The actor Leonard Nimoy died this week. It was all over the news, of course, and many photos of him as Spock from Star Trek appeared all over my social media feeds. That was his most famous and beloved roll so that’s to be expected but I still like him best in his roll as the narrator of the classic 1970s TV show “In Search Of…”. So far I haven’t seen many references to that show but I did see one list of top ten episodes. I did not agree with that list at all and it seemed to me to be written by someone with only a passing knowledge of “In Search Of…”. So I thought I’d put together my own list.

As a child in the 1970s “In Search Of…” taught me many things. But first and foremost the voiceover they had at the beginning that said “This series presents information based in part on theory and conjecture” was a real eye-opener. As a ten year old I couldn’t quite figure out what that meant. I’m still not sure exactly when I figured it out but the lesson I came away with was that it was up to me to figure out which parts of the story were bullshit. I know I had an ah-ha moment with that but I don’t remember exactly when. I was a youngster though and I have “In Search Of…” to thank for my rather finely tuned bullshit detector.

I didn’t quite make a top ten list because I don’t care much for top ten lists but I did pick out a bunch of them that are favorites. I broke them down into three categories. Historical – Mysteries that have a strong background in fact but we don’t know the answers. Speculation – Most of these are pretty unproven if not totally made up. Still there is a grain of truth in there somewhere. Bat-shit Crazy – Where do they come up with this stuff? In most cases “In Search Of…” was the first place I ever saw anything about these mysteries. As a kid I read a lot of history and biography books that were written for children but this was a whole different take on “History”.


In Search Of – s1e17 – The Easter Island Massacre – This one was cool. Giant sculptures and a civilization that fell. Sure they didn’t know a lot about the whys and wherefores but the statues were real and so were the people. I have a great interest in statues and art from ancient civilizations and it’s influenced my own art work and I bet it all started here.

In Search Of – s2e21 – Butch Cassidy – I’m pretty sure I knew about the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid movie before I ever saw this so it was really cool to think that a historical figure escaped his known death and went on to life out his life in obscurity. There is not a lot of excitement in this one besides that thought. Still that was enough as this was probably the first time I was confronted by that idea. Not every story we’re taught is true. Of course this one might not be true too. Turn on that B.S. Detector.

In Search Of – s3e07 – Siberian Fireball – Wow, a real life event that could have altered history if it happened in a slightly different place. A comet, meteor, asteroid, or whatever hits the Earth but far enough away from civilization that a scientist doesn’t even get there for fifteen years. What are the odds? Great and intriguing stuff.

In Search Of – s4e11 – D.B. Cooper – A true life crime story that happened within only a handful of years of the making of this episode. Mysteries were still happening even as we were in the modern age.

In Search Of – s4e06 – The Lost Colony of Roanoke – Lost people from a time when people shouldn’t have been able to get that lost. We learned about all sorts of colonists in social studies class but never these ones.


In Search Of – s1e10 – Atlantis – To this day I’m fascinated with Atlantis. No evidence for it but an old story but it leads to stories of all sorts of other civilizations that were lost and then found. I like those real stories too.

In Search Of – s2e13 – Anastasia – Take a historical figure or incident and build a whole myth around it. I knew the Russian princess didn’t live while the rest of the family died but that didn’t stop a lot of people from wanting it to be true. Taught me that a lot of people just plain want to believe.

In Search Of – s3e05 – Jack the Ripper – Historical true life crime. Except there isn’t a lot known about Saucy Jack. Still it doesn’t stop people from speculating. Since seeing this show I’ve see half a dozen shows that made good cases for half a dozen different suspects. Not much there but scary because it was real.

In Search Of – s3e16 – The Money Pit Mystery – Seems so real but is probably completely made up. This one taught me about the old “Tower of Speculation”. I mean it was tall tale after tall tale. Where is the real story in the story?

Bat-shit Crazy
In Search Of – s1e01 – Other Voices – I never would have guessed this was the first episode ever. It’s all about if plants can really talk and communicate with us. Before episode guides were easily available I would have swore this was a late episode when they were running out of ideas.

In Search Of – s2e02 – The Man Who Would Not Die – Ahhh… The Count of St. Germain. Did he have super powers? Is he really immortal? This show introduced me to the 1970s phenomenon of people “Channeling” dead people. Cracks me up to this day.

In Search Of – s2e01 – The Lost Dutchman Mine – Tell people that there is gold in them thar’ hills and they’ll be people digging in those hills forever. The History Channel even has a new reality show about this.

In Search Of – s6e03 – Ghosts in Photography – An all-time favorite. To this day I wish I could get one of this old Polaroid Land cameras where you peel off the back of the picture. I’d be hanging out in graveyards and taking photos just like the guys in this episode. It looks like fun.

If you want a TV show that logically explores unknown mysteries and such then check out “Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World” but if you want the soothing tones of Leonard Nimoy delivering such lines as “The Count of St. Germain… where was he actually from? Portugal? Egypt? … Atlantis?” then you need “In Search Of…”.