Killer whale devours great white shark

As if to show the world which ocean predator is actually in charge, a killer whale annihilated a great white shark–in front of a boat-load of people. Just off the coast of San Francisco, the surprise killing caught whale-watchers off guard. According to National Geographic, the whale came to the water’s surface with a great white shark hanging from its mouth.

The interesting part? The whale is said to have held the shark in its mouth for about 15 minutes. And, to thicken the already unlikely plot, biologist Peter Pyle was in the area and able to get underwater footage, which revealed two whales feeding on the shark.

This unbelievable twist of nature was dubbed ‘The Whale That Ate Jaws’ by National Geographic and the footage was aired on the National Geographic channel for the Nature Untamed series. Check out the original story here.

[Thanks, National Geographic ‘Nature Untamed’]

Locked Up Abroad returns tonight with new episodes

Everyone’s favorite extreme travel TV series, Locked Up Abroad, is kicking off another round of new episodes starting tonight at 10pm. The new episodes start off with Locked Up Abroad: Iraq, which follows the story of two foreign journalists kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents in 2004.

Canadian war reporter Scott Taylor and his friend, Turkish journalist Zeynep Tugrul find themselves deep inside post-war Iraq in 2004, on the search for breaking news. After a contact shares a tip on an impending battle between the Americans and insurgents in the Northern Iraqi city of Tall Afar, Taylor and Tugrul head for the action. Yet shortly after the pair enter the city, they seek assistance from apparently-friendly local Iraqi fighters, only to be taken hostage as suspected spies. Scott and Zeynep spend the next five days blindfolded, interrogated and held at gunpoint, fearfully awaiting the life or death ending of their captivity. After four days, Zeynep is finally released, but Scott must stay and face down a final gut-wrenching game of “knife or life,” a series of life or death questions that will determine his fate.

Much like previous seasons of Locked Up Abroad, this summer’s newest installment of harrowing tales remain true to form. They are not so much cautionary tales of “travel gone wrong” as a series documenting individuals who must make do or die decisions. Like in seasons past, Locked Up Abroad focuses on travelers who have covered wars, smuggled drugs or knowingly broken the law. While many of us would find such choices appalling, the series triumphs by not passing judgment on the protagonists despite their flaws, letting them narrate the tale through their own eyes and eventually condemn their own bad decisions as plans go horribly wrong.

It is this objective style of storytelling and thrilling dramatizations that make Locked Up Abroad great television. Check it out tonight, if you dare.

Gadling previews Locked Up Abroad, Season 3

Just last year, Gadling brought you a first look at a new show on the National Geographic Channel called Locked Up Abroad. The show profiles the harrowing true stories of foreigners who have been arrested or kidnapped while abroad, telling the stories with first person interviews with the victims.

A new season of Locked Up Abroad kicks off on April 1st at 10pm, and Gadling recently had a chance to preview the first episode of the new season. Much like seasons past, it makes for some of the most intense, high-drama television you’ll find anywhere on the dial. The inaugural episode kicks off in Peru, with Locked Up Abroad Cuzco.

Sarah and Simon are fast friends from the UK, agreeing to head to Peru for week of fun and relaxation. But little does Simon know that he’s being conned by his friend Sarah. Sarah is in deep with a loan shark and has agreed to smuggle cocaine back to Europe in exchange for the payoff of her debts. In one of the more callous displays of human deceit ever on television, she invites her friend Simon to come along without telling him anything about the drugs. Things get ugly when the two are apprehended at the airport. Despite total innocence to the whole smuggling plan Simon spent over a year in a horrific Peruvian prison trying to clear his name.

Don’t get me wrong, Locked Up Abroad can be tough to watch. These are certainly emotionally charged stories of individuals forced into bad situations. But much like a train wreck, it can be hard to turn away. You simply want to know how things turn out.

Definitely tune in for the first episode next Wednesday and keep watching Gadling for the latest Locked Up Abroad news.

Obama’s first flight on Air Force One

Barack Obama’s family digs and office space aren’t all that will change on Tuesday with his inauguration. The two customized Air Force One Boeing 747s designed to safely transport the U.S. president are part of the presidencial goodie-bag package. Marine Force One, the helicopter, will also be at Obama’s service.

Back in November 2007, Justin wrote the post Take a Tour inside Air Force One to give a closer look on what goes on inside this flying powerhouse that most of us will never see.

For an even closer look than that, check out National Geographic Channel’s “On Board Air Force One” to air on January 25. Along with presenting behind the scenes details, like how yummy airplane food is if you’re the president, and where the president takes a snooze, the show will give also show footage of Obama’s first flight on Air Force One and Bush’s last.

After the show on Air Force One, stick around as National Geographic highlights Marine Force One. In the meantime, the National Geographic Channel’s Website has a page devoted to all things Air Force One. You can download an Air Force One paper airplane replica, take a virtual tour and find out more about what it takes to operate such an aircraft.

If one is president of the United States, I imagine that the view out the plane window has a bit more weight to it than what the rest of us see. Or maybe not. Whoever is president may also says things like, “Look at that cloud. It looks kind of like a dinosaur–” or wonder where all those people in cars are going as they zip along highways looking like ants. Perhaps, he (and in the future, she) marvels at odd details like the number of back yard swimming pools there are in desert cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix, and look at the Grand Canyon in stunned awe.

For a quick peek inside Air Force One, check out these.


My new favorite show: Locked Up Abroad

If you haven’t had a chance, I highly recommend you check out my new favorite show, Locked Up Abroad, on the National Geographic Channel. I stumbled across it recently and have not been able to stop watching since. Each episode chronicles the real-life stories of young men and women who have been incarcerated while traveling in countries including Venezuela, Mexico, Nepal and Thailand. As you might guess, the arrests frequently involve drugs, although other incidents include a kidnapping by paramilitaries in Colombia and gold smuggling in Nepal.

Using first-hand interviews, each story unfolds as the protagonist chronicles a series of bad decisions and rationalizations that led to their eventual arrest. What starts in many cases as a free all-expenses-paid holiday, a chance for “adventure” and an opportunity to make a quick buck quickly turns into an all-too-real nightmare. They describe endless days waiting in isolated holding cells, confusing foreign justice systems and getting caught in the crossfire of deadly prison gang wars. Interestingly enough, not all episodes involve prison – in one of my favorite episodes so far, an American sets out on a motorcycle trip across South America, only to be kidnapped at gunpoint by guerillas in Colombia. Not only does he manage to eventually escape, he also refuses to be sent back to the U.S. after his ordeal, choosing to continue his motorcycle trip to its completion. Fascinating television to say the least.

What makes Locked Up Abroad especially compelling for a twenty-something like me with a bad case of wanderlust is that the situations hit very close to home. Granted, I will never be stupid enough to accept an “all-expenses-paid vacation” to South America or try to drive my motorcycle into an area controlled by Colombian guerillas, but I do understand the mindset. Travel can skew our sense of reality, making us crave opportunities to push our boundaries and have truly unique, memorable experiences. That is for most of us, a very healthy instinct – it’s only when it crosses the line between reality and fantasy that it can become horribly serious.

Check out Locked Up Abroad Monday nights at 9pm on the National Geographic Channel.