After a hard day at a mine site, Parker Schnabel and the rest of his Gold Rush crew just want to be able to head back to camp and rest up before the next long workday. With grueling hours, intense work and quick deadlines, the truck ride back to town is probably the first moment of the day when these men and women can actually relax. Well, that is, when they aren’t up against armed locals blockading their caravan.
During Schnabel’s spin-off series, Parker’s Trail, the mining protege and his team headed down to Papua New Guinea in search of untapped land. While the gold supply was a safe bet, the team’s relationship with the locals was anything but. For the majority of the time spent in the country, the Gold Rush team managed to work without conflict. However, one day, a crowd of angry Papuans blindsided the crew when they blocked the only exit out of the mine site. Many of them carried weapons of some sort, including machetes.
When Schnabel first came across the locals at the head of the caravan, he rolled down his window and cordially introduced himself to one of the men. The Gold Rush star asked if the crew could proceed down the road, to which a local answered with a stern “No.”
Over the next few moments, the interaction quickly escalated into a dangerous situation.
Watch what happens next in the video below.
Papua New Guinea Locals Begin Throwing Rocks at ‘Gold Rush’ Crew
Originally, it seemed as though the blockade occurred because of a dispute between the locals themselves. However, once the men took notice of the Gold Rush miners and camera crews, their attention immediately shifted onto them.
One local stood on the hood of one of Schnabel’s vehicles, seemingly upset. Recognizing that the situation was not resolving itself, the Gold Rush star made a call to production for help. Just as he reached one of the show’s producers, a man approached Schnabel and demanded 1,000 Euros.
“Pay me for your car being here,” the man said in the video.
Several others collected around Schnabel until a crew member ushered the team back inside their vehicles. Then the men began throwing rocks at the Gold Rush crew.
“Roll your windows up,” Schnabel directed.
“Just stay calm,” fellow Gold Rush star Fred Lewis said.
Lewis, a former Green Beret in the U.S. Army, is no stranger to these intense situations and knew the best course of action was not to react in fear, even as a man began waving a machete over his head.
Unable to wait any longer, a member of the production team commanded the group to drive through the crowd, regardless of what the locals did.
Thankfully, they made it out of the site without any injuries. Though, it’s unclear whether the Gold Rush team was able to return to the area in the following days.