This week marks the 50th anniversary of the legendary exploding whale of Florence, Oregon. The whale, beached itself on November 9, 1970, and was detonated on November 12, has since become a moment that has lived in viral infamy.
Reporting live from the scene was KATU reporter Paul Linnman, who interviewed those involved in the brilliant decision making, that lead on-lookers to dodge Cadillac-crushing chunks of whale blubber.
The problem began when the carcass of the 45 foot long, 8 ton whale washed ashore. After a couple days, the stench of rotting whale began overtaking the coast. In order to dispose of the problem, engineer George Thornton made the decision to use 20 cases of dynamite to blow up the whale. Thornton didn't get a second opinion, because his supervisor was out hunting. The hope was that the whale would disintegrate from the blast, leaving small pieces of whale, for scavengers to feed on.
Needless to say, things did not go as planned.
On KFI AM640's Super Hyper Local Sunday, Bryan Suits talked about the incident, including meeting KATU reporter Paul Linnman.