“Doomsday Castle” ready for Armageddon on Nat Geo Channel

“When the world is in chaos and consumes the world, our family will survive….” This is Brent Sr.’s best quote, and that sums up his plan. Nestled high in the Carolina Mountains, Brett and his family have constructed a foreboding medieval castle to ward of the baddies in the event of an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) from the sun. In doomsday prepper lore, an EMP will plunge the country and then the world into chaos by wiping out the power grid. Our good friends at the National Geographic Channel invited us up to this wildly remote fortress to see the family and their doomsday plans in action and it was a trip unlike any other!

National Geographic Channel’s new summer series “Doomsday Castle,” their first spin off series after the hugely popular “Doomsday Preppers,” premieres Tuesday night, August 13th, at 10 pm ET/PT. Their cameras follow every step of the process behind the family’s adventure, from Brent Sr. summoning his family to see if they have what it takes to survive the upcoming apocalypse to the family finishing the construction on the enormous half built castle. Along the way we’ll see his near-maniacal military-driven crash course in survival, be it in tactical response to real invasion scenarios, survivalist training for substance and nourishment and fortification construction and defenses.

After a grueling ride in an ex-Army issued troop transport vehicle of some kind, we made it to the most remote part of the Carolina mountains that I thought every existed. Brent Sr. had scouted out and bought 500 acres here just for the placement and construction of this family fortress to battle the eventual rush of the population to find food and more in the event of Armageddon. Spectacular views greeted us there along with the castle itself. The family members were waiting to give us tours and instruction on various skills and techniques their father and his side kick, ex-Army Ranger (and complete bad ass) Military Mike, had given them over the course of the series filming. This included rappelling off the castle walls, zip lining to safety off the castle parapets, Viet Cong style booby trap construction, cross bow practice (to zombie targets with exploding heads), catapult defense demos and remote listening post construction and usage.

The family included a remarkable group of characters, with three attractive daughters in their early to mid-20s – Ashley, Lindsey and Dawn-Marie. Elder son Brent II was the rebel of the group and younger son Michael was already an experienced prepper and avid hunter. The three daughters were amazing troopers to survive this doomsday scenario crash course all in the remote Carolina mountains for four months and did it all with spunk and moxie. Look for individual “Doomsday Castle Girl” profiles in upcoming weeks here on Bullz-Eye.com for exclusive photo pictorials of the girls in action with weaponry and more!

“Doomsday Castle” offers a fascinating look at a family embracing the prepper movement and has plenty of action, weapons and adventure scenarios to entertain all sorts of viewers. Check it out on Tuesday night!

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“Inside Combat Rescue” – Thrilling Rescues on Nat Geo Channel

When a solder is down and time is running out in Afghanistan and combat areas around the world, an elite unit of Air Force rescue military men risk their own lives to rescue those injured and clinging to life. These Pararescuemen (PJs) and their leaders, the combat rescue officers, fly their Pave Hawk choppers into the heat of battle, often facing unseen enemy threats to save the critically wounded. Bullz-Eye.com was invited recently to Moody Air Force base in Valdosta, Georgia, to meet these elite forces and see them in action as they trained.

The National Geographic Channel, who we recently showcased with their remarkable house demolition scavenger hunt show “Bid and Destroy,” now has launched a spellbinding and unique six-part documentary series on the Air Force PJs and their heroism, “Inside Combat Rescue,” premiering Monday, February 18th at 10pm EST. Nat Geo Channel was embedded with PJs on a four-month deployment, with ground breaking access to front line rescue missions via “Go – Pro” mini HD cameras, allowing viewers unreal “fly on the wall” viewpoints of the most dangerous medic combat rescue missions in the world. The modified for rescue Black Hawk attack helicopters, the “Pave Hawks,” were fitted out with over a forty of these unobtrusive cameras, along with helmet mounted units on the PJ’s themselves, giving gripping and hair raising perspectives never before seen on these dangerous and graphic rescues.

The folks at Nat Geo Channel arranged a visit to the Moody Air Force Base in Georgia so we could meet the actual PJs and Combat Officers from the show fresh back from their four-month deployment in Afghanistan. Moody is the home of the 38th Rescue Squadron of the US Air Force, as seen on “Inside Combat Rescue,” and we got a first-hand look at all the equipment and got an up-close look at their training methods, including some hands-on action as well. We saw demonstrations of rescue techniques, some of which were developed in the aftermath of Somalia, with this writer being offered the unique opportunity to operate the “Jaws of Life,” assisting on a wounded personnel extraction from a car as you can see in the photos above. This was the “manual” version of this tool and it was quite the work out! Soon we had this Buick opened up like a can of tuna, thereby assisting in this quick simulated rescue exercise.

Next we went off to the hanger of the 38th Rescue Squadron, where we got an up-close look at the rescue equipment and the impressive triad of aircraft used to support the rescue of individuals in combat zones. These included the aforementioned HH-60G Pave Hawk chopper, the HC-130 refueling jumbo aircraft, and the all menacing A-10C single seat assault jet fighter. Each has a specific role, allowing virtual unlimited range for rescue via airborne refueling, as well as air support to “subdue” hostile ground fire to the Pave Hawk in route to rescue. The Pave Hawk is no kitten though for that matter, mounted each side with either twin 50 caliber machine guns, with optional armor piercing rounds, or 30 calibur “Gatling” guns to give rapid fire response to ground to air attacks. Rules of combat state that the mission of the PJs is rescue, not offensive assault, but if they draw fire, they can and will defend their rescue mission. This editor was impressed not only with the amazing Pave Hawk, but also the outrageous firepower of the A- 10, its forward turret gun capable of firing 70 rounds a second of hand grenade-like explosive rounds in an area of 20 x 20 yards, with deadly accuracy.

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During informal chats that afternoon, the PJs and combat officers offered fascinating insight into their lives, both “ down range” in the combat zones they’re deployed in for rescue operations, but also with life at home and their remarkable modesty regarding what they do and how they psychologically adapt to both worlds. The bonds they’ve develop within the unit, as well as their tightly knit domestic family life, help them deal and cope with these two extremes in two distinctly different parts of the world. Afterward we broke to have lunch with leadership command of the 23th Wing, including great combat rescue insight and discussions with Vice Commander Steven Ramer.

Soon it was time for the Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR) training exercise at the Grand Bay Bombing Range. With over 12,000 acres of land this is one big AFB, and it was here that we saw a remarkable training demo involving a simulated rescue of downed personnel, including search, ground cover by the A-10, a Pave Hawk extraction and a refueling demo. Watching it all in action and with perfect coordination was amazing to put it mildly.

Afterwards, we departed for a thorough base tour, viewing extensive upgrades and base modernizations for miles. After a break, we headed for the Fuels Barn hanger for the premiere of “Inside Combat Rescue,” with several hundred military members and family from the 347th rescue group in attendance. It was remarkable to watch this premiere on a huge projection system, and to be with the dedicated men and women of the 347th, all of whom make these rescues possible. It was a humbling experience to say the least.

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This program shows some of the most gripping, never before seen combat rescue footage ever caught on camera. It is real, visceral, graphic and thrilling. The production quality, pace and scope of this series are all truly impressive, all superbly executed by series producer Jared McGillard. It gives a very realistic impression of what it sounds, looks and feels like to be deep behind enemy lines saving a special forces or civilian or allied member from injuries or certain death. Ground breaking Go – Pro cameras catch every angle in flight, to the landing and back, along with the bullets, the surface to air attacks, the confusion on the ground and the graphic life threatening wounds these PJ’s are trained to stabilize in flight. You can explore the personalities and dedication of each PJ or officer profiled per episode, seeing how they balance there lives of complete calm and then adrenaline rushing rescues day in and day out. Look for this show to earn some awards – it’s that good.

A special Bullz-Eye thanks goes out to the great support and help from the Public Affairs Office for the 23rd Wing of the US Air Force, Moody AFB, including 1lt Meredith Kirchoff and 1lt Cara Bousie. Thanks must also go out to the awesome staff of Nat Geo Channel.

  

The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with Billy Campbell (“Killing Lincoln”)

Billy Campbell got his initial break in Hollywood when he pulled a recurring role on “Dynasty” in 1984, started to escape from the small screen somewhat in 1991 by playing the title in Disney’s highly underrated “The Rocketeer,” and has since bounced back and forth between TV and film, most recently spending two seasons on AMC’s “The Killing.” This Sunday, however, Campbell can be seen in another “Killing,” when he steps back through the mists of time to play American’s 16th President in the National Geographic original movie, “Killing Lincoln,” based on the book by Bill O’Reilly.

During the Winter 2013 TCA Press Tour, Campbell took some time – more than his publicist was expectingly, frankly, not that we were complaining – to chat with Bullz-Eye about his surprise over being pitched the role of Lincoln, his strong views over Disney’s mishandling of “The Rocketeer,” his even stronger statements to the bloggers who bitched about the Season 1 finale of “The Killing,” and how he was only one audition away from getting the role of Commander William T. Riker on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

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Bullz-Eye: To begin at the beginning, how did you find your way into “Killing Lincoln” in the first place? Did you audition for the gig, or did they actually come looking for you?

Billy Campbell: I didn’t audition. They… [Hesitates.] What did they do? [Laughs.] They approached me months before this happened, and I…well, they didn’t approach me. My manager called me and said, “I got this weird sort of feeler: would you be interested in playing Lincoln?” And I burst into laughter, and I thought, “Ridiculous! I’m not Lincoln!” Nevertheless, we sent them a photo which I thought was Lincoln-esque—or a photo that I thought was the least non-Lincoln-esque—that I could find, and I forgot all about it. And then months later I got a call from my agent saying, “You’ve been offered Lincoln.” And I was…amused. But I accepted. And that was it.

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‘Seal Team Six’ premieres tonight on Nat Geo

Regardless of your politics, the killing of Osama Bin Laden is a real triumph for the United States, and it was only a matter of time before movies were made around this dramatic event. Yet the timing of “Seal Team Six – The Raid on Osama Bin Laden” premiering tonight on National Geographic Channel has stirred up some controversy as its airing just two days before a very close election for the presidency.

But if you check out the preview video above, you’re probably going to get psyched up to see this one. The movie airs tonight at 8:00 PM on Nat Geo.

  

New Series ‘Bid & Destroy’ premieres on Nat Geo Channel

Premiering this Wednesday on the Nat Geo Channel, “Bid & Destroy” combines the thrill of finding lost treasures with the demolition and destruction of homes and businesses with wild results that are amazing to see! This new 12-part series, produced by the guys behind “Pawn Stars,” begins this Wednesday, October 10th at 9:00 and 9:30pm ET/PT for a double stack of episodes.

Set in New England, this crazy series showcases the wacky crew of Danley Demolition as they go on modern day treasure hunts inside condemned homes and buildings just before they demolish them with the “claw and destroy” technique. The company bids on demolition jobs and then effectively owns all the contents of the home/building that will be torn down, so they have a limited period of time to scour the place for valuables. The posse tending to this modern day scavenger hunt is led by Brian “Cowboy” Gurry, one of the co-owners of Danley Demolition. These guys have a near mystical ability to find what everyone seems to have lost once in their life, like wallets with money, jewelry, and family valuables along with forgotten treasures like sports memorabilia and even the miscellaneous safe or forgotten muscle car or two. Gurry told us that many people love to hide money and valuables and then forget about them, which explains why he’ll check every book he finds in a house for money stuffed inside, often with great success.

The intrigue surrounding the search for hidden treasure is then combined with the fun of watching home and buildings get torn apart. The great production quality includes wild camera angles complete with remote GoPro mini video cameras inside homes as they are being destroyed, giving the audience a hair raising perspective and view to the awesome power and destruction that goes on the act of complete demolition like never filmed before!

To get a “hands on” experience of what it would be like to really have the ability or tear through a building with the touch of a button, Nat Geo invited us to Las Vegas to operate some heavy machinery and building destroying excavator equipment at Dig This, the heavy equipment playground located just off the Strip. As you can see from the photos above, they had several full scale Cat brand excavators and bulldozers available for us to try out. After taking the requisite breathalyzer test, (BAC +.06 is a no – no), we climbed into the huge yellow machines. Fortunately my sushi and saki hi jinks from the night before were long behind me and I passed with flying colors! The destructive powers of these machines shocked me at first, but soon I was chucking around 2,000 pound tires like they were tot-sized life preservers at the neighborhood kiddie pool. Brian Gurry was on hand to relate some of his experiences with us on how the heavy equipment we were using applied to building demolition, and his comments on how a somewhat larger version of the Cat excavator I was using could easily chomp straight through the lobby of the Mandalay Bay casino and go out the other side were quite revealing!

We had the opportunity to spend some time with Brian as he explained how the business worked and his techniques for finding hidden value in old buildings, and with 25 years experience in home demolition he has some great stories. The proverbial needle in the haystack is Brian’s specialty, and he gave use a few tips that anyone can use to find hidden valuables. We at Bullz-Eye were so impressed we following up with some features like top ten ways to find lost things in your home or hotel based on Brian’s advice.

We think you’re going to love watching Brian and his somewhat maniacal crew of seek and destroy excavator and bulldozer operating misfits. The personalities make the new series very watchable along with all the fun looking for hidden treasures and then ripping buildings down. Brian’s casual demeanor and humorous banter on camera with his nephew Eric added greatly to the show. All initial 12 episodes promise to be winners, and the two screeners showcased for us this week were no exception. Check out “Bid & Destroy” tomorrow night on Nat Geo.

  

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