THE MONSTER OF LLYN TEGYD - BALA LAKE
During 1995, the Japanese film company TBS Japan visited North Wales and I was contracted to provide technical assistance and diving support for an expedition to hunt for the mythical 'monster of Bala Lake' (Llyn Tegyd in Welsh) - otherwise affectionately known as 'Teggy'. With the support of the local Bala Sailing Club, who kindly allowed their premises to be used as a high tech. operations headquarters, a North Sea Deep Rescue Submersible (D.S.R.V.) was transported to Bala and lifted by heavy crane into the lake.
Following an introduction to the Japanese underwater cameraman of the very dubious delights of using neoprene dry suits in cold U.K. fresh water lakes (His previous location a week earlier had been in the warm Pacific!), the search was begun in earnest with divers and mini-submarine scouring the lake for over a week using electronic equipment, in an attempt to locate this cousin of the Loch Ness monster. The closest we came to finding Teggy was when we came across his (or her) food in the form of the ancient Gwynniad - a prehistoric fish that is only found in Bala Lake. We did see quite a few of the Gwynniad as they shoalled close to the mini-sub at a depth of approximately 20 metres, on the side of the lake away from the sailing club. The deepest area we investigated in the centre of the lake was over 30 metres in depth, but visibility made visual searching impractical and most of the work was carried out by the mini-sub's sonar.
Does Teggy exist? In common with Loch Ness sightings, there have also been sightings of a strange swimming creature in Llyn Tegyd by local people from time to time, but whether or not they are a marine creature unknown to science remains a mystery yet to be solved. Strange reflections were occasionally seen on the sonar and I suppose that if one ancient fish survives in the lake . . . . . . . something must be eating them or they would perhaps be more common?
The finished program was edited as part of a world wide hunt for monsters and screened as 'The Presenter' on Japanese television on the 26th November 1995.