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13 thoughts on “Balcomb wants to know if young orca was bombed

  1. Wow, that sure is a whole lot of speculation there. What about more likely possibility of collision with a larger commercial surface ship?
    Out of the cases referenced, how many were conclusively proven to be a result of a bomb? Where is this unusual mortality?

    In nearly 10 years there have been (according to the information here) three deaths that “may” be a result of bombing.

    Give me a break.

  2. Rooster, it is important to remember that this “researcher” loves orcas more than human beings. They are the only reason he has for living. If 3 orcas died of “unnatural” causes in the history of the species, that is 3 too many. He doesn’t care about our country or its defense. He doesn’t care about you or me, he only cares for those who blindly, religiously worship orcas.

    I envision a day when Mr. Balcomb in held in the jaws of a KILLER WHALE, being shake like a harbor seal or some other tasty morsel. If interviewed by Chris Dunagan about this tragic event, I would speculate that the cause of his death was the fact that he was merely food to the beast and that we would applaud the murderous whale’s decision.

  3. Stone,
    You just assumed a whole lot there, I’m beginning to think that you only care about the defense of this country. Not me or rooster or yourself. I can only imagine what they’ll say about you when you have a 500lb bomb dropped on you.
    Anyways what I’m really saying is life is important, mine, yours, animals, fish, Muslims, turtles whatever. Don’t mock life fool.

  4. We are following the issues with the Navy from here in Cannon Beach, Oregon. Monday night we will be going to their meeting in Tillamook, an out of the way location they picked for their meeting. NOAA and specifically Jim Lecky are giving the Navy what they want, when they want, which is more area, and the supposed incidental taking of cetaceans. Ken Balcomb please contact us. We want to know what we can do the help!

  5. Are these the same experts that said the killer whales in Dyes Inlet several years ago were trapped there by the noise made by cars on the Bremerton bridges? They wanted the stop traffic until the whales could escape.

    Are these the same experts who also thought the killer whales in lower Hood Canal were there much too long and might be afraid of or trapped by the Hood Canal floating bridge?

    Or are these experts “experter” than those experts?

  6. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the military’s mission was about preserving life and liberty for “all” instead of murdering innocent victims?

  7. “Clearly the animal was blown up.”

    This statement is inaccurate on several levels. Let’s try this:

    Possibly the mammal died from injuries caused by a bomb.

  8. One has to wonder whether Mr. Balcomb’s intent is merely to push his biased agenda or to truly find out the cause of this whale’s death. To truly find out the scientifically justifiable cause of this whale’s death, you need to be open to all possible causes and rule out particular causes in a logical manner that is not pressured by hysteria or influenced by emotion.

    Here are important facts that need to be considered in the death investigation of this Orca that are not being expressed anywhere in this blog or the others:

    Robust underwater Seismic activity before the Orca was found on Long Beach:

    On February 4, 2012 there was earthquake activity off Vancouver Island and off the Oregon Coast. Then again, there were 2 earthquakes off the Oregon Coast on February 7, 2012.
    See- http://www.lambslain.com/2012/02/earthquakes-strike-oregon-utah-and.html

    February 7, 2012 there was an earthquake of 3.4 mag. off the coast of Oregon at 19:22:48UTC (See USGS)
    February 7, 2012 there was an earthquake of 3.2 mag off the coast of Oregon at 04:16:07 UTC (see USGS)

    Isn’t it plausible that any one or the combination of these earthquakes caused disturbance to the whales more so than a Navy bomb, especially when the Navy rep said they weren’t doing anything at that time?

    There are peer-reviewed scientific studies that underwater earthquakes create noise levels and generate T-phases which are similar to man-made explosions. See Nishimura and Clark, “Underwater earthquakes noise levels and its possible effect on marine mammals”, J. Acoustic, Soc. Am. Vol. 94 (1993); Gallo-Reynoso, et. al, “Reaction of Fin Whales Balaenoptera Physalus to an Earthquake”, Bioacoustics, Vol. 20, (2011).

    Mr. Balcomb has indicated many inconsistencies in his accusations. First, on March 14, 2012 (Islands Weekly.com), Mr. Balcomb argues that the trauma evident to L112 is similar to that shown during a sonar event in the Bahamas. And he sensationalizes that the trauma from sonar “blew up” the head of the whales. This demonstrates his lack of knowledge because sonar is not by definition an implusive sound source like an explosion. Acoustically, those two sound signatures are completely different. See Southhall, (2007) for explanation that sonar lacks the same characteristics as seismic activity, an airgun, explosions, or impact pile-driving.

    Now to Mr. Dunagan, he has changed his tune to say that a bomb must have caused this injury to L112 comparing it still as trauma similar to that evidenced from the Bahamas incident. An incident in which there was no explosives used.

    For 30 years, people of the pacific northwest have refused to tag these Orcas in order to understand vital life patterns. If we had this data, we would have better idea of where this L112 was prior to the stranding and where its family currently is. And this rampant speculation could cease.

    Mr. Balcomb needs to do thorough research before pointing fingers and making accusations with little evidence. The facts presented here need to be looked at too.

  9. Stone, did you miss the part about Dr. Balcomb having served in the US Navy? It’s a ridiculous statement that a scientist who is a specialist in a certain research subject does not care about anything else. He doesn’t *worship* orcas; he studies them. Scientists tend to be passionate about what they do–it’s considered a good thing. There are fewer than 100 individuals of this endangered population remaining–that’s a serious cause for concern in terms of maintaining a viable population. So yes, the death of even a single whale, especially a female, is of concern to a researcher who specializes in the study of this species. There is also reason for concern because they are one of the most highly intelligent animals on the planet. But I guess you don’t care about scientific research. There are hundreds of thousands of troops defending the country, but very few experts on killer whales. Who are you to judge what people care about? And if you don’t care about killer whales, why disparage a person who studies them? It’s just completely idiotic. What are you doing to defend our country today?

  10. I am shocked by so little support for a man who I have come to respect greatly. As the article states he requested information on the training activities but it was “classified”. He is one of the only cetacean scientists in the U.S. who is is unbiased and has no conflict of interests with government agencies. We have such a great need for a board of cetacean scientists who have no independent or government interests to over see all Naval training activities, oil and gas exploration, in addition to air guns used to map the ocean floors.

  11. “…great need for a board of cetacean scientists who have no independent or government interests to over see all Naval training activities, oil and gas exploration…”

    Great news that all countries will generously hand over such military information to cetacean scientists – a little hard to believe though.

  12. I’m a public affairs officer with the Navy’s Energy and Environmental Readiness Division.

    The U.S. Navy did not conduct any training with sonar, bombs or explosives in the Pacific Northwest for at least a month before the orca known as Sooke, or L-112, stranded on February 11. Examination of the animal by state wildlife officials and private research organizations indicates the orca died just two to four days prior to stranding. Science has much to learn about marine mammals, and that is one of the reasons the Navy has become a world leader in funding marine mammal research. However, in the absence of Navy activity in the weeks before the stranding, blaming the Navy for “blowing up” the animal is irresponsible and inaccurate.

    The Navy recognizes its role as an environmental steward. We view that role very seriously, and take aggressive steps minimize the potential effects of our activities on the ocean environment. We work with the National Marine Fisheries Service and other federal and state and agencies to ensure our training and testing activities comply with the law and do not pose an unnecessary risk to marine life.

    To provide comments on and obtain information about the Northwest Training and Testing EIS, please attend the public scoping meetings in your area or visit the project website at http://www.nwtteis.com and submit comments by April 27.

    To learn more about the Navy’s efforts to protect marine mammals and the environment while performing our mission, please visit http://www.greenfleet.dodlive.mil/environment.

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