Enigma: The Monster of Loch Ness | Preview (Channel 5)
New documentary tells the complete and definitive story of Loch Ness and the monster that purportedly lurks there in a detailed forensic examination of evidence - photographic, filmed, anecdotal and cultural - to the first-hand stories of those who claim to have seen the monster while being drawn to both the phenomenon and the place.
Thirty-six km long and twice as deep as the North Sea, Loch Ness is the custodian of the world’s greatest monster myth. Passionate local historian Gary describes the monster’s origin story and shows us photos from the 1930’s that seem to show a sea serpent or lost dinosaur.
Steve lives in a static caravan on the shores of Loch Ness. He gave up his job 30 years ago to become a full-time ‘monster hunter’, believing that a plesiosaur was swimming around in the depths. He passionately dedicated himself to the hunt ever since, eagerly awaiting the next bit of evidence.
Leading the latest scientific quest is Professor Neil Gemmell, a Nessie sceptic. He travels from New Zealand to Loch Ness in the hope of showcasing his cutting-edge Environmental-DNA method on the world stage. With the help of an eclectic team of scientists, Neil begins a biodiversity study of the loch to determine what organisms live below the surface.
Billing the expedition as ‘the final, definitive search,’ Neil could soon be able to declare – once and for all – that there is no monster in Loch Ness. Neil begins to take samples from the deepest trenches over 230 metres down. With him is Adrian, an eccentric, self-proclaimed local ‘expert’ who shares more plausible theories on what the monster could be: a Wells Catfish, Greenland Shark, or Giant Eel perhaps?
Neil is increasingly distracted by the growing media, and he faces opposition from Steve who believes that Neil has flown half-way around the world just to make a name for himself. Local businessman Willie agrees and lists all the species that he expects Neil to find, including seals and otters. Gary, Steve, and Willie all convincingly recount their own sightings of the monster.
They pose the question: do we really want this beloved and enduring mystery to be solved? Neil and his team analyse their data and present it at a packed press conference. Neil proudly proclaims that there is no plesiosaur living in Loch Ness. He suggests that the monster is a giant eel, immediately sparking outrage from the local community. Steve pinpoints flaws and inaccuracies with the expedition and openly questions Neil’s motivations.
Neil admits that he has failed to find otters and seals – both of which are present in the loch. He also reveals that 20% of the DNA is inconclusive – therefore leaving the results open for debate. The local community dismiss the findings as a publicity stunt. The legend of the Loch Ness Monster lives on.
The Monster Of Loch Ness airs Sunday 19th March at 7pm on Channel 5.