Expedition from Hell: The Lost Tapes – What is fake and what is real

Expedition from Hell: The Lost Tapes is one crazy ride, so we have rounded up everything that is real, not real, and very real about this limited docuseries.

Watching the so-called expert survivalist, Mickey Grosman, and his group of amateur adventurers and guides battle everything from droughts, fever and illnesses, to dangerous river crossings can be awe-inspiring.

And, as a result, many viewers have questioned whether Expedition from Hell: The Lost Tapes (or simply “Expedition from Hell) is even real.

Is Expedition from Hell: The Lost Tapes really real?

At the end of the day, many things about the Amazon 5,000 trek are downright unbelievable.

And with hours upon hours of footage, missing footage, conflicting stories, missing expedition members, and Mickey Grosman at the helm – who really knows what we can and cannot believe?

Fortunately, we have rounded up everything that has been revealed about the behind-the-scenes goings-on of this limited docuseries. This is to provide clarity about which aspects are real, which are not so real and the real-life consequences of it all.

Expedition from Hell airing schedule

Expedition from Hell is slowly creeping towards its conclusion now. And if you want to judge what is real or fake about this documentary for yourself, you will need to ensure that you have watched the following episodes of the show:

Episode Title
Episode 1 “It Just Keeps Getting Worse”
Episode 2 “It’s Not Life or Death – Yet”
Episode 3 “I’m Gonna Die on This Mountain”
Episode 4 “Take Me to Jail”

Real: The footage

Part of what makes Expedition from Hell so enticing to watch, is the fact that you never really know what to believe – or what will be coming next.

Part of this is definitely the fact that this 5,000-mile trek through the jungle was jaw-dropping from start to finish.

However, we suspect that the show’s somewhat scattered nature also has something to do with the fact that its director, David Freid and showrunner, Erin Gamble had to sort through over 700 hours of unlabeled and unorganized footage to try and piece together the story of what really happened during this one-of-a-kind expedition.

And, as we have seen, some of this footage was not always as “raw” as it appears to be at first glance.

Although there is some room for debate over whether Freid and Gamble’s interpretation of the events are entirely accurate – there is little to no doubt that the “found” footage which showcased throughout the show is real (well, at least the parts that were not filmed and re-filmed by Grosman to make his planned documentary seem more interesting).

And that most of what we see during these clips really happened all those years ago.

As for where they got the footage from to begin with, Freid and Gamble have explained that Wrigley Media brought the footage to them after Grosman had handed it all over to a producer in the hopes that this would get his documentary green lit.

Not so real: The story

Any avid documentary fan will know that there is often a lot of any given story that simply gets lost to the cutting room floor. And, on the other side of this coin, clever editing can help to create just about any narrative that you want to.

Unfortunately, it seems like many of the original Amazon 5000 expedition members believe that their stories, opinions and lasting friendships with Grosman and each other were somewhat misrepresented on Expedition from Hell.

While the show has made it seem like the former expedition members, including Alex Hernandez, Kevin Jackson and even Kyle Ver Steeg, were wholly unhappy with Grosman and the entire expedition – their real-life social media accounts tell a very different story.

Alex recently shared his thoughts on Facebook, stating: “I can appreciate that some things seem a little crazy after the fact.”

Moreover, Kevin came to Grosman’s defense posting on his page “he’s not that bad, Discovery is intentionally making him out to be a bad guy. He’s still my buddy.”

Very real: The controversy

Regardless of what is real and what is fabricated about the Expedition from Hell narrative that we have seen thus far – one thing that is undoubtedly real is the controversy that Grosman’s unconventional leadership style has caused online.

Grosman has now deleted most of his recent posts from social media, but Discovery’s posts about this new show have been flooded with comments ranging from tame “whoa” to the more direct “He comes across as a narcissist, and probably one of the worst people on the planet to ‘lead’ anything.”

In the end, it seems like this documentary has had some undeniably real real-life consequences for this expedition leader.