Harrowing stories of tragedy and triumph are brought to life through official reports, transcripts and interviews with the pilots, air traffic controllers and lucky survivors of history’s most terrifying crashes. Widely considered to be the safest form of travel, air transportation is still in its infancy and when midair calamity strikes, the results are often catastrophic. From the cockpit to the cabin, from the control room to the crash scene, we uncover just what went wrong.
Take off on a thrilling flight across America. This epic series offers rare glimpses of our nation's most treasured landmarks, all seen from breathtaking heights. From busy cityscapes to quiet landscapes, we capture the history and the pageantry of our amazing country, which is as diverse as the people who occupy it.
Embark on a series of first-class luxury cruises to remote islands, exotic cities, untamed coasts, and historic wonders. These Mighty Cruise Ships go anywhere adventure calls, whisking passengers to high-end, far-off destinations in Indonesia, French Polynesia, Cape Horn, Russia, and beyond. Delivering breathtaking experiences, however, often means overcoming substantial obstacles, from dangerous waters to extreme weather to temperamental vessels. It’s up to each crew to ensure a smooth ride for all aboard.
Set sail on the world’s mightiest ships as they embark on some of the most challenging, dangerous jobs a working boat will ever face. These marvels of marine technology are built for anything the heavens and oceans can dole out. The dedicated men and women who work aboard these vessels are equally battle-tested. From armed-to-the-teeth warships and super-sized cruise liners, from serene tropical waters to fierce Southern Oceans, experience it all firsthand on this first-rate high seas adventure.
A winged fighter that hasn’t lost a fight in 26 years, a lifesaver that’s part plane and part chopper, and an attack helicopter our enemies call the Black Death. These are America’s undisputed kings of the sky: the F-15 Eagle, the V-22 Osprey, and the AH-64 Apache. And their success stories are as remarkable as they are improbable. Witness their turbulent journeys, brought to life through rarely seen combat footage and the stories of the dedicated pilots and teams who fly and maintain these ultimate air warriors.
Join Elizabeth McGovern as she takes an in-depth look at the young American heiresses whose real life stories inspired the acclaimed TV drama “Downton Abbey.” This series takes you from the late 1800s, when daughters of America's new industrial millionaires marry into the money-strapped British aristocracy, to the 20th century, when a new kind of American Princess wields power not through wealth, but through character, style, and wit. Through the decades, these women bring dramatic change to the European aristocracy and eventually the world.
Discover the true stories involving very real people, places and events -- some known to the public, others hidden from it -- that went on to inspire some of Hollywood's biggest hits, most iconic heroes and notorious villains.
Every day, almost 200,000 people pass through Frankfurt Airport. Flying has become so routine, that most travelers never consider what a remarkable feat of human ingenuity it is. But that’s about to change. X-Ray: Mega Airport takes you behind the scenes, from the tarmac to the terminal to the aircraft, revealing how everything in this intricately designed mini-city functions. Using state-of-the-art camera technology and computer imagery, we detail the engineering inside the planes, the machinery, and even the brains of the people who work here.
They glide across the prairies of Canada and the deserts of Australia. They power through the cold of the Norwegian Arctic Circle and up the steepest slopes of the mighty Swiss Alps. They zoom into the future in Japan and go back in time in Alaska. Ride the rails to witness the world’s mightiest trains in action and join us as we embark on challenging missions, high-speed thrills, and cross-country adventures aboard these fast and powerful marvels of design and engineering.
Weather balloons. Atmospheric phenomena. Experimental military aircraft. There are explanations for most unknown flying objects, but not all of them. So, are flying saucers real? Many Americans believe extraterrestrial visits are possible, and in 1952, the U.S. Air Force even launched Project Blue Book, history's most extensive government investigation into UFOs. Join us as we pour over recently declassified reports, meet with science experts, and hear eyewitness accounts to see if we are indeed sharing our friendly skies.
A monument that may explain why the people of a thriving ancient city vanished from Earth. A tablet that reveals a towering truth about one of the Bible’s strangest stories. Evidence that the 10 plagues of Egypt were real natural phenomena. Join us as we follow a team of investigators around the globe, using modern science and technology to uncover ancient mysteries surrounding these and other puzzles from our past. By examining these relics and legends, we hope to gain insights into who we are, where we come from, and where we are going.
A supersonic spy plane that can reach Mach 3 and the very edge of space. A seven-story, flying double-decker that can carry up to 853 people. And the Holy Grail of aircraft design that revolutionized air travel as we know it today. These are the amazing journeys of three planes that changed the world: the SR-71 Blackbird, the DC-3, and the Airbus A380. Each extraordinary plane has an extraordinary story to match, including big gambles, brilliant minds, maverick figures, and life-threatening challenges.
From the 1920s through the 1960s, America transformed from a young country on the rise into a global superpower. It’s a decisive period in our nation’s history that most of us have only witnessed in black and white, until now. Using digital colorization technology, we present these formative decades as few have seen them, revisiting 50 vibrant years of good times and great despair, technological triumphs and natural disasters, and global villains and national heroes.
This collection features some of the coolest, weirdest and cutest critters on Earth. From newborns at the zoo to creepazoids living in your backyard, Smithsonian Channel knows how to deliver the "oohs" and "ahhs." These are the kinds of thrills that inspire kids to find out more about the natural world and its many incredible wonders.
Lions and spotted hyenas may be South Africa’s apex predators, but to animal behaviorist Kevin Richardson, these fearsome carnivores are among his best friends. See how this relationship plays a key role in a groundbreaking project led by some of the world’s top wildlife biologists: a series of remarkable experiments designed to measure both species’ social intelligence. Observe the different ways lions and hyenas approach and solve problems, and how they rely on cooperation to succeed and survive in their natural environment.
Ancient stories of the Roman city of Carnuntum, China’s Valley of the Kings, and Pompeii have been blurred by the passage of time. Join archaeologists as they use modern technology to reveal the fascinating ways of life of the most prosperous ancient empires across the globe.
Get up close & personal with some of the biggest, stangest, deadliest, and rarest creatures on earth. Nobody covers the animal kingdom quite like our globe-spanning scientists, researchers and filmmakers, who match their incredible expertise with stunning videography to produce lush images of a world few have ever seen...until now.
We all know Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Sally Ride, and other icons of America’s space program. But behind the scenes, engineers have been the secret heroes, building the spacecraft and instruments that have helped man leave Earth and explore the stars. We reveal the inside stories of how these brilliant minds created such superior machines as the Saturn V moon rocket, the Space Shuttle, and the Hubble Space Telescope, often against incredible odds.
From the first secret agent training school in North America to one-of-a-kind color footage of the Pacific theater to the inspirational story of seven Jewish dwarfs living under Nazi rule, Smithsonian Channel has collected its most remarkable WWII docs for military junkies and history buffs alike.
A Roman soldier buried under Mount Vesuvius ash. An Irish king preserved in a bog. A teenage Inca girl frozen in time at the peak of the world’s tallest active volcano. Mummies are everywhere, and they are turning up in the most unexpected places. Most are in astonishingly good condition, and all have astonishingly good stories to tell. Discover their secrets as we conduct modern day virtual autopsies to solve ancient cold cases and get unprecedented looks into lost civilizations.
It's harder and harder to get away with murder. Today, detectives are catching and convicting more criminals than ever before, thanks to enormous leaps in forensic science. Fingerprints, bones, hair and genetic markers are now forms of indisputable evidence, but that wasn't always the case. Revisit the most dramatic murder mysteries in history and see how forensic tools forever changed the way crimes are solved.
Mischievous monkeys. Intelligent apes. And a cast of charismatic and eccentric cousins and distant relatives. Over the course of 55 million years, primates have evolved and branched off to conquer the world. But how did they rise to power? Join host and biologist Patrick Aryee on a journey through time, and across the globe, to come face-to-face with some of the 400+ species of primates thriving in our jungles, deserts, grasslands and mountains. It’s a story of epic migrations, lost lands, mass extinctions, and one remarkable family tree.
In the industry known as "ferry flying," only pilots with nerves of steel need apply. Buckle up with ferry flier entrepreneur Cory Bengtzen and his daring team of cowboy pilots as they deliver secondhand, small planes across distances they were never meant to fly. Their job is to deliver aircrafts, anywhere at anytime. Witness the challenges of this big risk, big reward business, from massive storms and major malfunctions to underdeveloped airports and over-demanding clients.
Encounter the Pearl Harbor attacks, the L.A. riots, the Son of Sam murders and Patty Hearst’s kidnapping the way they unfolded on TVs and radios across America. We present these shocking events from the 20th century, not through traditional journalistic reportage, but in real-time, as they were covered by national and local news broadcasts. This footage, much of which has not been seen in decades, gives an intimacy and immediacy to stories we thought we knew but will now rediscover through a unique perspective.
Take off on a thrilling flight across America, a journey that allows you to leave yourself, and your travel organizer, at home. Shot entirely in high definition, this series offers rare glimpses of some of our nation’s most treasured landmarks, all seen from breathtaking heights. From busy cityscapes to quiet landscapes, from historical and cultural landmarks to untouched locations inaccessible by road, we offer the history and the pageantry of our amazing country, which is as diverse as the people occupy it.
Meet Titanoboa: She's longer than a bus, eats crocodiles for breakfast and makes the anaconda look like a garter snake.
They traveled alone and in packs. They collected intelligence and launched attacks. They rose above the ocean depths and ultimately changed the course of war. Chart some of the most dramatic and influential submarine patrols of World War II, from the perspective of the naval masterminds who plotted the strategies to the tenacious and aggressive commanders who carried them out. Follow the ongoing challenges the Axis and Allies faced as they pushed the limits of their vessels in pursuit or in escape.
Welcome to The Way We Wore®, a high-end vintage clothing boutique and red carpet mainstay owned by Doris Raymond. Doris has been bringing glamour and glitz to the world's most influential stylists and costume designers. Follow Doris and her team of “vintage virtuosos” around the country, high-end auctions, flea markets and private estates in search of lost treasures. Doris’s fabulous finds give designer gowns and fine vintage frocks a second chance to shine in the spotlight at today’s biggest red-carpet events.
Join Ashley Judd, Dennis Haysbert, and Trace Adkins as they delve into the untold stories of the Civil War.
When “Star Trek” first aired in 1966, it expanded the imagination of viewers about what was possible in our lifetime. Today, many of the space-age technologies displayed on the show, like space shuttles, cell phones, and desktop computers, have already gone from science fiction to science fact. Other innovations, like warp drive, teleportation, and medical tricorders are actively in development. Join us as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of “Star Trek” - a show that continues to inform, enrich, and inspire.
Some of the most coveted and valuable treasures from history's greatest games and players are missing or misidentified. It's up to the Sports Detectives to find the items and get to the truth. Follow private investigator Kevin Barrows and sports reporter Lauren Gardner as they travel the country on the hunt for Ali's missing Olympic gold medal, Jim Craig's Miracle on Ice flag, Dale Earnhardt's first racecar, and other legendary items.
They can accelerate faster than a Ferrari, strike with 10 times the g-force of a space shuttle, and outmaneuver a fighter jet. These are the fastest animals on the planet, and they use their speed to lethal effect in order to survive and thrive in the world’s most combative environments. Take a global journey across deserts, dense jungles, and murky lagoons, and see how predators, and their prey, run, swim, and fly for their lives. High-speed cameras capture the carnage, while 3D animation reveals how each creature is uniquely built for speed.
Who is Jack the Ripper? Why are planes vanishing over Nevada? How did Marilyn Monroe really die? What is the truth behind Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster? Do we know all there is to know about the collapse of the Twin Towers? This series investigates compelling testimonies and explosive accusations surrounding history’s great mysteries and legends. By using cutting-edge technology and analytics, we examine data and eyewitness accounts in search of the missing evidence that will finally separate reality from mystery.
A wedding flyover that turned tragic. A plane that mysteriously veered off course and slamed into a mountain. A pilot who survived a crash only to succumb to the raging currents of an icy waterway. These are just a few of roughly 125 air disasters that occurred in Alaska in 2015 and challenged one of the busiest branches of the National Transportation Safety Board. Go inside this remote regional office during six air accident investigations, and follow examiners as they attempt to determine the probable cause of each crash, be it man, machine, or environment.
Smithsonian Channel gets to the roots of pop, rock and R&B, celebrating the visionaries and change-makers of modern music. Ranging from the birth of the blues to modern pop & more, programs feature Carly Simon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voormann, GE Smith, Carlos Vives, Joe Walsh, Randy Newman and many more.
Worldwide, billions of people have limited access to things that many of us take for granted: shelter, food, clean water, transportation, and health care. But what they lack in resources, many make up for with determination and resourcefulness. Design with the Other 90% celebrates the ingenious ways that people are teaming up with designers, engineers, and architects to find solutions to daunting urban problems. From Africa to South America to Asia, visionaries around the world show how good design can solve problems and create a better future -- for 100% of us.
They were U.S. paratroopers, Norwegian operatives, and British Commandos, Allied teams leading high-risk operations throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia to fight Hitler and turn the tide of the war. WWII's Most Daring Raids puts you in the heart of the action, giving you a minute-by-minute account of the most astonishing surprise attacks against the Third Reich. We forensically examine how exactly these assaults played out, through expert analysis and testimonies from the brave men who carried them out.
Explore history’s perfect storms and witness catastrophic moments when man and nature collided.
Rebuilds of a Vietnam vehicle and a giant anti-aircraft cannon. A mission to piece together a Frankengun known as the Stinger. A D-Day reconstruction like no other. Military history buff Paul Shull continues his quest to touch, hold, and fire some of the greatest pieces of weaponry on the planet. Follow him across the country as he tracks down some of the most iconic weapons from World War II and the Vietnam War, puts them to the test, and hears firsthand accounts from the veterans who used them.
From the inner workings of the White House to the presidential monuments on the National Mall, from official portraits to scurrilous newspaper cartoons, from the Revolutionary era up to our own day and age, these programs showcase American presidents, offering a unique look at the powerful office and those elected to it.
BOOMTOWNERS plunges into a modern-day “gold rush” that's attracting thousands of people from all over the country to the Bakken, a region of North Dakota. An oil boom has turned the area into the epicenter of a white-hot industrial revolution, but a rise in jobs has also led to a surge in population and living costs. Experience this phenomenon first-hand through the eyes of newcomers and longtime residents trying to make a living there in this groundbreaking new docu-series about tapping into the American dream.
These moving stories feature rare footage and personal accounts as well as a unique insight in to America's military history and the bravery of ordinary people asked to do extraordinary things.
Insects, pterosaurs, and birds all have conquered the skies over the course of 320 million years, thanks to evolution. Follow David Attenborough across the globe as he uncovers the mysteries of nature's most fascinating creatures, from the first flying beasts to the wonderfully strange arthropods that dominate our world.
Windsor: the oldest and largest continually inhabited castle in the world. For millennia, it’s been the symbol of Britain’s royal dynasties, and for decades it’s been the stage for a series of scandals, secrets, and spectacles for Queen Elizabeth II and her family. Join us as we reveal the stories that took place behind this castle’s walls, from early beginnings to today. Interviews with former castle insiders show what life was, and is, like for the world’s most famous family.
Sharks play a vital role in the underwater ecosystems and are the ocean's perfect predator. Uncover the hunting secrets of one of the most powerful creatures and get an exclusive look at this evolutionary marvel's biology.
On May 2, 2011 Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 bombings, was killed by American special forces, marking an end to the longest, most expensive manhunt in American history. Witness the 20-year search for the most wanted man on Earth, as counter-terrorism experts in the White House, the CIA, and the FBI divulge their firsthand accounts. This inside story reveals the presidential frustrations, missed opportunities, and vicious turf wars that tainted the operation right up until the night Navy SEALs ended Bin Laden's reign of terror.
How do you grasp an event as enormous as September 11? At the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, you start small: A briefcase, a Blackberry, a victim's sweatshirt, and a hero's nametag. Simple objects that tell personal stories, recounted in the donors' own words. Stories from New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA remind us that the legacy of 9/11 is not fear -- it's friendship, courage, and ordinary people pushed by extraordinary circumstances. Their stories deserve to be remembered across decades and generations. By telling them, we triumph over tragedy.
Was the remarkable mountain-carved city of Petra once ruled by women? Did the Knights Templar belong to an obscure cult that worshipped John the Baptist? Did the Pueblo civilization of Chaco Canyon practice cannibalism? Sacred Sites spans the globe to visit some of the world’s most remarkable ancient religious structures. Through recent archaeological discoveries and scientific breakthroughs, we offer fresh insights into the civilizations that built these sites, and examine their sometimes controversial, taboo practices.
What was Edison’s questionable role in the development of the electric chair? Which household utensil came from the mind of a prisoner? How was the Maclaren baby buggy inspired by a fighter plane? Behind many million-dollar inventions are priceless stories of inspiration, controversy, triumph, and tragedy. Explore inventions large and small, lifesaving and life-taking, scary and playful, and meet the men and women who dedicated, and often risked, their lives to follow their vision and ultimately change the world.
Enter the battlefields of Africa, arenas bathed in a history of savagery and blood, where big cats and big crocs have reigned supreme for centuries. Here in the open plains, muddy swamps, and deep rivers, these super predators don’t simply survive in hostile and unforgiving conditions, they thrive because of them. See how these four-legged assassins adapt to their surroundings and use the terrain to unlock new hunting techniques, seek out new prey, and amplify their age-old skills by using the lay of the land.
Some used captivating style to boost diplomacy. Some offered compassionate calm in days of war. Some embraced the role they never expected to make a difference. And some seized the role they always dreamed of to blaze a trail. Every first lady has their own tale to tell, and this series examines some of the women who left their indelible mark on the White House and in history. Join us as we go beyond the public lives to tell the private stories of Dolley Madison, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, and more.
The National Park Service has been active for over a century preserving and protecting over 400 units across America, from the wild and natural to the man-made and historic. Take a tour through iconic Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon and discover smaller, hidden treasures throughout the country as we explore the agency’s evolution over the last century. Through rarely seen footage and stunning aerial views, we celebrate the sites and stories of the national landmarks that reflect our country’s past, present, and future.
This story takes place in Maine, but it’s a tale that occurs throughout America as summer gives way to the first chill of fall. Two rival high schools from rival towns settle their differences on the football field. White collar vs. blue collar. Haves vs. have-nots. The game can crown only one victor, but the lessons it teaches about discipline, respect and brotherhood will produce multiple winners.
The famous aircrafts of the first century of flight can only be seen at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, housed in Washington, DC, and in the Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia. Discover the inspirational stories and amazing aircraft of legendary pilots and daring astronauts, like Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Yeager, and Amelia Earhart.
Get stoked for a high-flying, adrenaline-fueled adventure. Explore the underground movement that’s helping Native American youth throughout the U.S. soar above life’s challenges, one half-pipe at a time. Skateboarding is increasingly popular on Indian reservations, cultivating athletes, artists, entrepreneurs and mentors. From the streets of Albuquerque to New York City, from Washington, D.C. to Pine Ridge, SD, the sport is fueling a new form of self-expression and pride.
How close is today's technology to catching up with the human body? Two roboticists are on a quest to find out. Follow their mission as they collect the most sophisticated prosthetic parts available and combine them into one single functioning body, complete with an artificial heart, microchip brain, synthetic lungs, kidneys, and even a spleen. Their incredible bionic man reveals just how far science has come and demonstrates where this technology is headed, all the while posing the eternal question of what it means to be human.
Think a root canal is tough? Try performing one on a tiger. Caring for animals is the ultimate medical challenge. These are patients who can’t speak, are often dangerous, and represent countless unique anatomical systems. Yet zoo vets somehow manage to give specialized care to each creature they treat. We go behind the scenes at our country’s largest zoos and aquariums to witness these doctors handle every imaginable emergency, from an otter with kidney stones to a Silverback Gorilla in need of an ultrasound. It’s all in a day’s work.
In celebration of Black History Month, Smithsonian Channel has compiled a thought-provoking series of original programs that explore important milestones made by African Americans throughout history, while also taking a look at contemporary cultural topics.