exploding whale 1970


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He was a businessman who happened to be in town with his brand-new car, an Oldsmobile 88 Regency, which he later told Springfield News reporter Ben Raymond Lode that he’d bought days earlier at Dunham Oldsmobile in Eugene during a promotion taglined — no, really, I’m not kidding, this is true — “Get a Whale of a Deal on a New Oldsmobile.”. He has been blogging since 2011 & created That Oregon Life as a passion in 2013. The conversation ended on a sour note when Linnman asked Thornton if he didn’t want to tell the public about it — about what had gone wrong that day. The Exploding Whale " Flying blubber claim paid" 11/23/1970 <<< Prev Next >>> About this page... A mere 11 days after a 3-foot chunk of flying whale blubber smashed in the roof of Walter Umenhofer’s brand new Oldsmobile, the State Highway division’s insurer reimbursed him for his loss, as reported in this November 23, 1970, article in the Eugene Register-Guard. Soon after, a video clip went viral on the internet, long before "going viral on the internet" was even a thing. Unfortunately, he guessed wrong about how much dynamite would be needed. Portland: West Winds Press, 2003, Portland woman paints Trump portrait with period blood, Oregon Explored: Roadtrip GoPro Video Captures The Best, Protected: Make Memories On The Oregon Coast This Holiday Season With Salishan Coastal Lodge, This Classic Steak House Is Oregon’s Longest Continuously Operating Restaurant, Stay Overnight At This Gorgeous Treehouse In Oregon, Newberry National Volcanic Monument Is An Oregon Gem You Must See, This Historic Haunted Hotel Sits On A Hot Spring And Is Expected To Reopen This November, Spend A Night At This Working 19th Century Lighthouse On The Stunning Oregon Coast. On Nov. 12, 1970, the Oregon Highway Division decided to remove an eight-ton sperm whale from a Florence beach by blowing it up with dynamite. Image Credit: YouTube It’s been nearly 50 years since someone thought “hey, dynamite seems like a good way to get this dead whale off the beach,” and now a beautiful park on the Oregon coast has been dubbed “Exploding Whale Memorial Park.” He tries to avoid talking about the exploding whale, mostly because he’s sick of telling the story. Learn more at a free Oregon Historical Society talk with the KATU reporter who was on the scene of the fated blubbery blast. More Exploding Whales. In any event, the exploding whale — with the help of syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry, who had great fun with it — has become part of our entire nation’s pop culture and has been mistaken for an “urban legend.” Many Florence residents were not pleased — they felt this was the wrong way to get one’s hometown on the map. (Sources: Linnman, Paul. Today is the 50th anniversary of the infamous Exploding Whale of Oregon incident of 1970. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. FLORENCE, Ore. - A group of people plan to gather Monday afternoon on Heceta Beach to re-enact the events of November 12, 1970. Escaped from the same top secret government facility as the first, this monster washed up on... A helicopter transporting a donor heart crashed last Friday on the Keck Hospital of USC helipad. HomeAdvisor decided to imagine what the Simpsons' interiors would look like if they were designed by Wes Anderson. Two’s Company. Then sign up for our Newsletter and get Updates on Events, Places to Explore, Discounts, Giveaways and More! Decades later, Thornton was still defiantly sanguine about the whole operation. Contacted by Linnman in the mid-1990s, he refused to be interviewed on camera, and seemed to feel the news coverage of the event had converted a successful exercise into a disaster. SIGNUP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER AND IMMEDIATELY GET 10% OFF YOUR ENTIRE ORDER, AND THE BEST OF OREGON WEEKLY. November 12, 1970...one beach, one whale, and one very bad idea Today marks the 50th anniversary of the exploding beached whale incident that took place in Florence, Oregon on November 12, 1970 when highway patrol used way too much dynamite to remove a whale carcass. We feel it's hugely important to our local economy to still support local business and travel, please keep these places in mind for when this passes. Mammalian marine guts spewed everywhere, raining down on townsfolk. But today, almost 40 years later, even the crankiest among them chuckle about it — sometimes a bit wistfully. Uemenhofer shrugged and made a note to himself to be as far away from the whale as possible when it went off. Don't miss out on discovering the best spots in Yellowstone park. When the whale washed ashore on Nov. 9, 1970, as Linnman reported at the time, it had been so long since the community had encountered a beached cetacean that no one knew how to dispose of the animal. But not George Thornton — who was promoted to the Medford office six months later (a cynical observer might characterize this as being “kicked upstairs”). Then sign up for our Newsletter and get Updates on Events, Places to Explore, Discounts, Giveaways and More!Sign Up. Related Stories. On November 12th, 1970, Oregon Highway Division officials used boxes of powerful explosives to get rid of a whale carcass that had washed up on shore near Florence, about three hours south of Portland. On November 12, 1970, residents of the small town of Florence, Oregon witnessed a rare sight as an exploding whale sent chunks of meat and blubber soaring 100 feet into the sky. Walt appears about two minutes into the video, standing next to his brand-new demolished Oldsmobile. SEATTLE — Fifty years ago on Nov. 12, a piece of bizarre Pacific Northwest history was born – the exploding whale. The story was reported by Paul Linnman with cameraman Doug Brazil who captured the event on 16mm film, the common format for TV news coverage in those days. ...a half-ton of dynamite was detonated under an 8-ton beached whale. With dynamite. The Exploding Whale Incident was a famous “epic fail” incident that happened in Florence, Oregon in 1970, when a dead sperm whale washed up on a beach. 5–18. When he is not sharing all the best parts of Oregon online, he is out looking for a new place to explore. This is the story that some of you may know, which took place in Florence, Oregon about an inexperienced highway engineer who thought the most logical thing to do with the 8 tons of rotting whale carcass was to obliterate it. In light of COVID-19, many attractions featured on That Oregon Life are temporarily closed. The story was considered an urban legend by most people, though. We really appreciate all the support and the donation, thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Haliep/iStock via Getty Images (Whale) // revenaif/iStock via Getty Images (Explosion) The 75 or so people who had gathered on the shore just south of … Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company. In The Oxford Annual for Boys (Ed. The idea was that rotting whale … The original story of the exploding whale first appeared on KATU Channel 2 Portland, OR in November 1970. A highway engineer, faced with the need to dispose of an eight-ton whale carcass which had washed up on the beach, tried to vaporize it with a half-ton of dynamite, with results that most people who know about dynamite could have predicted — and did. On Thursday, Nov. 12, 1970, an event happened that put the town of Florence on the map. A whale exploded in Oregon in 1970, and the story will blow... We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You blow it into a million stinky little whale pieces of course. As it … As it turns out, that was overkill. For a few days, they pondered their options. Subscribe to our newsletter to download our free tour guide. The guy who warned Thornton about his plan? You might even have seen some pictures, but not these. Please share your favorite local business that could use some love right now. O’Brian, Patrick (1937). With the benefit of hindsight, it’s pretty easy to wonder why he didn’t pull someone who knew explosives into the project, even if that someone was a know-it-all stranger with a brand-new Olds parked 450 yards away — a stranger like Walt Umenhofer, who got well away from the blast site himself but neglected to collect his car first. By Chas Hundley - Banks Post November 9, 2020 at 8:59am A mother sperm whale and her calf off the coast of Mauritius. What do you do when an 8 ton whale washes up on shore? Umenhofer had received explosives training during his World War II service and what he saw on the beach that day made him very, very nervous. “I says, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna be the furtherest SOB down that way!'”. The Exploding Whale. A quarter-mile away, cars were smashed with chunks of cetacean carcass. You’ll see the whole thing, from the guys packing boxes of dynamite to the impressive explosion and the less-impressive aftermath. On Thursday, Nov. 12, 1970, an event happened that put the town of Florence on the map. By Tim Lantz, iHeart Media Nov 13, 2020. The Disastrous exploding Whale of Florence, Oregon - YouTube The key to the look seems to be symmetry... Judging by how good she is at recreating it, clearly this woman does this dance every night before going to bed. Here come pieces of —”. Umenhofer told the Springfield paper he tried to warn Thornton but was blown off. Other Websites. No one seemed to want his advice. Even though the exploding whale event took place in 1970, Dave Barry didn’t actually hear about it until 1990, after which the incident began to receive much broader attention. I’ll bet you weren’t expecting that comparison! The person managing the Doncaster Council Twitter account posted a history lesson about the time that US officials blew up a decaying 7.3k kilogram (16.1k pound) sperm whale in Florence, Oregon, in 1970. Anniversaries. Exploding Whale Locator Map. “What do you mean, ‘what went wrong?’” he asked Linnman tersely — apparently by way of implying that nothing had. Well, another one at least. Twenty 50-pound cases of dynamite sound like a lot, but in the context of eight tons of untamped, rotting meat, they dwindle to insignificance. The “Goonies” Cast Reunion: Coming to a Computer Near You December…, Santiam Forest, Abiqua Falls, Butte Creek Falls and Shellburg Falls To…, Gov. Florence, Ore., Mayor Joe Henry poses in front of the sign welcoming visitors to the Exploding Whale Memorial Park. A highway engineer, faced with the need to dispose of an eight-ton whale carcass which had washed up on the beach, tried to vaporize it with a half-ton of dynamite, with results that most people who know about dynamite could have predicted — and did. The story was covered for KATU-2, one of the Portland TV stations, by Paul Linnman, then a fresh-faced young fellow in his mid-20s. Oregon's 'Exploding Whale' legend turns 50 50 years ago, we blew up a whale and it either went terribly, or very well depending on your perspective. Finally, the highway patrol arrived. Its passenger compartment had been flattened by a chunk of flying blubber the size of a small truck tire. Today marks the 50th anniversary of the exploding beached whale incident that took place in Florence, Oregon on November 12, 1970 when highway patrol used way too much dynamite to remove a whale carcass....a half-ton of dynamite was detonated under an 8-ton beached whale. © 2020 | That Oregon Life LLC | All rights reserved. If you've never seen it, you're either Amish or an infant. Linnman’s story was, of course, snatched up by the network and played all over the country. The Exploding Whale. Walt Umenhofer sure saw it coming. Burn it? Bury it? “It had to be said the Oregon State Highway Department not only had a whale of a problem on its hands,” said news anchor Paul Linnman, reporting on the scene for KATU. ISBN 1-55868-743-2. … Except the blast funneled a hole in the sand under the whale” (thereby causing some of the whale bits to be blown back toward the parking lot, he went on to say). Fifty-year-old retired Army ordinance guys all over the nation, who learned how to blow stuff up during World War II, wondered what the heck Thornton was thinking. This story remained a local legend for two decades, until the early '90s, when the newspaper columnist Dave Barry mentioned seeing footage of the exploding beast. A Taxonomy of Cetacean Detonation. A whale of a deal on a new Oldsmobile! The dead whale had washed up on a beach near Florence in November, 1970. Exploding Whale Memorial Park in Oregon commemorates a gory 1970 attempt to remove a whale carcass and is now open to the public. Do you LOVE Oregon? This week marks the 50th anniversary of the infamous exploding whale in Oregon. He tried to tell them that 20 sticks of dynamite would do it, if they were placed correctly. This story was used with permission, and originally published here at OffBeatOregon.com. Umenhofer, who still lives in Springfield, now owns and operates “The Baron’s Den,” a gun store and indoor shooting range just south of Eugene, visible from Interstate 5 (it usually sports a bright blue banner reading “SHOOT A REAL TOMMY GUN”). And Thornton actually said, on camera, to Linnman, that he wasn’t sure how much dynamite he should be using. As one would expect given his young age, Linnman made a minor error reporting the story — assuming that it was a California Gray whale when it was actually a sperm whale — but in his book he more than makes up for it with one line, which you’ll find on Page 77: “Explosions in the movies usually look like a blast of fire and smoke; this one more resembled a mighty burst of tomato juice.” A mighty burst of tomato juice? Keep going for the gloriously remastered video in all its legendary glory. It’s a whale of a tale. Cut it up? Weighing in at around eight tons, officials needed to find a way to dispose of the rotting … The locals grew anxious, and a bit nauseous. 1970 Newspaper Articles "Gulls to dine on whale" "A whale of a whale..." "When they blow up a whale..." "A dead whale is worse..." "Who pays when..." "Flying blubber claim paid" More Newspaper Articles. Oregon's Exploding Whale Still Famous 50 Years Later. Video of the … The following article was written by syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry of the Miami Herald newspaper. Herbert Strang), pp. To celebrate the anniversary, the Oregon Historical Society arranged for a 4K transfer of the original raw film footage from their archive and KATU re-edited the package from the new high resolution video. You’ll get to hear George Thornton say — this is a direct quote — “Well, I’m confident that it’ll work, the only thing is we’re not sure how much explosives it’ll take to disintigrate this thing …”, You’ll also get to hear the people on the beach watching the blast: yells of excitement turned to disgust, dull thumping sounds, and a woman saying, “OK, Fred, you can take your hands out of your ears now. London: Oxford University Press. As the creature decomposed on the beach, a distinct smell wafted into town. November 12, 1970 Exploding Whale No one knew what to do with an 8-ton dead whale, washed up on the beach, but there happened to be an ex-military guy around who had explosives training. And so he was. The current response to the coronavirus is like an exploding whale. So, if you’ve never heard of the exploding whale incident of 1970, prepare to be amazed. But he couldn’t know how personally Thornton’s mistake would end up affecting him. The park is named in honor of the 1970 explosion of a … You may have heard about the exploding dead whale of Florence, Oregon. Portland: West Winds Press, 2003; The Springfield News archives; The Eugene Register-Guard, Nov. 13, 1970). George Thornton's Death. On the 50th anniversary of the “Florence whale explosion” Thursday, a former Oregon TV newsman recalled what it was like to cover the infamous event —… It's back. Remember the Montauk Monster? If you search for “exploding whale” on Google, you’ll find Linnman’s story, about two and a half minutes long. The Exploding Whale: And Other Remarkable Stories from the Evening News. Paul Linnman. The Oregon State Highway Division on Nov. 12, 1970, decided it would rid a beach near Florence of the washed-up sperm whale smelling up the town by blowing the corpse to … He knew project manager George Thornton was not going to get the results he wanted — he either needed a lot less dynamite, so that the whale would just be pushed out to sea, or a whole lot more, so that it would be torn into tiny pieces. @media (min-width: 300px){[data-css="tve-u-15e1e016c46b0d"] { margin-bottom: 0px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-05e1e016c46b08"] { background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255) !important; }:not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-35e1e016c46b10"]:hover button { border-color: rgb(188, 168, 243) rgb(188, 168, 243) rgb(43, 107, 159) !important; border-bottom-width: 4px !important; border-bottom-style: solid !important; background-color: rgb(14, 14, 14) !important; }:not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-35e1e016c46b10"] button { border-bottom: 4px solid rgb(38, 100, 153); border-radius: 4px; border-top-color: rgb(221, 222, 222); border-right-color: rgb(221, 222, 222); border-left-color: rgb(221, 222, 222); font-size: 16px; font-weight: normal !important; padding: 18px !important; background-image: none !important; background-color: rgb(0, 0, 0) !important; margin-top: 0px !important; }:not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-25e1e016c46b0e"]:hover input { border: 1px solid rgb(116, 116, 116) !important; }:not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-25e1e016c46b0e"]:hover input, :not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-25e1e016c46b0e"]:hover input::placeholder { color: rgb(57, 57, 57) !important; }:not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-25e1e016c46b0e"] input { font-size: 16px; line-height: 1.2em; border: 1px solid rgb(220, 220, 220); margin-top: 0px !important; background-image: none !important; padding: 18px !important; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255) !important; }}.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_heading h1,.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_heading h2,.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_heading h3{margin:0;padding:0}.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_text_element p,.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_text_element h1,.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_text_element h2,.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_text_element h3{margin:0}Do you LOVE Oregon? On the day of the blast, he told reporter Larry Bacon of the Eugene Register-Guard, “It went just exactly right. I believe it's a law that you have to watch it when logging on to the internet for the first time otherwise police come to your house and arrest you. On November 9, 1970, a 45-foot sperm whale washed ashore in Florence, OR. The Exploding Whale footage was remastered for its 50th anniversary, Woman recreates dance she made as a child for Britney Spears', Donor heart immediately dropped by doctor after being recovered from crashed transport helicopter, Steve Kornacki breaks his brain trying not to say 'Big Dump' of votes, AI camera mistakes referee's bald head for soccer ball. Now, that’s painting a picture with words. You’ll also get to see Walt Umenhofer — remember him? “But the guy says, ‘Anyway, I’m gonna have everyone on top of those dunes far away,'” Umenhofer told reporter Wayne Freedman of San Francisco TV station KGO in an interview 25 years later.

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