For the month of August HISTORY has compiled a list of programming from, the weird, mysterious to downright voyeuristic content. Welcome to the H-Files.
History’s Greatest Hoaxes – Series 1
Weekdays at 5:30pm AEST from August 1
The world loves a good hoax, and for years, certain men, women and sometimes entire organisations have gone out of their way to trick people into believing things weren’t quite the way they seemed. A number of them were very successful.
Many hoaxes are a direct reflection of their place in time. Sometimes, what started out as harmless fun has had pretty serious ramifications for history as a whole….and for those people that were involved.
History’s Greatest Hoaxes tells these stories through the eyes of the people who set them up and those that shut them down. As each story unfolds, we’ll place them at the centre of the history of the time, explaining how historical circumstances allowed some very unlikely hoaxes to take root.
Treasures Decoded – Series 1
Tuesdays at 6:30pm AEST from August 1
Using forensic testing and experimental archaeology, the series unlocks secrets that have remained hidden for centuries. It sheds new light on moments in history that have long been shrouded in myth-making and controversy.
Secrets, Lies And Atomic Spies
Tuesday August 1 at 10.30pm AEST
In 1943, the “Venona” project found a chink in the supposedly unbreakable code used by the Soviet Union and exposed a vast network of spies operating in the United States.
Inside: Lebanon Hostage Crisis
Wednesday August 2 at 6.30pm AEST
This film goes inside the shadowy world of hostages with journalist Terry Anderson who was held for seven years – longer than any Western hostage in history.
Monsters & Mysteries – Series 3
Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10.30pm AEST from August 2
Enter the mysterious world of the paranormal and follow the eyewitnesses as they re-live their terrifying encounters with Mothman, Sasquatch, Bigfoot and other bizarre creatures.
The Great Math Mystery
Thursday August 3 at 6.30pm AEST
The Great Math Mystery sheds fascinating light on how math works in our brains and ponders the ultimate mystery of why it works so well when decoding the universe.
Conspiracy – Series 1
Thursdays at 7:30pm AEST from August 3
‘Conspiracy’ looks at the incredible theories that claim much of what we are told is ‘history’ is not true.
This week we look at four Conspiracies concerning the Nazis.
History tells us that Hitler killed himself in 1945, but as we will find out, a UK journalist believes he escaped, and that the body found in the bunker was a double. If this sensational theory is right, then where did Hitler go?
In 1946 the Americans sent a battle force, including an aircraft carrier, down to the Antarctic. The official claim was that it was a ‘scientific expedition’, but a self-styled “renegade historian”, suggests a different story. According to his research, the purpose of ‘Operation High Jump’, as it was known, was to destroy a Nazi fortress, deep in the Antarctic ice; a fortress that may have harboured the Führer himself. And what about the gold looted by the Nazis? A private collector of wartime documents, is convinced that at least some of it was stolen by GI’s who returned to America as millionaires.
Finally, did the Nazis really lose the war? Conspiracists theorise that the current European Union is the product of Nazi planning and a meeting of senior Nazis with Germany’s leading industrialists in 1944; a meeting that saw Nazi gold smuggled through Switzerland to be used to build an economic fourth Reich, with Germany at its centre.
Marilyn Monroe: Declassified
Thursday August 3 at 8.30pm AEST
This revealing documentary balances the image of the blonde bombshell icon we thought we knew with information about her revealed in newly declassified FBI and CIA files.
Here is the proof that her troubles were not all the product of her upbringing in an orphanage, abuse of prescription drugs and failed marriages. Beginning with her wedding to Communist leaning playwright Arthur Miller (for whom she converted to Judaism), she was tailed, targeted and tormented by the FBI, CIA and Mafia — and ultimately, through affairs with powerful men, she was unwittingly caught in the middle of a vendetta of lethal forces. Dead at age 36, just months after singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” at JFK’s extravagant party, she was officially listed as a “probable suicide.”
The film makes a powerful case for the idea that the official conclusion was wrong.
Science And The Swastika
Fridays at 6:30pm AEST from August 4
1001 – This four-part series examines the effect Hitler’s regime had on the scientific progress in Germany. This episode looks at the changing role of the doctor in the Third Reich.
1002 – This series examines the effect Hitler’s regime had on scientific progress in Germany. In this episode, we look at the 20th Century’s greatest physicist, Werner Heisenberg, and his failure to build the atom bomb.
1003 – This four part series examines the effect Hitler’s regime had on the scientific progress in Germany. In this episode, we look at four doctors who protested against euthanasia.
1004 – We examine the effect Hitler’s regime had on the scientific progress in Germany. In this episode we explore some of the brutal experiments carried out on prisoners, such as trialling the effects of extreme cold.
National Parks Secrets And Legends – Series 2
Fridays at 8:30pm and 9:00pm AEST from August 4
Mysterious things happen out in the wilderness, past the well-traveled campgrounds, hikes and scenery. The series MYSTERIES AT THE NATIONAL PARKS takes you beyond the ordinary into the virtually unexplored areas of North America’s national parks. From death cults to pre-historic monsters, there’s a surprise behind every remote corner.
Aliens On The Moon
Friday August 4 at 10.30pm AEST
Aliens On The Moon, a compelling 90-minute documentary special, goes beyond the “official” story to examine what really might have happened on the historic day that mankind first set foot on the Moon in 1969.
Presenting astounding never-before-seen archival photographic evidence unearthed from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Aliens On The Moon questions the stories we have been told. What did US astronauts encounter on the lunar surface? And what are governments around the world keeping from us?
Asking probing questions, interviewing authoritative lunar experts including astronaut Buzz Aldrin, analyzing never-before-aired NASA photos and using incredible 3D flybys of the lunar constructions, this sensational special questions whether the Moon is potentially being used as a base, and possibly a staging area, by a mysterious race of alien beings.
Great British Ghosts – Series 2
Saturdays at 1:30am and 2:00am AEST from August 5
In Great British Ghosts Series Two, Michaela Strachan continues her travels around England & Wales to visit the spookiest locations the nation has to offer, uncovering more gems of Britain’s haunted history. From Glastonbury’s infamous George & Pilgrims hotel where monks wander its corridors at night, to the magnificent medieval Berkeley Castle to visit the cell which imprisoned King Edward ll.
Michaela also travels to the Clearwell Caves, which is home to a mysterious ghostly miner. During her stay in the Cotswolds, she visits Wooton Under Edge’s Ancient Ram Inn, which is said to be the scariest place in the country.
This series also sees her travel to Essex where the former Witches prison, known as ‘The Cage’ in St Osyth is based. Then it’s on to Pendle Hill in Lancashire, the scene of the famous Witch trials in 1612, before travelling to Blackpool’s haunted Grand Theatre and Pleasure Beach. Finally, she heads to Derby where she visits the Derby Gaol and the ancient tunnels beneath the Guildhall.
Packed with more stunning locations including Castles, Stately Homes, Country Inns and even a theme park! Season Two picks up exactly where Season One left off. Featuring more fascinating interviews and first-hand accounts from historians, paranormal experts and most importantly, the general public. All have one unique thing in common; they all believe that they have witnessed something supernatural and extraordinary.
Historical Profiles – Edgar Cayce
Sunday August 6 at 11.30pm AEST
Uncover the story of Edgar Cayce, who learned that when he was hypnotised, he could leave his body and journey into the afterlife.
Who Put The Klan In Ku Klux Klan
Monday August 7 at 6.30pm AEST
Archaeologist and Historian, Neil Oliver has often celebrated the disproportionate impact Scots have had on the history of other countries. He’s told before how Scottish ideas and energy helped build the American Dream, but now he explores how Scottish settlers shaped America’s racist nightmare.
In this surprising documentary Neil examines the links between racism today in the Deep South and the Scots who first occupied it. Throughout the 18th Century, hundreds of thousands of Scots emigrated to America. Some came willingly, but many resented being cleared from their land after the failed Jacobite rebellions or by aristocratic landowners. They embraced the opportunity that the arrival of cotton gave to become slave masters and wealthy plantation owners. When their world was threatened, the southern states opted for Civil War rather than give up their slaves.
With attitudes in the South embittered by defeat and fear of the now-freed slaves, six Scottish-American, former Confederate officers formed a fraternal society, and clan became Klan! The oldest and most feared racist hate group in America – the Ku Klux Klan – was born.
At the turn of the twentieth century, a racist novel by another Scots American became a best seller. The famous film based on it, “The Birth of a Nation” revitalised the Klan and its key images of the fiery cross and the hooded horsemen were etched in the American psyche forever.
Race For The Superbomb
Wednesday August 9 at 2.30pm AEST
At the dawn of the Cold War, the United States initiated a top secret program in New Mexico to build a weapon even more powerful than the atomic bomb recently dropped on Japan.
Secrets of the Underworld – Series 1
Wednesdays and Thursdays at 5.30pm AEST from August 9
We bring together all the strands of this fascinating story to provide a clear picture of who and what the Klan are today. How many members do they really have, and realistically how great is their influence?
We investigate the history and origins of the Priory back in Jerusalem in the 12th century, and its connections to the Knights Templar, before exploring where, and how, the Order still operates today.
Hitler and the key officers of the Nazi High Command were all members of three main secret societies which had a strong belief in the occult. Today, it’s believed that several Neo-Nazi groups keep the flame alive.
The ‘Brotherhood’ can trace its roots back to the middle ages when they were used as part of the bloody Inquisition across Europe. Today they still help the church with investigations and even punishments.
The Yakusa are a powerful organisation in Japan who’s influence reach the very highest levels of power. Drawing on their rich Samurai heritage they believe they can operate above and beyond modern laws and government.
The Assassins are a legend in the Muslim world. Part freedom fighters, part special forces and part Islamic fundamentalists, they were set up back in the 11th century in today’s Syria.
How The World Ends – Series 1
Wednesdays at 9:30pm AEST from August 9
World War Weird explains the most mysterious and bizarre events of both the World Wars. In the chaos of battle men claim to have witnessed some of history’s strangest sightings and in the minds of their leaders; Ludicrous military plans have been hatched.
From unexplained sea monsters spotted by U-boat captains to some of the weirdest weaponry of the Wars, each episode will examine the stories in fascinating detail. Despite decades of research by historians and experts, many accounts still remain a complete mystery. Using declassified documents and military historians World War Weird attempts to explain the unexplained and explore the fascinating history associated with some of the darkest periods in human history.
Unsealed: Alien Files – Series 4
Wednesdays from August 9 and Sundays from August 13 at 11:30pm AEST and 12:00am AEST
401 – SECOND SKIN
Many experts believe aliens have visited the Earth for thousands of years, but if we can’t survive space travel without a protective suit, how can they? Are some aliens mere shells or clones with an artificial consciousness? Could this be why many eyewitnesses report both robotic and biological behaviors during close encounters? Join us as we investigate the nature and biology of extra terrestrial second skin.
402 – THE 1952 WAVE
In the spring of 1952, UFO sightings go off the charts. For years, the U.S. government has told the postwar public that UFOs do not exist, but behind the scenes, U.S. Air Force officials are divided. Join us as we investigate the 1952 UFO Wave; a spike in sightings so extreme that the U.S. government is forced to confront the UFO phenomena head on.
403 – THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
In 1969, the U.S. government officially announces it will stop investigating UFOs, but declassified documents reveal that multiple government agencies have been hiding important UFO sightings for decades. Join us as we investigate the origins of the Freedom of Information Act and why top secret government agencies still study UFOs, but keep their findings classified.
404 – THE SPACE FORCE
Since the early 1960s, we’ve experimented with how to travel off planet Earth. Many experts believe America has operated a secret Space Force for decades, with ultra high-tech ships designed for missions beyond Earth’s orbit. Join us as we investigate the militarizing of space and determine if the Earth’s Space Force is prepared to defend our world against an alien attack.
405 – THE SHOOT DOWN ORDER
Since the Jet Age, fighter pilots have been scrambled to intercept UFOs in our skies, but what happens when pilots are sent a Shoot Down Order and can’t complete their mission? Experts suggest that advanced unknown technology is threatening our airspace and there is little we can do to stop it. Join us as we investigate dangerous fighter pilot encounters with UFOs and determine if the fighter jet is enough to defend the security of our world.
406 – SEEING IS BELIEVING
For decades, governments around the world have investigated UFO sightings, often times under an umbrella of secrecy. How are these top-secret studies conducted? Who is called upon to analyze the evidence? And why do many of these governments deny that they study UFOs? Join us as we reveal how governments officially investigate Unidentified Flying Objects and uncover why they keep it a secret from the public.
407 – INSIDE UFOS
Alien abductions are the only types of encounters in which eyewitness testimony can reveal details about the inside of UFOs. Details that can help us understand how aliens live and what they want from the human race. Join us as we investigate alien abduction behavior and prove the existence of extraterrestrials, once and for all.
408 – UNWELCOME VISITORS
If aliens have visited Earth, why are they here and what are they truly after? Investigations have revealed the possibility that aliens are interested in experimenting on not only the human body, but the human mind as well. Join us as we investigate the growing possibility that aliens closely monitor Planet Earth and that our civilization just may be their prized experiment.
409 – ALIEN JOURNEYS
In order to survive mankind must find a way to navigate the galaxy. Alien encounters have offered a possible glimpse into the secrets of interstellar flight, but how would extraterrestrials know how to navigate the vast regions of space? Join us as we investigate how spaceships complete interstellar travel and determine if the future of interstellar flight is within our grasp.
410 – FINDING ALIENS
Rapid advancements in science and technology have given mankind unprecedented access to distant galaxies that could harbor life. And some scientists believe that to find alien life we need look no further than our own backyard. Join us as we investigate evidence of an alien presence here on Earth and determine the possibility that humans and aliens may be one and the same.
411 – UFO PHOTOS
Photographic evidence of Unidentified Flying Objects helped usher in the modern UFO phenomenon. As the world continues to evolve into the digital age, more and more people are capturing images in the sky that they are unable to explain. Join us as we investigate photographic evidence of UFOs.
412 – UFO’s FROM EARTH
Where do UFOs come from? Some people believe they’re from distant galaxies, wormholes, or other planets within the Milky Way. Join us as we investigate the existence of UFOs and determine the possibility that they may be from Earth.
413 – SUMMER OF SAUCERS
In 1947, a series of UFO sightings triggers an unprecedented analysis that propels the UFO phenomenon on to the world stage. Join us as we investigate how the U.S. Air Force comes to the stunning conclusion that UFOs may not be from Earth, but from another world.
414 – POLICE SIGHTINGS
UFO sightings happen almost every day. But in the court of public opinion the most credible witnesses come from law enforcement. Join us as we investigate the most important police sightings of UFOs.
415 – SPACE SHUTTLE ENCOUNTERS
Between 1981 and 2011, NASA’s Space Shuttles flew 135 missions. The Space Shuttle cameras, manned and unmanned, have recorded astounding footage of UFOs that many experts find almost impossible to explain. Join us as we investigate key Space Shuttle encounters.
416 – MASS SIGHTINGS
Many famous UFO sightings occur in remote locations with just a single eyewitness. But some sightings have taken place over large cities with hundreds of witnesses. Join us as we investigate the most famous Mass Sightings of UFOs.
417 – MARS: THE NEW FRONTIER
Scientists have never been closer to proving that life once lived on Mars. But is it still there? And if so, how has it evolved? Join us as we investigate the red planet and the possibility that alien life may live within our own galaxy.
418 – ALIEN COMMUNICATIONS
Scientists and Ufologists are scouring the vast regions of space for signs of extraterrestrial life. But if it takes millions of years for light from distant stars to reach Earth, how long could it take for aliens to answer our call? Or are they contacting us right now? Join us as we investigate how scientists are sending…and receiving alien communications.
419 – ARTIFICIAL ALIEN INTELLIGENCE
Some scientists believe the survival of mankind hinges upon the revolutionary science of Artificial Intelligence. Join us as we investigate the possibility that biological life may just be an evolutionary stepping-stone in a universe dominated by Artificial Alien Intelligence.
420 – FIRST CONTACT
For decades, scientists have been searching for proof that extraterrestrials exist. But just where does alien life exist? And what does it look like? Join us as we investigate just how close we are to First Contact.
JFK: One Pm Central
Thursday August 10 at 6.30pm AEST
This programme delivers a minute-by-minute account of what happened in the CBS newsroom from the moment the President was shot until Walter Cronkite’s emotional pronouncement of his death, one hour and eight minutes later.
Ancient Alien – Series 10
Thursdays at 9:30pm AEST from August 10
Theorists continue to find more compelling clues that extraterrestrials have been visiting planet Earth since ancient times, astronomers are also finding an increasing number of planets in our galaxy that are capable of sustaining life.
Unexplained With Tony Robinson
Fridays at 5:30pm AEST from August 11
Unexplained is presented by Tony Robinson, who will bring a rational approach to bear on the world of psychic mysteries relating to the myths and legends of the past. The series will look at the unexplained stories of British archaeology and for the first time we will assess whether psychic techniques can unlock information about the past in extraordinary ways that conventional historical methods can’t.
Too often, sensational material is either dismissed out of hand by sceptical historians and archaeologists, or absorbed uncritically by gullible believers. This show does neither. It takes information from sources that appear to defy logical explanation and rigorously investigates the facts.
Each episode of Unexplained centres on a case where information about the past has been derived from a source beyond our normal understanding, whether clairvoyance, psychic archaeology, past life regression or some other means. They are striking cases which embody our fascination with the great mysteries of the past.
Friday August 11 at 10.30pm AEST
This documentary attempts to make history by finding once and for all the lost city of Atlantis.
Adventurer-geologist Dr Martin Pepper sets out to prove his theory – that the true Atlantis existed on the Greek island of Santorini, and was destroyed in the biggest volcanic eruption in human history. He will use new scientific evidence – gathered using sonar scans of the sea bed, and microscopic analysis of the ancient landscape. But he must also match Santorini to a series of key clues embedded in the first ever description of Atlantis by the Greek philosopher Plato – from the lost city’s strange ring-shaped design, to the role Egyptian priests played in recording the legend in the first place. His journey will take him across the Mediterranean and out into the Atlantic Ocean. By the end of the program, he reveals the stunning findings which may pinpoint the city and show exactly what it looked like.
Dark Side Of The FBI
Sunday August 13 at 7.30pm AEST
An investigative special on the FBI and its long time director J. Edgar Hoover. Since its foundation the FBI has always been shrouded in mystery but when J. Edgar Hoover (1895 – 1972) took over he made it into one of the most brilliant search engines of our time. Hoover was at the helm of the agency for nearly fifty years and survived eight presidents of the United States and many attempts to get rid of him. Clara and Robert Kuperberg will use documents, archive footage and film clips to show the dark side of the FBI and the lifelong obsessions of its most powerful director in their 55 minute special.
The Berlin Wall: Night The Iron Curtain Closed
Sunday August 13 at 9.30pm AEST
On the morning of 13th of August 1961 the citizens of Berlin wake to a chorus of pneumatic drills and tanks, and discover their capital has been split in two by a barbed wire fence. Although initially, less than 20 people knew of ‘Operation Rose’, it was a bold plan prepared so perfectly that overnight 40 000 military and civilians were mobilised and, using 28 miles worth of stockpiled barbed wire, they sealed off West Berlin.
One western journalist witnessed these events. Adam Kellet-Long, a journalist based in East Berlin, had seen tensions rise across the city throughout the summer of ’61. Having received a tip off on the Saturday evening, he stays up all night and discovers thousands of men building a barbed wire fence through the streets whilst the citizens of Berlin sleep.
Set within the backdrop of the struggle between world’s two biggest political systems, hour by hour, the film follows the events of the night when the communists played one of the biggest bluffs of the 20th Century.
History’s Ultimate Spies’ – Series 1
Mondays and Tuesdays at 5.30pm AEST from August 14
A fierce Protestant, Francis Walsingham rose to become one of history’s greatest ever spymasters and an indispensable servant to Queen Elizabeth I.
A protege of the cunning and ambitious Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell became Henry VIII’s ‘pet dog’ when Wolsey fell from grace and died.
As Walsingham was to Elizabeth, Robert Cecil was to her successor James I. Cecil was a formidable political operator, who devised and established an extraordinary web of spies.
In this episode we explain how the Cardinal operated and examine the role he may have played in the death of the English Duke of Buckingham, James I’s unpopular favourite.
A bitter and very bloody war on the nation’s very own doorstep meant that American Civil War spymasters faced and an even more difficult – and deadly – task than ever.
These are the astonishing stories of Zofia Potocka and Mata Hari. Potocka, the Greek woman born in 1760, who was sold as a slave at the age of 12. And Mata Hari, who was executed as a German spy in 1917.
Monday August 14 at 10.30pm AEST
Using archive footage, interviews and dramatic reconstruction, Killing Oswald explores the mystery of how and why John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald were assassinated in 1963.
History’s Secrets: Vanished From Alcatraz
Tuesday August 15 at 8.30pm AEST
Reveal the fascinating untold stories from the investigation of the legendary escape from Alcatraz including a shocking deathbed confession that led authorities in search of a burial site and a postcard a prison guard received.
Is Anybody Out There?
Tuesday August 15 at 9.30pm AEST
After years of wondering about life outside of Earth, recent discoveries by the Kepler satellite have intrigued and inspired the world, revealing thousands of planets like ours exist where life could be possible – a huge boost to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, known as SETI. It is now calculated that there are around a billion stars in the Milky Way alone that could have a planet like ours, equipped with water and sunlight and therefore a potential for alien life.
There have been several unexplained and intriguing signals detected in SETI experiments, including one unknown signal received from Sagittarius of 72 seconds in the 1970’s! But no search has ever received a confirmed extraterrestrial signal – yet. However, several messages have been sent into space in the hope that they will be picked up by an alien intelligence, and responded to. Will anyone receive these messages? Will we have an answer? But, above all, what will those who receive this message be like?
Debates have surrounded extra-terrestrial life conspiracies for years. From crop circles to Area 51, the Earth’s population has always been fascinated by the possibilities beyond our galaxy. It is clear that from the moment we find real evidence, our conception of the world, life, and our own consciousness would be profoundly transformed – and we are likely to have many more questions than answers. Join the scientists and experts at the forefront of the search as we ask… Is anybody out there?
Tuesday August 15 at 10.30pm AEST
This documentary investigates the background of a secret 1960s USAF space project named MOL (Manned Orbiting Laboratory) and its Russian counterpart ALMAZ.
The Brother Who Sent the Rosenberg’s to the Electric Chair
Tuesday August 15 at 11.30pm AEST
In July 1950 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, both American citizens, were arrested by the FBI for delivering vital information on the US nuclear program to the Soviet Union. They both insisted that they were innocent.
Keep The Cold War Cold
Wednesday August 16 at 6.30pm AEST
On the front lines of the Cold War, on German territory, agents operated every day on both sides of the iron curtain during half a century of tension between the two biggest military powers in history.
CIA, Secret Wars
Wednesday August 16 at 8.30pm AEST
This three-part documentary series takes an in-depth look at the anatomy and functioning of the CIA, its failures (the Bay of Pigs, the Watergate Scandal) and its chronic shortsightedness (inability to foresee the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, the fall of the USSR, or the Sept. 11th attacks).
The film identifies and dissects the CIA’s true power base and gives us a rare inside glimpse at the inner workings of the US intelligence agency and American government.
Cold Case JFK
Thursday August 17 at 6.30pm AEST
Fifty years later, what can science tell us about the Kennedy assassination – and the investigations that followed?
Saturday August 19 at 2.30pm AEST
CITIZENFOUR is a real time thriller, giving audiences an exclusive front-row seat to the moment Edward Snowden changed history with his revelations of widespread government surveillance around the world.
In June 2013, filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald met with Snowden confidentially in Hong Kong, where he handed over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA). As the story breaks, they are forced to manage the raging media storm around them, and find their personal security and that of their loved ones under threat.
CITIZENFOUR not only shows you the dangers of governmental surveillance—it makes you feel them. After seeing this special, you will never think the same way about your phone, email, credit card, web browser, or profile, ever again.
History’s Secrets: CIA Secret Experiments
Saturday August 19 at 11.30pm AEST
We reveal the scope of the US secret MK-ULTRA mind control programmes, and how they also occurred in Canada and Europe. And we examine the claim that RFK’s assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, could have been the product of MK-ULTRA.
The Spy In The Hanoi Hilton
Monday August 21 at 6.30pm AEST
Inside the brutal POW camp called “The Hanoi Hilton,” a secret spy network connected American POWs directly to the Pentagon and the White House. After 40 years, the CIA and former POWs now reveal how incarcerated Americans secretly communicated with Washington DC, directing bombing raids, documenting brutal torture, and coordinating the two largest escape attempts of the entire war.
In 1965, Navy aviator James Stockdale was shot down and captured by North Vietnamese troops. He was taken to Hanoi’s infamous Hoa Lo Prison, which American POWs nicknamed “The Hanoi Hilton.” Inside the prison, Stockdale found himself a victim of brutal, systematic torture. Stockdale eventually connected with the other POWs inside the camp, but he felt it was vital to communicate this torture to the outside world. When finally allowed to write to his wife, he included a message about his treatment in a code of his own making.
For 40 years, the spy communications between American POWs and Washington DC has been kept secret. THE SPY IN THE HANOI HILTON finally reveals a classified story of heroism and triumph in America’s darkest hour.
Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence
Monday August 21 at 8.30pm AEST
Former FBI official Shawn Henry investigates new, shocking evidence that aviator Amelia Earhart was captured by the Japanese military, including a photograph that purports to show Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan alive after their disappearance. Evidence includes documents containing new information indicating that the U.S. government knew that she was in the custody of a foreign power, and may have covered it up.
A Fierce Green Fire
Monday August 21 at 10.30pm AEST
A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet is the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement – grassroots and global activism spanning fifty years, from conservation to climate change.
History’s Secrets: Secrets Of The Moon Landing
Monday August 21 at 11.30pm AEST
In 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first human being to set foot on another planet. Apollo 11’s mission and the five landings that followed were the most costly and dangerous expeditions ever undertaken by any government in history.
Junior And The Swan
Tuesday August 22 at 11.30pm AEST
October 1998. In the last Cold War spy trial, three US citizens were convicted of working as agents for East Germany: Kurt Stand (“Junior”), his wife Theresa Squillacote (“Swan”), and James Clark (“the Professor”). The verdict ended their long careers as “Kundschafter”. Very few Americans sympathised with Communist East Germany. Spying for the country was unthinkable. Why did these three individuals believe they were fighting for a just cause?
Kurt Stand’s parents fled from Nazi Germany to the US where his father became an important source of information for the East German government. He remained undetected all his life. Stand’s parents also put their son in contact with the East German intelligence. “Junior” was instructed to search for collaborators, and he found the “Swan” and the “Professor”. They were trained in spying techniques and expected to infiltrate high levels of the US power structure.
This film was 16 years in the making and developed into a unique story about the fall of the Wall. It meets the agents, their handlers, relatives and friends, and features one of the last interviews with legendary singer Pete Seeger. A spy tale, a story about lost hope and betrayal, mistakes and misjudgements, idealism and naiveté.
Secrets of the Third Reich
Wednesday August 23 at 5.30am AEST
We go into the minds of some of WWII’s most prominent and notorious figures, and uncover the little-known stories that played a large role in determining the fate of WWII and those who fought in it.
Invisible Universe Revealed
Wednesday August 23 at 6.30pm AEST
Twenty-five years ago, NASA launched one of the most ambitious experiments in the history of astronomy: the Hubble Space Telescope. In honour of Hubble’s landmark anniversary, NOVA tells the remarkable story of the telescope that forever changed our understanding of the cosmos and our place in it. But amazingly, when the telescope first sent images back to earth, it seemed that the entire project was a massive failure; a one-millimetre engineering blunder had turned the billion-dollar telescope into an object of ridicule.
It fell to five heroic astronauts in a daring mission to return Hubble to the cutting edge of science. NOVA hears from the scientists and engineers on the front line who tell the amazing Hubble story as never before. This single telescope has helped astronomers pinpoint the age of the universe, revealed the birthplace of stars and planets, advanced our understanding of dark energy and cosmic expansion, and uncovered black holes lurking at the heart of galaxies.
For more than a generation, Hubble’s stunning images have brought the beauty of the heavens to millions, revealing a cosmos richer and more wondrous than we ever imagined. Join NOVA for the story of this magnificent machine and its astonishing discoveries.
The Secret History Of Isis
Thursday August 24 at 6.30pm AEST
The inside story of the creation of ISIS, and how the U.S. missed the many warning signs. The film uncovers the terror group’s earliest plans, the Islamic radicals who became its leaders, and the American failures to stop ISIS’s brutal rise.
I Killed JFK
Thursday August 24 at 7.30pm AEST
A former Mafia insider recently released from prison after 50 years, claims HE shot JFK from the infamous Grassy Knoll.
The conspiracy theories still rage on as to how and why he was killed. Was it Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone? The Mob? The CIA? The FBI? The Cuban Government led by Fidel Castro? The Russians? LBJ? Was it a government cover-up?
Now, for the first time, I KILLED JFK reveals the untold story of the only living person in history who has ever confessed to killing Kennedy, featuring never before seen, recently found, rare footage and in-depth testimony from 20 different respected experts and historians. Hear the bone-chilling account of how it all went down, who was behind the “hit” and the “proof” that he was not only there…he was the one who pulled the trigger.
The Seven New Signs Of The Apocalypse
Saturday August 26 at 4.00am AEST
Are we approaching a biblical ‘end of times’? And if so, will it come from an act of God, or a colossal misstep of man? Get an uncomfortably-close front row seat to some of the most likely apocalyptic scenarios our world faces.
Great British Ghosts – Halloween Special
Saturday August 26 at 11.30pm AEST
In this Great British Ghosts Halloween special Michaela Strachan visits one of the most haunted locations in the whole country, Carnfield Hall near Alfreton in Derbyshire.
It dates back to the 15th Century and has a long and rich history from Mary Queen of Scots, through the English Civil War, into Georgian and Victorian times, right up to the Second World War.
All manner of unexplained noises, thumps and bumps have been heard throughout the main house, including harpsichord music being played in the upstairs parlour, where there had been a music room in the 1700’s.
Another ghost is said to be that of Robert Revell, the Squire of Carnfield in the 1700’s, who was “murdered in his bed by two of his servants”. This story had been lost over the centuries and was found on an old family tree. There are many reports of furniture moving in his bedroom by those who have stayed in this room overnight. On another occasion some guests were locked in the bedroom by an unseen hand while footsteps could be heard outside the door.
Full apparitions of three children in 18th century clothes have been seen playing on the south lawn, before fading into the dusk. They have been seen so regularly that the staff at Carnfield often used to wait for them to appear.
Another story is that of a ghostly coach seen at the back of the Hall by various servants in Victorian times. What they didn’t know was that the Hall was reversed in about 1700 and the main drive to the old front of the house was that on which the coach was seen.
On another occasion a builder once heard someone walk in heavy boots across the attic when he was painting the parlour ceiling, a few inches above him. He was alone in the house at the time and mindful of burglars and had locked himself in.
An amusing local story is that a ‘ghost ball’ takes place at Carnfield every year in the great parlour on the anniversary of a ball given in 1700 by former Squire, Robert Revell, when he was High Sheriff of Derbyshire. Police have often called to the Hall, alerted by concerned passers-by who had seen flickering lights in the windows. No one was ever found except the smell of candle smoke.
Michaela is shown around Carnfield Hall by local paranormal researcher and historian, Richard Felix, who describes the various haunted happenings through the years. She also interviews its current owners, local vet, Graham Oliver & his partner, Heidi Harrison-Price, as well as its former owner, James Cartland. Psychic investigator Michelle Stavert is also gives Michaela her thoughts on what she picks up and conducts a late night séance in the Great Hall.
Taliban Oil For History
Sunday August 27 at 2.30pm AEST
This is the unknown story of secret negotiations between the Taliban and America to build a pipeline through Afghanistan.
Diana: Her Last 10 Days
Sunday August 27 at 3.30pm AEST
Nearly a decade on, the world is still fascinated by Diana and the manner of her untimely death. The legacy she left in the photographs of that time show a woman in her prime – confident, attractive and poised on the brink of a new life. In ‘Diana – Her Last Ten Days In Pictures’ we uncover the truth behind those iconic shots.
Fire In The Sky: The Lockerbie
Monday August 28 at 10.30pm AEST
On the 21st December 1988 Pan American World Airways Flight 103 broke apart in the skies over Scotland, reigning fire and death onto a small town. Its name was Lockerbie. All 259 people on board the Boeing 747 were killed, as were 11 local people on the ground. On the flight were 189 Americans, and among their number were 35 students from a Syracuse University study abroad program.
But this was no accident – a bomb had been planted in the luggage hold, which ripped the plane apart at 31,000 feet scattering the debris over 845 square miles. The Lockerbie disaster would be the deadliest terrorist attack on US civilians until September the 11th 2001.
With unique access to the original news footage, much of which has never been seen before, we piece the story of the Lockerbie disaster together in a way never seen before.
As the fragments of Pan Am Flight 103 hit the town we learn how those in and around this small Scottish town responded in the face of an unprecedented catastrophe – without water the local fire service tackled a blazing inferno, policemen and women had to try to make sense of what had happened, and mountain rescue teams and doctors began scouring the countryside for survivors, a search which sadly turned into a hunt for the bodies of the 259 passengers and crew.
History’s Secrets: Atomic Bomb
Monday August 28 at 11.30pm AEST
The ability to cause nuclear destruction has moved from the domain of major nations to those of small countries and even individuals. How this happened is a story not just of science but of collusion, spies and stolen secrets.
The Codebreaker Who Hacked Hitler
Tuesday August 29 at 9.30pm AEST
Gordon Welchman was one of the original elite codebreakers of Bletchley Park.
Without him, the German Enigma codes might not have been broken, and World War Two could have lasted two more years. His contribution was as great as Alan Turing’s and he should be just as famous, yet very few have heard of him.
But for a forgotten man, his secret legacy is everywhere – from Whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA, to the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and now Islamic State.
At Bletchley Park, Welchman created industrial scale codebreaking – GCHQ and the NSA are direct descendants of his work. He pioneered the use of ‘traffic analysis’ (we know this today as the collection of metadata), which became such a powerful tool during the war, that its use at Bletchley is still classified.
After the war he followed the computer revolution to America. The Cold War provided him with another remarkable opportunity – devising a battlefield communications system – still in use to this day. After a lifetime spent within the inner circles of the Defence establishment, Gordon Welchman published his memoirs in 1982, revealing the secrets of his wartime work. The reaction from the authorities was swift – he lost his job, he was threatened with huge fines, and prison.
One of the creators of the hidden world of mass surveillance, a man who helped win one secret war and fought another, was destroyed by his own breach of security. This is the story of Gordon Welchman, the forgotten genius of Bletchley Park.
The Man Who Knew Too Much
Tuesday August 29 at 10.30pm AEST
Was an Aucklander who was a World War II spy a Cold War turncoat? Using new interviews and clever animation this film explores the story of New Zealand spy, Paddy Costello.
Inside The Taliban
Wednesday August 30 at 7.30am AEST
In Afghanistan, on the same legendary terrain that humbled Alexander the Great and the Mongol armies of Ghengis Khan, the Cold War meets the War on Terror. Inside Afghanistan and the Taliban tells the story of Afghanistan’s transformation – from regal monarchy, to epic, Cold War battlefield, to a no-man’s-land of bloodthirsty warlords – and how decades of hopelessness and despair finally gave rise to one of history’s most notorious regimes… The Taliban. Promising to remake the country into a peaceful Islamic utopia, the Taliban instead presides over one of the darkest periods in Afghanistan’s bleak history.
Under the direction of the charismatic one-eyed Mullah Mohammad Omar, Afghanistan becomes the world’s worst humanitarian disaster and headquarters for international terrorism. All but ignored by America until the fateful attacks of 9-11, the Taliban will be the first casualty of the War on Terror. Swept from power and left for dead, today, the Taliban are back and more brutal than ever. Still led by a fugitive Mullah Omar, the resurgent Taliban movement now threatens to plunge the whole region into chaos.
History’s Secrets: Hunting The Anthrax Killer
Wednesday August 30 at 5.30pm AEST
On September 18, 2001, two anthrax-laced letters were mailed to major media companies in the U.S. Three weeks later, two more letters addressed to prominent senators surfaced. In total, the attacks killed five people and made 17 unwell.
Recently, this case – one of the biggest and most complex criminal investigations in U.S. history, and the only major bio terrorism attacks to date on American soil – finally came to a close.
The FBI concluded that a sole person – government bio-defence researcher and one time lead scientist in the investigations, Bruce E. Ivins – was responsible for the 2001 anthrax mailings. They solved the case…But are they right?
Princess Diana’s Death: Mystery Solved
Wednesday August 30 and Thursday August 31 at 7.30pm AEST
This documentary relies on forensic evidence gathered by Colin McLaren which indicates that both the French and English investigations into the death of Diana were flawed. McLaren interviews many of those involved in the investigation, as well as crucial witnesses, and concludes that a cover-up existed.
The History’s Secrets: Skyjacker That Got Away
Thursday August 31 at 5.30pm AEST
It’s one of the world’s most notorious unsolved skyjackings and missing person cases…and new evidence is leading the FBI to reopen their files with the belief it might finally be solved.
World War Weird – Series 1
Thursdays at 8:30pm AEST from August 10
World War Weird explains the most mysterious and bizarre events of both the World Wars. In the chaos of battle men claim to have witnessed some of history’s strangest sightings and in the minds of their leaders; ludicrous military plans have been hatched.
From unexplained sea monsters spotted by U-boat captains to some of the weirdest weaponry of the Wars, each episode will examine the stories in fascinating detail. Despite decades of research by historians and experts, many accounts still remain a complete mystery. Using de-classified documents and military historians World War Weird attempts to explain the unexplainable and explore the fascinating history associated with some of the darkest periods in human history.
Wednesday August 30 at 11.30pm AEST
This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in America’s national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders, to the growing awareness that the future is bound to the life and health of rivers.
Nancy Wake: Gestapo’s Most Wanted
Monday August 28 at 6.30pm AEST
Headlines announced her as a ‘bombshell, Nazi killer’. The doc-drama Nancy Wake: Gestapo’s Most Wanted includes all the action and intrigue from the life of a real life war heroine.
New Zealand-born Nancy Wake (1912-2011) was a wartime agent, commander and famously blunt raconteur who led a life of extreme adventure in the French resistance. She earned the nickname ‘The White Mouse’ when she hit the top of the Gestapo’s ‘most wanted’ list, but famously slipped through their net.
Featuring New Zealand actress Rachael Blampied as Nancy, this gripping 1 hour saw the production crew making the most of New Zealand locations to recreate WWII France.
As a hunted resistance courier, Wake was forced to flee from occupied France in 1943, leaving her husband Henri Fiocca behind. She embarked on a life of excitement and danger as an agent in Churchill’s secret army, the Special Operations Executive.
The programme includes an interview with her biographer, rugby commentator and former Australian rugby player, Peter Fitzsimons. As well as friend and ex-television reporter, Jonathan Kinsella.
Churchill’s Secret Son
Wednesday August 30 at 6.30pm AEST
This is the fascinating and unlikely story of a most extraordinary man, who was at Winston Churchill’s side from the 1920’s – and for the next 30 years; the man without whom Churchill would not have been Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1940.
Life of Brendan Bracken, born Templemore Ireland 1901, removed to England and over the next 57 years became powerful in both business and politics, notably by being the right hand man to Winston Churchill from 1923 onwards. He was personally so close to Churchill that Bracken was always thought to be Winston Churchill’s illegitimate son.
Enemy Of The Reich
Thursday August 31 at 6.30pm AEST
Throughout the 1930’s, an unimaginable evil tore through Europe, as Hitler’s Third Reich terrorized its way to domination. During these tumultuous times, a young Muslim woman living in Paris found her calling. Noor Inayat Khan grew up in a home that fostered faith and hope. Leading with her heart, she overcame her quiet nature and joined Winston Churchill’s covert operation to give the allies a new chance at victory. This is her story.