This is a story of a whale.
On Thursday’s 50th anniversary of the “Florence Whale Explosion” in Oregon, a former TV news reporter in Oregon recalled what it felt like to report on this notorious incident-the authorities used half a ton of explosives to blow up a tidal flat whale.
Paul Linnman told KATU-TV in Portland: “I have been asked this question or commented on it every day for almost my entire life. Everyone is unfamiliar with it.”
On November 12, 1970, Linnman and his photographer Doug Brazil were only 23 when they were assigned to catch a grease explosion on a beach in Florence, Oregon.
The Oregon Highway Bureau has decided that the best way to remove the dead 8 tons of sperm whales is to fill up 24 explosives and blow them up.
The idea is that the rotting whale will almost be broken down by the explosion, and the remaining small pieces will be handled by seagulls or other scavengers.
But this did not go as planned.
“Suddenly, we realized that the grease was falling…it was a moment’ oh… this thing was falling.” This might hit us,” Linman recalled.
Linnman joked in the voice-over narration of the clip that “land journalists” became “land journalists…because the SEALs after the explosion went beyond all credibility.”
Whale explosion footage became world-famous in the 1990s and attracted new attention on YouTube, causing a sensation.
Brazil said: “It’s amazing to have it as a story that still exists on the Internet 50 years later.”
On the anniversary, the Oregon Historical Society released a restored version of the original 16mm printed version. According to Willamette’s Weekly report, the original version has been in charge of the museum since the 1980s.
It includes Linnman’s iconic closing remark: “It can be concluded that if the whale comes ashore again in Lane County, the person in charge will not only remember what to do, but they will definitely remember what to do.”