Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thar she blows! or the Exploding Whale

The Whale that beached itself
Photo: www.wikipedia.org
  November 12, 1970 will live on as the "Day of the Exploding Whale".  A 45 foot long, 12000 pound Sperm Whale beached itself near Florence, Oregon.
  To take care of the remains the State of Oregon tasked the Oregon Highway Department.  The beaches in Oregon where considered "roads" at the time, thus the Highway Department.  The job fell to a man named George Thornton who decided to blow the whale up using dynamite.  He thought the whale would be "blown to bits" and eaten by birds and animals.  He decided to use 20 cases of dynamite.
  He found Walter Umenhofer, a man who had explosives training in the Army.  Umenhofer was shocked by the amount of explosives that were planned to be used, he thought 20 sticks of dynamite would do the job, not 20 cases.
  20 cases won out, they were place in various places under the whale.  The Explosion moved a lot of the sand under the whale and the whale broke into big pieces, not little bits.  A half-ton piece of blubber landed on Mr. Umenhofer's brand new Oldsmobile 98 convertible, it had been purchased from a dealer in Eugene who was having a "Whale of a Deal" sale.
  The Highway Department buried most of the large pieces, the birds who were to have eaten the little pieces were scared away by the noise.
Photo: www.wikipedia.org
For more information go to www.wikipedia.org

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