Mystery Files: Series 1
Abraham Lincoln. Adolf Hitler. The birth of Christ. The death of Joan of Arc. We know that these seminal people and events helped shape our history, and we know their stories well…or do we? Much of our information about the last 2,000 years is based on unreliable sources, old technology, and antiquated theories. Not anymore. Take a journey around the world as modern historians, scientists and scholars investigate ancient artifacts, documents and locales to answer age-old questions about our puzzling past.
Part 1: Nostradamus
Enter the secret world of medieval astrology to determine whether Nostradamus was a man ahead of his time or a just a clever charlatan.
Part 2: Leonardo da Vinci
Join us as we open the mystery files on medieval mastermind Leonardo da Vinci, and determine where history ends and hyperbole begins.
Part 3: Isaac Newton
Weeks before his death, Isaac Newton burned volumes of his own manuscripts. What did those papers contain and can we explain this erratic behavior?
Part 4: Birth of Christ
The true details of Christ’s birth have become a holy war of words. Join us as we strip away more than 2,000 years of storytelling, and separate the fact from the fiction, regarding the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.
Part 5: Abraham Lincoln
Take an honest look at Honest Abe as Lincoln scholars strip away the saintly image of our legendary 16th president to reveal a much darker past.
Part 6: Hitler
Did a weapon of World War I transform Hitler from a quiet soldier into a furious dictator?
Part 7: Lawrence of Arabia
For the first time in nearly a century, the debate over T.E. Lawrence, English soldier and star of “Lawrence of Arabia” can finally be resolved.
Part 8: Sitting Bull
Truth and legend do battle at Little Bighorn. By revisiting the battlefield and discovering clues in oral history passed down through generations, historians reveal Sitting Bull’s true story.
Part 9: Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal’s black marble twin: one of the greatest lost buildings in history, or legend? It’s a symbol of India, a tomb, a monument to love, and a baffling mystery.
Part 10: Pope Joan
Did a female Pope really exist? Historians and theologians analyze archives and investigate the artifacts to answer this gender-bending mystery.
Part 11: King Arthur
Camelot. Excalibur. 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?
Part 12: Saladin
The crusading Muslim warrior Saladin’s legacy of mercy and honor inspired the medieval code of European chivalry, but what exactly inspired Saladin? In battle, he earned respect from Muslim admirers and Christian foes alike.
Part 13: Joan of Arc
Discover the truth behind Joan of Arc, the martyr, saint, knight, and feminist champion. Using technology and ancient evidence, scientists attempt to explain how Joan of Arc managed to overcome hardships to become a legendary saint.
Part 14: The Virgin Queen
A suicide, accident or murder? An ancient royal scandal involving Queen Elizabeth I gets a modern day examination. We use modern crime scene techniques to shed new light on a scandalous medieval mystery of an English noble murder.
Part 15: Marco Polo
Marco Polo: A great adventure or a great fabrication? Join scholars as they comb the streets of Venice and pore over texts in search of evidence that proves that the great voyager ever existed.
Part 16: Princes in the Tower
In 1483, Prince Edward V and his younger brother, Richard, disappeared from the Tower of London amid rumors of murder. Join our investigation into this mystery.
Part 17: Alexander the Great
How could one of the most hallowed tombs in history simply disappear? Historians are forced to examine ancient eyewitness accounts and follow bizarre theories in their quest to locate the missing Alexander the Great.
Part 18: Captain Kidd
Hear the evidence and decide for yourself whether Captain Kidd, once a respected seafarer, was indeed a pirate or the victim of a government plot.
Part 19: Zorro
Before he was a TV and movie star, he was a 17th-century Mexican hero. Zorro is one of the most recognizable heroes in popular legend. But scholars ask which figure, if any, inspired the character?