Thursday, May 22, 2008

IS IT REAL? Monsters of the Deep

National Geographic Channel - Original Air Date: 2005-6

This show looks at sea and lake monsters from the Pacific shores to Nessie.  As usual, the show has a good survey of the evidence, including famous photos and the controversial Rines Loch Ness shots.  It also includes a complete (and convincing) explanation of the "Surgeon's Photo" hoax.  From there, they go to Lake Okanagan, home of the mythical Ogopogo.  There are plenty of reports, but scientific evidence is thin, and skeptics are unconvinced.  The editor of Skeptical Inquirer leads a team of Okanagan to investigate.  "Phantom waves," called seiches, seem a likely explanation -- both here and elsewhere; they're rare and they can look like a serpentine, living creature.  Divers and sonar turn up nothing, and a past sonar hit is suggested to be rotting tree.  But, Ogopogo has been captured on film many times, unlike most lake monsters.  Are any of the images proof positive, though?  They look at three strong examples, and recreate one using a thirty foot boat, which proves that the supposed creature was closer to the shore than estimated and, thus, neither so large nor as fast as supposed.  (This is a common problem with witness sightings in cases of uncanny events.)  An FBI film analyst looks at the films.  He suggests one is a fish, another movement of debris in the water, and a third waves.  But, what about sea monsters?  Most prove to be pieces of known creatures, like whale blubber.  Cadborasaurus--a water-breathing reptile--is believed to be a sea monster living off of the North American west coast.  Bill & Bob Clark claim to have seen the monster several times in San Francisco bay.  Unfortunately, their best footage looks like a flock of birds.  The film expert advises to look at evidence, not passionate witnesses.  Sadly, sea and lake monsters are a long way from being proven to exist.

1 comment:

sfseaserpent said...

We (Bill and Bob Clark) do not agree with NG's "forensic video expert" Grant Fredericks' conclusion that the objects in our video are "probably birds".

We have closely examined our 3 1/2 minute video frame by frame and there are several frames that show portions of a large unknown serpentine marine animal that are much larger than any known bird.

After the airing of the program, we contacted NG and tried to get Mr. Fredericks to answer some questions about what can be seen in our video that prove it's impossible for the objects in our video to be birds but Fredericks refused to respond to our questions.

To this day, Mr. Fredericks also refuses to provide written documentation explaining how and why he reached his conclusion so that other experts can examine it for its veracity.

No professional video analyst would refuse to answer questions regarding their conclusion and refuse to provide written documentation explaing how and why they reached their conclusion.

Therefore, we can only conclude that Mr. Fredericks is just a biased skeptic hired by NG who relied on "Occam's Razor" to debunk our and the other videos which were aired in their TV program.

We also resent NG for portraying us as being so naive that we would mistake ordinary birds for a sea serpent.

BTW, our first sighting of one of these animals swimming in SF Bay was on February 5, 1985 when one of the animals that was 60+ feet in length crashed into a submerged rocky ledge only 20 yards away from us while we were sitting in our car.

If you want more details about our sightings and videos as well as other sightings of these animals swimming in SF Bay and along the California coast since 1873 then you are invited to visit our blog at