'Legend Hunter' Pat Spain Is on a Quest for Answers to the Unsolved and Unexplained

Travel Channel's new series 'Legend Hunter' follows scientist, explorer and paranormal researcher Pat Spain as he delves into dark and compelling mysteries -- both contemporary and historical, familiar and obscure.

November 26, 2018

Legend Hunter host Pat Spain

Legend Hunter host Pat Spain

By: David L. Haynes

Who was the real Jack the Ripper? Who really killed Lizzie Borden’s parents? Is the wolf-like creature known as the “Beast of Bray Road” a real entity or a hoax? These are the kinds of questions on the mind of Pat Spain – and ones that drive him to far-flung locales and intensive, maybe even obsessive, investigations.

“These are questions that have been burning in my mind since I was a child,” he says “and I’m going right to the source to try and find answers – with exclusive access to people, archives and crimes scenes. And we have some extraordinary results that I can’t wait to share with the world.” He'll have the chance when Legend Hunter makes its debut on Travel Channel on January 8.

So just who is this Pat Spain? The answer to that is not an overly simple one. His resume includes quite a number of things – wildlife biologist, author, researcher, cryptozoologist and biotech expert, among other things. In the new series Legend Hunter, he brings this combination of skills to bear along with state-of-the-art technology, rigid scientific acumen and a driving ambition to get to the bottom of things. And, when it comes to things powerful, profound and mysterious, much like the Fox Mulder character in The X-Files, he wants to believe.

Spain clearly has a yearning for adventure and exploration, having traveled to remote and exotic locations throughout the world, and spent time living with indigenous tribes in the Brazilian Amazon to learn firsthand about their customs and practices. He is a passionate advocate for the relevancy of science and the importance of education and has provided lectures to high school and elementary school students throughout the country. He’s also been a featured lecturer at a wide range of expert forums – including at NASA’s Ames Research Center, the Indian Institute of Technology, the American Cancer Society and conferences ranging from biopharmaceutical education to cryptozoology.

Oh, and there’s one other thing you should know. It’s just possible that this fascination with the bizarre and compulsion to seek answers is within Pat Spain’s DNA. He’s the great nephew of Charles Fort (1874 – 1932), writer and researcher who specialized in anomalous and unexplained phenomena – and who frequently challenged conventional explanations and questioned mainstream science. He was known during his lifetime as the "Prophet of the Unexplained". His writings are reputed to have been influential on a number of science-fiction, horror and crime writers, including Phillip K. Dick, Robert Heinlen and Stephen King. The term fortean – a word used to describe something outside the bounds of scientific explanation – actually derives from Charles Fort’s name.

Pat Spain's great uncle, author and early paranormal researcher Charles Fort (1874 - 1932)

Pat Spain's great uncle, author and early paranormal researcher Charles Fort (1874 - 1932)

Like his familial predecessor, Pat Spain is obsessed with phenomena without an easy explanation, epic crimes that have never fully been solved and questions from history with troubling loose ends. He's on a mission to encounter the cryptic, the hidden, the paranormal and the unknown.

As a scientist, I’ve spent my life investigating some of mankind’s greatest oddities – bizarre creatures and mythical beasts, tribal rituals and far flung places. Now I get the chance to take on some of the world's iconic mysteries.
Pat Spain

In the series premiere, Spain reopens the infamous Lizzie Borden case to ask whether Lizzie actually committed the gruesome ax murders that took the lives of her father and stepmother. He gains exclusive access to Lizzie’s home, belongings and previously sealed family documents. Conducting a forensic investigation as if the crimes had just been committed, Spain uses psychographic profiling, re-examining the original suspects and the plausibility of their alibis, and reveals a surprising new suspect never before connected to the case.

Suspected ax murderer, Lizzie Borden (1860 - 1927)

Suspected ax murderer, Lizzie Borden (1860 - 1927)

And here’s something to whet your appetite for other installments in this new series. In the January 15 airing, Spain travels to Wisconsin to investigate reports of a werewolf-like creature that has been sighted more than thirty times on a stretch of road near Elkhorn, WI. He talks to eyewitnesses and uses newly developed technology to try to capture the creature on film. Then in the episode airing January 22, he sets out to shed new light on one of history’s amost baffling set of mysteries – the case of Jack the Ripper.

Legend Hunter premieres January 8 at 10pm ET/PT. Keep checking back here for exclusive online content and updates on Pat Spain and the new series Legend Hunter. You can also follow @TravelChannel and #LegendHunter for more exclusive content and updates, and follow host Pat Spain on Twitter: @patrickspain and on Instagram: @patspain.

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