A California-based production company has heard about the legend of a sea creature in Raystown Lake, referred to locally as Raystown Ray, and is coming to the area next month to investigate.
A.J. D'Agostino, an associate producer with Base Productions of Burbank, said a team of 10 people will visit the area on?April 27 and 28 to spend time on the lake and gather information from people who think they may have seen the creature.
Matt Price, executive director of the Huntingdon County Convention and Visitors Bureau, who has been in communication with Base, said the company is producing a six-episode show and dedicating half of one of the episodes to Raystown Ray. He said it may air on the SyFy Channel. A release from Base said the show, on the paranormal, is to be broadcast in June.
"We are looking for people to be interviewed on the show," D'Agostino said. "Eyewitness accounts are the best ... people who have been near the lake or on the lake who would be willing to share their story. If they have photos or videos, that would be amazing."
Base Productions decided to investigate after viewing information on the Web site www.raystownray.com. The Web site was created five years ago for reporting sightings, photos and gathering information.
"We saw the most recent photo of Raystown Ray and that looks pretty compelling," D'Agostino said. "We have a team of investigators who look at video clips and photos of things that are either aliens, strange creatures or ghosts."
The investigation will focus on the Seven Points area, where a recent sighting of the sea monster was reported, she said.
"This will be our first field investigation," she said. "We hope to find evidence."
One witness on the Web site wrote, "We saw it from about 50 yards from us when it raised up, it's head moved from side to side. It made no sound. I'd say it was at least 20 feet long."
Witnesses can post information on sightings by visiting the Web site and e-mailing their story or photo plus contact information.
D'Agostino said witnesses should think about when and where they saw a creature, what they saw, what they heard, and what they thought about it.
Price said the investigation will go beyond talking to eyewitnesses.
"We've put them in touch with a local scuba diver and also with Seven Points Marina. We're assisting them with the dive and with the fishfinder equipment and I believe ... they are also talking with a fishing guide," Price said.
Base Productions plans on being in the area for two days of production and Price said eyewitness interviews will be conducted on the back deck of the visitors center, which overlooks the lake.
Base Productions also produces "Sport Science," which airs on Fox Sports Net, and A&E's justice series "Crime 360."
Price said he's never seen Raystown Ray, but "if he exists, it certainly hasn't affected the ecosystem much, the fish are large, vegetation is plentiful, it hasn't disturbed swimmers."
He welcomes the national exposure.
"It's an opportunity to get our area on national television," he said.
To read about sightings of Raystown Ray and see photos posted by eyewitnesses, log onto www.raystownray.com.
Staff Writer Barbara Cowan is at 946-7454.