Navy SEAL goes on a Manhunt in SA

2014-02-04 15:25
Cape Town – A former Navy SEAL, Joel Lambert, goes on the run in South Africa in one of the episodes of his brand-new adventure reality series, Manhunt, starting tonight at 20:30 on Discovery Channel (DStv 121) – doing something so dangerous and stupid but doing it anyway in an attempt to evade capture.

In this new series, Lambert is dropped in remote location across the globe, getting 48 hours to make it to an extraction point with that countries best trackers and special forces trying to capture him.

“The South African episode of Manhunt is awesome,” the rugged Lambert told Channel24 “I won't tell you what happens but there is a point where I was like: ‘It is better to die and win, than to quit and live.”

“So this is the stupidest thing I've ever done. And it is stupid. And I know why it’s stupid but … ha ha … I got to do it anyway.”

From dense jungles to deserts, Lambert says he was “hormonal” when he got home. “After the first episode … I was hormonal ... My adrenals, my adrenalin was just pumping. I would come home, and for several of the other ones I would come home and just sleep 10, 12 hours a night, taking 3 to 4 hour naps in the day, just doing nothing but eating.”

“I couldn't even make a hard fist with my hand. I just ... I was just bone tired. And then it would take me about a week to get to where I was pretty functional. And then there was usually about a two week break.”

Lambert says what viewers will see in Manhunt is “brutal, brutal stuff”.  “I go into operator mode. Just not talking. And the camera guys would come and go, ‘Hey Joel ...’ And I would go ‘Shut-up’.”

“Some guys like in the Philippines, they were just jungle fighters – the guys just had rifles and they didn't have any assets. Then in Poland they had helicopters and thermal imaging and a SWAT team and dog tracking units and guys on horseback and 75 people.”

“Everybody tries to find my general direction of travel and just try to follow my footprints. But if you just follow my footprints, I will always be ahead of you. Forever. You need to get ahead of me and get me.”

‘I’m going against entire countries’

Lambert said the reason he did Manhunt for Discovery was “the same reason I knew I had to join the SEALS – because it scared the shit out of me. And I knew that's why I had to do it because I didn't really want to do it because it was not a comfortable thing to do. It was not like I'm done with the SEAL teams, I'm going to kick back for a while and get fat. I'm going to relax.”

“They brought this to me and I thought, oh now I'm going to have the reputation of the SEAL teams on me. I'm 41 years old now. I'm going to be out there with dudes who are 22. They're in fine shape and hungry. I'm going against entire countries. And for these dudes it’s a matter of national pride to get my head on a platter.”

So they pull out all the stops – including cheating – I’m not going to say what, but they pull out everything.”

Jungle fever

Asked what location he hates, Lambert told Channel24 he hates the jungle. “Jungle kicks my ass. Every time. I hate the jungle.”

“High desert because of my time in Afghanistan, high desert I love. The veld here in South Africa I love. Cold weather I really love. High altitude I really love. Jungle I hate. And where do they send me? Somewhere in the fucking jungle! Ha ha. And it was horrible!”

“Because I hate the humidity. I don't want to go to Hawaii. Mountain places? Fine. Tropical places? Palm tree leaves? No thank you. Water and food are not a problem in the jungle but the problem is that everything you want to eat probably wants to eat you as well.”

Go on … or die

Lambert said he never feels or felt to give up. “Quitting is never an option. You go until they capture me, I escape, or I'm dead.”

“My poor camera guy! I racked him up so much. He's a great camera guy, he's a great athlete, he can keep up – but he just doesn't have any tactical sense. Like in the Philippines these guys were smelling the earth, they were amazing trackers.”

“So I'm walking from hilllock to hillock because I know these guys are on everything. And I just assume the camera guy is following in my footsteps. And I look over, and he's tromping through the bushes not caring where he steps while he's filming all this cool stuff! Like, do you not understand what we're doing here? And that would happen all the time.”

During the production Manhunt experienced an attack of jungle bees. Guys went into anaphylactic shock and had to get epinephrine. There was heat stroke. Someone had to go to hospital for 24 hours. Someone got MRSA, there was staph infection and Dengue fever.

This will be shown in a special behind-the-scenes episode which forms part of the Discovery Channel series.

“Seeing dudes getting attacked by a swarm of jungle bees. They just swarm. With the camera still running. Running through the jungle, screaming. And you can hear the swarm. Until he finally just drops all of his gear and just gets completely lost in the jungle. And the camera is running all the time. It's unbelievable.”

Manhunt I airs on Tuesdays on Discovery Channel (DStv 121) at 20:30.

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