Whale Blow Up

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snopes

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Jan 17, 1992, 4:38:28 PM1/17/92
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Earlier this week I heard the morning drive team on a local radio station
repeating the story of the town that needed to get rid of a dead whale that
had washed up on their beach. Most of you probably know the rest: They
decide to blow the whale up into smaller pieces that can be consumed by
seagulls or washed away by the tide. After placing half a ton of dynamite
under the whale and detonating it, death and destruction in the form of huge
chunks of blubber come raining down on everyone within miles of the beach.

I didn't hear the whole explanation, but it sounded like they had taken the
story from a recent issue of _Forbes_ magazine, and the event had supposedly
occurred quite recently. Since this tale has been around for years, I'm
curious to find out whether it was actually reported as a recent event.
I checked out the most recent issue of _Forbes_ at the newsstand, but I didn't
see anything about the whale story. The radio folks even repeated the usual
coda to this story: the deadly rain of blubber was captured on videotape for
all to see. Has anybody seen reports of this story? Has anybody actually
seen the aforementioned videotape? (No, it doesn't count as a snuff film,
because the whale was already very, very sick.)

- snopes

+--------------------------------+--------------------------------------------+
| | "The Atari 520 ST is a serious challenge |
| David P. Mikkelson | to the Apple Macintosh and will open up a |
| Digital Equipment Corporation | major fight in the personal computer |
| Culver City, CA USA | market." |
| | 1986 advertisement |
+--------------------------------+--------------------------------------------+

Steve Coltrin

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Jan 18, 1992, 2:19:37 AM1/18/92
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mikk...@breakr.enet.dec.com (snopes) writes:


>Earlier this week I heard the morning drive team on a local radio station
>repeating the story of the town that needed to get rid of a dead whale that
>had washed up on their beach. Most of you probably know the rest: They
>decide to blow the whale up into smaller pieces that can be consumed by
>seagulls or washed away by the tide. After placing half a ton of dynamite
>under the whale and detonating it, death and destruction in the form of huge
>chunks of blubber come raining down on everyone within miles of the beach.

(stuff deleted)

In Julian May's _The Many-Colored Land_, juvenile delinquent
extraordinaire Aiken Drum convinces his scout troop to use his homemade
plastique for just this porpoise, with the same results. Publication date
mid-80s, I think.

>- snopes

--
spco...@uokmax.ecn.uoknor.edu
This article was probably generated by a buggy news lurker.

Ted Frank

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Jan 18, 1992, 5:35:41 AM1/18/92
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From "Dave Barry Talks Back"

"...I base this statement on a similar situation in Oregon where
inocent civilians were struck by falling whale parts. I am
absolutely not making this incident up; in fact, I have it all on
videotape.... The tape is from a local TV news show in Oregon,
which sent a reporter out to cover a 45-foot, 8-ton dead whale that
washed up on the beach. The responsibility for getting rid of
the carcass was placed upon the Oregon State Highway Division,
apparentally on the theory that highways and whales are very similar
in the sense of being large objects.

"So anyway, the highway engineers hit upon the plan--remember, I
am not making this up--of blowing up the whale with dynamite.
The thinking here was that the whale would be blown into small
pieces, which would be eaten by sea gulls, and that would be that.
A textbook whale removal.

"...I am probably guilty of understatement when I say that what
follows, on the videotape, is the most wonderful event in the
history of the universe. First you see the whole carcass disappear
in a huge blast of smoke and flame. Then you hear the happy
soectators shouting, 'Yayy!' and 'Wheee!' Then, suddenly, the
crowd's tone changes. You hear a new sound, the sound of many
objects hitting the ground with a noise that sounds like 'splud.'
You hear a woman's voice shouting 'Here comes pieces of -- my GOD!'
Something smears the camera lens.

"Later the reporter explains 'The humor of the entire situation
suddenly gave way to a run for survival as huge chunks of whale
blubber fell everywhere.' One piece caved in the roof of a car
parked more than a mile away. [I wonder if the insurance
covered.] Remaining on the beach were several rotting whale
sectors the size of condominium units. There was no sign of
the sea gulls, who had no doubt permanently located to Brazil...."

Buy the book. It's worth it. Buy all of Dave Barry's books,
he's the only author out there that can make me laugh out loud.

making this
--
Ted Frank + "[P]laintiffs' activities in promoting talking cat were
1307 E 60 St, #109 + within legitimate exercise of city's taxing power."
U o' C Law Skool + -- Headnote from Miles v. City
Chi, IL 60637 + Council of Augusta, 710 F.2d 1542

DSTE...@cmsa.gmr.com

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Jan 18, 1992, 10:05:14 AM1/18/92
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snopes writes:
>Earlier this week I heard the morning drive team on a local radio station
>repeating the story of the town that needed to get rid of a dead whale that
>had washed up on their beach. Most of you probably know the rest: They
>decide to blow the whale up into smaller pieces that can be consumed by
>seagulls or washed away by the tide. After placing half a ton of dynamite
>under the whale and detonating it, death and destruction in the form of huge
>chunks of blubber come raining down on everyone within miles of the beach.

>I didn't hear the whole explanation, but it sounded like they had taken the


>story from a recent issue of _Forbes_ magazine, and the event had supposedly
>occurred quite recently. Since this tale has been around for years, I'm
>curious to find out whether it was actually reported as a recent event.
>I checked out the most recent issue of _Forbes_ at the newsstand, but I didn't
>see anything about the whale story. The radio folks even repeated the usual
>coda to this story: the deadly rain of blubber was captured on videotape for
>all to see. Has anybody seen reports of this story? Has anybody actually
>seen the aforementioned videotape? (No, it doesn't count as a snuff film,
>because the whale was already very, very sick.)

I recall seeing a similar incident reported on the network news repeatedly
sometime in the late 1980's. Some town in So. Cal. had a large, rotting
whale to dispose of and decided to blow it up. The tape was quite entertaining
(probably why it was played repeatedly); it showed the local firemen, in full
turn-out gear (boots, bunker coats, etc.) keeping a crowd of interested locals
behind a little fence at a safe distance from the leviathan. Then they
detonated the charge, and rotten blubber went flying. The audio was full of
dismayed groans, and the last video scene was of the camera lens getting
obscured by a nice slice of rancid blubber.

I wish I could be more specific on the time and place, but I recall seeing the
tape played several times. I even dragged my wife in (she never watches TV)
to watch during one of the repititions.

Hodge Podge

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Jan 18, 1992, 1:34:56 PM1/18/92
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In <1992Jan18....@uokmax.ecn.uoknor.edu> spco...@uokmax.ecn.uoknor.edu (Steve Coltrin) writes:

>mikk...@breakr.enet.dec.com (snopes) writes:

[stuff about blowing up a dead whale deleted]

> In Julian May's _The Many-Colored Land_, juvenile delinquent
>extraordinaire Aiken Drum convinces his scout troop to use his homemade
>plastique for just this porpoise, with the same results. Publication date

>mid-80s, I think. ^^^^^^^^^
|
That's horrible !! ------+ but I like it :)

--
Gene Moreau, University of Manitoba, ummo...@ccu.umanitoba.ca
--------------------------------------------------------------
"Hold up a one iron and walk. Even God can't hit a one iron"
-Lee Travino, on how to not get stuck by lightning.

cj...@cc.curtin.edu.au

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Jan 20, 1992, 2:13:06 AM1/20/92
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> mikk...@breakr.enet.dec.com (snopes) writes:
>Earlier this week I heard the morning drive team on a local radio station
>repeating the story of the town that needed to get rid of a dead whale that
>had washed up on their beach. Most of you probably know the rest: They
>decide to blow the whale up into smaller pieces that can be consumed by
>seagulls or washed away by the tide. After placing half a ton of dynamite
>under the whale and detonating it, death and destruction in the form of huge
>chunks of blubber come raining down on everyone within miles of the beach.

This reminds me of a story my grandfather used to tell (often).
While on vacation on the southern coast of Western Australia
he came across a stranded whale on a remote beach. Showing off
to his friends he ran up onto the whale and promptly fell
through the rotting flesh. He almost suffocated, but managed
to claw his way out using the skeleton for support.

The incident didn't do much for the rest of the vacation,
the smell hung around him for weeks.

This whale was left to rot. As whale beaching is common here,
these days they are "removed" by digging a large hole and
pushing them in.

--John D.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
\ Newm...@CC.curtin.edu.au /
/ Curtin University "There is less to this than meets the eye." \
\ Perth - Tallulah Bankhead /
/ Western Australia \
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

Greg Cagle

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Jan 20, 1992, 11:58:31 AM1/20/92
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In article <1992Jan18....@PA.dec.com>, mikk...@breakr.enet.dec.com (snopes) writes:
|>
|> Earlier this week I heard the morning drive team on a local radio station
|> repeating the story of the town that needed to get rid of a dead whale that
|> had washed up on their beach. Most of you probably know the rest: They
|> decide to blow the whale up into smaller pieces that can be consumed by
|> seagulls or washed away by the tide. After placing half a ton of dynamite
|> under the whale and detonating it, death and destruction in the form of huge
|> chunks of blubber come raining down on everyone within miles of the beach.
|>

It's true; it happened here in Oregon (can't remember where or when). I saw
the video on the local news.

- Greg
--
Greg Cagle "That guy's one taco short
Mentor Graphics of a combination plate!"
greg_...@mentorg.com

Jane Beckman

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Jan 21, 1992, 1:37:41 PM1/21/92
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I can state that I've seen this video, and it's pretty gross. The cameras
are rolling on the great event, the whale blows, and then you hear something
like "Oh my god!" in a rather agitated tone, and the camera rocks violently
as something sort of red and white impacts against the lens and smears it
with whale blood. Definitely gorey.

Jilara [ja...@swdc.stratus.com]
Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.

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