Public Television for Western New England

Under Quabbin

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Beneath the millions of gallons of water that flow into homes across eastern Massachusetts is a story of buried history, scientific discovery, and individual hopes and dreams destroyed in the name of progress. Ed Klekowski, a UMass/Amherst biology professor with a passion for scuba diving, brings the fascinating details to light in "Under Quabbin," a documentary that debuted on WGBY in August of 2001.

With co-producers Libby Klekowski, Jonathon Williams and Michael Volmar and aided by the Mass. State Police Underwater Recovery Team, Klekowski led the first group of divers ever to go under Quabbin in search of the remains of four towns permanently erased from the Swift River Valley to make way for the reservoir 60 years ago. "Time has healed the land," Klekowski tells viewers. "But underwater, destruction is laid bare as if it happened yesterday, revealing a tragedy of enormous proportions."

"Every diver in western Massachusetts has wondered what's underneath Quabbin. I am just fortunate enough to get the opportunity to look," said Klekowski, who wrote and co-produced the documentary with his wife Libby Klekowski, editor Jonathan Williams and Michael Volmar, archeologist at the Fruitland Museum in Harvard, Mass. "Under Quabbin" was produced for WGBY in cooperation with UMass/Amherst.

Klekowski explained that the state police Underwater Recovery Unit used the search as a training exercise, employing maps to set a compass underwater and watching out for the safety of Klekowski's team. "We are very different sectors of the Commonwealth linked by a common interest," he noted.

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