"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."
Ironic how the disclaimer that led off one of the GREATEST TV SERIES OF ALL TIME would also apply to writing fiction.
For those of you who don't know there was, in the late 70s and early 80s, only one show that dared to address questions that your typical eight year old would consider vital: Does Bigfoot exist? What exactly is in Loch Ness? Was there really a Wolf Man?
Yes, only one show scared and enthralled, captivated and horrified, like In Search Of.
Hosted with the just-right gravitas of Leonard Nimoy, whom I was aware of thanks to Star Trek reruns (plus the animated Star Trek series), In Search Of struck the essential balance between hokey and frightening that any kid (and I suppose adult) would find intoxicating. I mean, what other shows at the time seriously examined the possible existence of, say, UFOs with a combination of found footage, interviews with 'experts' and re-enactments?
That's right. None.
I've made mention on this site and in my blog about how much my aesthetic was shaped (i.e., twisted) by the syndicated episodes of The Twilight Zone. I had almost forgotten about TTZ's shadow twin In Search Of. Interestingly, Rod Serling hosted the first In Search Of documentaries and would have continued to do so for the series proper had he not passed away. No further pop culture blessing need be applied, thank you very much.
I suppose one could quibble about the, well, factual accuracy of the show. One could throw around words like 'scientific method' 'evidence' 'proof' if one wanted to be an absolute kill-joy. That's missing the point. Setting aside the dangers that some folks will believe anything they see on TV (which is admittedly a pretty massive set-aside) In Search Of's greatness resided in its ability to instill wonder and awe in the world around us.
Who doesn't want to believe that, just down that way, there is a Bermuda Triangle that will slurp you into a trans-dimensional vortex? I mean, come on.
And I have to admit that even as an adult I'm still intrigued by a story like the one about Coral Castle. It's just so...odd and magical.
Thank you You Tube. And thank YOU In Search Of.