Nat Geo’s Summer Slate: UFOs, Gypsies, Comics Heroes and a Boy With a Turtle-Shell Back (Exclusive)

New specials include one on a boy with a very strange birthmark

National Geographic's summer slate includes new shows about UFOs and American Gypsies, plus specials about New York City comics shop employees and a boy with a protruding birthmark that resembles a turtle's shell.

"Chasing UFOs" follows investigators who probe encounters with the seemingly extraterrestrial, while "American Gypsies" looks at a family whose way of life includes arranged marriages, vicious infighting, and foreboding tarot card readings.

The other new summer series are "America's Lost Treasures," about rare objects with historical value, and "Abandoned," about saving treasures from historic locations that are set to be destroyed.

The network will also air the specials "Comic Store Heroes," which, like AMC's "Comic Book Men," follows comics store employees. "Turtle Boy" chronicles doctors' efforts to help Didier, a Colombian boy with the "turtle shell" birthmark.

Nat Geo's returning shows include "Wild Justice," "American Colony: Meet the Hutterites," "Locked Up Abroad," "Taboo," and "Border Wars."

Here are descriptions of the shows and programming information, provided by Nat Geo:


CHASING UFOs (Ping Pong Productions)

Series Premieres Friday, June 29, 2012, at 9PM & 10PM; Airs Weekly Fridays at 10PM

Real-life “Scullys and Mulders” probe into strange encounters left unanswered — collecting video footage of unusual-shaped lights, meeting with alien abduction survivors and tracking down glowing orbs.

AMERICA’S LOST TREASURES (Original Productions)

Series Premieres Wednesday, July 4, 2012, at 9PM

National Geographic Channel scours the country for items with fascinating U.S. historical value in this new competition series, where the winner gets $10,000 plus their object displayed at National Geographic’s Museum.

AMERICAN GYPSIES (Stick Figure Productions)

Series Premieres Tuesday, July 17, 2012, at 9PM; Airs Weekly Tuesdays at 9PM

Go inside the Gypsy culture for the first time to witness the inner workings of the Johns family: secret elder assemblies, arranged marriages at age 18, vicious family feuds, ominous tarot card readings and fantastic gypsy pakifs (parties). 

ABANDONED (wt) – (Picture Shack Entertainment)

Series Premieres Wednesday, August 22, 2012, at 10PM & 10:30PM; Airs Weekly Wednesdays at 10PM & 10:30PM

When historic, abandoned structures are set to be demolished, refurbishing experts Jay, Dan and Mark go inside, save any forgotten treasures and turn a handsome profit.


WILD JUSTICE (Original Productions)

Continues Mondays at 8PM

California Game Wardens tackle a gold miner illegally dredging a river, investigate the bear gall bladder black market and conduct a sting operation on abalone poaching.


Moves to Tuesdays at 10PM on July 17

Go inside the Hutterite community — one of the country’s least understood cultures. They live in a world where all resources are shared, everyone dresses similarly and nearly everyone is related.


Moves to Mondays at 10PM beginning Monday, July 2

NGC’s arrestingly addictive hit series continues, with more incredible stories of kidnap, contraband and incarceration.

TABOO (Beyond Entertainment)

Continues Sundays at 10PM

Go beyond your comfort zone to explore behaviors that are acceptable in some cultures but forbidden or reviled in others, like a man selling serial killer artwork, a 14-year-old binge drinker and teen girls having sex in “love huts.”

BORDER WARS (National Geographic Television)

Season Premiere Monday, June 25, at 9PM; Airs Weekly Mondays at 9PM

Agents and officers of the Department of Homeland Security defend U.S. territories under siege, fighting drug traffickers and fugitives, and protecting the border front lines of Puerto Rico, Arizona and Texas.


TURTLE BOY (Current Sponge)

Sunday, July 8, 2012, at 9PM

Didier, a 6-year-old boy from Colombia, has a particularly large and unusual birthmark, which began protruding from his back like a turtle’s shell. Can doctors rebuild the little boy’s back to free him of his stigma?

COMIC STORE HEROES (Parthenon Entertainment)

Friday, July 13, 2012 at 8PM

Follow the lives of Midtown Comics staffers as they deal with all manner of geek and enthusiast comic book customers while simultaneously planning their mega-booth for New York Comic Con.


Please note:  Airdates and titles are subject to change.