A Cross continental quest for mysteries and adventures

by Nickie Wang

Many people believe that Atlantis is not just a mythical city and civilization since it has lived on as a perceived fact of history. But what really happened to this so-called missing continent?

Through dogged reporting, British explorer and journalist Oliver “Olly” Steeds reveals new evidences that could explain the mystery surrounding the legendary island, which is said  to have existed in the Atlantic Ocean in ancient times. The 35-year-old inquisitive history-buff sets out to find the truth behind the disappearance of the city that has tantalized romantics and exasperated explorers ever since.

“When I look into these mysteries, I set myself to get involved with them,” said Olly when he  visited Manila last week to promote Discovery Channel’s newest documentary called Solving History with Olly Steeds.

Olly, who has traveled to more than 100 countries, is on a cross continental mission – globe-trotting quest that spans from Europe to South America—to be Discovery Channel’s new face of adventure.

This June, the critically acclaimed investigative reporter will take Asian viewers to a virtual trip as he goes on an escapade that can only be described as mystery bounty hunter’s dream come true.

Apart from diving to the sea floor ruins of Atlantis to find new evidences of the existence of the fabled city, the British journalist explores the plausibility of one of the most exciting theories surrounding The Ark of the Covenant, a golden chest built to hold the Ten Commandments, which is considered as one of the most important religious artifacts in the world. He also follows the trail of El Dorado along a road of ruins deep into the remote Andes Mountains, an expedition that promises to open a new chapter in the centuries-old hunt for the Lost City of Gold.

“As a kid I’m motivated to do these kinds of adventures and be like Indiana Jones,” Olly stated during the press preview of the documentary-series held at the Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center in SM Mall of Asia.

Part Indiana Jones, part Jason Bourne, Olly will do almost anything for a good story. He employs hidden cameras, holds clandestine meetings with smugglers, treks to remote locations to see relics, and throws himself into local rituals to discovers some lost, ancient mummies from different cultures.

“Last year, I had lived in the jungle. It was an extraordinary experience living with different tribes,” Olly said pertaining to series he hosted that impelled him to live in West Papua, New Guinea for a year. This year, Olly is busy with an Asian tour sharing his adventures he gets from traveling the globe to dig up the truth behind some of the world’s biggest mysteries.

On the new series, Olly also travels to ancient cemeteries and Nazcan cities that are curiously off-limits to camera crews. He explores underground tunnels used in psychedelic cult initiations and tries to venture into the spirit world himself to unravel the mystery of the Nazca Lines.

“There are three things that are always part of these great adventures that can be related to Indiana Jones: discovering things; getting into trouble, which I can very much relate to; and stealing things,” Olly said, “But of course we didn’t steal anything while documenting the series.”

In one of the episodes, Olly uncovers exciting new evidence that could lead to the discovery of the infamous Amber Room, which was made entirely from carved amber, gems and gold. It is said to be the pride of the Russian czars before the Nazis looted the treasure in 1941.

In relation to the Nazis, Olly discovers some lost, ancient mummies from different cultures that were recently re-found in a German museum and unravels how they were used by Hitler’s Secret Service for the Nazi’s ultimate propaganda mission.

On the final episode, viewers will see the Olly explores the horrors of prison life and tests first-hand whether tales of great escapes could be true in Devil’s Island—the most notorious and vicious prison complex ever constructed.

“Well, adventures are for the incompetence. It sounds stupid but that’s how we learn and discover things,” the real-life Indiana Jones explained.

Solving History with Olly Steeds will be shown every Monday starting June 28 at 9 p.m., encores are on Tuesday and Saturday at 4 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.

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