If NASA engineers invented a time machine tomorrow, you can be sure historians would be shelling out top dollar for just a few minutes at the wheel. History books are filled with mysteries, hotly debated issues and questionable stories, and if you could just get a look at the real scene of the event, you could finally answer a lot of these big questions. Imagine witnessing the beginnings of the American Revolution, the historic battles of the Civil War or any of the major events that have defined the past 100 years.
Discovery Channel's weekly series "Unsolved History" set out to do the next best thing. Using the most advanced investigation tools modern technology has to offer, the "Unsolved History" researchers attempt to reconstruct a famous event by piecing together any hard evidence that remains. Instead of relying on what the history books say alone, the investigators take a fresh look at the available facts.
The basic idea is to approach these historical mysteries in the same way criminal investigators approach modern ones. By looking at each historical event as a crime scene (the producers refer to it as a "time scene"), the show's researchers can scientifically devise the most likely scenario for the historical event in question. So far, their conclusions have been both surprising and enlightening.
What does it take to do all this? It turns out you need a large staff of historians, scientists and investigators, and a lot of sophisticated equipment. Just as in a real criminal case, investigators bring hard evidence and human intuition together to come up with the most likely explanation of what actual happened.
The result is an interesting, highly unique show. It's part history, part detective story and part technological showcase.
In this article, we'll find out what "Unsolved History" is all about, and we'll learn how the producers approached some specific episodes. As we'll see, this new show has a little something for everybody.