Independent filmmaker Christopher Garetano, whose award-winning film "Montauk Chronicles" inspired the hit show "Stranger Things," has spent a lifetime searching for the truth behind some of America's most unusual stories. Now, he begins a boots-on-the-ground investigation into the legends, mysteries and first-person accounts that fuel this country's creepiest conspiracy theories and unexplained occurrences in the new Travel Channel series, "Strange World," premiering on Sunday, August 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Over the course of eight hour-long episodes, Garetano will immerse himself in a world of the weird and bizarre, exploring everything from the alleged curse of James Dean's death car, Little Bastard, to the extraordinary and unexplained disappearances on California's Mount Shasta, to the legend of Polybius, a 1980's arcade game supposedly created as a mind-control experiment gone amuck.
In the series premiere entitled "Zombie Boys," Garetano is on a mission to prove that gruesome human research secretly occurred beneath a former military base on the eastern tip of Long Island, New York. For over a decade, Garetano investigated what's known as the "Montauk Project," an alleged government mind-control experiment that supposedly abducted young men. In these experiments, the men were subjected to torture, LSD testing and electromagnetic energy to break their minds - all in a nefarious, coordinated effort to create super soldiers. Now, Garetano returns to Montauk to discover new evidence that proves these mind-control experiments happened. Garetano conducts fresh interviews and obtains never-before-seen footage. Then, Garetano goes further, subjecting himself to similar mind experimentation as experienced by the original victims. "Zombie Boys" dives deep into the complex mystery that exists in Montauk, and perhaps, nationwide.
"I've had first-hand, profound experiences that convinced me, at a very early age, that there's something beyond the veil of normality," said Garetano. "So I've remained cautiously skeptical as well, always keeping an open mind to the possibilities. We live in a world of illusion, mysticism and magic. There's a dark side to things, manifested in conspiracies and what happens behind the curtain - it's all real and I'll forever be that curious cat that opens the door to have a look."
"Game Over" - Premieres Sunday, August 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
More than 160 million Americans, roughly half the population, have at least one gaming console in their home. But are video games pure entertainment or are there darker forces at work? Could the games be reprogramming our minds? Christopher Garetano is on a mission to find out if our love affair with video games is being used against us. His investigation starts in Portland, Oregon, with the urban legend of Polybius, said to be the most dangerous arcade game ever played. He meets a futurist with a mind-blowing theory �- that we're all living inside a game simulation like "The Matrix." Garetano's quest goes from past to present, questioning the future of gaming and the nature of reality itself. But fair warning: the next time you turn on a game console, you'd better think twice - you may be the one getting played.
"Little Bastard" - Premieres Sunday, August 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
In 1955, Hollywood star James Dean died behind the wheel of his new Porsche 550 Spyder racecar. The fiery crash gave birth to two legends - Dean's prowess as an actor and of a cursed car the 24-year-old liked to call Little Bastard. Wherever parts of Little Bastard showed up, astonishing and morbid accidents followed. Finally, after appearing at an auto show in Florida, the Porsche was boxed up in a trailer and driven back to Los Angeles. Yet when the contained trailer arrived in Hollywood, Little Bastard had somehow vanished. Christopher Garetano grew up on Dean's films and now feels compelled to launch an investigation into the curse that followed the Porsche 550 Spyder after Dean's death. Garetano is on a hunt for the car, hoping to determine if an inanimate object can be cursed.
"Without A Trace" - Premieres Sunday, September 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Christopher Garetano delves into the legend of Mount Shasta in Northern California, where many people have mysteriously vanished throughout the years, never to be seen or heard from again. Decades of mystery have shrouded the mountain, creating a supernatural lore surrounding these disappearances - everything from an ancient civilization living deep beneath the ground to claims of paranormal activity. In search of answers throughout his investigation, Garetano meets with local enforcement and travels into the cavernous tunnels below Mount Shasta. After hearing accounts of beings from an ancient mystical civilization called Lemuria, and exploring the possibilities of alien abduction, Garetano decides to confront the mountain himself - hoping to get sucked into its mystique to find the answers he's looking for.
Check out "Strange World" on TravelChannel.com during the premiere for special show extras, behind-the-scenes photos and exclusive videos. Follow @TravelChannel and #StrangeWorld on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram for additional content and updates. Follow Garetano on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.