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Mission Declassified

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AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST CHRISTOF PUTZEL DISCOVERS NEW EVIDENCE TO EXPLORE HISTORY’S UNSOLVED MYSTERIES IN NEW TRAVEL CHANNEL SERIES ‘MISSION DECLASSIFIED’

Premieres Sunday, March 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

PASADENA, CALIF. (February 12, 2019) – For almost 20 years, award-winning investigative reporter Christof Putzel has traveled the world uncovering some of the most hard-hitting stories of our time. He has exposed neo-Nazi attacks against immigrants in Russia, illegal American weapons sales to Mexican drug cartels, the tobacco industry’s exploitation of children in Asia and children used to mine gold in deadly labor camps in the Congo. He has used declassified government documents and key sources to bring these shocking stories to light. Now, in “Mission Declassified,” premiering on Sunday, March 24 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on Travel Channel, Putzel uses the same tools to explore history's most legendary and notorious mysteries. By decoding recently declassified documents, Putzel discovers new, or simply missed, clues and connections that could finally unlock decades-long mysteries surrounding legendary cold cases.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity in this series to show our audience how investigations work and why so many of history’s biggest headlines remain a mystery,” said Putzel. “While it can be a frustrating, sometimes daunting, adventure with no guarantee of success, it can also unveil new knowledge and that will bring us closer to the truth.”

“For a seasoned investigator, new information is the lifeblood of any quest,” said Jane Latman, general manager, Travel Channel. “We’re excited to go on this fascinating journey with Christof every week, and we know whatever he uncovers will help separate fact from fiction.”

In each of the nine one-hour episodes, Putzel reveals new information from an unsolved case that takes him on a surprising and circuitous adventure into the past. Upcoming episodes include:

“Escape from Alcatraz” – Premieres Sunday, March 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

The premiere episode begins in San Francisco, where in 1962, three prisoners escaped from Alcatraz. Officially, they died in the surrounding waters. But FBI files say otherwise. Christof Putzel braves those same waters, hunts down inside information and goes on a manhunt across two continents to track down the whereabouts of the missing men.

“The Hunt for DB Cooper” – Premieres Sunday, March 31 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

Christof Putzel jumps from a plane and digs up rare FBI files in pursuit of shocking new leads that take him from the Pacific Northwest to Las Vegas and Utah in his quest to find the real identity of hijacker DB Cooper.

“The Lindbergh Kidnapping” – Premieres Sunday, April 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

Christof Putzel investigates “The Crime of the Century,” the kidnapping and killing of aviator Charles Lindbergh’s baby in 1932. Putzel’s grandfather broke that story and followed it until the execution of the convicted kidnapper, Bruno Richard Hauptmann. Now, using his grandfather’s notes and declassified FBI files, he tracks surprising new leads to Germany and the Nazi Party.

Check out “Mission Declassified” on TravelChannel.com for show extras including photos, videos and more. Follow @TravelChannel and #MissionDeclassified on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for more exclusive content and updates.  Follow host Christof Putzel on Instagram @Christofp and Twitter @christofputzel

“Mission Declassified” is produced for Travel Channel by Karga Seven Pictures, a Red Arrow Studios company with Kelly McPherson, Emre Sahin, Sarah Wetherbee, Jason Wolf and Chris Bray as executive producers. For Travel Channel, the executive producer is Christine Shuler, Jane Latman is general manager and Henry Schleiff is group president of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel and Destination America. 

ABOUT CHRISTOF PUTZEL

Christof Putzel has won two DuPont Awards and the Livingston Award for Young Journalists, an Overseas Press Club Award and has been nominated for five News & Documentary Emmys. As an investigative journalist, he often uses FOIA (Freedom of Information Act, and the declassified documents it yields) to get to the bottom of many of his biggest stories. Putzel used declassified documents to expose an illegal U.S. weapons ring smuggling firearms across the border to the cartels in Mexico. He was the first American journalist to return to the Black Hawk Down crash site in Mogadishu, Somalia. And he's perhaps best known for his documentary Sex, Lies, and Cigarettes, which focused on Aldi "the Indonesia smoking baby" and shed light on Big Tobacco's marketing practices in developing nations. Putzel served as a senior correspondent for Al Jazeera America, a correspondent and producer for "Vanguard," Current TV's investigative documentary series and hosted a six-part documentary series about guns in America for online news outlet, AJ+.

Putzel is a third-generation news reporter. His father was the chief White House correspondent for the Associated Press during the 1970s, as well as a Vietnam correspondent, and his mother was a correspondent at Time magazine. His grandfather, Samuel Blackman, was the investigative reporter who broke the Lindbergh Baby case. In short, investigative journalism is in his blood. His work represents the best of American journalism, which is exactly what’s needed when searching for the truth behind the story.

ABOUT TRAVEL CHANNEL

For the bold, daring and spontaneous; those adventurers who embrace the thrill of the unexpected; those risk-takers who aren’t afraid of a little mystery; if you’re up for anything, down for whatever, and above all, love great stories, journey on to Travel Channel. We’re more than you expect and everything you didn’t know you were looking for. Reaching more than 82 million U.S. cable homes, Travel Channel is the world’s leading travel media brand. Fans also can visit Travel Channel for more information or interact with other fans through Facebook, TwitterPinterest and Instagram. Travel Channel is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment spanning 220 countries and territories, whose portfolio also includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.