, entertaining over 18-million spectators. From futuristic festivals to billion-dollar expos, we explore the world of amazing aerobatics and their ever-evolving aircraft and see how aviation technology has affected air shows--and how air shows have advanced aviation. Find out why these high-flying events are second only to baseball as America's favorite family event. 8-9pm -- Full Throttle - 1971 Datsun 240Z. In this episode, Japanese hustle meets American muscle! The Datsun 240Z was the first affordable people's sports car. We get an up-close look at the 1971 Datsun design engineering that proved light years ahead of its American competitors. Diving into their overhead cam engine, we tear it down and build it back up for a head-to-head drag race at full throttle! After supplying two teams with the classic cars, garages, tools, parts, and 20 hours of repair time, we hold an old-fashioned drag race on a legal, certified track with safety devices for the drivers. As we follow the teams, we interject history at each step they take, including factory footage and interviews with the legends behind the vintage vehicles. 9-10pm -- Time Machine - Avalanches: White Walls of Death. A look at the terror of high, frozen places, at sudden deaths and hairbreadth rescues from avalanches. Features rare footage of the 1910 Wellington Train Disaster. In that tragic event, an avalanche swept two trains off the side of a pass in the Cascade Mountains, killing 96. Since the passengers were stranded for six days before the avalanche hit, many kept journals or wrote letters about their ordeal. Some of these writings have survived and give intimate human dimension to large-scale tragedy. Also covered is the ordeal of gold miner Jay Morlang, who in 1985 was caught in not one, but three separate avalanches, was buried for 22 hours at a time, and was the object of a daredevil aerial rescue. Helicopter pilot Robert Coma lifted Morlang from a deep ravine while his rotor blades were brushing the rock walls. 10-11pm -- Time Machine - Blizzards: Whiteout! When those deadly winter snowstorms hit, they cut off communications, deplete food and fuel supplies, and sometimes set the stage for anarchy! Join us for a journey through four deadly storms: the 1888 blizzards that hit Nebraska and New York City and the 1967 and 1979 snowstorms that enveloped Chicago. ____________________________________________________ Thursday, December 16, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Runways. What do you think about when you gaze out the window as your plane takes off? Probably not about the least heralded part of our infrastructure--airport runways. But runways play a vital role as the backbone of aviation. They're where rubber meets road and land gives way to sky. Did you know that airports like JFK train falcons to keep little birds from becoming a hazard to the big, shiny birds? Join us for an engrossing look at the brawny concrete and asphalt runways that make aviation possible. 8-9pm -- Modern Marvels - Snackfood Tech. Extruders, molds, in-line conveyor belts. Are these machines manufacturing adhesives, plastics, or parts for your car? No, they're making treats for your mouth--and you will see them doing their seductively tasty work in this scrumptious episode. First, we visit Utz Quality Foods in Hanover, Pennsylvania, that produces more than one million pounds of chips per week, and Snyder's of Hanover, the leading U.S. pretzel manufacturer. Next, we focus on the world's largest candy manufacturer, Masterfoods USA, which makes Milky Way, Snickers, Mars, and M&Ms, and check out the world's largest lollipop producer, Tootsie Roll Industries. And at Flower Foods' Crossville, Tennessee plant, an army of cupcakes rolls down a conveyer belt. The final stop is Dreyer's Bakersfield, California plant, where 20,000 ice cream bars and 9,600 drumsticks roll of the line in an hour. 9-11pm -- Alaska: Big America - Alaska--a land of extremes. Its size is staggering--nearly 600,000 square miles, or more than twice the size of Texas. Its vast distances, extreme weather, imposing landscape--all helped shape its history and the lives of those who come under its spell. Our 2-hour special heads to far-flung corners of the 49th State to hear compelling stories of life in the bush--from Russian expeditions in the 1700s to building of the Alcan Highway to the WWII Battle for the Aleutian Islands and 1959 statehood. ____________________________________________________ Friday, December 17, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Helicopters. From the early "egg beaters" of World War II to the "flying tanks" of Operation Desert Storm, we'll fly aboard one of the most agile and potent weapons on the battlefield--the helicopter. Meet the first pilot to fly a combat rescue mission in WWII and a USAF female aviator; and view classified footage of the Apache in Iraq. 8-9pm -- Heavy Metal - PT Boat. Pound for pound, the Patrol Torpedo (PT) boats were WWII's most heavily armed fighting boats. Screwed and glued together on a hull made of wood, these 50 tons of fast fighting fury were hated by the Japanese who nicknamed them "The Devil Boats of the Night". With their three powerful marine engines and speedboat designs, they took on the enemy at close quarters with greater frequency than any other type of surface craft--from firefights with coastal barges to protecting the invasion fleet at D-Day. And they attacked the enemy from the freezing seas of the Aleutian Islands to the treacherous waters of the South Pacific. Using unique archive film, reenactments, and extraordinary interviews, here is the story of how this wooden wonder struggled for early recognition, but through the brilliance of its design, daring of its missions, and courage and sacrifice of its crews would play a major part in WWII. 9-10pm -- Battlefield Detectives - American Revolution: Battle of Cowpens. One of the American Revolution's most critical clashes, the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina was a signpost pointing directly to Yorktown, where the British surrendered in less than a year. On January 17, 1781, an American force led by a brilliant Revolutionary War commander, Daniel Morgan, routed a British army commanded by an imperious and greatly feared cavalry colonel, Banastre Tarleton. Due to his ruthless tactics, "Bloody Ban" was the most hated British officer in the South. But Morgan chose the battlefield and used the terrain to his advantage. The British arrived tired, cold, and hungry after marching for several days and nights to catch the rebels. In less than an hour, it was all over. Now, historians, soil scientists, tacticians, psychologists, geographers, and weapons experts analyze this crucial battle. 10-11pm -- Heavy Metal - Challenger Tank. When this 60 tons of high-tech military hardware rumbles onto the battlefield at nearly 40 mph, there's nowhere for the enemy to hide. Behind its impenetrable armor lies one of the most effective computerized weapons systems. Its main weapon--an awesome 120mm rifled gun that can take out a football-sized moving target three miles away. Men who serve in this metallic monster claim the hard-hitting warhorse is the world's best battle tank. An underdog during military competitions in the late 1980s, the Challenger proved itself in Operation Desert Storm and was back in action for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Unique archive film, riveting reenactments, extraordinary interviews, and dramatic computer graphics tell the story of this British battlefield heavyweight and the men who have taken it into the heat of battle. ____________________________________________________ Saturday, December 18, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Conspiracy? - Oklahoma City Bombing. At 9:02 a.m., on April 19, 1995, a massive explosion detonated outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, collapsing the 9-story building and killing 168, 19 of them children, and wounding more than 700. Convicted by the federal government and executed in June 2001, Gulf War veteran Timothy McVeigh claimed he acted alone. Yet, multiple eyewitnesses identified McVeigh at ground zero with unknown accomplices before and after the blast. The original indictment charged McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and "others unknown" with conspiracy and murder. Was the bombing part of a greater pattern of Middle East-sponsored terrorist attacks, including the 1993 World Trade Center attack, bombing of the Khobar Towers and the USS Cole, and 9/11? Were homegrown neo-Nazi militia groups involved? 8-11pm -- Clear and Present Danger (Movie) Novelist Tom Clancy's popular CIA operative Jack Ryan is back in action in this thriller about a close friend of the U.S. President's who gets involved with Colombian drug lords and pays for it with his life. Stars Harrison Ford, Anne Archer, James Earl Jones, and Willem Dafoe. (1994) ____________________________________________________ Sunday, December 19, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 6:30-8pm -- Rwanda: Do Scars Ever Fade - This 90-minute special presents the complex and riveting history of Rwanda, providing an in-depth look at the propaganda campaign that's crucial to understanding how genocide leaders got ordinary citizens to participate. In 1994, the small African country was awash in blood. An estimated 75 percent of the Tutsi minority was slaughtered, and in just 100 days, more than 800,000 were killed. And, at least 50,000 politically moderate Hutus also perished. We explore the 1994 genocide and post-genocide period, and grapple with the question: How does a country recover from its haunted past? Unfolding through firsthand experiences of Rwandans who lived through the genocide, we document stories of survivors, perpetrators, and government officials and sort through the difficulties of balancing justice with reconciliation. 8-10pm -- Shot from the Sky - On June 14, 1944, pilot Roy Allen and the 10-man crew of his B-17 embarked on a mission over Nazi-occupied France that was supposed to be a milk run. Instead, it proved more dangerous than anything they ever imagined. Blasted by flak, Roy was forced to parachute into France. Trapped behind enemy lines, a 21-year-old schoolteacher-- French Resistance patriot Colette Florin--saved his life. On his way back to England, a traitor within the Resistance betrayed Roy. Captured by the Gestapo, tortured, imprisoned and labeled a terrorist by the Nazis, he became one of 168 Allied airmen who shipped across Europe on a nightmare rail journey to Buchenwald Concentration Camp. In the heart of the Nazi empire, the only thing that kept them alive was each other. It's a human story of courage and loss, determination and sacrifice by ordinary people whose lives were profoundly altered by war. 10-11pm -- Conspiracy? - CIA and the Nazis. Six months after Allied Forces liberated German concentration camps, a military tribunal formed at Nuremberg to prosecute Nazi war criminals. Some of the most dangerous were brought to justice--but not all. Over 4,000 former Nazis went to work for the U.S. government, without the public's knowledge, to help fight the Soviet Union. Reinhard Gehlen, an intelligence officer for Hitler's General Staff, was tapped to head the U.S. intelligence program in West Germany to spy on the Russians. At the same time, former Nazi scientists and engineers were welcomed onto American soil. In 1998, a bill was finally signed into law that mandated declassification of documents concerning recruitment of former Nazis. We dig into the records to see if the ends justified the means and ask how far the U.S. should go to partner with a former enemy to fight another. ____________________________________________________ Monday, December 20, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - World War I Tech. The first bombing airplanes and widespread use of chemical weapons...earliest tanks...submarines. When Industrial-Age technology and war first mixed on a large scale, the end result was ruthlessly efficient destruction. World War One epitomized the dark underbelly of the Industrial Revolution. We see how technological achievements that streamlined 19th-century production, improved transportation, and expanded science were used to efficiently decimate a generation of soldiers in the early 20th century. 8-9pm -- Battlefield Detectives - The Civil War: Antietam. General Robert E. Lee's first invasion into the North ended in the Battle of Antietam--the bloodiest single day in the Civil War--and in all U.S. history. Just 12 hours of fighting resulted in nearly 23,000 casualties. On September 17, 1862, two determined armies gathered near Sharpsburg, a quiet backwater near Antietam Creek in western Maryland. Union forces were desperate to repel the South's invasion of their territory. The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, its back to the Potomac River, was fighting for its very existence. Much was at stake. But just why was Antietam such a terrible killing field? Now the latest forensic techniques are shedding new light on the question. Experts from the fields of archaeology, geology, weapons technology, and pathology investigate this uniquely horrific moment in American history. 9-10pm -- Battlefield Detectives - The Civil War: Gettysburg. July 1-3, 1863: Over three hot days, Union and Confederate forces clashed in and around a small Pennsylvania town. When the Battle of Gettysburg ended, the two exhausted sides had inflicted more than 50,000 casualties upon one another--the largest battle ever fought on American soil. The third day is considered the Confederacy's "high-water mark"--when General Robert E. Lee lost the decisive battle of the Civil War. But scientific battlefield evidence now suggests that by the time the artillery began firing that day, the Confederate fight was already doomed. And when Pickett's Charge--the famous full frontal attack against Union lines--got underway, the battle effectively was over. Experts in physics, geology, crowd control, and cartography join forces with military historians to better understand this epic battle. 10-11pm -- Investigating History - Was Napoleon Murdered? On May 5, 1821, when Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile on the island of St. Helena, doctors weren't certain of the cause. Possibilities included hepatitis, syphilis, scurvy, and cancer. They finally agreed on stomach cancer. But more than 50 years ago, researchers suggested that a servant working for the ruling power in France murdered Napoleon. The poison theory is still debated by two hostile camps--one believes in an elaborate conspiracy, the other thinks the truth isn't nearly so complicated. Over the years, investigators from prestigious scientific laboratories, including the FBI and Scotland Yard, joined the search to solve the mystery. We sort through the many theories--including recent investigations conducted by toxicologists from the Paris Police Department and French medical doctors that conclude death from conventional causes. We'll let viewers decide: Was Napoleon murdered? ____________________________________________________ Tuesday, December 21, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Satellites. Strong enough to survive their fiery launch into orbit, sophisticated enough to provide life-saving images or relay tens of thousands of phone calls at the same time. By monitoring weapons systems and troop movements, these "eyes in the sky" may be the difference between security and annihilation. From the futuristic visions of a British sci-fi writer to creations of a German rocket designer for the Nazi war machine to the Cold War technological race, we review the satellites that link our world. 8-9pm -- Wild West Tech "Freak Show Tech" The deformed didn't ask to be born...and sometimes, they weren't! Sure, Wild West freak shows featured plenty of people who were different through the circumstances of their birth. But many so-called "freaks" were man-made. Technology helped pull the wool over the eyes of the unsuspecting masses. Freak show operators used every trick in the trade to provide some of the most disturbing "entertainment" the West would ever see. From pickled severed heads to mummified outlaws, we look at the wild, the woolly, the weird, and the swindlers who assured that the freak shows would be unforgettable. Hosted by David Carradine. Repeated 1-1-05 Saturday 9-10pm -- Modern Marvels - Oil Fire Fighting. When a burning gusher shoots flames into the air, only a handful of men know how to snuff out the monster. Fighting fire with fire, they place explosives around the flames to blow it out, or douse it with tons of water. The modern world depends on these risk takers, yet their industry began less than 100 years ago. Join us for a scorching hour as we review the rich history of this "breed apart", and look at modern heat-resistant clothing, new technology, and regulations that protect oil firefighters. 10-11pm -- Modern Marvels - More Dangerous Cargo. It comes in many deadly shapes and sizes, and the transportation of dangerous cargo is one of the most meticulously planned procedures in the shipping world. We hitch a ride on a "dynamite run" from explosives factory to construction site; learn how liquid natural gas is shipped, a fuel that could vaporize entire city blocks if ignited; accompany a Drug Enforcement Administration truck as it transports confiscated illegal drugs to an incinerator site for destruction; fly with Air Net as it moves radioactive pharmaceuticals from factory to hospital; and tag along with two tigers, part of a breeding program for endangered species, as they travel from Texas to Ohio. As each story progresses, we explore the history of the transport of that particular form of Dangerous Cargo. ____________________________________________________ Wednesday, December 22, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Ancient Discoveries: Ancient Computer? Journey back in time for an eye-opening look at the amazing ancient roots of technologies we like to think of as modern. New research suggests that many of the inventions of the last 200 years may, in fact, have already been known to the ancients. In Part 1, we explore the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient machine that was discovered deep in the Aegean Sea. Could it perhaps have been an ancient computer? Could Archimedes have had a hand in its creation? 8-9pm -- Modern Marvels - Ancient Discoveries: Galen, Doctor to the Gladiators. In this fascinating series, we examine ancient inventions once believed to have been created in modern times, and test the wits of ancient inventors against some of the world's great modern inventors. Part 2 uncovers the revolutionary work of Galen, the great Roman doctor to the gladiators, who was performing brain surgery 2,000 years ahead of his time. We also explore the sophistication of Roman medicine and compare it to modern techniques. 9-10pm -- Full Throttle - 1967 VW Beetle. Fasten your seatbelts as we head to the dragstrip in popular cars of the past that have been revamped into fine-tuned machines by two teams--each given the same model of car in similar disrepair. We supply them with garages, tools, and parts--and just two days before they compete in an all-or-nothing drag race. The winner drives away in both cars; the loser walks away empty-handed; the viewer gets an adrenaline dose of automotive history. In this episode, we turn "The Peoples' Car" into a Quarter-Mile Drag Racer by ripping out the 1967 Volkswagen Beetle's original 4-cylinder motor and replacing it with a powerful racing engine and transmission. 10-11pm -- Modern Marvels - Commercial Fishing. Battered and fried or simply raw--seafood is a popular dish, no matter how you serve it. Americans consume more than 5-billion pounds yearly, an order that takes more than a fishing rod to fill and worries conservationists. We follow the fish, the fishermen, and the science trying to preserve fisheries for future generations--from ancient ships on the Nile to a modern technologically sophisticated factory trawler on the Bering Sea to the University of New Hampshire's open-ocean aquaculture research project. And we witness a wide variety of fishing methods--from gillnetting and longlining to lobster trapping. Hop aboard and sail through time and around the globe as we explore the harsh conditions of life at sea and experience firsthand one of history's deadliest jobs. Brace yourself and feel the ice-cold, salt spray on your face as we explore commercial fishing! ____________________________________________________ Thursday, December 23, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- The History of Christmas - Fascinating story of how the bawdy Roman Saturnalia, a week-long festival of food and drink that culminated on December 25, became the centerpiece of the Christian year, and why the holiday is known as much for shopping as the birth of Christ. Interviews with experts, harried bargain hunters, and excited children round out the program. 8-10pm -- Seven Wonders of the World - The Great Pyramid of Giza, Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Colossus of Rhodes, Temple of Artemis, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Pharos of Alexandria. Of the Seven Wonders, only the Great Pyramid remains. Why did ancient scholars select these sites? What can the crumbled remains say about those who built them? 10-11pm -- Modern Marvels - Engineering Disasters #16. Chaos in Guadalajara, Mexico, when the city streets explode; an airplane crash outside of Paris that ranks as one of the worst in history; two mining dams in Italy collapse engulfing a village in a tidal wave of sludge; a generation of children in a small Texas town are entombed in the rubble of their school; an oil tanker runs aground off the coast of England and introduces the world to the devastation of the first super spill... Engineering Disasters 16 delves into the shocking chain of events leading up to each of these horrific catastrophes and examines resulting technological improvements designed to prevent similar tragedies in the future. ____________________________________________________ Friday, December 24, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- The Real King Herod - One of the most fascinating and appalling biblical figures, King Herod remains an enigma--the cruel king portrayed in countless Christmas plays as the monster that slaughtered hundreds of babies in an effort to kill the infant Jesus. But who was Herod? We draw physical evidence from current excavation of Herod's magnificent port Caesarea, written accounts of Josephus, and scrolls newly unearthed at Petra. In a startling development, a reexamination of historical texts shows that in old age, Herod suffered from chronic kidney disease. Was his "evil" life a physical manifestation of the illness that tormented his body? Did he order the murder of children in a paranoid attack? And why did the Romans create the title "King of the Jews" specifically for him? Alice Cooper as King Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar 8-9pm -- History Alive - The Lost Youth of Jesus. Thousands of Christians make pilgrimages to the Holy Land yearly to visit sites connected to Jesus. But are they authentic? The search for the historical Jesus began with the first pilgrim--Constantine the Great's mother Helena Augusta. Scholars have been trying to prove--or disprove--her amazing claims ever since. Traveling to Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Sepphoris in the footsteps of Jesus, we run into heated debate about where he was born, baptized, and grew up, and reveal startling new discoveries. 9-10pm -- History Alive - From Galilee to Jerusalem. Following in the footsteps of Jesus, we dig for the truth behind "accepted" Holy Land sites and review archaeological controversy about these important religious places. We examine: an Israeli scholar's 1987 discovery of the lost city of Bethsaida, where Jesus called his first disciples, healed a blind man, and fed the multitudes; a boat on the Galilee's shoreline dating to the time of Jesus; a house in Capernaum that may have belonged to St. Peter; and the possible grave of Lazarus. 10-11pm -- History Alive - The Way of the Cross. The search for evidence of Jesus's life moves to Jerusalem and the traditional sites associated with his final days. Deep beneath the city, we explore the buried remains of Herod's temple and tread a pavement where Jesus may have walked. Delving into the mysterious histories of the Cenacle Room, Gethsemane, and the Roman Praetorium, we investigate the latest archaeological theories concerning probable sites of Jesus's last supper, arrest, and trial. Does science support or refute biblical accounts? ____________________________________________________ Saturday, December 25, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- The Holy Grail. The Holy Grail...Christ's cup from the Last Supper. Medieval poets sang its praises, and King Arthur's knights chased it to the ends of the earth. Did Joseph of Arimathea really claim the cup after the Last Supper and collect Jesus's blood in it at the Crucifixion? Why are there so many Grail tales, no two of which fully agree? And why does the scent of heresy linger about the sacred cup? Many treasures are bigger, but none more precious or elusive as we discover in this quest for the venerable vessel. 8-10pm -- A History of God - A fascinating look at how God has manifested himself to people from Abraham's days to the present. We explore fertility rites of the ancient Middle East; the awesome revelations at Mt. Sinai; the jealous yet compassionate God of the Hebrews; Jesus and the mystery of the Trinity; and Allah, the Muslim God of Unity. Here is the story of thousands of years of wrenching and revolutionary encounters with God that prophets, saints, and mystics have experienced, and mankind's quest for comfort and meaning. 10-12am -- Time Machine - The world of the Bible was one beset by terror, when disasters of truly biblical proportions ravaged humanity. It was a time of global flooding, fiery destruction, plagues, earthquakes, killer epidemics, and famine. Are these biblical accounts fact or fiction? We'll explore new and controversial evidence as we seek to learn how ancient disasters may provide valuable insight for a modern world besieged by similar catastrophes. ____________________________________________________ Sunday, December 26, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- The Real Spartacus - Long before Stanley Kubrick's film starring Kirk Douglas, Spartacus had unwittingly become a mythological icon of resistance against oppression worldwide. We'll look at the real Spartacus, focusing on his struggle against Roman forces, his time as a gladiator, and his role in the infamous slave revolt against Rome in 73 BC, which convulsed the great empire for 2 years before the uprising was put down and 6,000 slave rebels were crucified along 150 miles of the Appian Way. 8-10pm -- Countdown to Armageddon - Asteroids on a collision course with Earth, super volcanoes, global warming, killer viruses--all are potential catastrophes that threaten to wipe out life on our planet. Are these simply natural disasters that have been occurring since time immemorial? Or are these threats terrifying prophesies from the Bible that are at last coming true? Are our fears overblown? Or are the infamous Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse riding among us in a countdown to Armageddon? 10-12am -- Nostradamus: 500 Years Later - The life story of Nostradamus unfolds in medieval Europe at the time of the Great Plague and the Inquisition. He lived in an age of superstition and magic and believed that he could foretell the future. For this he was labeled both a prophet and a heretic, and his cryptic journals continue to inspire controversy just as they did in the 16th century. In this 2-hour examination of his life, we visit his birthplace in France and trace his career as doctor, astrologer, father, and seer. ____________________________________________________ Monday, December 27, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Coal Mines. Coal--the fuel responsible for more than half the electricity used daily. We unearth the amazing technological advances that have led to today's extremely efficient methods--from ancient techniques to the simplistic bell-pit method, from drift mining, surface mining, and strip mining to modern longwall mining, when a massive machine extracts an entire wall of coal in seconds. We go underground with miners in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming, and also address environmental concerns. 8-9pm -- UFO Files - Soviet UFO Secrets Revealed. In an investigation of some of the most puzzling UFO sightings in Soviet history, we uncover the work of an underground network of believers and reveal a clandestine 13-year government investigation of UFOs. Many Russian UFO enthusiasts believe that proof of alien encounters exists--but it's being hidden from them! We also meet George Knapp, an American broadcast journalist who traveled to Russia in the early 1990s and believes there's a treasure trove of KGB UFO files that remain top-secret. 9-11pm -- Hell: The Devil's Domain - Our in-depth History of Hades begins with the story of a negative near-death experience, in which a man thinks he went to Hell after being declared clinically dead and before resuscitation. Following Lucifer's trail from cave paintings in France circa 6,000 BC to current portrayals in popular culture, our 2-hour exploration shows how Hell and the Devil remain powerful forces--at a church in Texas, where souls are delivered from Satan's grip; in talks with a survivor of the 1980s recovered memory craze, who "recalled" attending Witches' Sabbaths that practiced cannibalism; and at the modern Church of Satan. We review literary landmarks that expanded our ideas of the Underworld, from Dante's Inferno and Milton's Paradise Lost to Mark Twain's anti-hero, and trace development of Christian, Moslem, Jewish, and Buddhist conceptions of the afterlife. ____________________________________________________ Tuesday, December 28, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Non-Lethal Weapons. They stun, debilitate, immobilize--providing police and peacekeepers with options other than shouting or shooting. From the ancient caltrop--a multi-pointed contraption hurled by foot soldiers into a horseman's path--to sting-ball grenades, electrical shock devices, and sound, light, and energy weapons, we examine non-lethal weapons that disperse crowds and take down criminals. And in a whiff of the future, we see why the government thinks stink bombs might prove useful in the war against terror. 8-9pm -- Wild West Tech - Disaster Tech The frontier was full of rivers that needed taming and mountains begging to be blasted--and our forebears hoisted a hefty bag of tools to help them do it all. But of course, no one expected a frontier so dangerous--or so tempting! Trains, ships, towns--nothing could stop our expansion, until those technological monsters started biting back. Even then, we didn't always learn, and sometimes, it took massive disasters to teach us some very tough lessons. In this episode, we'll see how man's folly, pride, and stupidity led to some of the Wild West's worst catastrophes. 9-10pm -- Modern Marvels - Doomsday Tech 1. Doomsday threats range from very real (nuclear arsenals) to controversial (global warming) to futuristic (nanotechnology, cyborgs, and robots). Despite the Cold War's end, we live under the shadow of nuclear weapons, arms races, and accidental launches. Next, we stir up a hotter topic--the connection between global warming and fossil fuels--and ask if they're cooking up a sudden, new Ice Age. And we examine 21st-century technologies that typify the dual-edged sword of Doomsday Tech with massive potential for both creation and destruction--nanotechnology (engineering on a tiny scale), robotics, and cybernetics. We witness amazing applications in the works, wonder at the limitless promise, and hear warnings of a possible nano-doomsday, with tiny, out-of-control machines devouring everything around them. Would you like to play a Wargame? 10-11pm -- Modern Marvels - Doomsday Tech 2. The second deadly hour examines more threats--both natural and manmade--that may endanger civilization. From the far reaches of space to tiny viruses, doomsday sources are many. But so are technologies used to keep doomsday at bay. Asteroids of significant size have hit our planet before and likely will again. Asteroid hunters demonstrate the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program and methods being developed to destroy earth-aimed asteroids. Then, it's onto bioterrorism's sinister technologies--how highly virulent agents like smallpox and plague can be weaponized. Next, an ex-hacker turned cyber-security expert shows how vulnerable the nation's computers are to cyberterror. Finally, we visit the controversial world of biotechnology. Could genetically engineered crops backfire? Does a brave new world of genetically selected beings loom in our not-so-distant future? ____________________________________________________ Wednesday, December 29, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Firing Ranges. Discover how military and police personnel, as well as private citizens, hone their shooting skills with one of the oldest of training techniques when we review the history of firing ranges--from a simple knot on a tree, old bottles, rusted tin cans, and highway signs to high-tech targets and advances in weaponry. 8-9pm -- UFO Files - UFOs in the Bible. Journey back through time into the mysterious history of UFOs as revealed through ancient biblical texts. Through intensive reinterpretation of early religious documents, researchers believe that they have found evidence of ancient UFO activity. From Elijah's flying "chariots of fire" and Ezekiel's "wheels within wheels in the sky" to the enigmatic aerial phenomenon that lead Moses during the Exodus, we apply a modern perspective to the writings of the Bible in the context of UFOs. 9-10pm -- The Bible Code: Predicting Armageddon - Is there a prophetic, highly accurate code locked within the Bible that outlines past and future events? Does the Code contain hidden messages about people such as Napoleon, Einstein, and Hitler, and key world events like WWII, the Kennedy brothers' assassinations, and 9/11? More frightening are references to future events--including Earth's impending end. We take a balanced look through the eyes of Code supporters and critics and let viewers determine its accuracy in predicting the future. 10-11pm -- Bible Code II: Apocalypse and Beyond - As we delve further into the provocative theory that a cryptogram exists in the Bible outlining past and future events, we learn how the Code works from supporters and examine supposed examples of precise messages. And we hear from critics who present compelling arguments that the Code is merely a statistical anomaly. We uncover how military and intelligence organizations interact with the Code, and compare it with other sources of biblical prophecy. And watch out for the 7th Sign ____________________________________________________ Thursday, December 30, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Times Square. The Crossroads of the World, New York City's Times Square is the screaming marketplace of our culture and time. It's urban life pushed to the limit--the most electrified, visceral, crowded, and vibrant area in the world's most dynamic city. A unique district that forever changes its face, it sank into crime and sleaze in the 1970s, only to rehabilitate in the '90s into a dubious family entertainment paradise. Join us for a trip to America's Town Square at the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue in the Borough of Manhattan. 8-9pm -- The Doomsday Clock - Developed in 1947 as an image to symbolize urgency in the Cold War and the threat of nuclear disaster, the mission of the Doomsday Clock has expanded to include non-nuclear global security issues. Maintained by the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, it's based at the University of Chicago. In response to world events, they move the clock's minute hand closer to or away from midnight--doomsday. In this hour, we cover the clock's history, its effectiveness, and its critics. 9-11pm -- Countdown to Armageddon - Asteroids on a collision course with Earth, super volcanoes, global warming, killer viruses--all are potential catastrophes that threaten to wipe out life on our planet. Are these simply natural disasters that have been occurring since time immemorial? Or are these threats terrifying prophesies from the Bible that are at last coming true? Are our fears overblown? Or are the infamous Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse riding among us in a countdown to Armageddon? ____________________________________________________ Friday, December 31, 2004 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Las Vegas Hotels. Out of the bleakness of a vast desert arose a city built on wish fulfillment and indulgence. Unencumbered by tradition or notions of good taste, for 50 years Las Vegas has taken tourists to the height of their imaginations while reaching into their pockets. Visit 11 of the world's largest hotels in the country's biggest playground. 8-9pm -- History Alive - Ancient Civilizations. In this hour, we study sex in the ancient world--from Mesopotamians, who viewed adultery as a crime of theft, to Romans, who believed that squatting and sneezing after sex was a reliable method birth control. We also look at revealing Egyptian and Greek practices--from the origins of dildos, to intimate relations between Egyptian gods and goddesses, to the use of crocodile dung as a contraceptive. 9-10pm -- Time Machine - The Eastern World. An exploration of sex in China, Japan, India, and the Arab world that offers an intriguing perspective on the interrelation of sexuality and spirituality in eastern culture. Among the topics presented are the ancient Chinese equivalent of Viagra, Japanese acceptance of prostitutes and pornographic art, and tips from the Kama Sutra. 10-11pm -- Time Machine - The Middle Ages. In this steamy history, we trace the evolution of sexual beliefs and practices from the fall of the Roman Empire through the Renaissance. We'll also uncover the conflicting extremes of medieval romance and sex--from the bawdy life of European city dwellers to the staid and dangerous practice of courtly love. Medieval scholars offer humorous and interesting carnal tales of lusty knights, bawdy widows, naughty priests, and chaste maidens.
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