Saturday 8 December 2012

A Good Old Fashioned Nessie Documentary

I came across this old documentary from 1976 called "Mysterious Monsters" which was narrated by the well known American actor, Peter Graves, of "Mission Impossible" fame. Funnily enough, it was another actor from that program, Leonard Nimoy, who also narrated the similarly themed "In Search Of ..." series.

Actually, the documentary itself concentrates mainly on Bigfoot, but there is a nine minute clip near the start of the hour and a half film that talks about the Loch Ness Monster. It starts about 8 minutes and 50 seconds in but click on this link to go direct to the Loch Ness part.

In it you will see clips of Tim Dinsdale, the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau, Roberts Rines and his team at work and that perennial eyewitness, Father Gregory Brussey, from Fort Augustus Abbey talking about his long necked sighting. The snapshot of Dinsdale above shows him with his model monster which I have seen in films and books multiple times. I wonder if it survives to this day?

Good fun although a bit dated. The documentary itself typifies a more dynamic, mysterious and romantic age for these things. I remember as a kid in the late 1970s regularly going into one of the main bookshops in Glasgow to be confronted with row upon row of books on mysticism, monsters, ghosts and UFOs. This filtered through to TV, newspaper and magazine articles which abounded. I have some to this day including the 150 plus issues of the very popular "The Unexplained" magazine which I religiously bought from my newsagent every week. In some sense, it was exciting times, something to distract oneself from the troubles of that turbulent decade.

It was a generation of people exploring the weird and wacky but go into a bookshop today and you behold a different scene. Those books are gone but they are now replaced with a similar acreage of tomes on popular science and scepticism. You are not likely to easily find a book on the Loch Ness Monster. Such is the shift in culture after a span of thirty years. I wonder what the popular titles will be to excite the imaginations of men another generation from now?


  1. actually here in the States I don't find 'science and skepticism' books in the section the "monsters" used to be in as I do books on how to cast spells and magick. UFOs and ghost sighting books are still popular, but any sort of cryptozoology/weird phenomena seems to have fallen by the wayside.

  2. bodge from suffolk9 December 2012 at 08:46

    Yet again you come up with gem's like this,the first book about 'nessie' i got was Tim Dinsdales the story of the loch ness monster in the early 70's from the local book shop .It all seemed so much more exciting way back then ,living in East Anglia, Loch Ness seemed to be a far off mystical place (it still is!) I remember Tim Dinsdale appearing on a programme hosted by Fred Dinage where a panel had to guess which one of a group of 4 people was the real Tim Dinsdale monster hunter searching for the loch ness monster ! fantastic thanks again for this blog..

    1. That's a good question, what was your first Nessie book? I can't honestly remember now!

    2. THE GREATEST MONSTERS IN THE WORLD by Daniel Cohen, was my first. it was given to me after I lost my mind over the (now debunked) Mokele-mbembe footage from THAT'S INCREDIBLE! Once I saw The Surgeon's Photo, I was hooked.

  3. I've read a few Nessie books from libraries etc in the past and I remember my first Loch Ness purchase very well. It is The Water Horses of Loch Ness by our very own GB. Unfortunately I have been forbidden to read it as of yet because it's a Christmas present from the Missus. I'm looking forward to reading it on Christmas night after she has had just a little too much of the good old Malt that is produced north of the border.