On an impossibly sunny yet mild Saturday afternoon in Rhode Island, a few people congregate in the shade of the Stadium Theater’s outdoor lobby. They, along with hundreds of fans who will arrive hours later, have migrated to Woonsocket today to see a world famous explorer, author and reality TV star in person.
The fans, who are local or have come from as far away as Florida and Tennessee, are waiting for a secret and private meet up with the man of the hour. They are Truthies, fans of Josh Gates, the host of “Destination Truth“, writer of “Memoirs of a Monster Hunter“, and of many other projects.
Their patience is rewarded when Gates steps out not 15 minutes after they arrive. “Look at this merry band!” he cheerfully proclaimed to the circle of fans waiting for him. He happily signs items, takes many photos, and even appears in a Vine video with a fan who expressed a creative idea to him (video is HERE, if you’re curious).
As the sun sets a few hours later, the adventurer met with great reception on Stadium’s stage. He spoke about his education at Tufts University, the early start of his career which included a clip of him in a vintage EA Games commercial, and finally how he came to be on “Destination Truth”, his name sake. A lot of the stories he told were in his book, which it is highly recommended you buy HERE, but he had goodies for fans who showed up in person by showing photos of his parents, photos of him in his younger days, and other little “Easter eggs” of his past (you can see some stills from his lecture HERE).
Before he happily signed quick items for fans after his engagement at Stadium came to a close, he shared some wisdom with the Truthies. He spoke about how the spirit of exploration, especially in regards to new or mythical creatures, can often times be bogged down by fears of travel or by closed-minded skeptics. While Gates is a brilliant speaker, he also has a casual sense of humor that still makes him relatable.
He told the story of how after years of researching a photo of a unusual looking monkey, scientists discovered a new primate, and he went on to say how many different species of animal and plants are discovered each year. “If you don’t believe in Bigfoot, know that there are still discoveries out there to be made,” Gates said.
“If you DO believe in Bigfoot, and you were one the people whose hands were raised, you can tell your skeptic friends that there is a monkey in the world that we couldn’t find. Even though it has a bright blue ass and balls.” Well said, Gates.