NOVA: Why Sharks Attack
Wed. May 7, 8PM
In recent years, an unusual spate of deadly shark attacks has gripped Australia, resulting in five deaths in 10 months. At the same time, great white sharks have begun appearing in growing numbers off the beaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, not far from the waters where Steven Spielberg filmed Jaws. What’s behind the mysterious arrival of this apex predator in an area where it’s rarely been seen for hundreds of years? Are deadly encounters with tourists inevitable? To separate fact from fear, NOVA teams with leading shark experts in Australia and the United States to uncover the science behind the great white’s hunting instincts. With shark populations plummeting, scientists race to unlock the secrets of these powerful creatures of the deep in their quest to save people — and sharks.
NOVA: Escape from Nazi Alcatraz
Wed. May 14, 8PM
Colditz Castle, a notorious prisoner of war camp in Nazi Germany, was supposed to be escape-proof. But in World War II, a group of British officers dreamed up an escape plan. In a secret attic workshop, they constructed a two-man glider out of bed sheets and floorboards. The plan was to fly to freedom from the roof of the castle, but the war ended before they could put it to the test. Now a team of aero engineers and carpenters rebuilds the glider in the same attic using the same materials, and they’ll use a bathtub full of concrete to catapult the glider off the roof. As the hair-raising launch 90 feet up draws near, the program explores the Colditz legend and exposes the secrets of other ingenious and audacious escapes. Then, after a 70-year wait, the team finally finds out if the legendary glider plane would have succeeded.
NOVA: D-Day’s Sunken Secrets
Wed. May 28, 8PM
On June 6, 1944, the Allies launched an armada to invade the Normandy beaches and liberate Europe from the Nazis. Hundreds of ships sank while running the gauntlet of mines and bunkers, creating one of the world’s largest underwater archaeological sites. Now, NOVA has exclusive access to an extensive survey of the seabed bordering the beachheads. Dive teams, submersibles, and underwater robots identify key examples of the Allied craft that fell victim to German shellfire, mines, and torpedoes. Highlighting the ingenious technology that helped the Allies overcome the German defenses, and featuring first-hand accounts from Allied veterans who have returned to the site of this epic battle to share their harrowing stories, the program presents a blow-by-blow account of D-Day events and reveals how the Allies’ intricate planning and advanced technology were vital to assure the success of the most ambitious and risky military operation ever launched.