The Disaster Specials look at how and why major disasters happen, and what can be learned from them. They are specifically intended to focus and inform on issues relating to health and safety issues, crisis management and post-disaster supervision. Episode 1 King's Cross - Over thirty people died in the Kings Cross underground fire, which broke out as commuters headed home on November 18, 1987. At around 19.30 a passenger on an escalator lit a cigarette and dropped the match. The results of this seemingly tiny action were disastrous. The miniscule fire fed on grease on the moving stairway and in 10 minutes had engulfed the wooden treads on the steps. Fifteen minutes later the flames had reached the Kings Cross ticket hall, then erupted in a fireball, filling the crowded station with poisonous black smoke. Many of those who died were killed instantly. Almost 15 years on this programme examines one of the UK's worst ever disasters.
Each turning point in history has behind it a story and a set of principal characters whose dilemmas and conflicts form its dramatic core, and whose unique personalities influenced the outcome of events. History's Turning Points provides a fascinating and intriguing new perspective on the significant moments that have changed the world. The Black Death - 1347 AD When a plague-ridden ship landed in Venice in 1347, it was immediately put into quarantine ... but no one could stop the rats from corning ashore. Within three years, a third of Western Europe's population was dead. It was the greatest calamity in history.
Each turning point in history has behind it a story and a set of principal characters whose dilemmas and conflicts form its dramatic core, and whose unique personalities influenced the outcome of events. History's Turning Points provides a fascinating and intriguing new perspective on the significant moments that have changed the world. The Siege of Constantinople - 1453 AD In 1204 crusaders sacked the city, then renamed Constantinople. For the next thousand years, the Byzantine Kings hid safely behind the massive walls of Constantinople. Then in 1453, with the Turkish Ottoman Empire encircling the city, Sultan Mehmet brought the newest technology of the 15th century, the cannon, and finally brought down the walls of the world's most impregnable fortress.
Each turning point in history has behind it a story and a set of principal characters whose dilemmas and conflicts form its dramatic core, and whose unique personalities influenced the outcome of events. History's Turning Points provides a fascinating and intriguing new perspective on the significant moments that have changed the world. The Incredible March - Mao turns defeat into victory and Chinese communism is born. Mao Tse - tung, the leader of China's Communist First Front Army flees the forces of his arch enemy, the Nationalist leader Chiang Kai Shek. Mao and his one hundred thousand strong peasant army battle against the Nationalists and nature itself, fleeing over 6000 miles through 12 provinces over 18 mountain ranges and across 24 rivers in an epic test of human endurance.
On April 26, 1986, a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukrainian city of Pripyat exploded and began spewing radioactive smoke and gas. Based on top secret government documents that came to light during the collapse of the Soviet Union, The Battle of Chernobyl reveals a systematic cover up of the true scope of the disaster, including the possibility of a secondary explosion of the still smoldering magma, whose radioactive clouds would have rendered Europe uninhabitable. The government effort to prevent such a catastrophe lasted for more than seven months and sacrificed the lives of thousands of soldiers, miners and other workers. The Battle of Chernobyl dramatically chronicles the series of harrowing efforts to stop the nuclear chain reaction and prevent a second explosion and limit the damage caused by the first.
This is the profile of an extraterrestrial mass murderer: one whose existence was denied by scientific orthodoxy for nearly two decades, but has now been tracked down. 65 million years ago a 15 kilometers wide asteroid hit the Earth. In 1978 Walter Alvarez, a Nobel prize winning physicist, and his son Luis, first proposed the outrageous idea that a meteorite strike blasted the dinosaurs into extinction, taking with them half of life on the planet. Their theory was hotly disputed. Now the irrefutable evidence is rolling in. Martin Belderson's dramatic film retraces the hunt for evidence for the hidden "smoking cannon" the crater left by the impact 65 million years ago.
On 14th November 1940, the Luftwaffe launched the most devastating bombing raid so far on Britain. The target was Coventry, deep in the heart of England. In a 12 hour blitz, the Luftwaffe dropped thousands of tons of bombs. Three quarters of the city centre was devastated, including the ancient cathedral. The Nazis coined a phrase - "to Coventrate" - to describe the intense destruction. It was a baptism of fire for Coventry and Britain. For years, the government feared that aerial bombardment could destroy civilian morale. In Coventry, those fears were tested, and in the immediate aftermath of the blitz the evidence was not encouraging.
A tsunami in the Bristol Channel could have caused the deaths of up to 2,000 people in one of Britain's greatest natural disasters, experts have said. For centuries, it has been thought that the great flood of January 1607 was caused by high tides and severe storms. Two experts have argued a tsunami could have caused the devastation. Eyewitness accounts of the disaster, published in six different pamphlets of the time, told of "huge and mighty hills of water" advancing at a speed "faster than a greyhound can run" and only receding 10 days later. Dr Roger Musson, head of seismic hazards at the British Geological Survey, said there were other examples of earthquakes in the area caused by an ancient fault off south west Ireland. One magnitude 4.5 earthquake was recorded there on 8 February 1980. "The idea of putting a large historical earthquake in this spot is not so fanciful," he said. "We know from seismological evidence, that we have actually had an earthquake here, so there is a fault and it is moving, it is active." Other UK tsunamis include a 70 feet high wave that hit Scotland 7,000 years ago, following a massive landslip in Norway.
Ancient Aliens explores the controversial theory that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years. From the age of the dinosaurs to ancient Egypt, from early cave drawings to continued mass sightings in the US, first hand accounts and theories surrounding this age old debate. Did intelligent beings from outer space visit Earth thousands of years ago? Episode 7 Aliens, Plagues and Epidemics - Scientists are continually challenged by unidentified strains of bacteria. Could some of our most crippling plagues and epidemics be traced to the darkest voids of space or even extraterrestrial intervention? Is it possible that ancient aliens, as small as microbes, have shaped human history?
Decoding the Past is a series that "decodes" the past by looking for unusual, paranormal, and mysterious things written about throughout history that may give clues as to what will happen in the future. Bible Code 1 Predicting Armageddon - Using the Bible to predict events. There are those who believe that the Old Testament is filled with predictions. If one knows where to look and how there are references to figures like Hitler Napoleon and Einstein and events including the Second World War and the attacks of 9/11. And of course there are signs of what the future holds. The Bible Code analyzes this controversial theory with the help of leading lights on both sides of the issue.
Decoding the Past is a series that "decodes" the past by looking for unusual, paranormal, and mysterious things written about throughout history that may give clues as to what will happen in the future. Episode Bible Code 2 Apocalypse and Beyond - continues discussion of Bible codes began in previous episode.
Decoding the Past is a series that "decodes" the past by looking for unusual, paranormal, and mysterious things written about throughout history that may give clues as to what will happen in the future. Doomsday 2012 - The End Of Days - The year famously red flagged by the Maya has popped up in many other end of the world prophecies. Could we be so short time away from annihilation? A surprising number of prophets from ancient oracles to contemporary internet crawling software called bots point to December 21, 2012 as the End of Days. Consider the ancient Mayan Calendar, the medieval predictions of Merlin, the Book of Revelation and the Chinese oracle of the I Ching, all highlighting the same terminal date. Then learn of a new technology a web bot crawling the internet to predict the future that has independently concluded there's no need to plan a New Year's 2013 Party. Hear from skeptics who point to a long history of Failed Doomsdays then reflect on the disturbingly accurate track record of many oracles of doom throughout history. As the year 2012 ticks ever closer is there any reason to believe these doomsayers?
Series from Discovery Channel on earthquakes. Episode 3. Kobe - It was Japan's worst disaster since World War II the most deadly earthquake since a 1923 Tokyo quake that killed 140,000 people. But the Kobe earthquake was not just a physical earthquake. It was also a cultural earthquake because it called into question so many bedrock beliefs of the Japanese. Yet more than a Japanese tragedy, this was perhaps a preview of an even greater disaster since the heart of so many cities can be found on land ill-suited for similar or even more powerful earthquakes.
Series from Discovery Channel on earthquakes. Episode 2. Mexico City - The Aztecs believed the world would end by earthquake and fire. For a moment in 1985, it seemed they were right. Mexico City was struck by an earthquake both deadly and mystifying. How did people survive for nine days in the rubble? Learn how the largest urban center on the face of the earth was built in perhaps one of the worst places for earthquakes, and what happened in 1985 when one of the world's strongest ever earthquakes rocked it seemingly to the ground.
Megastructures: Built from Disaster explores how accidents throughout the world have influenced the evolution of modern structural engineering. Bridges Episode 1 - On 2 August 2007, during a busy rush hour in the city of Minneapolis in the American midwest, the entire span of an interstate bridge broke into pieces and collapsed into the Mississippi River. Tragically, 13 people lost their lives in the ensuing carnage. The incident was caught live on CCTV, and the horrifying images sent shock waves around the world. The nation was sent into a state of panic. How could this appalling calamity have occurred?
Megastructures: Built from Disaster explores how accidents throughout the world have influenced the evolution of modern structural engineering. Ships Episode 2 - At sea, you don't get a second chance. Once out of sight of land the only thing you can depend on is your ship, and tragically, for thousands of people, the ship has let them down. But out of every catastrophe comes knowledge, from the Titanic to the Estonia, every disaster at sea has had a radical effect on the design of the ships that followed. Examining the latest in Arctic cruise liners and hi-tech, high speed passenger catamarans, this programme shows how ships have become more technologically advanced than ever before, and by following the building of one of the world's most advanced and luxurious vessels, Ruby Princess, the design secrets that allow modern passenger ships to operate safely, with thousands of passengers and crew on board will be revealed.
Megastructures: Built from Disaster explores how accidents throughout the world have influenced the evolution of modern structural engineering. Episode 3 Tunnels - the word evokes mystery, adventure and claustrophobia. They make mountains manageable, connect our cities and can even bring together continents. But every tunnel is an enclosed space - a very dangerous place to be if something goes wrong. This episode looks at how recent catastrophes at the Channel Tunnel, Mont Blanc and Gotthard Tunnels of Europe spawned a revolution in tunnel building technology that is still evolving today. From failsafe evacuation systems through fireproof concrete and radical new approaches to tunnel design itself this programme will see how new tunnel projects are using high tech to keep alive if the worst happens. At the core of the programme is the cutting-edge Marmaray Tunnel in Turkey - this US 4 billion project will connect Europe and Asia with a dual bore rail tunnel running under the Bosphorous Straits. But there is a problem, the Anatolian Fault Line lies 11 miles from the site.
Megastructures: Built from Disaster explores how accidents throughout the world have influenced the evolution of modern structural engineering. Stadiums Episode 4 - Sport stadiums are amongst the most iconic, eye catching structures of the modern world. Symbols of local and national pride, they play host to huge crowds on a weekly basis. No other structure holds so many people in such close proximity and in such an emotionally charged atmosphere-so when the structures fail, the effects can be catastrophic. Over the past century, more than 1,600 people have died at stadiums across the world. To prevent disasters happening in the stadiums of the future, engineers have had to learn what went wrong in the past.
Megastructures: Built from Disaster explores how accidents throughout the world have influenced the evolution of modern structural engineering. Skyscrapers Episode 6 - The titans of city architecture for over a century, skyscrapers dominate urban landscapes throughout the world. No other building design so readily accommodates the voracious need for space in urban centres, but there can be a high price for this solution to overcrowded city life. Within such high and crowded structures, the consequences of engineering errors can be catastrophic.
They make everyones lives more comfortable, more rewarding, and more secure. They are the magical machines that have bring the edge of the new frontier of limitless possibilities. But it is a hinterland filled with dangers and demons of humanity's own creation. Based on the popular book Inviting Disaster by James Chiles, in this episode Modern Marvels explore the nuclear nightmares of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.
The series features various subjects related to science and technology. Some of the views expressed might be considered fringe or pseudo-science. Episode 2 Super Volcano - In spring 2003, strange things began happening in America's most famous national park, Yellowstone. The tallest geyser in the world, which can go 50 years without erupting, burst into life. There were new cracks in the ground, the ground heated up to the point where the National Park Service had to close some trails. Not long after, a group of bison collapsed and died, victims of poisonous fumes from below the ground. Satellite pictures revealed that something ominous was happening beneath the earth.
The series features various subjects related to science and technology. Some of the views expressed might be considered fringe or pseudo-science. Episode 3 Angry Earth - In the last century, more than 1 million people died in earthquakes. Over the next century, it is feared that number could increase ten-fold. Why? Because Earthquakes don't kill people. Buildings do. And urban populations are increasing so fast that we now have "mega-cities". We discover the seismic vulnerability of some of the world's mega cities and the threat posed to millions of people all over the world.
The series features various subjects related to science and technology. Some of the views expressed might be considered fringe or pseudo-science. Episode 7 Atlantis - The legend has entranced scientists and scholars for centuries. The city was destroyed in the space of a day and a night, sunk beneath the waves for eternity by a massive natural cataclysm. For thousands of years the tale remained an obscure yet tantalising fable until an American by the name of Ignatius Donnelly reignited the idea, bringing it to worldwide attention and sending archaeologists and trophy hunters alike across the globe in its wake.