Sunday, May 17, 2015

"The Loch Ness Monster" Season 1 Episode 20

The episode "The Loch Ness Monster" first aired on July 6, 1977 . It was directed by H.G. Stark. Story by J. Francis Hitching and written by Robert Long.

Nimoy teases us to start that there is "new evidence" to suggest a beast of unknown origin lives in Loch Ness in Scotland. This episode feels a bit different already. "Hello, I'm Leonard Nimoy. Few of the great mysteries we will explore in this series are as compelling as the accound of the unknown beast which lives in a picturesque Scottish lake." This is the first time he has introduced himself. He seems almost excited by this new eivdence.

We get a brief description of Loch Ness. Then we see some folks in a boat on the lake preparing to do some investigation. Some scientists from MIT in the US have come to investigate, along with others. There is an Abbey on the Lake that was founded in the 6th century and still inhabited by Monks today. According to Father Gregory, it was St. Columba who started the legend of the Loch Ness Monster.

Gregory tells us the story of how St. Columba saw a man swimming in the lake and saw a great beast swim near the man and that the man was able to scare it away. Nimoy then tells us of a modern photo that may be the only image of the Monster ever captured. Other than the Patterson Film of a Bigfoot, this may be the most famous paranormal visual not yet completely debunked as a fake.

Nimoy explains the photo was taken in 1934 by a physician with an impeccable reputation. He follows with a few other fuzzier images taken at different times. We are lead to believe that these photos have been viewed by many as positive evidence of a large beast in the lake. We next meet Sargent Henderson who is a local Constable. With a pleasing Scottish brogue, Henderson recounts his own sighting of the monster. Now we meet Alex Campbell who is described as a "waterman" who has worked on Loch Ness most of his life. His accent is even tougher to decipher. But I gather he was fishing on the lake when he had a fairly close encounter with a creature that had a large neck and he estimated was 30 feet long.

Campbell tells us how another boat coming nearby sent the creature into the depths. We are shown a drawing that seems to match the most common descriptions of the beast.

Yes most feel the monster is a prehistoric type creature long thought extinct. Nimoy reveals that hundreds of cameras have been trained on the lake, including one from the folks at "In Search Of... ". During the summer of 1976 there were three major expeditions on the lake to try and capture evidence of the creature. Rober Rines from the Academy of Applied Science has been chasing this monster for a while. He caught a glimpse of the beast in 1972 and has been looking ever since. Adrian Shine is also looking, but at a nearby lake where monsters have also been seen called Loch Morar. Mr. Shine thinks this is a better bet because the water is clearer.

Mr. Shine shares his techniques and the cameras they are using to try and find evidence of a monster. The National Geographic Society is working to find evidence on Loch Ness. Because the Lake was created by a glacier, there are deep channels on the lake. The theory is that maybe the monster spends much of it's time in the channels. Again more technology and techniques. Theories are bandied about and help to explain their approach. Nimoy has hinted that there is new evidence, yet no sign of it with only 4 minutes left in the episode. Then they hit us with it. As underwater microphones were recording an unusual sound, the "In Search Of... " cameras recorded a trail of bubbles on the surface of the water.

 Nimoy points out similar sightings in other countries, but at the same line of latitude, may confirm the existence of the creature. Dr. Nicholas Hutton of the Smithsonian discusses the theory that it might be a giant eel. He does say he doesn't think there is anything in Loch Ness, but he thinks that theory is the best of all of them.

"We now have volumes of data on the Loch Ness Monsters. And none of the investigators involved disputes the probability that a creature lives in Loch Ness. And all of them agree that the intensive effort may soon turn up the monster of the lake."

I'm not sure if its just the recording, but this is also the first episode in which we have heard this somewhat generic closing statement from Nimoy, accompanied by images from other episodes. "Lost Civilizations, extraterrestrials, myths and monsters, missing persons, magic and witchcraft, unexplained phenomena. "In Search Of..." cameras are traveling the world seeking out these great mysteries. This program was the result of the work of scientists, researchers, and a group of highly skilled technicians." Not sure why they included this. Concerns about the validity of the program? I wonder what type of criticism they were receiving?

This epsiode was ok. I was hoping for more creepiness. So maybe there is a big fish type thing in the lake? Let's call Jeremy Wade from "River Monsters" to catch it! Otherwise, who cares? I find it interesting that in today's world where everyone has a camera in their pocket, we have no better visual evidence than they had in 1977. To me, that says it all. Still, in 1977, a show like this had to address the Loch Ness Monster in some way. So nice try Nimoy, I just wasn't too impressed.

You can watch this episode "The Loch Ness Monster" below.

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