When I was a kid/young man in the late 70’s I was into the concepts of anything that bordered on the bizarre. I read with avid interest anything I could get my hands on on UFOs, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, aliens among us, etc. Think Weekly World News, except most of it was written in pseudo-scientific jargon and treated as if it were real. Whether or not such things actually do or did exist notwithstanding.
In 1977 a new TV series captured my interest. It was hosted by Mr. Spock (really by Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Spock on Star Trek) and delved into such subjects as UFOs, The Bermuda Triangle, The Bimini Wall, Atlantis and other such topics. The series treated these subjects as potentially real, although, as the voice over said at the beginning of each episode:
“This series presents information based in part on theory and conjecture. The producer’s purpose is to suggest some possible explanations, but not necessarily the only ones, to the mysteries we will examine.”
I religiously made a habit to be around a TV each week to watch the newest episode. It ran from 1977-82, lasting five seasons, but it never really gained a following except among outcasts like myself and the Trekkies who never stopped believing that a Star Trek revival could be just around the next corner. (At least that subset of the population eventually got their wish).
A month ago I happened to spot the entire original series on the shelf at the local used bookstore. I treated myself to an early Christmas present, since I was the only one who would actually buy it for me. It was like nostalgia, immersing myself in a series that brought back memories of Saturday afternoon in front of the TV. That was when I vaguely remember watching episodes, although Wikipedia gives some fairly inconsistent air dates. It wasn’t part of a weekly night time schedule, at least that I can remember.
Some of the best episodes were the ones that dealt with real mysteries, such as a look at potential possibilities for the identity of Jack the Ripper. Or mysterious disappearances such as what may have happened to Amelia Earhart, Glenn Miller, or Michael Rockefeller. Or D.B. Cooper (and if you don’t know who D. B. Cooper was, you are way too young…)
But also included, as hinted above, were investigations into sightings of various cryptids, not only Bigfoot and his brother, The Abominable Snowman, and the Loch Ness Monster, but also lesser known ones such as the Swamp Monster of rural Louisiana fame, and the Ogopopo Monster, Canada’s answer to Nessie.
Jim Brymer, AKA Quiggy, runs the movie blog The Midnite Drive-In, check it out for more insights on other classic films.