Expedition Unknown’s Josh Gates investigates iconic unsolved events, lost cities, buried treasures, and other puzzling stories. But has Expedition Unknown ever found anything? The show is hailed ‘fake’ but did once feature a 40-year treasure mystery solved by a family.

Armed with a degree in archaeology, fans have seen Josh Gates trek through Fiji for Amelia Earhart’s remains or dive into the deep seas of Panama to locate Captain Morgan’s pirate ship. With eight years of episodes, many now wonder if Expedition Unknown has found anything. We’ve got the gossip.

Hidden Treasure, A Familys Quest, And The Secret
Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Has Expedition Unknown ever found anything?

Yes. Though Expedition Unknown typically results in Josh not finding anything, he sometimes finds at least one artifact or clue. In 2019, Discovery Channel aired a live mummy unveiling on Expedition Unknown: Egypt Live. The two-hour live event saw the host explore the 2,500-year-old mummy.

For example, a secret meeting with a Cambodian looter once put Josh on the trail of valuable stolen monuments. Diving into a moat, he unearthed a priceless lost statue.

One main investigation is the infamous The Secret treasure. As of 2023, only three out of twelve treasure boxes have been discovered. Gates has met several treasure hunters eager to find the boxes and a group who found the first box in the ’80s.

Boston family’s treasure was ‘favorite’

Josh Gates once interviewed a family who found a 40-year-old treasure. He cut another expedition short to return to his hometown of Boston and pursue the strongest lead in decades for the treasure hunt.

He interviewed a Boston family who located buried treasure from the 1982 book The Secret. Josh had teamed up with puzzle and game designer, Jason Krupat, to solve the ‘Boston Verse’ section of the book.

The tome by Bryon Preiss featured 12 puzzles for readers to solve so they can unearth forgotten goodies in parks around the country, and Gates’ work on the puzzles inspired the family to do some digging.

The line “Feel at home” from the verse was the key to finding the casque. Krupat decided that the casque must be near home plate, at least where home plate was, in the middle baseball field at Langone Park.

The Boston Treasure Box’s recovery was filmed for the show and aired in 2019, a recovery that occurred due to the puzzle being featured in two previous episodes of the series.

Discovery Inc. 2019 NYC Upfront
Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Discovery Inc.

Some fans say it’s ‘fake’

Expedition Unknown has always represented itself as a reality show. When they searched for missing ruby slippers, the FBI and the Grand Rapids Police Department genuinely safely recovered them.

Neither Travel Channel (Expedition Unknown’s first home) nor Discovery Channel have ever confirmed that the show is fake. When Josh Gates finds something, fans just cannot believe it.

A Reddit fan wrote of their suspicions: “Show is so fake it’s ridiculous! I’ve only watched a few and he has so much success it’s ridiculous. He walks in and boom.”


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