Mystery Files

Saturday 10:00 PM on Investigation Discovery Premiered Mar 06, 2010 Between Seasons


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  • Season 1 (19)
  • Abraham Lincoln: Sneak Peek



    Over time, Abraham Lincoln's status has risen to almost mythic proportions, but what's the real story behind the legend?
  • Zorro

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 19 -

    Zorro is one of the most recognizable heroes in popular legend. Tales of his double-life, romancing, and swordsmanship in defense of the helpless have made him the stuff of great novels, films, and TV. But scholars have debated which figure from history, if any, inspired the character. Recently, 17th-century records from the Spanish Inquisition have revealed a candidate: Irishman William Lamport. Visiting Mexico on a spy mission for the King of Spain, Lamport ultimately started a revolution to liberate the local Indians from corrupt Spanish rulers.moreless
  • Captain Kidd

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 18 -

    Legend has painted him as a cunning, murderous pirate, with treasures buried on both sides of the Atlantic. He stands alongside Blackbeard as one of history’s most notorious sea bandits, but does he deserve the title? New evidence suggests that Kidd’s trial and execution may have been a sham. Was he a scapegoat offered up by English nobles to appease a powerful global corporation? Hear the evidence and decide for yourself whether this once respected sea captain was indeed a pirate or the victim of a government plot.moreless
  • Alexander the Great

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 17 -

    He conquered the known world and created one of the largest empires in history. After Alexander the Great’s death, pilgrims visited and knelt before his remains until, in the space of a generation, all trace of his tomb vanished. With no archaeological evidence indicating the location of the lost tomb, historians are forced to examine ancient eyewitness accounts and follow the most bizarre of theories in their quest to locate the missing king.moreless
  • Princes in the Tower

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 16 - 3/11/12

    In 1483, the rightful king of England, 12-year-old Prince Edward V, and his younger brother Richard disappeared from the Tower of London amid rumors of murder. For more than 500 years, Richard III has been tagged as the orchestrator of this atrocity. However, new evidence reveals the case against Richard is surprisingly weak. Was he the victim of Tudor propaganda? Join the investigation as historical investigators uncover the motives of two alternative suspects of this infamous crime that altered the course of British history.moreless
  • Marco Polo

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 15 - 3/11/12

    Famous Italian explorer Marco Polo is credited with being the first Westerner to travel to China and for bringing spaghetti back to Europe. But growing doubt among scholars suggests that his real-life adventure may be a mythological legend. The famous account of his travels wasn’t even written by Marco Polo but rather by an Italian romance novelist. Join scholars as they comb the streets of Venice and pore over ancient Chinese texts in search of evidence that proves the great voyager ever existed.moreless
  • The Virgin Queen

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 14 - 3/4/12

    In 1560, an English nobleman's wife is found mysteriously dead. But she is no ordinary woman. She is the wife of Robert Dudley, reputed lover of Elizabeth I, the most powerful woman in Europe. Did Dudley murder his wife to marry "The Virgin Queen" and become king? Did Elizabeth I, like her father Henry VIII, kill in order to clear the way for marriage? Or did the wife, depressed and possibly cancer-stricken, take her own life? Join us as we use modern crime scene techniques to shed new light on this scandalous medieval mystery.moreless
  • Joan of Arc

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 13 - 3/4/12

    Fighting through intense pain and miraculously recovering from her wounds, Joan of Arc led the French army to numerous victories in the 100 Years’ War. How did she do it? Was she driven by God, an incredible strength of mind, or was it a brain disorder? Scientists, historians and religious psychologists study the extraordinary life and deeds of this French heroine. Using modern technology and ancient evidence, they attempt to explain how a 19-year-old managed to overcome many hardships and obstacles to become a legendary saint.moreless
  • Saladin

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 12 - 2/28/12

    Saladin and Richard the Lionheart’s legendary conflicts in Jerusalem have come to represent The Crusades. However, Saladin’s philosophies, tactics, and actions would live on for centuries after this Holy War ended. The Muslim warrior’s legacy of mercy and honor inspired the medieval code of European chivalry, but what exactly inspired Saladin? Through the accounts and diaries of his closest advisers, we uncover the mysteries of the compassionate sultan and reveal new discoveries about his remarkable relationship with Richard I.moreless
  • King Arthur

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 11 - 2/28/12

    Camelot. Excalibur. The Knights of the Round Table. The Holy Grail. The legend of King Arthur conjures up romantic images of chivalry and adventure. This fable has grown over the centuries, and has thrilled millions throughout the world. But is it all myth? Many historians believe that the character of King Arthur is based on not one, but two men: the son of a high-ranking Roman ruler and a 5th-century fighter, who defended Britain against Saxon invaders. Painstaking research details how these two war heroes may have helped create an icon.moreless
  • Pope Joan

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 10 - 2/21/12

    In the 9th Century, Pope Joan wore the Holy robes for more than two years before her deception was dramatically revealed. At least that’s what legend and hundreds of medieval records claim. The story of her papal rise and fall – when she gave birth in public on a street in Rome – has plagued the Catholic Church and confounded researchers for centuries. Did Pope Joan really exist, and if not, who created her and why? Historians and theologians analyze the archives and investigate the artifacts to answer this gender-bending mystery.moreless
  • Taj Mahal

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 9 - 2/21/12

    The Taj Mahal in Agra, India is a World Wonder, famed for its near perfect symmetry. It is the world's greatest tourist attraction, and arguably the greatest public declaration of lost love ever created. Over the last 350 years, it has spawned numerous tall tales, perhaps the most famous myth of all: that its creator, the heart-broken Moghul ruler Shah Jahan planned to build a black marble twin of the Taj. Is this one of the greatest lost buildings in history or Indian legend? Join us as scholars, archeologists and excavators dig up the truth.moreless
  • Sitting Bull

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 7 - 1/29/12

    The U.S. Army suffered one their most humiliating defeats at the Battle of Little Bighorn. They needed a villain and Lakota tribal chief Sitting Bull became their man. More than 130 years later, he is still credited with masterminding the largest massacre of U.S. soldiers in the fight for the West. But unlike the legend, the real-life Sitting Bull took no part in the battle. Instead, it was the individual ability of each Lakota warrior and George Custer’s own miscalculations that led to the historic outcome. Witness the true story of Sitting Bull, finally revealed.moreless
  • Lawrence of Arabia

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 6 - 1/29/12

    The 1962 film “Lawrence of Arabia” won seven Oscars, including one for Best Picture. Its subject, English soldier T.E. Lawrence, was just as celebrated in real life, seen by many as a military genius and a romantic war hero. Yet some believe he is one of the greatest liars of the 20th Century. Join historians and battlefield archaeologists as they uncover unique evidence from newly found, top-secret documents and a cutting-edge archaeological investigation. For the first time in nearly a century, the debate over T.E. Lawrence can finally be resolved.moreless
  • Hitler

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 6 - 1/22/12

    On October 14th, 1918, Private Adolf Hitler suffers a poison gas attack in the trenches of the Western Front. Blinded, he is taken to a psychiatric military hospital, where he makes a fateful decision: to go into politics. Scholars and military psychologists now believe that this, and all of Hitler’s future decisions, were colored by the traumatic experience. By using the latest neurological research on shellshock victims and exploring a top-secret American report, we examine how this quiet soldier transformed into a monster.moreless
  • Abraham Lincoln

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 5 - 1/22/12

    Take an honest look at Honest Abe as Lincoln scholars strip away the saintly image of our 16th president. Abraham Lincoln’s now legendary status obscures his true personality, but archival documents now reveal his road to presidency was not as humble as we once believed. And the man the exposed is one who despised his upbringing, taunted his rivals, and nearly poisoned himself as he battled depression.moreless
  • Birth of Christ

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 4 - 1/15/12

    It is perhaps the world's most recognized and celebrated of birthdays, so how is the birth of Christ so full of inaccuracies? There is no mention in the New Testament that the visitors from the east were kings. The presence of angels, shepherds, even Joseph himself have also been brought into question. Even the month and exact year are widely disputed among leading academics and theologians. Is there one true story? Join us as we strip away more than 2,000 years of storytelling and separate the fact from the fiction.moreless
  • Isaac Newton

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 3 - 1/15/12

    In 1727, just weeks before his death, Isaac Newton burned volumes of his own manuscripts. What did those papers contain? After spending much of his life studying the ancient art of alchemy, the codes of the Bible, and trying to predict the apocalypse, did he discover something the world was not prepared to face? Modern psychiatrists suggest that this act, along with other strange behaviors, was caused by a sickness that not only made him paranoid and obsessive, but also explained his genius.moreless
  • Leonardo da Vinci

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 2 - 1/8/12

    In an age when advancements in art, technology, architecture, and astronomy were exploding throughout Italy, Leonardo da Vinci’s contributions are considered to be amongst the greatest. History tells us that along with "The Mona Lisa," da Vinci was a genius inventor, whose ideas for the tank, the diving suit, and the helicopter were centuries ahead of his time. But new evidence suggests a different story. Join us as we open the Mystery Files on this medieval mastermind and determine where history ends and hyperbole begins.moreless
  • Pilot

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 1 - 3/6/10

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