That Guy: UFOs and Bigfoot - the Kiwi connection

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In just a couple of months you will be able to join me, the explorer and "expert" and "proud New Zealander", as I take a long, hard look at the world's greatest mysteries and in the process, myself. Armed with an internet archaeology degree, a healthy dose of scepticism and a credit card, I will embark on a quest that will take me and my hand-picked team far from home, to some of the most intriguing, remote, and physically challenging locations in the world.

From Stonehenge to Machu Picchu, the viewer will be able to travel with me, metaphorically and in economy class, every step of the way, witnessing first-hand my fresh and sometimes unorthodox approach to archaeology, science and interview techniques.

I will dig for the truth, whether it's trekking through South America in search of El Dorado, the lost city of gold, taking part in expeditions to net Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster, or asking the hard questions at the UFO capital of the world, Roswell.

Until now, nobody overseas has been able to solve these age-old mysteries, so I believe its time to give the Kiwis a shot!

With Kiwi know-how, I will meet and challenge many of the "acclaimed experts" on matters as diverse as the pyramids, the Bermuda triangle and UFOs.

And I will dare to dig deeper than previous documentaries, and bring a "let's wrap this up once and for all" sort of approach to all my investigations. Incidentally, that is a phrase you will probably hear quite a bit throughout the series. Regardless of who I am interviewing, I will play the devil's advocate to an annoying degree.

Amidst all the exciting and exotic travel and my attempts to shed new light on these age-old international mysteries, I will endeavour to find a New Zealand connection in just about everything I explore. Often these connections may be surprisingly solid but more often than not they will be incredibly flimsy at best, and clearly a result of having been funded by TVNZ.

It takes a unique talent to be able to find a New Zealand connection with mysterious history that is sometimes thousands of years old but, if it can be done, I believe I am the man to do it.

My doco team will camp for a number of days in the northern Californian wilderness. This is Bigfoot's backyard, but probably of more concern is the fact that it is also the home of many more tangible beasts such as grizzly bears, wild cats and some very stupid and possibly inbred people. I will talk to many people who claim to have had first-hand encounters with the legendary Bigfoot, including a guy called Dan who maintains he was raped repeatedly by the beast back in 1964.

As promised, we also meet New Zealanders who have had first-hand experience with Bigfoot, specifically the Thompson family from Dunedin who claim their camper van was attacked by Bigfoot while on holiday just north of San Francisco - an attack that regrettably wasn't covered by their vehicle insurance package.

A crashed flying saucer? An alien base at Area 51? The story of the Roswell UFO Incident has it all: Government conspiracy, alien bodies, cover-ups and now a shocking New Zealand connection.

The truth about Roswell may be "out there", but it has been shrouded by faulty memories, hoaxes - and sometimes deliberate lies.

My team will head to New Mexico and attempt to get to the bottom of the most famous story in UFO history.

I will interview some of the original eyewitnesses from the 1947 incident, and talk to Professor Stanton Friedman, the world-renowned Ufologist responsible for exposing the story in the 1970s.

Naturally, we will visit the desert crash site and with the help of the latest technology, as seen on TVNZ's top-rating show Serious Crash Unit, we will recreate the saucer's final moments before it crashed. We will talk to military personnel allegedly involved in the cover-up, including a former security guard who claims to have seen the alien bodies, and a retired panel beater who claims "the ship was a complete write-off".

At the conclusion of this episode viewers will be asking themselves: "How could such a memorable event, with so many people involved, be covered up for so long?"

By using common-sense techniques and the participants of a weekly swingers' party, I will demonstrate how it is possible to orchestrate a cover-up of this scale.

Leigh Hart's Mysterious Planet will air on TV2 later this year - or will it?

- Herald on Sunday

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