Great Mysteries and Myths of the Twentieth Century

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TLC Premiered Jan 01, 1998 Unknown

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  • Season 1
    • The Glenn Miller Mystery
      1/1/98
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      Just after D-Day, America's favourite uniformed band-leader took off from a fog-bound British airfield on his way to Normandy. According to the official version of events, his plane never arrived. However, a closer inspection of the details reveals that his co-passenger on the trip may have been involved in black market trading in certain medical supplies. The official records show that no aircraft took off from that particular airfield on the day in question. Was he on another aircraft and was he subsequently sighted in Paris? Was his death nothing whatever to do with an air accident?moreless
    • The Titanic Mystery
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      She was the greatest technological wonder of her age. A luxury hotel with enough space to accommodate millionaires in first-class comfort and hundreds of immigrants seeking a new life in America. She was branded as unsinkable but corners had been cut in her construction, and her Captain was determined to set a new record. She only carried life boats for half her passengers, such was the economy with which she had been built. Her watertight compartments did not reach to top of the ship - she was a disaster waiting to happen.moreless
    • Religious Mysteries
      1/1/98
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      Throughout the world, the Church has for centuries revered statues of the Virgin Mary. To some of these statues, people have ascribed supernatural powers and in some cases the statues themselves have been seen to perform miraculous acts. Statues have allegedly moved, cried, spoken and in some cases even bled. Are these figments of the imagination and is there any truth in the healing powers which some of these statues are said to possess?moreless
    • Ghost Mysteries
      Ghost Mysteries
      Episode 23
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      During the Twentieth Century, man has had unprecedented access to ever-increasing technology including equipment to detect alleged supernatural happenings. Despite this, people continue to experience - "ghosts" and other supernatural apparitions without being able to photograph them conclusively or prove their existence. This programme examines the most celebrated cases with the most reliable sightings and seeks to establish whether there are more rational explanations for the appearance of these mysterious sightings.moreless
    • The UFO Mysteries
      The UFO Mysteries
      Episode 22
      1/1/98
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      Since the testing of the atomic bomb, most countries on earth have reported extensive sightings of unidentified flying objects, eighty per cent of which can be explained by man made or natural phenomena. Of the twenty per cent which are unexplained, many are verified by airforce pilots, airline pilots and radar recordings. In the USA, it is widely believed that actual craft and in some cases their occupants, have been secreted away for fear of public panic. With the aid of computer graphics and detailed reconstructions, this programme examines the likelihood of extra terrestrial visitations to the earth including the motives and likely purposes of such visits if indeed they have happened.moreless
    • The Apollo 13 Mystery
      1/1/98
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      After NASA put men on the moon, it was determined to follow up this success by making such visits a regular occurrence. After an uneventful launch, the crew of Apollo 13 were well on the way when a small electric motorised fan ignited their oxygen reserve and blew a gaping hole in the side of the command module. Only by working with mission control, who duplicated the accident on earth, were the three astronauts able to scrape home by the most slender of margins. This is their story.moreless
    • The Commander Crabb Mystery
      1/1/98
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      During WWII, Lieutenant Commander Buster Crabb, was the Royal Navy's most daring expert in countering attacks by enemy frogmen. His most notable successes took place against Italian frogmen in the Mediterranean where he successfully led a team of British frogmen using underwater two-man 'Chariots'. After the war, he became surplus to requirements until Mr Kruschev visited Britain in a top-secret Russian cruiser. Whilst illegally inspecting her hull, in Portsmouth Harbour, he mysteriously disappeared. A year later, two, not one, headless and handless corpses surfaced near Portsmouth - was one of them Buster Crabb? Or were neither of them? Was he taken prisoner? - and if so, who did the bodies belong to?moreless
    • The Donald Campbell Mystery
      1/1/98
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      In 1966, Donald Campbell was the world's fastest man on water and on land. He was following in the footsteps of his illustrious father, Sir Malcolm Campbell, who had died many years earlier in a similar record breaking attempt. Desperately short of money in an era which pre-dated sponsorship, Donald Campbell was determined, despite personal problems and an ageing boat, to break his own record and exceed 300 mph on Coniston Water. His first run exceeded the record but he started back before his wash had time to clear. Was it an accident?moreless
    • The Mystery of Korean Flight 007
      At the end of the Cold War, a Korean Airlines Jumbo Jet, Flight 007, left Anchorage Alaska bound for the South Korean capital of Seoul. Instead of an uneventful journey, the Jumbo Jet strayed northwards over a Russian missile firing range where a top secret missile was due to be tested. Belatedly, the Russian airforce scrambled to intercept what they thought was a US spy plane invading their airspace. Without warning, the Korean airliner was shot down with tragic loss of life. What was behind this incredible mishap? - and was flight 007 shot down by accident or design?moreless
    • The Chernobyl Mystery
      1/1/98
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      On 26 April 1986, in the Pripyat region of the Soviet Union, there occurred the worst nuclear accident in history. Thirty-one people died in the explosion and fire and over 100,000 were evacuated from the area. The system in which the plant played a central plant, was riddled with secrecy, complacency and massive incompetence. So flawed were its procedures, that the catastrophe which overwhelmed Chernobyl took place during a routine test. This is the detailed build up to how that disaster happened.moreless
    • The Loch Ness Mystery
      1/1/98
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      In March 1933, heavy roadworks disturbed the peace on the north shore of Loch Ness - Scotland's longest and deepest Loch. Shortly afterwards, two local residents saw an enormous black body move into the water and across the surface of the Loch. Since then, there have been many sightings of what appears to be a dinosaur like creature weighing in excess of five tons. With the help of computer graphics and virtual reality, this programme examines the sightings in detail and shows rare footage, taken by a Canadian couple in 1989 with a video camera, which has to be seen to be believed.moreless
    • The Manhattan Mystery
      1/1/98
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      At dawn on 16 July 1945, a gigantic fireball, brighter than several suns, burst off the New Mexico desert fusing the sand to glass and exploding with the force of 20,000 tons of TNT. The race to build the atomic bomb had been won. The story of how America and Britain beat Germany and Japan to the ultimate punch is a story of spying, intrigue and espionage.moreless
    • The D-Day Mystery
      The D-Day Mystery
      Episode 14
      1/1/98
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      D-Day was the largest amphibious operation ever mounted in the history of world conflict. It not only transported hundreds of thousands of men and their equipment onto the beaches of Normandy, but also supplied their fuel, stores and supplies on a logistical basis never previously seen. Hitler was completely taken by surprise - the result of several major deceptions involving dummy armies, mythical bomber squadrons and the "secret plans" supposedly discovered in a briefcase.moreless
    • The Odessa Mystery
      The Odessa Mystery
      Episode 13
      1/1/98
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      SS is the abbreviation of Schutzstaffeln, the German for protection squads. This started life as Hitler's personal bodyguard during the early days of the Nazi party. From these small beginnings, the SS evolved into the most powerful arm of the Nazi administration, under the personal control of Heinrich Himmler. By the end of the war, the Nazis were defeated and members of the SS on the run for their involvement in the Final Solution. The Odessa was the organisation which enabled many to escape to South America. Many evaded justice but some of its most celebrated escapees were tracked down including Adolf Eichmann and Klaus Barbie.moreless
    • The Mata Hari Mystery
      1/1/98
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      Nearly eighty years after her death Mata Hari remains the 20th Century's most powerful icon of female betrayal. Legend has it that she was the exotic spy who used sex to secure military secrets. She was the forerunner of a small army of silent screen vamps who preyed mercilessly on their besotted male victims. The myths which surrounded her extraordinary life and death were largely of her own creation. They also owed much to the motives of the men who arrested, tried and executed her for espionage. But was Mata Hari ever a spy? Or was she innocent of the crimes with which she was charged in the darkest days of the First World War? Was Mata Hari the spy who never was?moreless
    • The Rudolf Hess Mystery
      1/1/98
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      In May 1941, Nazi Germany seemed triumphant. Hitler was making his plans to attack Russia when suddenly his deputy flew to Scotland on a mysterious mission. Was it to make peace with Britain? Was it to set up a fifth column? Whatever the reason, Hess was found hanged in his cell in Spandau Prison in 1987 as the age of 93. Why would the Russians not release him? Was he murdered to prevent the reason for his visit ever becoming known?moreless
    • The Pearl Harbor Mystery
      1/1/98
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      By the time America entered the war in December 1941, Britain had been at war with Germany for two years. Japan and Germany as strong allies, both held sophisticated electronic coding equipment with which to transmit their secret military traffic. Since 1939, Britain had been able to read most of the German and Japanese codes and may have known of the Japanese plan to attack Pearl Harbor. Did Churchill know of the attack several days beforehand and was President Roosevelt told in time? Is this why the US aircraft carriers sailed from Pearl Harbor before the fatal attack?moreless
    • The Patton Mystery
      1/1/98
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      On 10 December 1945, the most controversial soldier of the Second World War was riding through Germany in his jeep. On his way to a pheasant shoot near Mannheim, the great American General was involved in an automobile accident. After a week in hospital, he seemed to be on the road to recovery but suddenly died in his sleep. Had he been helped on his way to prevent further embarrassment at a time of growing tension in post war Europe? Could Stalin's agents have been involved?moreless
    • The Amelia Earhart Mystery
      1/1/98
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      Amelia Earhart was the all American heroine of the 1930s. Her barnstorming flights across America, the Atlantic and the rest of the world had inspired a generation, but suddenly, on the last leg of her Pacific crossing on her ultimate round-the-world trip she and her co-pilot disappeared over Japanese occupied territory. Had she been on a spying mission for the US Government? Why were no traces of her aircraft found? Had she been captured by the Japanese and then executed for her part in an elaborate, intelligence gathering mission? - or was she simply the victim of exhaustion and a navigation error?moreless
    • The Gallipoli Mystery
      1/1/98
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      By 1915, trench warfare in Europe was deadlocked and the Allies decided to try and defeat Germany by the backdoor. The plan was to attack the weak Turkish empire in the Middle East. By using Naval power and an amphibious landing, the Allies hoped to seize control of the Peninsula of Gallipoli at the entrance to the Black Sea. However, what actually happened was an unmitigated disaster. This programme takes the viewer behind the scenes to explore the reasons for the failure of the Dardanelles campaign.moreless
    • The Comet Mystery
      1/1/98
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      After the invention of the jet engine during World War II, Britain raced ahead to produce the world's first jet liner - the Comet. It was rushed into service and after many successful trips to Africa, India and the Middle East it suddenly started to crash in mysterious circumstances. After exhaustive underwater searches, the fuselage of one particular aircraft was painstakingly tested to the point of destruction. What was found dictated the shape of all subsequent aircraft windows.moreless
    • The Tutankhamun Mystery
      1/1/98
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      "At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping form the chamber causing the candle flame to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues and gold - everywhere the glint of gold.? With these words, Howard Carter described the greatest archaeological discovery ever made. Nothing before or since has equalled the splendour and magnificence of the tomb he had uncovered in Egypt's Valley of the Kings. But did the Pharaoh's tomb hide a darker secret which was to claim the lives of twenty-one victims?moreless
    • The Red Baron Mystery
      1/1/98
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      To the men he led, he was simply der Rittmeister - The Captain. To the world, he was know as ?The Red Baron' - the epitome of the fighter ace and the stuff of legend. He shot down more enemies of the Fatherland then any other of Germany's pilots during World War I. On 21 April 1918, he was shot down. He managed to land his tri-plane, but was dead of his wounds when found by Australian infantry. Had they killed him? Or was it a bullet from one of the RAF fighters which were chasing him in hot pursuit?moreless
    • The Anastasia Mystery
      1/1/98
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      When Nicholas II, Alexandra and the Russian royal children were executed by the Bolsheviks at Ekaterinberg at the end of World War I, there was talk of not all the children being killed. In particular, one daughter - Anastasia - was said to have survived. In the mid-twenties, a young woman was fished from a German canal suffering from amnesia. Her name was Anna Anderson and she became the possible claimant to the Romanov fortune. Many believed her stories of the Russian court, but it was only after her death and the use of DNA sampling that the full truth emerged.moreless
    • The Hindenburg Crash Mystery
      1/2/98
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      During the 1930s, Hitler's massive Hindenburg airship was the pride of Nazi Germany. Able to carry sixty passengers across the Atlantic in great luxury, it represented a major technological feat of its age. However after an electric storm, the giant airship attempted to land at Lakehurst New Jersey, one and a half hours late at its mooring mast. Suddenly, the entire ship burst into flames with the loss of most of the passengers and crew. Recently discovered archive film from inside the airship shows the first indication of an explosion. Was it an accident? Or sabotage by an anti-Nazi member of the crew who misjudged the time setting on his bomb?moreless
    • The Lindbergh Baby Mystery
      1/1/98
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      Charles Lindbergh was the first man to fly across the Atlantic Ocean single handed. His celebrity soon produced an attractive wife and young son who kept the family in the newspaper headlines. Mysteriously, on the night of 1 March 1932, twenty-month-old Charles Lindbergh Junior was snatched from his bedroom cot at the family mansion in Hopewell, New Jersey. Despite ransom notes and the payment of money, the young child was found murdered and the trail led to a German carpenter, Bruno Richard Hauptmann, who went to the electric chair for the killing. However, he must have had accomplices. Who was the mysterious Isidor Fisch? Why did Lindbergh's parlour maid commit suicide after police interrogation? Who built the kidnapper's ladder? Should three people have been executed - not one?moreless
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