Skip to comments.The Infamous Tale of an Exploding Whale (Thar She Blows!)
Posted on 11/13/2008 9:53:21 PM PST by nickcarraway
EDITOR'S NOTE: Nov. 12 is the anniversary of this famous story.
FLORENCE - Even years later, KATU still receives phone calls and emails from viewers interested in re-watching the story KATU's Paul Linnman reported on in November of 1970.
Prompted by such demand, we dug into our video archives and resurrected the story about the dead whale, a half ton of dynamite, and bits of blubber falling from the sky.
Unable to find a use for it, and unsure how best to dispose of it, the Department of Transportation blew up a dead whale on the Oregon coast in November of 1970.
The Oregon Highway Division not only had a whale of a problem on its hands, but a stinky whale of a problem--what to do with one 45 foot, 8 ton whale, dead on arrival on a beach near Florence.
It had been so long since a whale had washed up in Lane County, that no one could remember how to get rid of one.
In selecting its battle plan, the Highway Division decided the carcass couldn't be buried because it might be uncovered, it couldn't be cut up and then buried because no one wanted to cut it up, and it couldn't be burned, so dynamite it was--some 20 cases, or a half ton of it.
Anything left over, officials reasoned, would be taken care of by seagulls and other scavengers.
The KATU cameras stopped rolling immediately after the blast, but Linnman recalls making his way out of the area as huge chunks of blubber fell everywhere.
A parked car over a quarter of a mile from the blast site was the target of one last chunk. Fortunately, no one was hurt as badly as the car. However, everyone was covered with small particles of dead whale.
(Robt is not sure why he pinged Gabz to this thread. But he as sure whales do not wear thongs.)
Les Nessman must have been the technical adviser.
Thar she blows...
"When it absolutely, positively has to be blown to bits overnight, call in Palestinian Express."
“As God is my witness, I thought whales could fly!”
Everything and everyone within a half mile or so was covered with a veneer of decomposing whale tissues, with a vile stench that was supposedly beyond the power of words to describe.
I can just heard John Madden:
heard = hear
Took a lot of guts to do that.
Don’t bring a whale to a bomb fight.
Around here not much of the carcass seems to make it to shore
as the tiger sharks chew them up a great deal first . What makes it to shore looks more like an undifferentiated amorphous mass . Then it’s interesting to stand nearby and watch the tigers come 3/4’s the way out of the water in order to keep eating. No seagulls.....
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