The Matrix and Black-ish star is to front History’s Greatest Mysteries for the A+E Networks broadcaster, launching in summer 2020.
The strand will showcase new evidence and perspectives including never-before-released documents, personal diaries and DNA evidence including a 100+ year old box filled with the investigative findings of, Lord Mersey, the man charged with leading the official inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic, a personal diary from Major Jesse Marcel, the first person to investigate the wreckage in Roswell, NM believed to contain coded clues to what really happened that night in 1947 and 60 boxes of sealed from the family of John Wilkes Booth, which may hold the answers to whether he died in a fire following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln or if he faked his death as many believe.
Films come from producers including Blumhouse Television, eOne and Steve Michaels’ The Content Group.
“I am excited to partner with the team at History again,” said Fishburne. “The details behind these epic historical events continue to be universally debated to this day and ‘History’s Greatest Mysteries’ will provide new clarity to these larger-than-life mysteries.”
“Our audience has an interest in the full story behind iconic historical moments,” said Eli Lehrer, Executive Vice President and General Manager for History. “This new banner will change the way we look at history as we know it, while sparking new, compelling conversations.”
The initial projects under the History’s Greatest Mysteries banner include Titanic’s Lost Evidence, The Escape of John Wilkes Booth, Roswell: The First Witness, The Final Hunt For DB Cooper, Bermuda Triangle: Expedition to the Abyss, Endurance: The Hunt For Shackleton’s Ice Ship and Hunting Hitler’s U-Boats (all are working titles). Each project, which are all two-hour films apart from Roswell: The First Witness, which is a six-part series, will be distributed internationally by A+E Networks.
Titanic’s Lost Evidence investigates the personal notes of Lord Mersey, the respected British jurist and politician charged with investigating the sinking of Titanic in 1912, which were found in a British manor house and may contain evidence that will rewrite the most famous maritime disaster in history. History has secured permission to open the box, which contains information about Titanic’s voyage including new context on fatal mistakes allegedly made by the captain and crew, and perhaps signs of a cover-up. It is produced by Texas Crew Productions and TH Entertainment. David Karabinas, Mark Anstendig and Brad Bernstein serve as executive producers for Texas Crew Productions and Gregory Hall and Peter Leeds serve as executive producers for TH Entertainment. Mike Stiller serves as executive producer for History.
The Escape of John Wilkes Booth explores whether Booth escaped his death, which history records as suffering a fatal gunshot wound while resisting arrest two weeks after the assassination of President Lincoln. The Booth family believes he faked his death, reunited with his wife, going on to marry again under an assumed name, eventually revealing his true identity in a series of clues. Investigators now have access to 60 boxes of Booth family materials at Harvard University, marriage certificates, the will of John Wilkes Booth and other rare documents that could speak to the mystery, and for the first time, use DNA to prove or disprove the theory. It is produced by Big City TV and The Content Group. Lori Rothschild Ansaldi serves as executive producer for Big City TV and Steve Michaels serves as executive producer for The Content Group. Stiller serves as executive producer for History.
Roswell: The First Witness uses new advanced technologies, behind the mysterious 1947 Roswell, NM crash. The series follows the grandchildren of Major Jesse Marcel, the first person to investigate the wreckage. The investigation is being led by Ben Smith, a former CIA operative. The family believes Major Marcel was forced by the U.S. government to deny he ever saw a UFO. They possess Major Marcel’s diary, believed to contain coded clues about the truth of what happened at Roswell and clues and new evidence to where the alien wreckage might still lie buried. It is produced by Bungalow Entertainment and Blumhouse Television. Robert Friedman serves as executive producer for Bungalow Entertainment. Stiller serves as executive producer for History.
The Final Hunt For D.B. Cooper follows D.B. Cooper expert Eric Ulis, who has spent over 7,500 hours investigating the mystery including analyzing evidence, interviewing witnesses, reading 20,000+ pages of FBI case files and exploring important locations. Ulis believes that he’s found the true location where Cooper landed during his daring dive. He has assembled a team of specialists to explore the untouched Washington backcountry, federally restricted wildlife refuge land, to hunt for the missing evidence Cooper left behind. Armed with new information, the team will travel to parts of Washington state that have never been searched attempting to solve the only unsolved skyjacking in United States history. It is produced by Lost Arts Pictures in association with 3BMG. Grant Cross, Ross Weintraub, Myles Reiff and Eric Ulis serve as executive producers. Max Micallef serves as executive producer for History.
Bermuda Triangle: Expedition to the Abyss explores how on December 5, 1945, five American WW2 torpedo bombers took off from Florida with all men and planes disappearing without a trace. Hours later, the search plane dispatched to find them, also vanished, believed to be lost to the infamous Bermuda Triangle. The number of men tragically lost that day totaled 27 and 75 years later, it remains an unsolved mystery. No ship in history has searched the extreme depths of the Bermuda Triangle, thought to have claimed over 1,000 ships and planes, until now. The late Paul Allen’s ship, R/V Petrel, the most advanced search vessel of its kind, will deploy a wide array of cutting edge technology including deep-diving submersibles to investigate three miles down, in an effort, to find the lost squadron and solve the mystery that began the legend of the Bermuda Triangle. It is produced by Lone Wolf Media. Kirk and Lisa Wolfinger serve as executive producers for Lone Wolf Media. Mike Stiller serves as executive producer for History.
Endurance: The Hunt For Shackleton’s Ice Ship follows a new expedition heading back into the frozen seas to hunt down the last piece of the story: Ernest Shackleton’s lost ship, over a hundred years after Shackleton led an expedition to Antarctica, where his ship was destroyed by shifting glaciers and he was tasked with leading his 27 men across the frozen tundra, on an epic struggle for survival. The Endurance’s final resting ground is one of the greatest polar mysteries and a team of explorers and experts set out with the goal of being the first to break through the ice and uncover the wreck site. It is produced by Atlantic Productions. Anthony Geffen and Siobhan Mulholland serve as executive producers for Atlantic Productions. Oli Twinch serves as director. Zachary Behr serves as executive producer for History.
Hunting Hitler’s U-Boats looks at the rumour that after Hitler’s death, a secret fleet of German U-Boats were modified to make the long trans-Atlantic journey to South America with a mission to continue his dream of a global Fourth Reich and hidden within those boats was the illicit Nazi treasure to fund it. Newly uncovered documents could prove the existence of these ships. Professional wreck diver Mike Fletcher and his team, armed with never-before-seen materials, attempt to solve the WW2 mystery and locate a sunken treasure. It is produced by eOne and Fired Up Films. Executive producers are Tara Long, Geno McDermott and Mark Herwick for eOne; and Jon Barrie Waddell and Simon Howley for Fired Up Films. Max Micallef serves as executive producer for History.