Thursday, December 1, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 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. 8-10pm -- Hollywood's Greatest Villains - Villains have always been with us. In a war-plagued world, brutality and corruption embody our darkest fears--all that is selfish and wicked in the human soul. And they also happen to be great box-office draw as we see in this fascinating, terrifying look at some of the most evil--and best-loved--characters ever created--from Dracula to Darth Vader to Hannibal Lecter. Featuring interviews with actors like Sharon Stone (Basic Instinct) and directors such as George Lucas (Star Wars), John Carpenter (Halloween), this riveting, insightful film exploration takes viewers through more than 100 years of screen evil, including clips from the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. Shiver through our comprehensive gallery of rogues in a bone-chilling homage to the men and women who haunt our darkest dreams...and fulfill our most secret desires? 10-12am -- Star Wars: Empire of Dreams. - A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, George Lucas launched the most successful movie franchise ever created. We look at how the Star Wars trilogy changed movie-making, catapulted Harrison Ford to stardom, and made director George Lucas a legend. For Lucas, what began as a quest for creative freedom became a philosophy, a cultural phenomenon, and an empire of dreams. Features film clips, screen tests, and interviews with Lucas, Ford, Steven Spielberg, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher. ____________________________________________________ Friday, December 2, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - The Autobahn. Imagine a superhighway designed for speed...thousands of miles of roadway unhindered by limits of any kind. Buckle up for safety as we take you for the ride of your life when we explore the fascinating history and current reality of the world's fastest freeway. The number-one works project of the Third Reich, the Autobahn was known as Adolf Hitler's Road until Germany's defeat in WWII. Reconstructed and extended to more than four times its original size, it became a symbol of the New Germany. 8-9pm -- Pacific: The Lost Evidence - Guadalcanal. On August 7, 1942, more than 19,000 Marines invaded Guadalcanal with orders to seize and hold the tropical island. In the first US offensive of the Pacific War, these young Americans took on the seemingly invincible Japanese and fought a series of bitter battles. Aerial photographs taken during the war have now been layered over a 3-D contour map to create a CGI "model" of the battlefield. But this is no computer game, rather a model of the actual island as the battle raged. These original high-resolution images allow the viewer to track the battle step-by-step. Individual stories of courage and heroism are placed in the exact spot where they took place. Using cutting-edge techniques, unique archive film, reenactments, and extraordinary interviews, we'll tell a story rarely heard. 9-10pm -- Pacific: The Lost Evidence - Tarawa. On November 20, 1943, one of the most ferocious battles in US history began. The target--a tiny island called Tarawa. With its vital airfield, Tarawa was the first step in the island-hopping campaign that would lead to Japan. Naval bombardment proved ineffective, landing craft got stuck on the reef, and US Marines waded ashore to face deadly Japanese fire. Japanese troops boasted that a million Americans couldn't take the island in a hundred years. The stage was set for a bloody confrontation. On the island death lurked everywhere: snipers hid in trees, the enemy buried themselves underground, and Banzai attacks came in the dead of night. It became a war of extermination--5,000 Japanese and more than a 1,000 Marines died in 76 hours of intense conflict. Using cutting-edge techniques, Oscar-winning archive film, reenactments, and interviews with men who were there, we'll tell the story of this overlooked but extraordinary battle. 10-11pm -- Heroes Under Fire - Deadly Reckoning. Join us for the incredible true story of the last battle of the Vietnam War. When an American merchant ship is seized by Cambodian pirates, US Marines are sent in to get the ship back. Ambushed on the sands of Koh Tang Island, brave young Americans fresh from boot camp must pull together to accomplish the mission...and get out alive. Blending dramatic interviews with news and historic footage and cinematic recreations, we'll tell the heartbreaking story of the men who made it...and the men who didn't...the last 41 names engraved in the wall of the Vietnam War Memorial. ____________________________________________________ Saturday, December 3, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Decoding The Past - Apocalypse. A look at the prophesies and symbolism in the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament, which contains the futuristic final showdown between God and Satan. Filled with fiery visions, cryptic numbers, and strange beasts, it's perhaps the Scripture's most puzzling book. With the ancient city of Megiddo as a backdrop--thought to be the site of the Battle of Armageddon--we explore the Seven Seals, the Four Horsemen, and ask why only 144,000 souls will reach the Kingdom of God. 8-10pm -- Rome: Engineering an Empire - For more than 500 years, Rome was the most powerful and advanced civilization the world had ever known, ruled by visionaries and tyrants whose accomplishments ranged from awe-inspiring to deplorable. One characteristic linked them all--ambition--and the thirst for power that all Roman emperors shared fueled an unprecedented mastery of engineering and labor. This documentary special chronicles the spectacular and sordid history of the Roman Empire from the rise of Julius Caesar in 55 BC to its eventual fall around 537 AD, detailing the remarkable engineering feats that set Rome apart from the rest of the ancient world. Featuring extensive state-of-the-art CGI animation, and exclusive never-before-seen footage shot on a diving expedition in the water channels underneath the Colosseum. 10-12am -- Roman Vice - The flowering of the Roman Empire saw incomparable power and civilization - and at the same time corruption, cruelty and depravity on an unparalleled scale. Emperors from Augustus to Tiberius and Nero built the biggest empire the world had ever seen, while presiding over a way of life riddled with violence, deviancy and excess. This special visits the archaeological sites of ancient Rome, talks to leading historians world-wide and uses stylish reconstructions to describe and explain how good and evil went side by side. ____________________________________________________ Sunday, December 4, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Beyond The Da Vinci Code - Part 1. Is it the greatest story ever told--or the greatest story ever sold? A best-selling novel sparks a debate that could change Christianity forever. Were Jesus and Mary Magdalene married and co-leaders of their movement? Was Mary Magdalene, herself, the Holy Grail--the vessel said to hold Jesus's blood--and mother of his descendants? Did the early Church know this "truth" and deliberately mislead followers? Is there a secret, ancient society, the Priory of Sion, which still protects this bloodline? Have some of the most illustrious names in art and science been members? These are some of the questions that Dan Brown's best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code raises. We examine both sides of the story--the conventional view of Christianity and the "alternate history" proposed by Brown--so that viewers can decide. 8-9pm -- Beyond The Da Vinci Code - Part 2. In this 2,000-year journey through time, we examine the histories and mysteries of the Holy Grail lore--both from the perspective of the believers and from skeptics, letting the viewers reach their own conclusions. 9-11pm -- Da Vinci & the Code He Lived By - Known as "the Mind of the Renaissance", this amazing artist, scientist, and inventor envisioned flying machines, submarines, parachutes, armored cars, and multi-barreled guns centuries before their time. His mysterious painting the Mona Lisa still moves us and his fresco The Last Supper remains an icon of faith. His secretly recorded dissection of human bodies that brought accusations of consorting with Satan led to the early understandings of human anatomy. Against a backdrop of 15th-century Italian opulence, intrigue, and corruption, he navigated through the glittering palaces of merchant princes. The bastard son of a notary in the town of Vinci, Leonardo couldn't even take his father's name, but sensed that he must develop a way to overcome the limitations of illegitimacy. And so a code emerged, a pattern of decision-making that evolved throughout his life, enabling him to become the greatest of men in a time of great men--a mind above all others. ____________________________________________________ Monday, December 5, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Terror Tech: Military. The chance of enemy confrontation by sea, tank, or air battle is small, but terrorist networks operating in the shadows will likely challenge the U.S again. Instead of waiting to react, the military's new mission is to detect, deter, and defend America from terrorist attack. We examine cutting-edge technology that leads the fight in this new battle landscape, including Smart Bombs, Tactical Ballistic-Missile Systems, GPS-driven technology, Electro-Optical Systems, and the pilotless drone Predator. 8-9pm -- Boys' Toys - Custom Cars. For most of us, cars are an ordinary fixture of daily life. But then there are custom cars--literal labors of love. Supercharged hot rods, sublimely sculpted classics, flashy tricked-out lowriders, neon-bright "import tuners"--an eye-popping blend of fine art and mechanical know-how. In this episode, we trace the history, technology, and cultural connections between successive generations who have turned the common car into an American art form. We'll ride with hot rodders and lowriders and visit the speed shops and paint shops where ordinary cars become art. 9-10pm -- 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 technological heights he reached, 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. 10-11pm -- Battlefield Detectives - Siege of Masada. Masada is an extraordinary place and an epic story. A seemingly impregnable mountain fortress built by King Herod, it rises from the Judean desert of Israel close by the Dead Sea. It's said that there, 2,000 years ago, a band of Jewish freedom fighters defied the might of the Roman legions for three years. How did they hold out against such odds? How did the Romans conduct a siege in such a hostile environment? The Romans eventually battered their way into the fortress. But in a famous act of defiance, all the Jews chose death over slavery. Overnight 960 men, women, and children committed suicide rather than submit to their Roman conquerors. Or did they? Today, using the latest scientific tools and re-examining archaeological evidence, experts are piecing together a new story of the Masada siege, one that threatens to overturn a legend. ____________________________________________________ Tuesday, December 6, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Torture Devices. For more than 3,000 years, emperors and generals, dictators and police, criminals, clerics, and even medical doctors have created and used a vast array of torture devices--everything from the ancient Greeks' Brazen Bull, which slowly barbecued the victim, to the elaborate mechanical apparatuses of the Spanish Inquisition. A medical doctor who specializes in victims of torture reveals how the human body responds to their use--from the earliest excruciating contrivances to the more modern. 8-9pm -- Boys' Toys - Trucks. Icons of the open road, trucks form the backbone of the construction and transportation industries. The facility to handle nearly any load and the ability to deliver goods almost anywhere make trucks integral to modern life. From 18th-century steam-powered carriages to tomorrow's computerized trucks, it's a long haul you'll enjoy! 9-10pm -- Boys' Toys - AutoManiac: Muscle Cars. Ever since the first automobiles rolled off the assembly line, enthusiasts have been trying to make them more powerful and faster. But that art was fine-tuned in the 1960s when Detroit started putting enough juice under the hood to turn average cars into Muscle Cars. From the GTO to the Camaro to the Mustang, these powerful wheels with large engines never lost their appeal. And today, rare Muscle Cars like the 1970 Cobra Jet Mach 1 Twister and the 1970 Superbird are highly collectible and worth more than $100,000 each. They're also fun to drive. So strap on your seatbelt and get ready for a racy hour as we test-drive the cars that put the "oomph" into motoring. 10-11pm -- Modern Marvels - More Hardware. The hardware store is the epicenter of the construction world for both the weekend handyman or professional builder. Many of the items found in hardware stores are so common that it's easy to forget that when they were invented, they represented technological breakthroughs--some even revolutionized entire industries. We examine various tools and see how they've evolved, including the wrench, measuring and demolition tools, rope, sandpaper, and locks and keys. Whether you're looking for an ancient tool like a hammer or a modern one like an electronic lock, you'll find it at the hardware store--the place to go when things fall apart or when you decide to build your dreams from the ground up. ____________________________________________________ Wednesday, December 7, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Sub Disasters. When the men and women aboard a modern submarine hear the command to dive, they can take a measure of comfort in the fact that no US sub has been lost in nearly 40 years, though it's been said that the sea is a more hostile environment than space. The tragedies of former disasters have not been forgotten or squandered and the Navy has been extremely motivated to find ever more effective ways to prevent them. We'll examine sub disasters to discover what caused them and what they've taught us. And as we explore the early history of the submarine--including a sub used in the American Revolution and one used in the Civil War--we follow a modern crew using submarine simulators to train for disasters, study subs in the nuclear age, and explore state-of-the-art rescue technology. 8-10pm -- 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). 10-11pm -- Modern Marvels - Da Vinci Tech. Nearly 500 years after his death, Leonardo da Vinci still intrigues us. Most people think of him as a great artist, but he was also a remarkable scientist and inventor. His love of mechanics was unparalleled and he filled his notebooks with pages of incredible machines--from weapons of war to "Ships of the Skies", from submarines and scuba suits to robots and an analogue computer...even contact lenses and alarm clocks! How did a 15th-century man envision such modern innovations? If we follow his plans, would any of his designs work? We need wonder no more. With recent technological advances and new materials, we're the first generation able to bring Leonardo's drawings to life--to learn whether his "mechanical dreams" were workable plans. We explore the fascinating intersection of his art, science, and engineering marvels, and use them to offer insight into this "Genius of Geniuses", who remains as elusive as Mona Lisa's smile. ____________________________________________________ Thursday, December 8, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - The Arch. Join us as we explore the vast and varied world of the arch, one of the strongest and most versatile structures made by man. Deceptively simple, an arch can support tremendous weight because its structure is compressed by pressure, and it provides a much more spacious opening than its predecessor--post and lintel construction. Although ancient Egyptians and Greeks experimented with the arch, the Romans perfected it. Medieval Arabs incorporated it into stunning mosque architecture, soon followed by Europe's great medieval churches. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the steel arch became a favorite of architects and structural engineers. Dam builders employed it horizontally, using the water behind the dam to provide the pressure to compress it. And tomorrow, the arch will continue to serve mankind in every form--from nanotechnology to domes on Mars and beyond. 8-10pm -- Decoding The Past - Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. Since the 15th century, the Bermuda Triangle has mysteriously vanished an untold number of ships, planes and lives with three more known incidents in 2004. Using today's scientific knowledge and investigative techniques, we study the riddle of the Bermuda Triangle. Through computer graphics, highly stylized recreations, and underwater cameras, we will dramatically visualize the accidents as well as investigate the possible causes and explanations. On-camera interviews with both skeptics and believers will help lay out the facts and opinions of the cases. Can the latest science available today finally lay to rest the mysteries of the Triangle? 10-12am -- 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. ____________________________________________________ Friday, December 9, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 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 -- Boys' Toys - Private Jets, Part 1. From today's ultra chic, state-of-the-art private jets to Lockheed's 1957 Jetstar, this 2-part special investigates the history, 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. 9-10pm -- Boys' Toys - Private Jets, Part 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. 10-11pm -- Heroes Under Fire - Prison Siege. In November 1987, an announcement by the US State Department to send Cuban detainees back to Cuba triggers one of the longest prison riots in American history. As riots spill over from the Oakdale Correctional Facility in Louisiana to Atlanta's Maximum Security Penitentiary, detainees seize prison employees and hold them hostage for 13 life-threatening days. It's up to the FBI and its elite Hostage Rescue Team to implement a plan to get them out and take back control. Join us for an action-packed hour that blends dramatic interviews with news and historic footage as well as cinematic recreations. ____________________________________________________ Saturday, December 10, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - The Lumberyard. At the center of the American Dream is the home--and at the center of its creation or renovation is the lumberyard. We'll explore the options lumberyards provide for builders and renovators--from natural to engineered woods. We'll show how plywood and pressed woods are made, trace exotic woods to jungle and desert, visit a special lumberyard that deals in recycled and antique woods, and go on an underwater expedition as divers locate ancient logs buried in the Great Lakes and New Zealand. We'll see how 50,000-year-old ancient Kauri wood is "mined" from a bog and is now all the rage among those who live in mansions and travel on yachts. From the lowly 2-by-4 used to build a tract home, to a reclaimed set of historic planks used to make a million-dollar bar in a 5-star hotel, this eye-opening program hits the nail right on the head. 8-9pm -- FBI Stings: Recovering Stolen History - Preserving our cultural history sometimes means putting one's life on the line. In this dramatic special, we bring to life some of the most remarkable sting operations by a daring special agent in the FBI's Philadelphia division who has, almost single-handedly, recovered a treasure trove of stolen historic and cultural objects worth millions of dollars. Combining archival material, interviews with law enforcement officials and criminals, and reenactments, we tackle three of the most remarkable cases spearheaded by FBI Special Agent Bob Wittman (seen only in silhouette)--perhaps the most successful FBI agent in history in recovering lost and stolen objects. Time and again, he risked his life by posing as an art broker or dealer in an array of successful stings. We introduce the FBI's Art Crimes Unit and reenact Wittman's successful efforts to crack three of his most dramatic cases. 9-11pm -- Da Vinci & the Code He Lived By - Known as "the Mind of the Renaissance", this amazing artist, scientist, and inventor envisioned flying machines, submarines, parachutes, armored cars, and multi-barreled guns centuries before their time. His mysterious painting the Mona Lisa still moves us and his fresco The Last Supper remains an icon of faith. His secretly recorded dissection of human bodies that brought accusations of consorting with Satan led to the early understandings of human anatomy. Against a backdrop of 15th-century Italian opulence, intrigue, and corruption, he navigated through the glittering palaces of merchant princes. The bastard son of a notary in the town of Vinci, Leonardo couldn't even take his father's name, but sensed that he must develop a way to overcome the limitations of illegitimacy. And so a code emerged, a pattern of decision-making that evolved throughout his life, enabling him to become the greatest of men in a time of great men--a mind above all others. ____________________________________________________ Sunday, December 11, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Time Machine - Heron of Alexandria. In this hour, we travel to Alexandria, Egypt--the home of inventors and philosophers in ancient times. One of the greatest inventors was Heron of Alexandria, a Greek mathematician, geometer, and worker in mechanics, who taught at the famous Museum. His strange inventions, such as automaton theaters--puppet theaters worked by strings, drums, and weights--automatic doors, and coin-operated machines, were famous throughout the ancient world. 8-9pm -- Ancient Discoveries - Warfare. Warfare was a way of life in the ancient world. The technology of war drove ancient inventors and engineers to ever-greater lengths to defeat their enemies. They were, perhaps, the greatest masterminds of the battlefield-- yet who were they, and how did they make their sophisticated lethal machines more than 2,000 years ago? Ancient warfare was every bit as technical and lethal as today's warfare. Just witness the colossal and lethal Helepolis ("city taker"), history's most sophisticated siege machine. From the sinister machines that could bring a city's wall crashing down to Greek Fire, the napalm of the ancient world--warfare was as terrible then as now. The sheer ingenuity and complexity with which these war machines were created proves that the people of the ancient world were great inventors, mathematicians, and engineers. 9-10pm -- Ancient Discoveries - Machines II. How did the ancients harness power? Did Archimedes use solar power to defeat the Romans? Was he the first to concentrate the power of the sun? Early historical accounts of the battle of Syracuse in 212 BC claim that Archimedes used polished shields to focus light onto the sails of the invading Roman ships and set them ablaze. We investigate this and other intriguing and incredible objects. An earthenware jar about the size of a man's fist sits in the National Museum of Iraq. Its existence could require history books throughout the world to be rewritten. The jar appears to be an electric battery pre-dating Christ. Did the ancient world master electricity nearly two millennia before the modern world? A recent discovery of a flour mill in Barbegal in southern France contained 16 waterwheels that operated the mill. Is this one of the first examples of Roman industrial-revolution technology--1,800 years before our own? 10-11pm -- Ancient Discoveries - Ships. Lurking beneath Lake Nemi's blue waters lay the titans of Roman naval engineering--the Nemi Ships. Titanic luxury liners of the ancient world, they held inventions lost for thousands of years. But why were they built? Were they Caligula's notorious floating pleasure palaces--rife with excess and debauchery? Flagships of a giant sea force? It took Mussolini's obsession with all things Roman to finally prise the two wrecks from the depths of Lake Nemi near Rome. Using an ancient Roman waterway, he drained the lake and rescued the ships, an accomplishment captured on film that we access to illustrate this astounding story. Sophisticated ancient technology discovered in the boats transformed the understanding of Roman engineering overnight. Yet by 1944, the adventure had turned sour and the retreating German army torched the boats. We reveal the mysteries of the Nemi Ships and the ancient technology that made them possible. ____________________________________________________ Monday, December 12, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- America's Castles - The Roosevelt Homes. Traces the lives of Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt through their historic homes. Includes the Manhattan brownstone in which Theodore was raised and his Oyster Bay retreat in Sagamore Hill. Franklin's life focuses on his time in Hyde Park and his summer getaway retreat Campobello. 8-9pm -- UFO Files - Mexico's Roswell. Coyame, Mexico is a small town not far from the US border. It's home to three thousand people and possibly the best-kept secret of all-time. In August of 1974, the USA military was tracking a mysterious object over Mexico; then suddenly it disappeared from radar near Coyame. At the same time a civilian plane headed in the opposite direction is reported missing. What follows next is the stuff Hollywood blockbusters are made of: a crash site, a spacecraft, dead bodies, a covert recovery mission, and a government cover-up. Is this the story of the century, or just a piece of Mexican folklore? Over the last 15 years, Mexico has experienced an unprecedented UFO wave. While the sheer volume of encounters garners attention, it's the apparent quality, or credibility, of these incidents that has our attention. Through interviews with witnesses and experts we examine the evidence, and controversial footage released by the Mexican military reveals never before seen video. 9-10pm -- Decoding The Past - Prophecies of Israel. The Tanakh of the Jews is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible, equivalent to the Old Testament to Christians. Within the 24 books of the Tanakh (or Mikra as it was called during the period of its recording) are astounding predictions of the future. Many of the prophets who authored or appeared in the scriptures prophesied about the fate of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. We'll examine the prophecies and chronicle the birth, death, recent resurrection, and possible future of Israel. Supported by archival footage and dramatic recreations, on-camera experts representing the three major religions, and secular perspectives, we explore the most significant of these ancient prophecies. Are the prophecies real? Are they unfolding before our eyes? Who believes, who doesn't, and why? 10-11pm -- Battlefield Detectives - World War I: Jutland. May 1916. The British Grand Fleet, unchallenged since the Battle of Trafalgar, is moored in the peaceful harbor of Scapa Flow off the north coast of Scotland. The global dominance of the British Royal Navy is seemingly assured. But this is all about to change. The Battle of Jutland between Britain and Germany was the largest naval action of all time. It was a confrontation that the British wanted. An opportunity to unleash their lethal super weapons of the day--the great ships they called Dreadnoughts--and to prove that Britain did still rule the waves. Yet, in the cold grey waters of northern Europe, the showdown ended in carnage on a scale few could have imagined. Today, the ships with their vast gun turrets and thousands of shells still litter the seabed. Now, using the latest modern science, we try to determine what went wrong. Why was Jutland so disastrous for the British Royal Navy? And could it be, that in losing the battle, they won the naval war? ____________________________________________________ Tuesday, December 13, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- America's Castles - The Presidential Estates. A look at three estates of presidents, the private sanctuaries of the most public lives, including Andrew Jackson's Hermitage in Nashville, Martin Van Buren's 36-room manor Lindenwald in the Hudson Valley, and Rutherford B. Hayes's Spiegel Grove in Freemont, Ohio. 8-8:30pm -- Mail Call - MK-19 Grenade Launcher/PPSH-41/WWII Weasel/Vertijet: # 79. R. Lee Ermey, is back at HQ for a new season of shows jam-packed with gear, gun and guts. First, the Gunny is pitching horseshoes and because "close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades," it's the perfect introduction to Lee's trip to Camp Pendleton where he gets some trigger time with the MK-19 grenade launcher. Next, the focus is on Russian tactics and weapons of WWII. Lee shows us the Russian sub machine gun of choice during the campaign, the PPSH-41. Then, it's time for a test drive when a WWII Weasel shows up at HQ. Finally, it's time to dip into the Gunny's Fabulous Flops file for a segment about the Vertijet, America's first vertical take-off jet aircraft. 8:30-9pm -- Mail Call - Navy SEALs/Frogmen/Kettering Bug/Warthog/Afrika Korps Gear/Jerry Cans: #48. R. Lee Ermey teams up with Navy SEALs to demonstrate their weapons; reviews the history of the Navy's fierce frogmen; and goes back to 1918 to view the world's first cruise missile--the Kettering Bug--designed by Charles Kettering and Orville Wright. At Tallil Air Base in Iraq, he shows why the A-10 Thunderbolt (a.k.a. Warthog) is the world's best tank killer, learns about Rommel's Afrika Korps' advanced weapons in WWII, and why gasoline storage containers are called Jerry Cans. 9-10pm -- Shootout - Battlecry Iraq: Ramadi. "Today we are going to kill Americans." That was the warning to shopkeepers in Ramadi's marketplace on April 6, 2004. Insurgents meant what they said. They intended to harm any and all members of Echo Company--part of the Second Battalion of the 4th Marine Regiment. Ramadi, a Sunni stronghold and former Saddam power base in the Anbar province, is one of the most dangerous places in Iraq. Resistance there is fierce. "The Magnificent Bastards" as the 2-4 is called, bore the brunt of hatred and rage as they were ambushed in a well-planned attack. We chronicle the 2-4's struggle for survival while under fire--everywhere and all at once--from an enemy that couldn't be seen. AK-47s, machine guns, and rocket-propelled grenades exploded all around. About 50 insurgents positioned themselves on the roofs of one-story buildings and in between market stalls. The next week-and-a-half would be bloody and deadly. 10-11pm -- Shootout - Iraq's Most Wanted. They're cold-blooded killers, not particularly selective about their victims--coalition troops, international journalists, Iraqi civilians--just about anyone will do. These slaughterers want political power. In the south, militant cleric Muqtada al-Sadr unleashes his militia on US Marines policing Najaf. The two forces battle hand-to-hand in a 1,000-year-old cemetery. In central Iraq, a skilled insurgent mortar team tries to disrupt national elections by targeting polling places in and around Fallujah. Marine Recon squads quietly hunt them down and kill them one-by-one. In the northern city of Mosul, Uday and Qusay Hussein, sons of Saddam, help plan and fund insurgent training and operations. US Special Forces and 101st Airborne troops surround their hardened, reinforced hideout and decimate it. For Iraq's "Most Wanted", the message is clear: surrender and you might live; resist and you'll crumble in a storm of lead. ____________________________________________________ Wednesday, December 14, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- America's Castles - Miners. A look at the homes of men who struck it rich in the mining business. Features Clayton, built by the "Coke King" Henry Clay Frick; Kearns Mansion, with its Louis XVI-style parlor; and the Campbell House, which showcases the Age of Elegance. 8-9pm -- Modern Marvels - Quarries. Dynamite explodes hills to bits, drills divide sheer stone walls, 400,000-pound blocks are pulled from pits by giant cranes, and men work around the clock to wrest rock out of the earth. Not diamonds or gold...rock, the raw material of civilization! Without rock, modern society wouldn't exist. Roads, sewers, dams, bridges, buildings, paint, glue, make-up, antacids, and even chewing gum need crushed stone. From ancient days to the present, we explore the evolution of quarrying techniques. 9-10pm -- Modern Marvels - Concrete. Invented by the ancient Romans, concrete is a relatively simple formula that changed the world. Concrete has been used to divide an entire country, as in the Berlin Wall, and to unite nations, as in the Chunnel. We'll review the history of this building block of civilization and look at modern applications. 10-11pm -- Modern Marvels - Bricks. The history of civilization has been built on the back of brick, and it's been said that "architecture itself began when two bricks were put together well." From great Egyptian temples to the Roman aqueducts, the Great Wall of China, and the dome of the Hagia Sophia, brick is one of the oldest, yet least celebrated, building materials manufactured by man. In this hard-packed episode, we explore brick's past, highlighting defining moments, such as the Great London Fire of 1666, the zenith years of brick in the New York Hudson River Valley, and brick as an essential building block in infrastructure and industry. We'll feature advancements through the ages as well as construction techniques, trends, and the future of brick construction. Essentially, brick is still just burnt clay...it has been around for thousands of years, but continues to serve as the backdrop of the modern age. ____________________________________________________ Thursday, December 15, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Empire State Building. The amazing story of how the New York City skyscraper was constructed during the depths of the Depression. Requiring 10-million bricks and 60,000 tons of steel beams, and using a revolutionary technique to hold the steel girders in place--hot rivets--the landmark building was completed four months ahead of schedule. 7-8pm -- America's Castles - Lumber Barons. Visit the homes of the entrepreneurs who became fabulously wealthy in the booming lumber business of the 19th century. Features Martin Pattison's 42-room Victorian mansion, John Kimberly's French chateau, and his daughter Jessie's 31,000-square-foot mansion that was never inhabited. 8-9pm -- Monsters - For centuries, tales of monsters have piqued our curiosity. Legendary beasts from folklore, literature and film have captivated audiences around the world. But some say monsters are not confined to just our imaginations. Stories of the Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster have triggered worldwide investigations...and continue to enthrall believers and skeptics alike. 9-10pm -- Giganto: The Real King Kong - see description below on Sunday the 18th 10-12am -- Quest for Dragons - A spirited exploration of the history, science, and legend of the world's most notorious beast--the dragon, the best-known creature that never was. Throughout history, dragons influenced wars, science, art, and religion. They appear in almost every culture and many still believe in dragons. How could different cultures, isolated by geology and millennia, all invent the same creature? If the dragon is simply the product of our imagination, how could distant peoples, with no knowledge of each other, all invent the same beast? One of the reasons dragons are a perennial favorite is that even though they are the ultimate predator and antagonist, it's also fun to identify with them. In the end, we want to be the dragon as much as we may want to slay the dragon. ____________________________________________________ Friday, December 16, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - ET Tech. In 2003, with Mars closer to Earth than it had been in 60,000 years, scientists launched three life-seeking planetary landers. If the long journeys prove successful, all should be hard at work on the Red Planet's surface by January 2004. NASA's Spirit and Opportunity and the European Space Agency's Beagle 2 represent the pinnacle in the history of the search for extraterrestrial life. Leading scientists, who believe life may exist beyond Earth, explain skepticism about ETs having visited Earth. 8-9pm -- Pacific: The Lost Evidence - Saipan. June 15, 1944. Just over a week after the D-Day invasion of Normandy, on the other side of the world, 70,000 US Marines storm ashore on the Pacific island of Saipan. For the first time in the war, American fighting men stand on Japanese soil. Facing them are 30,000 Japanese soldiers, with massed tanks and artillery, who have sworn to defend the island to the death. We offer extraordinary insight into this climactic battle and follow the men of the invasion force as they fight their way to ultimate victory--in spite of one of the biggest Banzai charges of WWII. 9-10pm -- Pacific: The Lost Evidence - Leyte. October 20, 1944--US troops storm ashore on the island of Leyte. After two long years under Japanese occupation, the liberation of the Philippines has begun. The invasion triggers the Japanese Navy's last-ditch attempt to stop the American advance in the Pacific. But, in three days of desperate combat, the Americans finally beat back the Japanese attacks and write one of the most glorious pages in US Naval history. We'll offer new insight into this important WWII battle using aerial photographs that have been brought to life with the latest computer-imaging technology to create a 3-D model of the Philippines. Now, it's possible to follow both the US and Japanese fleets as they battle for supremacy in the waters around Leyte Gulf. 10-11pm -- Heroes Under Fire - Shadow Warriors. Afghanistan, 1981. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, threatening to expand its huge hold of territory and edge closer to the rich oilfields of the Middle East. President Reagan decided to send CIA officers in to train Afghan rebels to fight against the Soviets. But he didn't want to tip America's hand, so he sent in a small team of undercover officers from the CIA's Islamabad station in Pakistan. Working in dark alleys and traveling on Pakistani military helicopters, Milt Bearden and his team of CIA officers gradually built a network to funnel arms and cash into Afghanistan and train the rebels to fight. Dodging bullets and risking their lives, the CIA officers became secret warriors fighting America's last battle of the Cold War. ____________________________________________________ Saturday, December 17, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Shootout - Iraq's Most Wanted. They're cold-blooded killers, not particularly selective about their victims--coalition troops, international journalists, Iraqi civilians--just about anyone will do. These slaughterers want political power. In the south, militant cleric Muqtada al-Sadr unleashes his militia on US Marines policing Najaf. The two forces battle hand-to-hand in a 1,000-year-old cemetery. In central Iraq, a skilled insurgent mortar team tries to disrupt national elections by targeting polling places in and around Fallujah. Marine Recon squads quietly hunt them down and kill them one-by-one. In the northern city of Mosul, Uday and Qusay Hussein, sons of Saddam, help plan and fund insurgent training and operations. US Special Forces and 101st Airborne troops surround their hardened, reinforced hideout and decimate it. For Iraq's "Most Wanted", the message is clear: surrender and you might live; resist and you'll crumble in a storm of lead. 8-9pm -- UFO Files - Britain's Roswell. Over three nights in December 1980, Air Force personnel stationed at a NATO installation in England witness strange lights in the sky above the RAF Bentwaters and Woodbridge bases. On the night of the 25th, when servicemen spot a glowing object in the woods, they investigate and come upon a triangular metallic craft. One of them touches it and records strange etchings in his notebook. It shoots above the treetops and the men are later found in a daze by other troops. Two nights later, the Deputy Base Commander and a team investigating the alleged site see lights over a field beyond the woods and a red object. It speeds off, beaming lights over the bases. Some witnesses allege use of force and sodium pentothal during interrogation. A memorandum issued by the Deputy Base Commander, which records some statements, is later released via the Freedom of Information Act. More files are released in 2002 but, to this day, the events remain a mystery. We'll try to unravel it. 9-10pm -- UFO Files - Brazil's Roswell. In September 1977, something amazing appears in the night sky over the Brazilian island of Colares in the Amazon delta--a luminous object hovering about 15 feet over the water. For nearly two months, strange flying objects visit the island--some big, some small, saucer-shaped, cigar-shaped, some luminous and some not. Witnesses report they felt as if blood had been sucked from them by the strange rays. More than 30 residents suffer puncture wounds or burns after their encounters. Two islanders reportedly die from their injuries. The Brazilian Air Force sends a task force to the island for three months and it returns with 300 night photos and several motion picture reels. Though a 500-page report is compiled, along with a catalogue of the sightings, maps, and interview transcripts, it's kept from the public. Then, in May 2005, a few of the details are released, but many questions go unanswered. In this unique hour, we examine these mysterious happenings in depth. 10-11pm -- Weird Weapons - The Axis. Between 1939 and `45, the world was locked in a nightmare struggle of unprecedented ferocity. When the smoke from WWII cleared, bizarre stories emerged of extraordinary armaments dreamt up by both sides' most inventive minds--weird weapons unlike anything before. New ways of bringing destruction to the enemy were born of desperation and wild imagination. And in a world gone mad, nothing seemed too strange to try. Axis powers tested a strange range of weapons: a vortex cannon designed to tear wings off aircraft, an assault rifle that could shoot round corners, a death ray that could boil people alive, and most bizarre of all, an army in space. ____________________________________________________ Sunday, December 18, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Giganto: The Real King Kong - An exploration of the Giganto (King Kong) legend using modern science, technology, and historic eyewitness accounts. Gigantopithecus (the Latin term for "Giant Ape") is believed to have existed 9 to 5-million years ago and supposedly was around 10-feet tall. Some fossil evidence shows that it may have lived in China or India. Scientists of varying fields will attempt to genetically connect Giganto to modern-day creatures from around the world. Could Bigfoot be a relative? Forensic testing, extensive scientific research, 3-D animation, and body reconstruction will help determine the true mystery behind this prehistoric ape. 8-9pm -- Brothers in Arms: The Untold Story of The 502 - Part 1: D-Day. Regarded as the turning point of WWII, the daybreak invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 actually began the night before. Shrouded in darkness, 18,000 Allied paratroopers jumped into the fog and flak-filled skies, landing behind enemy lines before the full invasion. Among them, the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the famed 101st Airborne Division. Although they became one of the most decorated units in the D-Day operation, their story has never been fully told. We illustrate how the 502nd earned distinction by achieving vital objectives through acts of great personal bravery and strong tactical leadership. The story travels from their final staging in England to the massive confusion of that perilous night--when most troops, under heavy enemy fire, missed their intended drop zones--to their setting upon the intended targets. 9-10pm -- Brothers in Arms: The Untold Story of The 502 - Part 2: The Road to Carentan. The 502nd played a pivotal role in paving the way for the successful Allied landing at Utah Beach on D-Day, securing important German strongholds and ultimately liberating the strategically significant town of Carentan. Hosted on site by actor Ron Livingston (Band of Brothers), we talk to veterans of the 502nd, provide firsthand accounts from French citizens and historians, and reenactments, rare photos, archival footage, and cutting-edge CGI technology to finally tell the story of this unheralded group of soldiers: the 5-0-Deuce. 10-12am -- Dog Fights - Ever imagine what it would be like to participate in the most historic air battles of all time? Imagine no more. This special puts viewers in the cockpit to recreate four famous air battles, using computer graphics, animation, firsthand accounts, and archival footage to make these thrilling and dangerous dogfights all too real. Each segment begins with an introduction to a pilot as we learn of the conflict he is engaged in, the history and technology of the aircraft that he flies, and the mortal enemy he must face. Then comes the moment of contact with the enemy--the fight begins! Experience a computer-generated recreation of the aerial battle as the voice of the pilot plays out this life and death combat. ____________________________________________________ Monday, December 19, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 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 - Texas' Roswell. In April 1897--50 years before the alleged UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico--a mysterious airship crash rocked the small town of Aurora, Texas...or at least, that's how the legend goes! The tale includes the wreckage from the ship, a funeral for the dead "alien" pilot, and thousands of witnesses from across the country. And the Aurora crash allegedly took place five years before the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk, so whatever was in the air was not manmade. Eyewitness accounts of the crash, mysterious metal found at the site, and the hunt for the only known alien graveyard are all combined into a story that has even the most adamant debunkers baffled. Is this the case that finally proves that UFOs are real? Join us as we separate fact from fiction. 9-10pm -- Decoding The Past - Unraveling the Shroud. For centuries the Shroud of Turin has been a touchstone of faith for millions. Many believe it is the primary evidence of the way Jesus Christ died on the cross. But is it real or a clever forgery? Did Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci play a trick on the Roman Catholic Church? We bring you the latest theories and the most current tests, some commissioned especially for the program. Despite centuries of scrutiny from scientists, theologians, and art historians, the linen cloth with the faint image has remained a three-and-a-half by fourteen foot enigma. Like a mirror, for some it has reflected what we know; for others, what we believe. 10-11pm -- Decoding The Past - Relics of The Passion. Relics of the Passion of Christ are sacred objects supposedly scattered around the globe. Are they what the faithful believe them to be? We do the detective work to track down where these relics originated and where they can be found today, explain their meaning, and often question their authenticity. The Passion of Jesus Christ encompasses the violent end of a martyr, an unsolved forensic puzzle, and the start of a worldwide religious movement. In this hour, we use the Passion as a focus to begin tracking the most important relics of the Christian faith, including: the True Cross; the Crown of Thorns; the Holy Nails of the Cross; the Titulus, a small sign stating Christ's name and crime atop the Cross; the Spear of Destiny; a mysterious burial cloth called the Sudarium; an image of Jesus that appears on the Veil of Veronica; and the Holy Grail. ____________________________________________________ Tuesday, December 20, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Smart Bombs. Precision-guided munitions, smart bombs were the media buzz of the first Gulf War and a major military and political driving force of the second. But their apparent sudden celebrity is deceptive. The history of smart bombs goes back to World War I and includes an ingenious, if eccentric, group of inventions and a cast of characters that boasts a Kennedy and a president of General Motors. Join us for the underground history of smart bombs, and a glimpse into the future of precision weapons. 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 US pretzel manufacturer. Next, we focus on the world's largest candy manufacturer, Masterfoods USA, which makes Milky Way, Snickers, Mars, and M&Ms, and take a lick at 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 off the line in an hour. 9-10pm -- Modern Marvels - More Snackfood Tech. They crunch; they ooze; they crackle; they pop--mmmmm, yeah! Soft drinks, donuts, meat snacks, popcorn, and gum. What's your weakness? From the handmade treats of the earliest civilizations to hi-tech mass production, these snacks are borne of man's need to feed his cravings. Join us for an hour-long tasty treat as we examine the history of snackfoods and check out how they are made today. 10-11pm -- Modern Marvels - Sugar. The sugar industry came of age on the backs of slaves toiling in Caribbean fields, and British desire to control production of sugar and its byproduct, rum. Sugar also played a surprisingly critical part in America's battle for independence. Tour a sugar plantation on Maui, Hawaii to get an inside look at how cane sugar is produced today and learn how the sugar stalks are put through an extensive process of extraction and purification--and how a ton of harvested cane results in 200 pounds of raw sugar. Learn the technology behind creating the sweetener in all of its permutations, including corn syrup, brown sugar, powdered sugar, and cube sugar, and how it's used in candies, soda, and sauces as well as more exotic uses such as in pipe tobacco and processed meat. ____________________________________________________ Wednesday, December 21, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - The Junkyard. It's the place where one man's trash is truly another man's treasure. Enter the strange and mysterious world of the junkyard, where many pieces actually do add up to a whole. Uncover how junkyard operators create order out of seemingly random piles of junk. 8-10pm -- Bible Battles - In one of the most hostile lands on the planet, an ancient people called the Israelites forged an army and carved out an empire. Their ancient military exploits are described in one of history's most famous religious texts--the Old Testament of the Bible. But by reading between the religious lines, military historians unlock the soldiers' secrets of the Bible by examining the weapons, strategies, and the commanders, some of whom are not always thought of as warriors, like Abraham, Moses, and Deborah. In this 2-hour special, we explore the biblical world from a military perspective from the time of Abraham until David's ascension to the throne. Blood often flows more freely than holy water in the days of the Old Testament, and the military secrets of the Bible have yet to be revealed...until now! 10-12am -- 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 in Major Religions ____________________________________________________ Thursday, December 22, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Toys. All aboard the nostalgia express as we take a trip through the past to enjoy toys of our youth--the ones we can't forget and those that some of use never gave up! This is the real toy story! We take a look at five categories of boys' toys and see what relationship they have had on the development of young minds; talk with collectors of antique and specialty toys; and visit companies that make electric trains, Matchbox Cars, GI Joe action figures, and LEGO Bricks, among others. 8-9pm -- Secrets of the Black Box - Flight 007. September 1, 1983: Korean Air Lines Flight 007, a 747 jumbo jet with 269 passengers aboard, including a US Congressman, strays off-course into Soviet airspace over a secret missile installation on the Kamchatka peninsula. Soviet interceptors are scrambled and the plane is shot down--killing all aboard. World reaction is explosive. The Soviets claim that flight 007 was really a spy plane. But US representatives give a vivid presentation at the United Nations "proving" that the Russians knew flight 007 was a civilian airliner before they shot it down. Years after the shootdown of Flight 007, its "black boxes" are finally uncovered. By thoroughly examining this data, investigators are finally able to unravel the mystery of Flight 007. For the first time, we tell the true story of KAL 007--its doomed flight...and tragic consequences. 9-10pm -- Secrets of the Black Box - Flight 243. On April 28, 1988, an Aloha Airlines Boeing 737, based at Honolulu International Airport, with 89 passengers onboard, was scheduled for a series of inter-island flights. As the airplane leveled at 24,000 feet, both pilots heard a loud "clap" or "whooshing" sound followed by a wind noise behind them. The captain observed that the cockpit entry door was missing and that there was blue sky where the first-class ceiling had been. The aircraft had suffered an explosive decompression and lost approximately 1/3 of its roof! One flight attendant was ejected from the aircraft. But, through the heroic efforts of the crew--which were captured by the plane's Black Box--the plane was skillfully guided to a safe landing back at Honolulu. Incredibly, the pilots had managed to fly the aircraft for nearly a half-hour with a full third of the aircraft's roof missing. 10-11:30pm -- Time Machine - What happens when an airline and federal agency detect a design or mechanical flaw in an airliner and choose to ignore the "acceptable risk" because it's costly to fix and may not cause a problem? On May 25, 1979, 271 people fastened their seatbelts for a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles. Almost as soon as the DC-10 took off, it plummeted to earth, exploding in flames. It's a story of greed and deceit, arrogance and spin control, and how the fallout brought aviation giant McDonnell-Douglas to its knees. ____________________________________________________ Friday, December 23, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Battlefield Detectives - The War of 1812: the Chesapeake and the Shannon. In 1812, the US and Great Britain are once again at war. American "super frigates" win a series of crushing naval victories over the British Royal Navy warships. Americans are jubilant. Frigate captains are the celebrities of their day. On June 1, 1813, Captain James Lawrence sails out of Boston Harbor on the USS Chesapeake to take up a challenge from the British frigate HMS Shannon. Lawrence has already proven to be a brave and talented naval officer. But aboard the Shannon, British Captain Philip Broke has other ideas. At almost six in the afternoon, the fighting starts and lasts just 11 minutes. At the end, the Chesapeake is taken, 103 men are dead, and the US captain lies mortally wounded. Why was the battle so ferocious and bloody? How did the British win such a crushing victory against the odds? Scientists and historians combine efforts to solve the mystery. 8-9pm -- Pacific: The Lost Evidence - Guam. On July 21, 1944, American Marines and GIs invade the island of Guam--once US territory. Over the next 21 days, this Japanese stronghold in the Mariana Islands would become a bitter and bloody battlefield as US forces fight to expel nearly 19,000 tenacious Japanese troops from their heavily defended positions. The conflict becomes one of restoring American pride as battle-hardened troops fight to return to the site of the old US barracks and raise the American flag. We offer an unprecedented viewpoint of the famous battle. Aerial photographs taken of the island during the war have now been layered over a 3-D contour map to create a CGI "model" of the island. But this is no computer game--it's a model of the actual island as the battle raged that will allow the viewer to track the conquest of the island, step by step, from the air. Individual stories of courage and heroism can now be placed in the exact spot on the island where they took place. 9-10pm -- Pacific: The Lost Evidence - Okinawa. It was the greatest and most costly American campaign in the Pacific Theater in which over a quarter of a million people lost their lives. It was a conflict that was to test a vast modern war machine against an increasingly desperate enemy. As the Allied juggernaut closed in on the home islands of Japan, the Okinawa's defenders would rely on suicide tactics and banzai charges to stall the invasion force. It became known as "the last great battle". Using cutting-edge techniques, unique archive film, re-enactments, and extraordinary interviews with men who were there, we tell the story of the last great battle of World War II. 10-11pm -- Heroes Under Fire - Righteous Vendetta. Behind the lines in Mexico, Kiki Camarena risks his life fighting America's War on Drugs. But when he's snatched by members of a deadly drug cartel, the DEA goes on a manhunt. In hot pursuit, they navigate a bloody trail of murder, money, and corruption through the top ranks of Mexico's law enforcement. And they'll stop at nothing to bring his kidnappers to justice. Blending dramatic interviews, news and historic footage, and recreations, we'll tell the dramatic story of these modern heroes. ____________________________________________________ Saturday, December 24, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 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. 8-9pm -- 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? ____________________________________________________ Sunday, December 25, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Snackfood Tech. See description on 20th @ 8pm for this hour. 8-10pm -- Modern Marvels - Disney World. Journey underground and backstage at the technological marvel that is Walt Disney World. Enter a make-believe world spanning some 27,000 acres, brought to life by cutting-edge technology. What was once Florida swampland now boasts the world's largest theme park. The ride technology ranges from space-age centrifuges to enhanced motion vehicles powered by 3,000 PSI of hydraulic pressure. And hundreds of audio animatronics brought to life through the power of pneumatics, hydraulics, and electrical systems. Walt Disney World is made up of four separate theme parks, each with its own innovations: the 107-acre Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom. The four parks are all part of a megaplex of a resort. Twice the size of Manhattan, it was the final vision and crowning achievement of a man who spent more than 40 years pushing the limits of technology to create entertainment magic: Walt Disney. 10-12am -- 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? ____________________________________________________ Monday, December 26, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Cannons. Cannons have fired balls of iron and atomic bombs, changed the way wars are fought, and now come equipped with smart weapons. Beginning with 13th-century cannons that were designed to penetrate forts of the day, we'll see how cannons were first cast and later forged, and show how large cannons terrorized civilians and soldiers in WWI and WWII. Moving to the present, we feature the 40-ton self-propelled Crusader that launches 100-pound steel artillery shells more than 33 miles. 8-9pm -- The Antichrist - Part 1. How would you recognize the most evil person on Earth? According to many historical texts, you should look for a brilliant, enigmatic public figure who transforms the world for good--for a while. Basically, the last person you'd tap as Satan's human emissary. While many believe the Antichrist has come and gone, just as many believe he will soon arrive, if he's not already in our midst. Join us for harrowing look at an evil so obscure that he answers only to Satan. Real? Our group of prophecy believers and historical experts help sort it out. We follow the emergence of the Antichrist from pre-Judaic texts, through the Book of Daniel and Revelation, into Christian writings of the Middle Ages, and other religious traditions as well. Aided by interviewees both religious and secular, comprised of eminent clergy, scholars, historians, psychologists, and culture makers, we'll examine the evil enigma from every conceivable angle. 9-10pm -- The Antichrist - Part 2. From popes and presidents to dictators, Antichrists have been identified in all periods of recorded history and in all walks of life. Even nations, movements, and technologies have been thought by some to be the agents of the Antichrist. Throughout history, people have seen their own times as the most morally bankrupt and have recognized signs of the coming of the Apocalypse. If the end is near, what will it be like? What is the Antichrist's agenda? How does he intend to take over the world and wreak destruction? Is this escapist fantasy or inescapable fate? 10-11pm -- Tsunami 2004: Waves of Death - The 2004 Tsunami, centered in the Indian Ocean, was caused by a 9.3 earthquake--the second strongest quake on record. Join us for a minute-by-minute look at nature's fury at its worst, when the tsunami kills more than 200,000 people in 14 countries. In this special, we examine the tsunami as it moves from coast to coast through the eyes of people who lived through it and scientists now studying its path of devastation. Drawing on the extraordinary volume of amateur video that recorded the disaster, we take viewers inside the world's deadliest tsunami. It's no mere Tidal Wave ____________________________________________________ Tuesday, December 27, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Castles & Dungeons. Some of the most imposing structures ever built, medieval castles withstood both bloody assaults and the test of time. Designed like machines with nearly every architectural detail devoted to defense, castles represented the perfect fusion of form and function. Journey back to that unruly era as we examine the complexity of their construction and the multipurposes they served--homes to kings and nobles, economic centers, courthouses, treasuries, prisons, and torture chambers. 8-10pm -- 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. 10-12am -- 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. ____________________________________________________ Wednesday, December 28, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Glue. It's Super! It's Krazy! And it can be found in everything from carpet to computers, books to boats, shoes to the Space Shuttle. It's even used in surgery! Without it, our material world would simply fall apart. In this episode, we'll visit the stuck-up, tacky world of glue. Glue's sticky trajectory spans human history and we'll cover it all--from Neolithic cave dwellers who used animal glue to decorate ceremonial skulls to modern everyday glues and their uses, including Elmer's glue, 3M's masking and Scotch tape, and the super glues. Remember the Krazy Glue commercial in which a man held himself suspended from a hard hat that had just been glued to a beam? Well, that 1970s vintage ad understates the power of glue. With the help of a crane, we're going to hoist a 6,000-pound pickup truck off the ground by a steel joint that's been bonded with glue! 8-9pm -- Decoding The Past - Prophecies of Iraq. It was one of the greatest cities ever depicted in biblical text. Hebrew prophets of the Bible all predicted its destruction--as many as 150 years before it happened. And, when in 539 BC, Babylon fell to Cyrus the Great of Persia, the prophets were thought to have been proven correct. But scholars and academics have long debated the question of whether these ancient predictions were meant for the city of Babylon of more than 2,500 years ago, or whether they referred to a different Babylon, a future Babylon to be rebuilt where the old city once stood. Ancient Babylon is now known as modern-day Iraq, and eerily similar parallels exist between the prophecies of Babylon and the events of the late 20th and early 21st centuries--including both Gulf Wars and the downfall of Saddam Hussein. Is it possible that Biblical prophecies are playing out in modern times? 9-10pm -- Decoding The Past - 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 -- Decoding The Past - 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. ____________________________________________________ Thursday, December 29, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 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. 8-10pm -- Meteors: Fire in the Sky - Meteors, comets, and asteroids cross the solar system to offer clues about our planet and universe. Can they destroy civilizations? Did they wipe out the dinosaurs? Have they brought life to our planet? And when will the next one hit? Aided by elaborate animation and live-action footage, we learn what these mysterious space rocks really are and imagine what likely happened 65-million years ago, when an object plowed into the Yucatan Peninsula. We see how certain spectacular meteor falls advanced our understanding of what they are and the danger that they pose. We talk to leading experts--astronomers and geologists including David Levy and Carolyn Shoemaker, co-discoverers of the Shoemaker-Levy comet that fell into Jupiter in 1994. And we talk to NASA scientists about recent missions to asteroids and comets and speculate on ways to move Earth-threatening asteroids and comets out of our way. Because it isn't a question of if but when the next deadly impact will take place. 10-11pm -- Modern Marvels - Nature Tech: Hurricanes. They're nature on a rampage. The size and intensity of hurricanes make them the most feared and destructive of all storms. Explore how hurricanes start, how scientists track them, and how if at all possible they can be stopped. Take a ride on a hurricane "chaser" plane as it flies directly into the eye of hurricane Wilma, collecting important barometric pressure and wind velocity readings. In this hour we'll also track the historical highlights of hurricanes, and the history and development of such important hurricane research tools as radar and weather satellites. We'll delve into the construction of buildings that weather hurricanes better than traditional structures and examine how modern skyscrapers are built to stand up to hurricane force winds. ____________________________________________________ Friday, December 30, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 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. 8-10pm -- 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? 10-11pm -- Heroes Under Fire - Portrait of Courage. Dickey Chapelle, a woman who broke into the "boy's club" to become the first woman photojournalist to cover WWII, as well as every major conflict from Iwo Jima to the landing of the first US marines in Vietnam, died from wounds suffered from a booby-trap explosion in Vietnam on November 4, 1965 while on patrol with a platoon. During her two decades in the field, Chapelle was considered one of the most controversial members of her profession. But no one loved her more than the US Marine Corps. She admired them and constantly detailed their role in protecting our freedoms. They considered her one of their own, and today honor her memory with the annual Dickey Chapelle Award given out by the Marine Corps League National Headquarters. We'll chronicle her amazing exploits as we examine this brave woman's life--the first member of the press killed during the Vietnam War and first American female reporter killed in battle. ____________________________________________________ Saturday, December 31, 2005 ____________________________________________________ 6:50-8pm -- Band of Brothers - Crossroads. Capt. Winters (Damian Lewis) leads a contingent of Easy Company men on a risky mission over a Dutch dike that results in a "turkey shoot" of fleeing Germans, and is promoted to Battalion Executive Officer, leaving Easy Company in the hands of Lt. "Moose" Heyliger (Stephen McCole). After moving back off the line to France, Lt. Nixon (Ron Livingston) insists that Winters take a break and see Paris. But when Winters returns, news comes in of a massive German counterattack in the Ardennes Forest. 8-9pm -- History Alive - Cocaine. Derived from South America's coca leaf, cocaine was touted as a cure-all in the late 19th century and was the secret ingredient in many medicines and elixirs such as Coca-Cola. But cocaine's allure quickly diminished as racism entered the picture--the concept of the "cocaine-crazed Negro" even led police to strengthen the caliber of their guns from .32 to .38. We'll see how, though it was outlawed in 1914, its popularity soared in the 1980s and '90s and gave birth to a deadlier form--crack. 9-10pm -- History Alive - Marijuana. In a series investigating the history of drug use, we begin our trip tracing the rise of marijuana and synthetic amphetamines. Marijuana, from the Indian hemp plant, has been used worldwide as a source of rope, cloth, and paper; its medicinal qualities were first documented 4,000 years ago in China. But it's best known as the drug of choice of the 1960s. During WWII, US troops were given an estimated 200 million amphetamines to fight drowsiness and battle fatigue, and they're still used to fight depression. 10-11pm -- Hooked: Illegal Drugs and How They Got That Way - Opium, Morphine, and Heroin. An examination of the history of the poppy plant and three of its deadliest derivatives. In ancient times, the poppy was considered divine, but in the 19th and 20th centuries, its addicting and lethal qualities caused unprecedented national outrage, social upheaval, and even sparked two wars. Used by the upper classes as patent medicines, heroin became the bane of society when the working class began to use it. In 1914, Federal law banned heroin and opium, and restricted morphine to medicinal use.
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* Congressman Gary Condit (D), who reportedly told police he'd had an affair with Levy, is no longer considered to be a suspect in the case. Condit lost his bid for re-election in the Democratic Primary of 2002.
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