Let's blow up the sperm whale carcass.

The story of one stupid idea – for its 50th anniversary
In November 1970, a whale was blown up in Flourence, Oregon. In honor of the 50th anniversary of this insanely stupid event, Medusa recalls how events developed.
In early November 1970, a seven-ton sperm whale carcass was thrown onto the beach near Floorens. What to do with her was unclear: if pushed into the sea, then the waves will bring her back ashore. Options to burn and bury were also not suitable.

A few days later, on November 12, road worker George Thornton figured out how to get rid of the carcass: he suggested simply blowing it up.

Thornton’s plan was to lay a charge of dynamite under the sperm whale from the side of the beach. Then the carcass would be torn into small pieces and carried to the sea, where the meat would be pulled away by crabs and gulls. Moreover, birds of prey circled the dead whale all day.
True, Thornton did not know how much explosives were needed to fulfill his plan. Therefore, he generously laid under the sperm whale half a ton of dynamite – 20 boxes.

Onlookers gathered around – mainly local residents. They are located at a distance, 400 meters from the carcass. Countdown, explosion…

Frame from the video YouTube channel KATU News
Frame from the video YouTube channel KATU News
But everything did not go exactly as planned. More precisely, not at all. After the explosion, large pieces of sperm whale were marked throughout the district – they hit not only the sea, but also the audience.

The young reporter of the KATU-2 channel Paul Linman filmed a story about what happened that day on the beach. Before the explosion, he took a comment from Thornton. The worker said: “I am sure that this will work. The only thing we’re not sure is how much dynamite it takes to break this… thing”.

Frame from the video YouTube channel KATU News
Frame from the video YouTube channel KATU News
After the explosion, when the collars began to fall, people ran away. A reporter with a cameraman also ran.

In those days, businessman Walt Amenhofer turned out to be a passage in Floorens. During World War II, he dealt with explosives and understood that George Thornton would not be able to realize his plan: he needed either less explosives to simply push the whale into the sea, or much more to split it into small pieces. The businessman tried to warn the worker, but he waved off.

Amenhofer arrived in Floorens on his new Oldsmobile 88 Regency car, bought a few days before with the slogan “Get a giant discount for the new Oldsmobile” (“Get a Whale of a Deal on a New Oldsmobile,” Whale is an English “whale”) On November 12, his parked car was crushed by a mistake of a whale blown up on the beach.

Frame from the video YouTube channel KATU News
Frame from the video YouTube channel KATU News
“Fortunately, none of the people suffered as much as the car,” said reporter Paul Linman. “However, everyone nearby was covered with small pieces of dead sperm whale.”

Thornton’s plan failed completely. The seagulls that were supposed to pull the remains have disappeared. “They were spooked by either an explosion or a stink. But it doesn’t matter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here