'I couldn't see him anymore'

'I couldn't see him anymore'
Ten Network
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This clip from The Harold Holt Mystery (Ten Network, 1985) includes interviews with two eyewitnesses at Cheviot Beach on 17 December 1967, the day that Harold Holt disappeared.

It opens with a re-creation of Marjorie Gillespie and Alan Stewart on the beach. Stewart followed Holt into the surf but didn't swim out very far because of the rough conditions.

Gillespie was staying next door to Holt's holiday home at Portsea on the weekend of his disappearance. Holt invited Gillespie to watch around-the-world sailor Alec Rose pass by on his yacht. The pair then travelled to the beach in Holt's car while three others, including Mrs Gillespie’s daughter and Alan Stewart, followed in a second car. The group headed to Cheviot Beach where, despite the rough sea, Holt decided to have a swim.

Marjorie Gillespie was once considered the most intriguing woman in the country, and was reportedly having an affair with the prime minister. Holt’s wife, Zara, was certainly aware of a number of women in Holt’s life but chose to turn a blind eye. 'He loved women’, she would later say.

Initially, Gillespie’s presence at the scene was not reported by the police. She was rumoured to have been smuggled away from the beach in the boot of a car to shield her from the public and the media. In later years Marjorie Gillespie shunned public life and rarely spoke about the tragedy.