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Monster Quest: The Giant Squid-Found / Scott Cassell's Blog

Discussion in 'Marine Life and Ecosystems' started by Otter, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. Otter

    Otter ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SoCal (native)
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    Scott asked me to post this here for him....

    From: Scott Cassell

    RE: My decision and reasons to distance myself from The History Channel’s documentary entitled Monster Quest: The Giant Squid-Found

    My exposure to this documentary was when I viewed the debut broadcast with the rest of the world on Wednesday, November 14th 2007 and I was appalled at the direction it went.

    There are several errors in the documentary and since I was directly involved with the expedition as a research facilitator and explorer, I feel ethically obligated to present the facts for what they are and make corrections when errors are made.

    The method, location, timing and implantation of the ‘Squid Cam’ was of my design drawing from over ten years studying Humboldt squid and an unidentified Giant Squid. It was my life’s dream to be the first to film a Giant Squid in situ, not on a jig, but acting in natural predatory behavior. I accomplished this, but the power of the Producer and the edit room changed the facts and the story. The show was originally portrayed to me to be about my research with major scientific entities and aquariums and filming the magnificent Humboldt Squid. In doing so proving they get larger than previously known and that they will attack and eat humans under natural situations, not man-made.

    I was not involved with the writing of this story, the editing, or the scientific, technical accuracy of this production. The only time I saw the footage of the “very large squid in question” was the day we shot it. I requested a copy of the footage several times to analyze it but was turned down.

    I strongly believe that it was Architeuthis (not Dosidicus) but of course cannot confirm it due to the absence of ‘tell tale’ morphological structures like chitenous ring-teeth, wing (fin) shape, and size to mantle ratio and tentacle shape – length.

    Below is a black and white of the show. What the documentary claims is titled as Myth. The Facts are presented clearly and a brief Explanation is given. The Explanation does not include my opinion. That is for another forum.

    As always, my films, footage, still photographs, observations and diving methodology is available to the scientific and educational communities for the advancement of knowledge and support of on going research.

    Myth 1
    The squid was 54 feet long

    Fact
    I doubt the squid could be that big simply because the video footage analysis was not done correctly and subsequently over-estimated the size of the creature.

    Explanation
    1. The forensic video analyst erroneously identified a scrape on the animal’s skin at the head-mantle intersection was a reflection in the eye. Since the scrape would be a significant distance from the eye, the overall size calculation cannot be used, therefore it is simply not an accurate size assessment.
    2. Based on personal experience in situ over a decade of seeing large squid, I strongly believe that the squid in the sequence is large, probably in excess of 25 feet, but considering the quality of the footage a precise size assessment cannot be made.
    Myth 2
    The “Camera Squid” I was holding was 8 feet long and 200 pounds

    Fact
    He was only 4.5 feet long and weighed an estimated 45-50 pounds

    Explanation
    I wasn’t a part of the writing or scientific, technical accuracy. I am 69 inches tall and with long bladed fins am approx 100 inches. If you use that as a scale when watching the documentary you can easily gauge the size of the Camera squid.

    Myth 3
    The Trojan Squid “Psuedomorph” (or “Sue” for short) was incredibly successful.

    Fact
    It failed.

    Explanation
    The deployment of Sue was difficult and when performed, no squid approached it and no squid attacked it. If you watch the sequence, you will notice that the ‘jigged’ Humboldt squid that attacked it was actually caught on a traditional jig with a camera attached to it.

    Myth 4
    The expedition was performed in Cabo

    Fact
    It was performed solely in Loreto, Baja California Sur

    Explanation
    I wasn’t a part of the writing or scientific, technical accuracy.


    Thank you for your time.
    Scott Cassell
     
    antattack likes this.
  2. Teamcasa

    Teamcasa Sr. Moderator Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Near Pasadena, CA
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    This sort of thing seems to happen more often than we think. 100% of the times I have read an article, watched a news report or television show on a subject I had personal knowledge about had errors in accuracy. Some glaring, some minor but errors non the less. Thank you for pointing out the errors in this show.
     
  3. ianw2

    ianw2 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Temecula, California
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    Was this the show being taped in Loreto in October of 2006? We were staying at the Inn at Loreto Bay and diving with Dolphin Dive Center when we ran into the crew filming at the hotel beach. We also chatted with the film crew at breakfast on most mornings.

    What a disappointment that it's so poorly done technically.

    And, what a shame I missed it last night! We've been looking for it for ages.

    Apparently it airs again on November 25 at 10PM.

    Cheers,

    Ian
     

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