DATELINE: Sleeping Trillion Bucks
More gold and art treasures hidden by a rapacious Japanese general? Yes, and this time it’s somewhere on an island in the Philippines where nutcases go hand-in-hand with gold-diggers. We did not see any Laginas associated with this History channel’s latest example of a series bit by the Goldbug.
The first episode is called “Death on the Mountain.”
The optimists at History Channel are calling this Season 1. Or, perhaps they are pessimists who expect multiple season frustrations. In any case, the betting is that we will have hit the mother-lode of ratings. So, gold in the logo is running downhill like lava.
General Yamashita of the Emperor’s army buried all kinds of goodies with booby traps that only American experts can discover and disarm. Well, if that isn’t hubris, then what motivates the diggers on Oak Island?
Ostensibly, there is a trillion dollars in modern terms of loot. In the first episode, they do find a tunnel and poison gas bottles ready to crack open with a feather’s touch. Previous treasure hunters unwittingly set these off and died.
The Lost Gold of World War II has only been missing for 75 years or so, unlike the Oak Island treasure that clocks in at 200+ years. Yet, there is clear evidence that the Luzon treasure is priceless.
The hunters of loot are Americans of different generations and races, but lifelong seekers who seem to know about something most Americans never heard of. They insist Roosevelt, Truman, and Churchill, all knew about it, as does the CIA.
They locate a “witness” named Grandpa, for the obvious reason he is ancient. He is the parallel to the late Dan Blankenship of Oak Island: Grandpa is a witness who saw the activity as a boy in the 1940s. He points to dangerous expanse that might take ten seasons to traverse, which is great if the series is a hit.
We are indeed in the territory of one proverbial needle in a haystack. The island has nearly 200 reported treasure sites.
Old film clips are nicely colorized, and there is much history here to learn, and that makes this program at least worth additional attention.
Action is fairly fast-paced initially, with modern equipment and technology enhancing the search: the cast also has a researcher at Stanford, finding old maps and matching to satellite views of the terrain.
This series looks like a goodie! We are hooked already.