HUNTINGDON - A California-based production company has been in Huntingdon this week, trying to document proof of Raystown Ray.
Raystown Ray is one of many strange creatures around the world people claim to have seen. In the Pacific Northwest are stories of Bigfoot. In Scotland, it's the Loch Ness Monster. The Abominable Snowman is said to inhabit the Himalaya Mountains.
Base Productions, which is affiliated with NBC Universal Studios, has been in the Lake Raystown region since Wednesday, filming and conducting eyewitness interviews with people who claim to have seen the creature that some people believe lives in the waters of the 26.1-mile man-made lake.
Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau Executive Director Matt Price said he is not certain whether there is something abnormal swimming in the dark regions of Raystown Lake. At its deepest point near Raystown Dam, the lake is about 200 feet deep.
"I don't know if there is something in the lake or not," Price said. "It is a big lake and it is capable of holding something that large."
Former Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau Executive Director Pam Prosser, who now runs Seven Points Marina, has heard the stories.
"I grew up on the original lake. I have seen the pictures of the ski jump that we used to use for our ski club and there was a shadow in the picture. We always thought there was a mythical creature in the lake. We were never afraid of it," Prosser said.
The production team has been asking a lot of questions around town this week about Raystown Ray, and the resulting attention has been growing.
"We call it good for business," Prosser said. "And if someone is curious about it, we will take the time to talk to them about it. What the biologists have told us is that if there is a creature in the lake, it would likely be an herbivore. He doesn't eat people; he won't attack people or little kids' toes. There is not a danger in coming to Lake Raystown."
Prosser admitted that she is not certain if Raystown Ray is real, but it is difficult to dismiss the rumors and legend.
"Is there a monster? I don't know, but I don't think it is something to be afraid of," she said.
The crew was expected to wrap up filming late Friday night or early this morning before flying out.
According to Base Production's website, the television show will be titled American Paranormal.
Base Productions indicated the show should air sometime next month on the SyFy Channel.