We visit The Fletcher Street Riding Club in North Philadelphia to find about the decades long tradition of black cowboys in the city.
At one time ‘Freeway’ Rick Ross was America’s biggest drug lord, making over 2 million dollars per day from trafficking crack cocaine.
Credited with making the little white rock the drug of choice for the ghettos of America Ross’ operation stretched from the streets of South Central Los Angeles to the Nicaraguan jungles and had a motley cast of characters including street gangs, revolutionaries and spook spy agency the CIA.
We met up and talked money, drugs and just what you do when you’re making more cash than Bill Gates.
We take to the mean streets of Detroit with the guys and gals of the Detroit Moped Works and all female Moped gang, the Femme Pedals, and find out just why the twist and rip bikes are back.
Union joins the free divers of Northern California as they battle sharks, poachers and killer kelp to harvest one of the most valuable fruits of the sea-the Red Abalone.
Bike Fest in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina sees nearly half a million motorcyclists from all over the USA visit the resort city on Memorial Day weekend for the historically black event. Part bike rally, part carnival, we went and took it all in.
Union travels to East London to have coffee and cake with Islamist activist Anjem Choudary once described as 'Britain's most extreme muslim'
Burnouts, fight clubs and jumping their rides through 10 foot sheets of flame are all on the menu for an evening’s entertainment with Oakland’s East Bay Rats Motorcycle Club. We brought along a can of gasoline and got involved.
We travel to the the heart of the Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Borough Park, Brooklyn, to visit Torah Animal World, a unique taxidermy museum that displays every animal mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.
Less than a mile from Apple futuristic HQ Union get involved in a medieval mass exorcism performed by demon hunter extraordinaire Reverend Bob Larson and his 18 year old daughter Brynne.
Expect weeping, wailing, and dark demented spirits tortured on the rack in the most hi-tec area on earth.
Now one of the fastest growing religions in the United States, Santeria-a mixture of West African and Catholic traditions and a close spiritual cousin to Voodoo-is finally throwing off it's reputation of being a faith of the Cuban Ghetto and moving into the mainstream.
We found out more.
The Biblewalk Museum in rural Ohio has nearly 300 wax figures depicting over 70 scenes from the Bible.
On a mission from God, Bible walk has reclaimed figures from bankrupt attractions across America and is probably the only place on earth where you can see a waxen Burt Reynolds play King Solomon or Elvis as a long haired Samson.
Founded in the early 1970s as a planned Utopian community where up to 50,000 Americans, white, black or whatever could live free of the prejudice that wracked the country at that time. Nearly five decades on, the dream has took a different turn.
Famous worldwide after becoming the default screensaver for the Ipad, locals living by Pyramid Lake, Nevada claim its waters hide dark secrets-a mermaid banished by a local tribe of Native Americans and the vengeful spirits of children drowned in its murky depths. Union packed its water wings and went for a paddle.
Former CNN reporter tells Union of her journey from reporting from the world's most dangerous war zones to fighting for psychedelic drugs to be legalised, via a year spent ‘tripping round the world’.
At the time few in Centralia, a small town in coal country Pennsylvania, realised that a fire at a local garbage dump would see them lose their homes, their town and would cost the state and federal government tens of millions of dollars-and nearly 60 years later, the fires would still be raging beneath the town’s surface.
Billing itself as a refuge for ‘artists, musicians, writers, scientists, layman and wandering geniuses’ East Jesus is an improvised art community lying in the middle of the Californian desert once described as a ‘Burning Man that never ends’
Cocoa leaves, booze, dynamite and hard graft. We spend a day with the men who brave the Potosi mines in the Bolivian Andes. Millions of Indians and slaves were worked to death inside the thirteen thousand foot high peak to fund the Spanish empire. Today the last sliver of silver has long been dug out but thousands of freelance local miners still work in the heart of ‘The mountain that eats men’
Downey, California is the home of the longest continuing operating Mackie Ds in the world. We stopped by and found out why for much of its existence Big Macs and Ronald McDonald were nowhere to be found under its retro arches.
Tim Stone wrote the book on dog shit, well how to make collecting it into a lucrative business anyway. We spent the day with the undisputed dog shit collecting king of North America and found out what it’s like to do a job where the best perk is “You can fart as much as you like”
We visit the high desert of California to meet the the outriders of The New Sincerity.
A group for whom mass produced off the peg is out the window and authenticity and customisation is king.
Convicted for perhaps the worst crime a son can commit, the murder of his own mother, Bruce Lisker spent 26 years in prison protesting his innocence.
Turns out he was right and after a long battle with the California authorities he was recently freed.
We visited his North Los Angeles home and heard his story of his decades long fight to come home.
No, not some da Vinci code wannabees but one of the greatest bands to emerge from the LA Underground this decade.
Some hail scientist Eric Dollard as the new Nikolai Tesla and claim his research on free energy has been suppressed for years. Others say he is a dangerously unstable drunk who bilks everyone he meets.
We travelled to his remote desert laboratory to find out the truth.
While no man may be an island President Kevin Baugh of the micro nation of Molossia is his own country. We travelled to the American West and met with the supreme leader of Geographic Situationism.
A small, but growing number of women claim to have half human half alien children. They say that these children have a special purpose for all mankind.
We travelled to California and Arizona to meet two of the Alien Baby Mothers to find out what it's like to have a child with a being from beyond.
Harry Hughes is a leading member of America's National Socialist Party and in his spare time likes to patrol the US/Mexico border.
We caught up with him in Arizona and talked Nazis, war and just how come he ended up with a German Shepherd called 'Blondie'.
Being on the rough edges of civilisation doesn’t mean you can’t be civilised. Travelling to Slab City, California, a former military base that is now is home to hundreds of off gridders we play a few holes at the their highly exclusive golf course, Gopher Flats.
Demonic human sacrifice chambers? A secret military project that ended in disaster? A chocolate cake factory?
The rumours as to what these mysterious concrete domes that lay abandoned in the Arizona desert are legion. We attempted to unravel the high strangeness.
Once a thriving theme park devoted to all things Yuletide, Santa's Land now sits in the desert deader than a child's dream of getting a decent present off his crazy uncle.
We braved the ghosts of Christmas past and numerous snakes to find out the truth about the death of Santa.
Legendary Cuban comic gives us the lowdown on life, love and what to do if you find yourself at a 'booty party'.
Star Trek, Doctor Who and Stargate SG1 all have obsessives that take their love of their shows the extra mile.
But there’s a new group of fans that have trotted into nerd town- adult devotees of kid’s cartoon ‘My Little Pony’.
‘Bronies’ as they call themselves, dress up as their favourite characters, live their lives by the animated equines’ moral code and gather together to celebrate all things hoof.
We saddled up and moseyed on in to their Las Vegas convention.
With a client list that includes wolf boys, fire breathing midgets and a man who tries to escape from a running washing machine while chained up Hollywood’s Chuck Harris runs a very exotic neighbourhood of planet showbiz.
We met up with the cigar chomping representative of the weird, wonderful and just plain scary and talked cat men, midget weightlifters and just what to do when one of your acts accidentally stabs himself in the face on national TV.
Whenever the weather is warm the city of Baltimore echoes to the sound of hundreds of dirt bikes swarming through its rundown streets.
Illegal and subject to having their rides seized on sight, the riders taunt local police by pulling stunts and racing through the city made famous by TV show The Wire.
Robert LeBlanc spent nearly 40 years travelling the highways and by-ways of America hustling pool players for money.
We caught up with him in Las Vegas, city of sin and heard tales of an underground world full of girls, gangsters and getting out of town before your hands are broken.
Former used car salesman Dennis Hope has an unusual day job; he sells real estate on the Moon and claims to have made millions of dollars doing so.
We travelled to California to hear his Lunar tale and to try and bag a nice spot overlooking the Sea of Tranquility.
With medical marijuana now legal in California a giant industry has grown up to keep up with the state’s need for weed including Oaksterdam, the world’s first and only horticultural college dedicated to rearing of Cannabis.
Union met up with the students and lecturers to take classes in higher learning and found out what it takes to cultivate America’s newest legal and most lucrative cash crop.
Online hactivist collective recently named by Time magazine as ‘one of the most influential groups in the world’.
Hailed by some as a force for good, exposing the corrupt, bigoted and the bad but derided by others as an out of control internet hive mind wrecking lives for the ‘lulz’.
We rendezvoused with two masked representatives of the group America’s National Security Agency recently classified as a ‘Security Threat’ to find out the truth.
Having spent decades investigating catastrophes including the Space Shuttle Columbia to Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill, Professor Robert Bea has the inside track on when, why and how things go wrong.
But is anyone listening? And what disasters await? We found out.
The legendary Hulk actor and bodybuilding champion in his Santa Monica gym talking about fame, steroids, training Michael Jackson and what it’s really like to spend 12 hours a day being angry and painted green.
Space is a pretty big place and according to the thousands of attendees of Phoenix’s 22nd Annual UFO Congress it’s absolutely teeming with intelligent life-most of who spend a large chunk of their time meddling with earthly affairs.
We travelled to the deserts of Arizona and met the experts, the skeptics and those for whom ET isn’t a movie, but more a friend who drops by once in a while.
Robert LeBlanc spent nearly 40 years travelling the highways and byways of America hustling pool players for money. We met up with him in Las Vegas, city of sin and heard tales of an underground world full of girls, gangsters and getting out of town before your hands get broken.
In the United States those sentenced to jail are often given a month’s ‘grace’ to settle their affairs on the outside before being locked up.
Some, not being able to face the ordeal run or commit suicide others pick up the phone and call in the experts-Steve Oberfest & Doc, The Prison Coaches.
Far out in the Mojave Desert lies Zzyzx a small town founded by a fundamental preacher, that’s the last entry on the last page of the United States atlas.
Union venture out to the semi-abandoned town and try to discover the truth behind the stories of ghosts, murders and the lost fountain of youth.
It’s said that the couple that plays together stays together but what if your fiancée is always dragging you into the woods to hunt for the legendary Sasquatch?
We ventured to deepest, darkest Kentucky and met Dana who’s husband to be, Charlie, is one of the US’s leading Bigfoot researchers and discovered what it’s like to share your significant other with a 8ft tall mystery ape.
In the deep south of Georgia lies the small town of Kennesaw. Once only known as the site of a vicious battle during the Civil War it is now notorious for being the only town in the United States where it is against the law NOT to own a gun.
We paid them a visit, meeting pistol packing locals, the police and one of the original architects of the controversial law who also happens to run a shop described as “the most racist in the United States”
Former gangland enforcer, champion bareknuckle fighter and scrapyard owner ‘Gypsy’ Joe Smith has probably the strangest background of any Golf pro on the tour. We met up with him and heard his story.
In the remote ‘National Radio Quiet Zone’ of West Virginia besides the giant Green Banks’ radio telescope live dozens of people who claim to be allergic to Wi-Fi and mobile phone signals.
As sufferers of a condition known as Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity any contact with electronic signals can bring on headaches, skin burning and chronic pain.
We heard their story and discovered what their experiences could mean for the future of mankind.
Usain Bolt may have broken a few records in his time but Ashrita Furman, a 56- year old New Yorker leaves him in the dust; he currently holds 151 Guinness world records and has a career overall total of 427.
OK, so ‘Most pies in the face in one minute’, ‘Longest distance carrying a brick’ or ‘Fastest mile racing a yak’ to name some of the records broken may not be everyone’s idea of athletic endeavour, but for Ashrita they are pinnacle of achievement.
Held far out far out in the Californian desert just after the spot where civilization falls off the map, the Wastelands festival attracts people from all over the world who come to act out their post apocalypse fantasies. While dressed as characters from the ‘Mad Max’ movie series. Think Burning Man after a nuclear war.
‘The Hole’ as residents call this half forgotten neighbourhood of New York City sits on the border between Brooklyn & Queens. Near abandoned and partially flooded, the 5 trash strewn blocks were once the Gambino crime family’s favourite dumping ground for bodies and now serve as a premonition of a post apocalyptic Big Apple.
The megalomaniacal dictator may have dreamed of being King of the world but in the end the only throne he could call truly his own was his toilet.
But how did Hitler’s crapper make its way from Third Reich Germany to a small backstreet garage in a sleepy New Jersey town? We get all historical and shit and find out.
Easily one of the most controversial figures of recent American history Terry Jones became infamous after burning a Koran at his church-an act that set off riots across the Islamic world. We travelled to Florida to meet Jones and his followers.
Pioneered by the Native Americans, Noodling is the art of catching Catfish barehanded. Condemned as a 'cruel', the practice is now illegal in most of the United States-
But in places like Oklahoma a sub culture of noodlers still exists, and for one day a group let us follow them down the Red River as they did battle with sharp-toothed fish and snakes all while dodging the Parks and Wildlife department.
Though a colony on the Red Planet is at least 20 years off the International Mars Society, are getting ready and have designed and built, with the help of NASA, a fully working simulation of a Martian base in the remote deserts of Utah. We paid it a visit.
For years the only way chance ordinary black golf lovers in the United States got to play to play would be with an African America Golfing society.
One of the oldest in the country is the Desert Mashie Golf Club of Phoenix Arizona and we went along for their 64th Invitational to find out how golf and racism has changed over the last half century.
The streets of South Florida play host to thousands of illegal road races each year.Hundreds of drivers have been killed or injured with local law enforcement being able to do little or nothing about the phenomena.
That’s until Sgt Ron Bradley of the Davie Police department decided to beat them at their own game, and began challenging need for speed drivers to drag race him in his own, supercharged Mustang police pursuit vehicle. We picked up the gauntlet
Each year villagers from across the Andes gather in Macha, Bolivia and have a massive streetfight. Thousands take part in this festival of ritual violence known as 'Tinku' where the aim is to spill as much blood as possible-so that the gods will be happy and the harvest will be fruitful.
Glenn Berger who makes his living dodging alligators and snakes diving for golf balls on course lakes in Florida. He collects nearly 2 million of the balls, that can sell for up to a dollar each.
America's most famous folk artist, Leonard Knight, gives Union a tour of his famous and iconic art monument in Southern California, Salvation Mountain.
Each year cars ranging from Lamborghinis to beaten up Chevies line up to race 90 miles through the Nevada desert in the Silver State Challenge. Open to anyone with a car that can go, the race made the Guinness Book Of Records, when it saw the fastest ever speed recorded legally on a public road in the world. 207 MPH in case you were wondering. And at that pace any mistake can be deadly, as we found out.
Nidar Singh Nihang is the last master in a long suppressed martial art that for centuries struck terror into armies invading India. We joined the former factory worker in a small English town as he passed on his skill sand searched for his successor.
In the backwoods of Florida lies a small town where to become a resident you have to pass a test proving you are psychic and can talk to the other side.
We went along and met with it’s living and long dead inhabitants and found out why to some it's the best place on earth while to other's it's 'Satan's restaurant'.
At one time the shores of California’s Salton sea were destined to be the new Hawaii/Malibu but ecological disaster put paid to the dream and half deserted towns now line its coast like mini Detroits of the desert.
The Raelians, followers of former French car journalist turned guru ‘Rael’, believe that aliens are guiding the future of all mankind.
Long derided as a 'sex' cult, the Raelians are convinced that the earth is on the cusp of an era of unimaginable prosperity brought about by technology.
We went along to one of their gatherings and discovered their love of music, the movie ‘Avatar’ and taking their clothes off.
We traveled to Japan to look at the illegal street-racing scene and met up with the drivers who spend their nights competing against each other and evading the police at speeds up to 200MPH.
Annie Lobert spent 10 years as a high-class prostitute in Las Vegas, sleeping with thousands of men. After countless beatings and being forced to work while suffering from cancer she escaped the life and founded 'Hookers For Jesus', a charity dedicated to helping working girls leave the game.
Despite being threatened by pimps and the mafia, desperate to hold onto women who can earn them up to 500,000 dollars a year, she ventures out onto the streets of Sin City each week to help those she can.
Mark Burk once lived the playboy life, going out with a supermodel and teaching Hollywood stars like Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman how to play golf.
His fall from grace has been spectacular and he now calls a set of construction pipes beside a railway track home. We travelled to Indio, California to find out how Mark is trying to get back on his feet and qualify for the US Champions Tour.
This Texan radio host has the highest rated conspiracy talk show in the world. We travelled deep behind enemy lines to his studio in Austin to find out the truth about 9/11, the New World Order and why Texas has the best bar-b-que on planet Earth.
The Redneck Yacht Club sees 10,000 of Florida's finest mud buggy enthusiasts gather to get drunk, naked and crash their gigantic homemade all terrain vehicles into giant sucking pools of mud. And once free of the quagmire get drunk and naked again.
The Florida Everglades, with their vast tracts of swamp are impassable to almost all means of wheeled transport.The one exception being the giant, toy like vehicles known as Swamp Buggies.
Originally no thrills rides used by hunters on safaris they now come customised with bars, TVs and air conditioning.
We met up with one of the state’s leading manufacturers to find out what goes into making one of these mechanised beasts of the swamp.
Since the first days of the automobile people have been smashing them up for fun. Demolition derbies, stock-car racing, monster truck crushings, the humble car has been subjected to every kind of destructive impulse the human mind can dream up.
But Turtle Lake, a small town in the wild woods of northern Wisconsin visits a new terror on our four wheeled friends-remote controlling them off a 100 foot ramp to their doom.
The Redneck Car Launch is where hillbilly technology sates it’s appetite for destruction.
Homer Simpson once said beer was the cause and solution to all life’s problems. At the Chodovar Hotel Spa nestled in the Carlsbad region of Bohemia they’re determined to at least prove the second part of the big yellow man’s equation right-by providing visitors with rejuvenating soaks in their own brewed amber nectar. Does wonders for the skin, and wonders for the hangover.
Each year tens of thousands of lonely Japanese men buy or rent a ‘Dutch Waifu’, the ultra realistic dolls designed for those without the time or social skills to meet and have sex with women. A multi million-dollar industry, we travelled to one of the leading manufacturers, Pure Dolls of Tokyo, and got the lowdown on the lovely latex ladies.
Greg Dunham has a dream to build the world’s largest motorbike that could be ridden and after 3 years and nearly 300,000 dollars later he achieved it with the15 foot high, monster bike ‘Dream Big’. We put down our Vespa and travelled to northern California and took the 8.2 litre engine behemoth for a spin.
In a town sat high the frozen wastes of Northern Canada it is possible, for those brave or stupid enough to swim with one of nature’s most terrifying creatures, the Polar Bear. Firmly placed into the later camp, we got our trunks out and gave it a go.
Planned as rivals to the Golfing Mecca that is Palm Springs the courses laid out around the Salton Sea were supposed to attract players from across the world.
Nature had other ideas and now their dust blown remains stand testament to a dream that has died in the dust.
It’s 9.30PM in Eastern Oklahoma and night has closed in along a ridge overlooking a small, treeless valley. In the shadows are nearly one hundred heavily armed people, wielding weapons ranging from WW1 Maxim Guns to AK47s, poised, some standing, some crouching but all with fingers inching towards triggers, all waiting for a signal.
A flare shoots through the sky. There’s a momentary pause, as if all present have taken a sharp intake of breath, and then in this small corner of the American bible belt all hell is unleashed, the air filled with smoke, streaking bright lights of tracer fire and bullets. The Machine Gun festival has begun.
One of golf’s most innovative thinkers with his radical ideas about posture, Fredericks has taught such big beasts of the game as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer how to improve their swing. We went down to California to find out more.
Since the early 1980s almost every aspect of the game of golf has been transformed. Bladed clubs, have become weighted, balls now fly higher and further and even the very design of courses have been altered to accommodate these technological leaps forward.
Most players and organisations are happy with these innovations but some like the Traditional Golf Society and former tour pro John ‘Lag’ Erikson believe that the very soul of the game is at risk. We travelled to that famed city of radical thinkers, San Francisco, to find out the steps Erikson and others are taking to bring golf back to the future.