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Gold Rush Parker’s Trail exclusive: New season starts out with machete-wielding Papua natives ready to defend lands

This season in New Guinea, its Parker Schnabel, Sam Brown, Fred Lewis and Karla Ann. Pic credit: Discovery
This season in New Guinea, its Parker Schnabel, Sam Brown, Fred Lewis and Karla Ann on Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail. Pic credit: Discovery

Nothing like a welcoming committee of natives opening their arms with machetes at the ready, and that’s what will kick off the inaugural episode of Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail as Parker and his crew are filming in night vision in a real-life hair raising moment all caught on tape.

Seems someone didn’t ask the right people whose land the crew was camping and prospecting on.

And it’s no joke, Papua has a huge murder and crime problem for several reasons and also because of the gold that’s there.

Which is exactly why Parker Schnabel is there for the third season of his spin-off of Gold Rush.  There is a lot of gold in the Papua region and it seems everyone has called dibs, and the crew has not gotten the clearance they need.

The official episode logline:

An encounter with a group of machete-wielding locals tests the team’s preparedness for the region’s dangerous conditions after a grueling jungle trek leads Parker and his team to a network of abandoned WWII tunnels.

What happens?

Land disputes in Papua, New Guinea are common and can escalate quickly. Trespassing, in particular, is taken very seriously. The Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail team will also face difficulty trying to communicate with the locals.

There are around 852 reported languages spoken in the islands.

In our exclusive clip, Parker is terrified and whispers to the camera: “A pile of guys showed up here with a bunch of machetes and they’re definitely not too happy.”

One machete-wielding man says: “Why you guys stay like this?”

Parker tries to keep his cool and says: “We were just gonna… we’re sleeping down in the tunnel actually…”

The tunnel? No one in this group is buying Parker’s explanation.

British photographer Sam Brown chimes in and says: “Are we’re doing anything we shouldn’t be?”

Em, yes! The guys do not let up and it is clear to Parker and all his mates that they better talk fast and get the hell out of that particular spot quickly.

What is the series about?

The series is about finding gold outside of the normal environments of Gold Rush, usually exotic locales that have some personal meaning for star Parker Schnabel.

Parker wants to find the purported “motherlode” that is rumored to be in the “toughest, untapped, gold-rich environments in the world” and “without any million-dollar mining equipment.”

So less overhead costs equal more profits for Schnabel, who is savvy with money.

The second reason is also a personal quest as Parker plans to relive and experience what his beloved grandfather went through in the Pacific Theater of World War II. He wants to reconnect with his Grandpa John’s war history.

In this run, Parker is joined by Sam Brown, Fred Lewis, and Karla Ann. Rick Ness, who was part of the first two runs of this series, is not in the lineup.

Discovery says that for Schnabel and his team of friends, this mining adventure will be his “biggest adventure yet.” Parker will head into remote areas with his crew like he did last year as Parker and his friends head into the jungles of Guyana in search of the legendary “El Dorado” or “Mountain of Gold.”

Where is Parker going?

Parker is headed to Papua, New Guinea, which is located in Oceanian (Pacific ocean) and sits on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea.

Located just above Australia, the capital Port Moresby is situated along its southeastern coast and the western half of New Guinea forms the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.

Official logline from Discovery:

John Schnabel served in the South Pacific while in the Air Force during World War II. He mentored and shared much of his life story and wisdom with young Parker, but divulged little about his wartime experiences. After Pearl Harbor, when John was 24 years old (Parker’s exact age today), he enlisted as a Navy aircraft mechanic, helping the Allied Forces take the fight to the Japanese and change the tide of the war. Parker sees this expedition as an opportunity to gain insight into grandpa John’s past, while he learns to mine with tribes in their diverse territories.

Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail premieres Friday, April 5 at 9 PM ET/PT on Discovery Channel.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
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