Saturday, February 7, 2009

MONSTERQUEST: The Death of Loch Ness

History Channel - Original Air Date: 2/4/09

The show starts by recapping the well-known story of Nessie, and talks to Robert Rines about his famous encounter and investigations.  In 2005, Rines scanned the entire bottom of Loch Ness with sonar.  Because he found nothing, he has come to believe that Nessie has died, and its carcass has sunk to the bottom of the lake.  He even found an intriguing underwater picture, that might show a carcass.  MonsterQuest wants to pick up where he left off, and Rines is going with them.  They've even brought a fish-shaped camera with them to act as a lure, and an ROV to poke around at anything they find.  A man names Gordon Holmes disagrees with Rines; he's had sightings very recently, and has a video to prove it.  The show reviews some famous photographic hoaxes (surgeon's photo, three hump photo) and Rines' possibly real plesiosaur-shaped photo.  Recent findings of marine shells in the lake suggest the loch was once connected to the sea, and might therefore harbor marine animals.  A "fleshy" sample pulled up by the ROV proves to be merely clay.  Holmes, meanwhile, sends out a tiny remote-controlled boat with a camera and sonar, which he hopes will be quiet enough to sneak up on the creature.

Though the MQ search covers the whole lake, like most expeditions, this MQ one turns up no evidence of the monster; all the ROV samples turn out to be merely muck.  The Holmes film analysis proves inconclusive, too, though a large fish and "catspaw" winds are offered as possible explanations.  While even official Loch Scientist Adrian Shine belives something strange is going on, and thus worth studying, no new proof is forthcoming.  Rines hopes to continue, though his advancing age may make this his last trip to the loch.  Unfortunately, like most of their episodes, this first show in the new season of MonsterQuest turns up no actual monsters.

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