A Couple More Reviews

I don’t get around much anymore, but I do get on line, reading, writing and watching videos. In some ways, this telepresence is wonderful: saves gas (trips to the library) and gives me access to the whole universe of human information, fake news and all. In other ways, it’s a pain in the ass, which is why I got off Facebook, plus Zuckerberg’s politics are Fascist. But what was I getting at? I can’t remember, so herewith some more reviews.


Witness of another world - Movie Poster

Witness of Another World, a film by Alan Stivelman

Most documentaries assume a point of view, then show you a bunch of images to convince you they’re right. A good example would be Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s 2013 film Blackfish. I studied documentary film in college and kept an interest in it all my life; it is infinitely more interesting to film a documentary, where you never quite know what will happen next, versus a feature, where you are shooting, piece by piece, a structure, following a script, and trying to get everything right (i.e. no jets overhead, no telephone poles projecting from the actors’ heads, etc.).

Blackfish is the most influential documentary I’ve ever seen; I am convinced that film alone “ruined” a visit to SeaWorld for hundreds of thousands of people, cost $ millions at the box office and brought about the organization’s newfound commitment to quit breeding and exhibiting orcas when their current stock dies off.

Like I said, a very successful documentary.

Witness of Another World is equally moving and convincing, but in a different way. For here we have a boy, Juan Perez, who was by his own story taken aboard an unidentified flying object 40 years ago, and has never felt at ease with himself since. He has grown into a man not so much shunned by others as shunning them, because they mock and humiliate him and his experience, because they do not understand that he has seen something supernatural, something metaphysical, something genuinely mysterious.

In a video flashback, as the 12-year-old Juan is being questioned on live TV as to what he saw, he suddenly freezes, then presses his hands over his eyes and breaks into tears. He cannot put the experience into words, and if he could, who would believe him?

Sound familiar?

Finding a UFO encounter with that depth of time and footage behind it is extraordinary, but what makes Argentinian director Alan Stivelman’s film even more remarkable is the entrance of Franco-American UFO researcher Dr. Jacques Vallee, who interviewed Perez way back when, and now re-emerges offering some hope.

Stivelman isn’t one to stand aloof from is subjects, like a nature documentarian filming a hunting lion. From the first frame he admits his involvement, saying he stumbled across Juan’s case and wondered what became of him. Now, he determines (somehow, it’s not made clear) that Juan is from the Guarani tribe, ancestrally. Perhaps the tribe has some wisdom to help him?

Indeed they do, and the film features the gnarled faces and sage advice of two tribal elders. The Guarani culture has recognized the spirit world for generations, and Juan’s bizarre experience fits right in.

Other documentaries try to persuade you of the reality of UFOs with fuzzy photos or jumpy films. Witness of Another World presents a human being, changed and remolded as new interpretations of his experience reveal themselves. It is, in its own way, much more moving and effective.

This is what the UFO does: it alienates us from our own debunking, scientific, materialistic world. It is perhaps, as Vallee  suggests, the breakthrough of the irrational, like some uber-quantum particle, into the rational world; or rather, the temporary dissolution of the rational world in something like a dream-state, where the laws of reality allow you to meet your grandfather again, these many years dead.

Do I need to say that Witness of Another World is one of most remarkable documentaries I’ve ever seen? It needs to become the new touchstone of the supernatural film, bringing compassion and humanity to a subject has long been argued on a digital, yes/no basis. I urge you to to view it, buy it, and share it with other like-minded people. Do it today!


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Reality Denied: Firsthand Experiences with Things that Can’t Happen — But Did. Non-fiction by John B. Alexander, Colonel U.S. Army (Ret.)

I remember, before my teens, my father would from time to time take us out to The Viking Smorgasbord in Ardmore, a suburb of Philadelphia near Radnor, where we lived. It featured a vast, rotating table, covered with all kinds of Scandinavian delights, but what I remember most clearly (and oddly) are the spiced, pickled plums. I’ve never tasted anything like them.

Of course, the most important part of visiting a smorgasbord is to remember not to eat too much of any one item. This leaves room for more variety. On the other hand, only having a taste or sample of an item — variety itself — sometimes becomes boring, and you want to eat something (think ice cream or chocolate cake) in depth. Unfortunately, you are stuck at the smorgasbord.

Such is the fate of the reader of Reality Denied, a lack of any depth. Author Col. John B. Alexander devotes at most a chapter to each subject and a brief synopsis of what was obviously a complex event. This is simply insufficient, but my criticism of this book doesn’t end there.

I bought Reality Denied for one reason, to read Chapter 3, “Speak To Me,” where the colonel finds that his (now ex-) wife is conveniently telepathic while in the Bahamas to research dolphins. What does he do with the remarkable link to an alien, literally extra-terrestrial intelligence? Why, he orders a pod of dolphins to swim hither and yon, like a platoon of soldiers on a parade field. Having thus proved the utility of human-dolphin telepathy in the wild, he carries it backward to a captive dolphin whose most perceptive comment about his living arrangements is that he can’t jump twice like they wanted, the ceiling is too low. (“Look up!” is the exact transmission.) So he agrees to bob twice. Problem solved!

Do I need to say that I AM ASHAMED BY THE LACK OF IMAGINATION SHOWN BY THIS HUMAN BEING?

I mean, Alexander had the brightest minds in the ocean at his beck and call, and he never asked them about their lives? How bio-echolocation works? How they breathe while sleeping? How they fend off sharks? Do they dream? Can they make things up, i.e., lie, tell stories, invent religion… What are those big brains so preoccupied with?

If Alexander did any of this, he doesn’t write about it here. He makes communicating with another species sound about as exciting as reading a train schedule. He goes on to chronicle other unbelievable adventures, such as “spoon-bending parties” where telekinesis is exhibited, and… that’s all I can think of now. There’s plenty more here, I’m only halfway through the book, I’ll probably finish it someday, I might as well get my $9.99 Kindle fee out of it. But there’s no real impetus to do so.

AM I THE ONLY HUMAN BEING WHO HAS USED HUMAN-DOLPHIN TELEPATHY TO TRY TO ENTER (be it ever-so-hesitantly) THE DOLPHINS’ WORLD?

Apparently so. Why, or why not? Is it even of interest to anybody else, what dolphins on the high seas think and feel as they go about their extraordinary lives?

In answer, all I can say is it became very important to me 48 years ago, and it has never stopped being important since. Colonel Alexander, you should be ashamed for writing such a dull book about such exciting subjects!


 

 

 

 

Cosmic Paranoia!

Paranoia strikes deep

As into your life it will creep

Starts when you’re always afraid

Step outa line, The Man come and take you away…

(Buffalo Springfield, “For What It’s Worth”, 1967)

It seems very unlikely to me, but apparently I am part — perhaps even a major part — of a vast, undefined, poorly-documented conspiracy of gays, homos, perverts, queers, lesbos, zoophiles, dog-fuckers, chicken-rapers, donkey-humpers, child molesters and people who fuck dead people.

What, you ask, is this mysterious, shadowy organization about?

Beats me, but that is the opinion of many of the people who write on the Dolphin Lover YouTube page. So it must be true!

These people, it seems — two of their first names are Dante and Laura — want to condemn me not for what I say, but just for speaking out, admitting I’m a zoophile and telling the story of me and Dolly, the dolphin.

Mind you, it’s OK for them to call me disgusting, sub-human, perverted, sick, degenerate, and saying I (not my story, ME) make them puke. But let me tell them they are mean-spirited and hypocritical (well, a little stronger than that), and I am apparently defending this VAST, SHADOWY CONSPIRACY to undermine the American Way of Life, promote illegitimate values AND TRYING TO SPREAD ZOOPHILIA ACROSS THE LAND!

(Because we all know that everyone — yes, even YOU – harbors a dark, secret desire to fuck, or be fucked by, a goat, and one must RESIST this toxic impulse with every fiber of one’s being and will every hour of the day and night or be sucked into the quivering morass of despair and self-hatred that is BESTIALITY!)

Wow… who knew?

A lot of the comments on the site are simply infantile. To the latest person who wrote “You make puke,” I responded “Great, send me a picture of you puking to add to my collection.” I’ve gotten so many, I could wallpaper my new house with them!

The people who fear my voice so much they want to muzzle me are something else, however. They represent a dark strain of American culture now on the ascendancy in this country that doesn’t want ANY voices of protest or defiance of authority to be heard. Funny, I thought that’s what the United States was all about, a constitutional republic where the people rule themselves and we can speak out freely on ANY SUBJECT without fear of prosecution by the government.

Guess not!

What people like Dante and Laura think is that I am operating with the objective of subverting American morals of decency and righteousness. Gee, it’s nice to be finally recognized for what I do, folks! And I’ve done it ever since the late 1970, when a Georgia cop radicalized me by knocking me off a stool and saying “Let’s let the nigger upstairs take care of him.”

Well, I don’t know your name, Georgia pig, they told me you were FBI but I have reason to doubt them, you were too fat to make the government payroll. But I do want to thank you for the experience because, for a few moments, I, a hippie college student, was a “nigger” with no rights in that situation, and I knew if I didn’t play my cards right I was going to end up in a shallow grave in a pecan grove somewhere, or maybe in a pig stye.

And NOBODY knew about Dolly, then, except me, and her, and her dolphin lover, Jimbo.

That experience gave me a newfound respect and admiration for my black brothers and sisters. (Latino, Asian, Native American, Irish, Italian, Vietnamese, Guatamalan… there’s no end to the victims of hate.)

LET’S GET THIS STRAIGHT, this is the country that A) murdered 95% of the Native Americans, B) massacred their food source, the buffalo, almost to the point of extinction for their hides, C) captured Africans to work as slaves, D) fomented Jim Crow laws and the KKK to control the “slaves” when they were freed, E) to this day denies WOMEN, who compose slightly more than 50% of the population, equal rights with MEN, because, you know, bathrooms might be compromised, F) denies trans-gender people the right to pee where they feel comfortable because they only want to get into the bathrooms in women’s clothes so they can watch little girls go pee and then molest them… and on and on, ad infinitum, a catalogue of tragedies, travesties and slaughter that, taken all together, makes everyone in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America (they stole our name!) blush with shame every time they hear it recited.

We have, in the highest office in the land, President Bonespurs, a man so righteous and selfless he says thing like “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” and, of women, “You can grab them by the pussy,” meaning, I should point out, by the labia, not by a feline.

And these people, Dante and Laura among them, are worried about me being a source of unAmerican values? Jesus Christ, the dead elephant in your living room stinks, has shit all over and is attracting flies, and all you can worry about is ME?

I ought to be proud of that, because it means my voice, and my message (WHICH CONCERNS DOLPHINS, not zoophilia) is getting out and being heard. And once in a while, some open-minded person with an open heart too sneaks in there and writes a message supporting me, or acknowledging the great love Dolly and I felt for each other.

To those few who have supported me, or at least wanted to hear impartially and without preconception what I have to say, I thank you. You are what this country is all about, the right to criticize the leader without losing your head. There’s a reason that’s the First Amendment, folks, and it wasn’t because the Founding Fathers couldn’t think of anything else to go first.

So when these pathological haters criticize me for speaking out about my experience, for being a zoophile or denying their pathetic, outdated “facts,” what they are really trying to do is silence me, shut me up, stick their fingers in their ears and go “NYAH, NYAH, CAN’T HEAR YOU,” and make me go away.

But I won’t go away. I will continue to tell our story, which is the story of an admittedly rocky interspecies relationship that turned great, then tragic, until they shut me up, one way or another. And I don’t think they have the courage or the will to do that. They are just so much hot air. Bullies are always cowards underneath their bluff and bluster, that’s what six years in public school playgrounds taught me. If you stand up to them, they melt away like shit in the sun.

And if they do manage to shut me up, watch out, because they’re coming for you next. Arm yourselves, and resist because you’ll be fighting (once again) for what the United States is really all about, freedom. Not freedom to make a buck, not freedom to make love with who you want, but just the freedom to speak freely, a right which has been and still is denied to most of the world’s population. And it’s worse than a pity, it’s a crime against humanity, and one of the reasons we remain stuck in vicious nationalism, racism, ethno-centrism and sexism, all the other -isms.

I am the canary in the coal mine.

If the definition of a liberal is a person who can’t sleep because someone out there isn’t getting what they deserve, the definition of a conservative is someone who can’t sleep because someone out there might be getting something they haven’t earned. Apparently in the USA, this includes health insurance, equal rights, shoes, housing, food and clothes. You are, after all, only promised a right to the persuit of happiness, not happiness itself.

It’s a heavy burden, practicing Satanism, raping 400-lb. dolphins, spreading inequity and throwing banana peels in the path of Mitch “Moscow” McConnell, but somebody’s got to do it!

I am that man, and I admit it. All who are with me, raise their hands. You are the true citizens of the USA, and I thank you. I ask my accusers, repeatedly, to show me where in the Dolphin Lover video I actually endorse, promote or advocate for zoophilia as a life style, and they can’t, of course, because you see, I never do. Never. Not once.

Zoophilia has been a source of so much stress, fear and worry in my past life, because of the perceived threat of haters like Dante and Laura, that I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. (Okay, maybe I would on Tim Clarke and Duncan Seidel, two guys who used to try to bully me in grade school, but only them.) But that doesn’t matter to the professional haters, because they mistake my explanations of my behavior for excuses, my telling my story as promoting bestiality as a lifestyle and my very existence as an affront to human decency.

As if they knew anything about that.

They will be sad to learn that I am at peace with myself, that I have forgiven myself for letting Dolly die and her for committing suicide, that dolphins are the non-human people of the sea whether they (and SeaWorld) like it or not, and that dolphins, bless them, will go on being the wonderful, dreadful, perverse, loving creatures that they are, for as long as they can exist in the seas of this planet.

That’s what it’s all about, folks. That’s why I do what I do.

The Man Who Spear-Gunned Flipper: A Dialogue with Ricou Browning

To spare (spear?) you the trouble of paging back, I’m going to reproduce my first letter to Mr. Browning here. He has not responded to my last letter, and I do not anticipate hearing any more from him.

Did he spear gun “Flipper”? You read the mail, consider the state of movie special effects in 1963 and be the judge.


Mr. Ricou Browning
Browning, Ricou & Fran
5221 SW 196th Ln
Southwest Ranches, FL 33332-1111

Feb. 20, 2019

Dear Mr. Browning,

I briefly met you once in 1971, I think, at the Miami Seaquarium. You were very busy fixing something that had sprung a leak, as I remember, and didn’t have much time to talk. I did remark upon your having played The Creature from the Black Lagoon,of course, which makes you immortal in the eyes of monster-lovers everywhere.

Another issue has cropped up, repeatedly, over the years regarding statements by Dr. John C. Lilly about how a dolphin named Pam was treated during the filming of “Flipper!”, the original 1963 movie. According to Lilly, the scenes where the dolphin is shot with a spear gun, and beaches itself, were actually filmed that way, with the dolphin impaled by a spear.

Lilly told me (not hearsay) that Pam was shot a total of 3 times in the peduncle to get the take. The first time, she swam back and allowed the spear to be removed. The second time, she couldn’t make up her mind what to do. The third time she headed for the high seas, had to be netted with the spear in her and returned to the beach to do the scenes with Luke Halpin and Katherine Maguire. Then, apparently, the spear was removed and the wound(s) treated.

Reportedly Pam was so traumatized by this she would not approach humans again. She was sold to Dr. Lilly who reportedly used her for LSD experiments, but that’s another story.

Lilly said “you” did this, but did it actually happen, and if so, what were the circumstances? Why couldn’t the effect have been done by an optical, or some other process? Were you directing the scene, or was somebody else? What really went on? And why was the dolphin left screaming on the beach during Halpin and Maguire’s scene? I just want to know the truth, and would like to get it from your lips. Lilly also told this story to David J. Brown, who included it in an interview with Lilly in his book Mavericks of the Mind,so the story is getting around.

I would like to know the truth, not only because I’m dedicated to it in my profession as a writer, but I would hate to see your reputation sullied because of it. It’s a nasty story, and I’m sure there must be some explanation for it; the film footage is there, unfortunately, to show that it happened, and I don’t think you had any animatronics that could do a scene like that in 1963.

Sincerely, Malcolm J. Brenner

RicouBrowning0002

Mr. Ricou Browning
Browning, Ricou & Fran
5221 SW 196th Ln
Southwest Ranches, FL 33332-1111

March 6, 2019

Dear Mr. Browning,

Thank you for responding to my letter of Feb. 20 with your information. Since the story has already been made public by David Jay Brown’s interview with Lilly in his book Mavericks of the Mind, do you mind if publish it, together with my letter inquiring about the incident? Putting them both together will allow me to rebut Lilly’s story.

However, I do mean to question you a little further, if you will indulge me. Please assume I am somewhat familiar with professional movie special effects. How exactly were the shots done of the beached dolphin with the spear sticking out of its side done? It’s thrashing around a lot, as I remember. Was this an early animatronic, a dummy, something like that? Do you remember who made it? I would appreciate knowing.

Finally, I think “a writer of any integrity” would check out the sources of all stories he/she heard and verify them before going public with them. Very often, he will have to explain things to an editor. Although I met Dr. Lilly and his wife Antoinette, attended a couple of his workshops (they mistook me for staff at one!) and interviewed him regarding his work with dolphins, I have no knowledge of where he got the story. However, in the spirit of open inquiry, I thought I’d ask as you are the last person who was there. I hope my boldness hasn’t offended you.

Sincerely yours, Malcolm J. Brenner

RicouBrowning0003

Dear Mr. Browning,

Thank you for your letter of March 20. Nothing you could tell me about Dr. Lilly (and very little about Ivan Tors) would surprise me. Lilly was widely known for both his abuse of dolphins and drugs.

What surprises me more is that you did not answer my question. You have responded satisfactorily about the scene where the dolphin was shot with a spear gun, but as to my question about the dolphin on the beach thrashing around with a spear in it while Luke Halpin and Kathleen Maguire are delivering their lines, no answer. You said, rather vaguely, that the scene was rendered by “special effects,” an all-inclusive term so vague as to be meaningless.

The IMDb data base does not list a special effects person in the crew of “Flipper,” and there is no credit given for special effects. (However, Dr. Lilly is listed as a consultant; TCM lists him as a “scientific advisor.”) It would be uncommon not to list such a credit, wouldn’t it?

Mr. Browning, it’s really a very simple question: If, as you say, a dummy, model or animatronic dolphin was used in the beach scenes, who built it? What person or shop in Hollywood? There were only so many people at the time who could do this and pull it off. The dolphin on the beach looks amazingly realistic to me, so whoever it was must have been good!

Over the years, you’ve made a lot of money off dolphins. I don’t begrudge you that, but I’d like to know the truth of what happened during the making of “Flipper.” I think you owe it to the dolphins. We now know they are creatures who name themselves, who recognize themselves in a mirror, who are arguably non-human persons. The truth is very simple to recognize, there’s no hiding it. You are being evasive and trying to divert me by bringing up Lilly. Please answer the question, and truthfully. Thank you.

Malcolm J. Brenner

 

August 8, 2019

Mr. Browning,

I apologize for not concluding this business sooner, but I have had an illness and also moved. Please note the new address, above, if you choose to reply.

This will be my last letter to you on the making of “Flipper” and whether the stunt dolphin was shot with a spear gun or not. Since you did not respond to my previous letter questioning the veracity of your claim that the shots on the rocks were done with undefined “special effects,” I presume you refuse to speak any further on the subject. Am I right?

Just let me finish by telling you that I bought “Flipper” from Amazon and watched it. And I thought that, at the time, it was very sympathetic to Florida families, what with the red tide, the hurricane and all. I guess it made Ivan Tors, or somebody, a lot of money.

However, regarding the subject of this letter: In the scene where the dolphin is spear gunned, the dolphin is hit on the left side of the peduncle with the spear, and immediately flexes sideways in that direction reflexively, it appears. Then, in the next scene, it changes direction, heading back where it came from and dragging the spear gun behind it. The spear gun lodges in some rocks.

(I regret I can’t capture some frames here for you to view, but I’ve had difficulty with Amazon letting me find the right frames.)

If, as you say, the spear’s pronged head had been replaced with a hypodermic needle, it seems to me it would have bent, broken off or been dislodged from the force of that flexion, not to mention the spear gun getting stuck in the rocks.

I will give you that you probably used a model for the distant scenes of the dolphin on the rocks. They were taken from such a distance I couldn’t tell.

However, when we come to the closeups of Luke Halpin with the dolphin on the rocks, with only apparently seaweed for padding, what I see looks like a very drugged dolphin. It isn’t flopping around, it isn’t trying to get off the rocks, and it sure as hell isn’t a motorized model or the primitive sort animatronics they had in 1963. It breathes most convincingly, just like a real dolphin.

As you know, drugging dolphins is very dangerous, because they have no breathing reflex, something our friend Dr. Lilly discovered at Marineland in the mid-50’s, much to the disgust of veterinarian Forrest Wood.

The titles for the movie, both opening and closing, bear no mention of who might have done the “special effects” you claim were used, or who might have built the prop dolphin.

I can only conclude that not only did you shoot a real dolphin with a spear gun (you have admitted as much yourself, except you say you used a hypodermic needle instead of the pronged head) but that you drugged that dolphin afterward to enable it to withstand the pain while you filmed on the rocks with Halpin. I’d contact Halpin, but I hear he has Alzheimer’s.

As I said, Mr. Browning, this is my last letter. I intend to post all our correspondence to my blog, malcolmbrenner.com/news, to make it available to anybody who wants to read it. I will, of course, include whatever answer you decide to make to this letter.

Not only have you admitted to spear-gunning the dolphin (and I doubt your explanation), but I now also accuse you of drugging that dolphin and failing to remove the spear from it in a timely manner. In short, you knowingly abused and tortured it to get the shots you wanted because you didn’t have the budget to do anything else (hire a special effects man, build a dummy).

Kind of subverts the whole premise of “Flipper,” doesn’t it? When you torture an animal to make a movie about a kid who has fun with animals, what does that say about you as a person? I think it’s hypocritical and debased and sadistic. You objectified a creature that is much like a human being, pretending it didn’t have feelings so you could get your shot and make your movie. And if you did it to them, you can do it to me, or anyone.

Care to convince me otherwise? – Malcolm J. Brenner



(Addendum: I can find no mention in Google’s database of “Eva Rinseya,” the French actress mentioned in Browning’s second letter.  If anybody knows anything about her, please contact me.)

Closer to “The Edge”

dolphinsmile
It’s a dolphin, and it looks like it’s smiling. It always looks like that.

Here it is, fans, my response from the MediaWorks Standards Committee about my complaint.  According to law, I had to file a complaint with MediaWorks first and be declined before I could appeal to the Broadcast Standards Authority, New Zealand’s FCC. Stand by for my response! All italicization is mine, for emphasis.

Dear Malcolm,

The MediaWorks Standards Committee wishes to advise you we have completed our inquiry into your formal complaint about the decision to broadcast on The Edge on 3 April 2019, an edited version of your interview with Dom Harvey, Meg Annear and Clint Randell. You complained that this breached Standards 4, 5, 6 ,8, 9 and 11.

We have not identified any breach of the standards set out in the Code of Broadcasting Practice. Our reasoning is outlined in further detail below.

If you are not happy about this decision you have the right in accordance with Section 7(3) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 to refer your complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, (P.O. Box 9213, Wellington or bsa.govt.nz) for the purpose of an investigation and review. You have 20 working days after receipt of this email to exercise this right of referral.

The Broadcast

The broadcast on 3 April was the final installment of a storyline which ran over three episodes of the Dom, Meg and Randell show. We have provided copies of all of the audio from these episodes, with this response. However in summary:

On 29 March the hosts first discussed the viral ‘Florida man’ birthday challenge, in which people conduct a Google search with their date of birth and the words “Florida man”, and receive news stories about the behaviour of a ‘Florida man’ on their birthday. ‘Florida man’ is a generic descriptor for a person who commits bizarre or idiotic crimes, popularly associated with—and often reported in—Florida.

Dom had conducted such a search using his birth date 3 February. The first search result was an article about you with the headline “Florida Man who had sex with dolphin says it seduced him”.

Following this discussion, listeners rang in to contribute their own birth dates and “Florida Man” stories.

On 1 April: the hosts discussed how they had recorded an interview with you, and provided some more detail about your story, including that:

  • you had written a book;
  • you had been fired from the aquarium where this occurred (which we are aware is not the case, but do not think is material);
  • you had been interviewed by MediaWorks’ journalist (at the time) David Farrier;
  • you had reviewed the movie “The Shape of Water” in a piece for Huffington Post;
  • the dolphin’s name was Dolly;
  • you had made a documentary about your relationship with Dolly;
  • you didn’t go through the court system and weren’t sent to jail;
  • you claim Dolly was in love with you;
  • you claim Dolly initiated the behaviour and seduced you over time;
  • you claim Dolly was so distraught when you were separated that she took her own life.

Meg made clear her opposition to hearing about bestiality and outlined her counter-view that Dolly was “traumatised because a man had seduced her and she’s a dolphin”. The hosts then sought and received feedback from listeners on whether or not to broadcast the interview.

Dom indicated he would need to clear it with his legal team before broadcasting.

On 3 April the hosts described the “Florida Man” challenge again, played extracts of the previous show and emphasised to listeners not to ‘flip out’ because they had heard the audience feedback and weren’t going to play the full interview.

They talked about Meg’s opposition to this storyline and played the following extract from the interview:

Malcolm: Dolphins’ skin is peeling all the time so they need to have it rubbed. She would roll over on her back and then swim forward until I was rubbing her [bleep].

Meg: This is sick. This is sick. I think you’re sick in the head and this is disgusting. This is a non-consensual situation. A dolphin cannot consensually choose to have sex with a human and you absolutely took advantage of that and I don’t want to be involved with this.

Meg explained she was flustered and furious, and the hosts explained that everyone who got into contact with the show – apart from one listener named Peter – had agreed that the topic was not appropriate for broadcast. Peter was given the opportunity to listen to the entire interview off-air and was then asked for his view of the interview. Peter indicated that he regretted having heard it.

Standard 4 Violence

The Violence Standard states that :

Broadcasters should exercise care and discretion when referencing violence.

We have not identified any content which referenced violence, and no breach of this Standard.

Standard 5 Law and Order

Under the Law and Order Standard:

Broadcasters should observe standards consistent with the maintenance of law and order, taking into account the context of the programme and the wider context of the broadcast.

As the commentary on this Standard makes clear, its purpose is to prevent broadcasts that encourage audiences to break the law, or otherwise promote criminal or serious antisocial activity.

This broadcast did not promote criminal or serious antisocial activity; rather the inverse is the case. The hosts criticised behaviour which is unlawful in New Zealand under section 143 of the Crimes Act 1961. We consider that this was appropriate,and there is no breach of this Standard.

Standard 6 Discrimination and denigration

Under the Discrimination and Denigration Standard:

Broadcasters should not encourage discrimination against, or denigration of, any section of the community on account of sex, sexual orientation, race, age, disability, occupational status or as a consequence of legitimate expression of religion, culture or political belief.

Although elements of the Broadcast – particularly Meg’s comments – were dismissive and even condemnatory of your behaviour, the Commentary on this Standard is clear:

“This standard does not apply to individuals…
The standard applies only to recognised ‘sections of the community’ which is consistent with the grounds for discrimination listed in the Human Rights Act 1993.”

We do not accept that people who have sex with dolphins, or even at the broadest level, zoophiles (i.e. people with a persistent sexual interest in animals) comprise a “section of the community” within the scope of this Standard. Although the Human Rights Act does prohibit discrimination on the grounds of “sexual orientation”, it defines this as “heterosexual, homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation” only (see section 21(1)(m)), and not an orentation towards animals.

This is consistent with the fact that bestiality is illegal in New Zealand. Zoophiles are not protected from discrimination in the Human Rights Act and we do not accept that the Standard applies here, or that the Standard was breached by this Broadcast.

Standard 8 Balance

Under the Balance Standard:

When controversial issues of public importance are discussed in news, current affairs or factual programmes, broadcasters should make reasonable efforts, or give reasonable opportunities, to present significant points of view either in the same programme or in other programmes within the period of current interest.

As summarised in Guideline 8a, for the standard to apply, the subject matter must be an issue ‘of public importance’, it must be ‘controversial’ and it must be ‘discussed’ in a news, current affairs or factual programme.

The Standard does not apply in this case, because at least two of these requirements are not made out:

  • While clearly important to you, this issue is not relevant to the wider New Zealand public and is not ‘of public importance’. Bestiality, and the capacity for animals to consent to intercourse with a human are fringe issues, without any widespread or mainstream importance.
  • The Dom, Meg and Randell show is not a news, current affairs or factual programme. The show is promoted as a place for “the latest entertainment news, celebrity gossip, scandal, competitions and all the funniest gags to spark up your morning”. Listeners expect light-hearted chat and laughs, but do not reasonably expect it to be “authoritative or truthful”, which is the defining characteristic of a factual programme according to the commentary on the Standards.

Standard 9 Accuracy

Under the Accuracy Standard:

Broadcasters should make reasonable efforts to ensure that news, current affairs and factual programming:
• is accurate in relation to all material points of fact
• does not mislead.

The purpose of this standard is to protect the public from being significantly misinformed. However the Standard applies only to news, current affairs and factual programming, which this was not (see para 16b above) . Therefore there cannot be a breach of this Standard.

Standard 11 Fairness

Under the Fairness Standard:

Broadcasters should deal fairly with any person or organisation taking part or referred to in any broadcast.

There are serious issues with how Dom, Meg and Randell dealt with you and your contribution during the Broadcast. In particular the Committee is concerned about the way the interview was edited and broadcast on 3 April, and the information which Dom Harvey provided to you after your interview, which was misleading and incomplete. We have raised these concerns with the show’s producers and presenters and have reminded them of their obligations under this Standard. We have also reviewed our processes to take into account the slightly unusual situation here, where a storyline was modified in response to clear listener feedback.

However overall we are satisfied that the storyline or the 3 April broadcast were not unfair to you, and fairly reflects your position in relation to your interactions with Dolly.

The BSA’s Commentary on this Standard states:

Generally, a consideration of what is fair will take into account the following:

  • whether the audience would have been left with an unduly negative impression of an individual or organisation
  • whether an individual or organisation taking part or referred to in a programme was adequately informed of the nature of their participation
  • whether informed consent was required and/or obtained (guidance on what constitutes ‘informed consent’ is found in Guidance: Privacy at the back of this Codebook)
  • whether the individual or organisation was given a reasonable opportunity to comment, and whether their comments were adequately presented in the programme
  • the nature of the individual, for example, a public figure or organisation familiar with dealing with the media, as opposed to an ordinary person with little or no media experience
  • whether any critical comments were aimed at the participant in their business or professional life, or their personal life
  • the public significance of the broadcast and its value in terms of free speech

The Committee has considered the context around the broadcast:

We accept that the show’s audience would have been left with a negative impression of you based on your behaviour with Dolly. However we do not accept that this impression was caused by the Broadcast. In the Committee’s view, any negative impression was a result of pre-existing perceptions of bestiality and those who engage in it. The Committee is satisfied that there is already widespread distaste for the behaviour you engaged in. The feedback from listeners of the programme supports this view, and again we note that the New Zealand legislature has seen fit to prohibit bestiality with a serious criminal sanction of up to seven years’ imprisonment.

We consider that prior to the broadcast you were adequately informed of the intended nature of your participation. At that time the hosts did plan to broadcast your interview in full or use it for a podcast. It was only after they received overwhelming listener feedback and appreciated that there was no audience appetite for this story, that the hosts and production team reconsidered their approach. We would have expected them to communicate their decision to you. In any event is clear to us that you are experienced in dealing with the media and have told your story before, and we are certain that you would have expected and would have been prepared for opposition or condemnation of your behaviour.

The Committee does not approve of the way your interview was edited, and we understand why you might feel you had not been given a reasonable opportunity to comment. However we agree with producers that in light of the audience’s clear expectations it was not appropriate to play the entire interview. A better decision would have been not to play any part of your interview, rather than playing only the portions of the interview in which Meg reacted to your behaviour. Despite this we are satisfied that your position was adequately presented across the series of broadcasts, and the 3 April Broadcast on its own. In particular your claims that Dolly initiated and consented to this behaviour were presented, as were your claims that Dolly was forlorn by your separation and died of a broken heart, and the fact bestiality was not illegal in Florida at that time or until 2011. We do not accept that listeners were unaware of your position.

Summary

In summary there is no basis to uphold your complaint.

Kind regards,
The MediaWorks Standards Committee

Stay tuned for more exciting news!

 

Interviewer denounces author as “dolphin abuser,” walks out.

Well folks, I went on the Dom, Meg and Randell podcast this morning (in New Zealand, it was late afternoon the day before in Punta Gorda) and about 4 minutes into the interview, as I was describing Dolly’s first advances, rolling on her back and swimming forward until I was rubbing her genital slit, then, when I moved back to her head, doing it again, Meg (the female member of the interview trio, as you may have adroitly guessed) exploded into rage completely unrelated to what I was talking about.

Without giving me a chance to answer her accusations, she said I was a “dolphin abuser” who “took advantage” of that poor dolphin! Then she stormed out of the studio, all too eager to leave before she could learn the truth: dolphins are sexual creatures.

Very sexual.

The two male interviewers, Dom (who recently had a good friend commit suicide) and Randell, continued the interview without her, and it went rather well from my point of view. I got to say everything I wanted to say, got to promote human-dolphin telepathy, got to answer all the interviewers’ questions about the event and got to plug my book and ebook at the end. Listen to it all here, friends. (As soon as it’s published, it was pre-recorded.)

UPDATE: They recorded it, then sent me a version that was half long but still all right, and then, without telling me, they ran this shit. I’ve been treated badly by shock jocks before (Bubba the Love Sponge and Howard Stern come to mind), but I’ve never been set up like this! I feel like a bowling pin, and the station is going to get a letter from me denouncing this.  It’s right here, and they start talking about me at 42:30.

The Wet Aliens

2018-10-31-0003

(This is an article I wrote for Future Life #2, May 1978, and illustrated with my own photos. I’ll get them posted here when I can find them. Meanwhile, it’s surprising how little has changed in the dolphin world.)

THE WET ALIENS

By MALCOLM BRENNER

Suppose you are tuning your radio, 
hunting for your favorite music,
when the following blood-curdling 
announcement comes on: 
“NEWS FLASH: Scientists report
the Earth is about to be invaded by
 extraterrestrial aliens. The invaders 
range in length from six to thirty feet,
 and their brains, much larger than ours,
 suggest a fantastic degree of intellectual
 development. They are so strong they 
can leap twenty feet into the air or travel 
two hundred and fifty miles a day for
 days at a time without sleep! Their jaws 
are filled with needle-sharp teeth, and 
their tails can break bones with a single 
blow. Furthermore, these aliens possess
 an unusual ‘sixth sense’ which enables
 them to look into our internal organs,
 uncovering our hidden strengths and
weaknesses! Their cryptic language,
 undeciphered by scientists, allows them
 to communicate ten times faster than we 
do. They can hear the sound of  a single
drop of rain falling fifty feet away! And 
latest reports indicate they possess
 highly developed psychic abilities which 
allow them to read our minds and 
second-guess our thoughts. Prepare
 yourself!”

“What is this?” you might wonder.
“Another War of the Worlds prank?
 Should I get a gun; clean out the old
fallout shelter? Or should I pray?” 
But wait! Before you can stir, the 
announcer’s back on the air.

“NEWS 
FLASH: More on those alien invaders. 
Scientists report that they are not
warlike, but peaceful! Their astounding 
powers are used only for gathering food 
and for protection against their 
enemies. Despite their great strength,
 they are helpless under Earth ’s gravity 
and can exist only in a weightless environment. Our air is corrosive to their skin and will kill them in twenty-four hours unless they are constantly bathed in fluids from their home world. Their 
huge brains have produced no form of
technology, and many scientists believe 
them to be no smarter than dogs. They 
lack clothes, shelter, and even the most 
rudimentary tools. They have rescued
humans from mortal danger, on occasion, and they have built-in smiles! Congress has imposed fines up to $20,000
 and jail penalties up to one year for killing or injuring them; but scientists 
studying the aliens report several thousand are being held captive around the 
world, and despite government protection more than fifry thousand of them 
may be killed next year — accidentally!”

By now you’d know it was a hoax — but you’d be wrong! These aliens are not the dream of a science-fiction 
writer, nor the creation of some Hollywood special-effects department. They 
are real. They have existed on Earth for
 over thirty million years, their form unchanged, their roots going back before
 the beginning of human evolution. We 
call them dolphins.

All of the above statements about
 dolphins are true, including those that
 seem contradictory — depending on 
whom you choose to believe. They 
reflect the current scientific confusion 
about dolphins, but it’s nothing new. 
Throughout history, dolphins have 
either been worshipped as demigods, or 
devoured as delicacies, with no middle
ground. Prehistoric Norwegian hunters
 carved them on the walls of caves. The 
author of the biblical Book of Job held 
a creature called Leviathan in high
 esteem; we now call the same creature 
orca, or killer whale, an overgrown 
dolphin with an overblown reputation 
for ferocity. 
The Nabataeans, a pre-Christian 
race of Bedouin merchants, were so
 fond of dolphins they carved them into 
the statutes of their gods, posing a riddle to the archaeologists who discovered
 their crumbled temples — in the middle 
of the Negev desert! The Greeks were 
infatuated with them; killing a dolphin, 
the sacred beast of Sun-God Apollo,
was an unforgivable sin. Greek authors 
told stories of their friendliness which
 were considered fantasy until well into 
the 20th century.

Pliny the Elder, a Greek naturalist, is credited with 
discovering that they are not fish but 
warm-blooded, air-breathing mammals, 
like ourselves. The Romans and Polynesians ate them, but the Chinese and
 Vietnamese held them to be divine.
 The truth about dolphins is no less astounding than the many myths surrounding them, but until the 1950s 
almost nothing was known about them. 
Dolphins had been kept in oceanariums
since the early 1900s, but not until
 World War II and the development of
underwater microphones was their 
astonishing sense of echolocation (or “sonar,” to use a military term) 
discovered.

Like bats, dolphins emit high-pitched
 clicks, which sound like a door with 
rusty hinges. Originating in the larynx
 and in nasal sacks below the blowhole 
(nostrils), these clicks are reflacted off 
the dolphin’s concave skull and through 
an oil-filled ‘acoustic lens’ in its domed forehead. By varying the shape of this 
lens, the dolphin can spread a wide beam
 of sound for miles under the sea, or 
focus it with laser like intensity to nearby objects. The “sonar” pulses are ultrasonic to humans, but the dolphins hear 
their echoes bouncing off objects. By
 listening carefully, a dolphin can determine the size, distance, and shape of an
 object; what it is made of; whether it is 
alive or nonliving; whether it is approaching or retreating, and how fast;
 whether it is hollow or solid, textured or
 smooth — everything but its color! Since animal flash is 75% saltwater, dolphins 
can “X-ray” each other — or humans –
with harmless beams of sound.
 A dolphin’s enormous and complex 
brain enables it to process all this information instantly. The brain of a 
bottlenose dolphin — the species seen 
in oceanariums and on TV — is about 
10% larger than a human brain, and appears to be superior to ours as a
thinking machine. It has more folds on 
the neocortex, where rational thought
originates, and the density of its 
neurons is greater. The only animals
 with larger brains are elephants and 
some whales, the dolphins’ distant
 cousins. Some scientists believe the extra brain matter is occupied with controlling the dolphin’s large bodies, or analyzing their complex echolocation.
 But whale sharks and dinosaurs possessed huge bodies and very small 
brains, and bats are able to use their 
“sonar” with brains that fit on a dime!So these theories do not wash.

Given this fantastic biological computer, you might think scientists would 
have long ago recognized the dolphin as 
a creature of unique intelligence. Not 
so! Dolphins lack hands and, being self-
sufficient, have no need for human 
technology. Their oceanic lifestyle
 makes them difficult to observe. Not 
until 1955 did anyone wonder what the
dolphins might be doing with all those 
brains, aside from chasing fish. In that year Dr. John C. Lilly, a young psychiatrist and neurophysiologist, was conducting sensory-isolation experiments
 for the Air Force to determine what
 would happen if an astronaut were cut
 off from contact with Earth. Lilly 
simulated weightless outer space by immersing himself in a tank of warm sea-
water. Breathing through a facemask,
isolated from all sensory inputs, Lilly experienced incredible hallucinations
 and proved that the brain can generate 
its own ghostly form of reality from 
within. He also began to wonder what 
the mind of a creature living under such
 conditions would be like. 
He conducted a series of experiments 
on the dolphins at Marineland near St.
Augustine, Florida. While anesthetizing 
them to implant electrodes he made his 
first startling discovery — when a dolphin loses consciousness, it stopsbreathing! Unlike other animals, each 
breath for a dolphin requires an act of
 will. His first few experiments proved 
fatal to his subjects and angered the 
Marineland staff, some of whom have 
not yet forgiven him. After developing
 more humane techniques, he was able to 
“map” the dolphin’s brains and determine which areas controlled what
behavior.

During these experiments, Lilly 
noticed that the dolphins in his laboratory behaved more like curious humans than white rats or rhesus 
monkeys. They second-guessed his experiments and tried to imitate the voices of his assistants! Fascinated, Lilly ended his brain research and began studying the dolphin’s sound emissions.
 He found they produce complex trains
 of whistles and squawks with which they
  communicate. In 1961, convinced of the 
existence of a dolphin “language,” Lilly 
received a NASA grant on the ground
 that his research might help us better 
understand communications from other
 planets — when we receive them.

He quickly encountered hostility 
from other scientists. Like early UFO 
investigators, Lilly found himself up 
against a wall of mockery and prejudice. His recordings of dolphins mimicking human speech were not convincing to untrained ears. His remarks
 were sensationalized by a press more eager for headlines than the plodding
methodology of science. His stories of 
“intelligent” behavior were laughed at
 by cetologists familiar only with 
robotized oceanarium dolphins. Even the basic premise of his research was 
challenged; any idiot could see that
 human beings were the most intelligent 
creatures on earth — otherwise the 
dolphins would be keeping us captive!

Undaunted, challenged by the alien 
mind of the dolphin, Lilly began a series 
of experiments on his own mind, using 
sensory isolation and the then-legal drug 
LSD. Tripping among his dolphins, he 
realized that, if he was right, keeping 
them captive was not just an insult; it 
changed them, in the same way involuntary imprisonment changes a free man 
into a slave. The dolphins locked in his
lab were not the same creatures as those
 roaming the wild seas; they were products of his experimental parameters.

“I 
felt,” he has since admitted, “like I was 
running a concentration camp for dolphins.”

As he considered closing the lab
and setting his subjects free they began
to die mysteriously, starving or drowning themselves. In 1967 he released the
 survivors, ending his research.
 Lilly remains much-hated among professional cetologists, partly for his 
“unscientific” theories, partly for his 
early brain-probings, and partly for his
drug experiments, which nearly cost him
 his life on two occasions. If he were the
 only person to report such experiences with dolphins one might well doubt 
him, but a small number of scientists
 and laymen, fascinated by the idea of an 
Earthly non-human intelligence, began 
their own investigations. Some supported Lilly’s theories; others sought to 
disprove them. Still others wavered.

This is typical of the problems scientists encounter when they attempt to
 measure the dolphin’s intelligence.
 Its sense and thought processes are so 
different from ours that it’s hard to 
develop a meaningful test! But there are
 still profound mysteries surrounding 
them. For almost every fact postulated
 by a respected dolphin researcher, an
 equally illustrious scientist can be found 
to contradict it!

For example, Lilly 
claims that dolphins can produce a 
“distress whistle” when in danger or 
pain. This call, described by him as a
 whistle of rising, then falling pitch (like
 an inverted V) brings other dolphins to
 the rescue. Rene-Guy Busnel, a French
cetologist who works with Jacques 
Cousteau, agrees about the “distress 
whistle” but insists it’s exactly the opposite — falling, then rising in pitch 
(like an upright V)! The Caldwells,
 equally respected, maintain there is no 
such thing as a distress whistle. According to them, dolphins have only one 
whistle apiece, which they repeat over 
and over to tell other dolphins “here I
 am,” like Kurt Vonnegut’s mythical
 Mercurian harmoniums.

Are you sufficiently confused?

One person who shares Lilly’s views is 
Ric O’Barry, formerly a trainer for 
Ivan Tors’ Flipper TV series. After 
working with dolphins for years, 
O’Barry concluded that the dolphins 
were not only smarter than he was –
 they were sometimes able to read his mind, learning complicated tricks faster 
than seemed possible. He now devotes 
his time to saving the whales and 
dolphins from extinction.

Another believer is Michael Greenwood, formerly dolphin trainer for the
 U.S. Navy and CIA. Greenwood
 became interested in marine mammals during the Navy’s Sea Lab program. 
Dolphins can dive to 600 feet and return 
in three minutes without being crushed
 by the pressure, equal to 200 atmospheres, or dying from the bends. 
Having gained some experience training sea lions, Greenwood was asked to take
over a top-secret dolphin project in the
 Florida Keys. The mission, under a conservationist cover story, was to train
 dolphins to run intelligence missions 
against communist Cuba, planting instruments on atom-powered Soviet warships which would transmit data on the
 size and power of their nuclear reactor.
 The CIA and Navy factions on the project were warring with each other; the 
electronic equipment malfunctioned;
 and the dolphins were poorly trained! Greenwood became convinced it was immoral to train such intelligent and 
friendly creatures for warlike ends. He, 
too, came to believe they could telepathically read his mind. He now fears
 they are facing a slaughter by the
world’s naval powers, who are unable 
to tell an innocent dolphin from one 
trained for espionage.

But the dolphins are already facing a
 wipeout. For the past fifteen years, 
tuna fishermen have been killing hundreds of thousands in the huge purse-seine nets used to trap yellowfin tuna, 
which are packaged for sale as “chunk 
light.” The dolphins and tuna stick 
together — no one knows why — and 
when the fish are netted the dolphins
panic. Their “sonar” beams pass uselessly through the net’s mesh, and in their
confusion they may become tangled and
 drown, or, worse yet, be dragged on
board and crushed in the machinery. In 
1971, an estimated 320,000 were killed. 
Since then the numbers have been dropping, thanks to new types of nets, new 
catching techniques, and the Marine
 Mammal Protection Act, which sets
 yearly quotas on the number killed. But
 the battle isn’t won: the tuna fishermen, 
chafing under what they feel are unfair
 restrictions, talk of taking their boats to 
nations without quotas.

Dolphin ESP is a highly puzzling
 issue, one that is infrequently discussed. Studies on humans
 show that, contrary to most science fiction, strong emotions, rather than powerful intellect, are responsible for telepathy, and this also seems true in human-dolphin mental contacts. People who see dolphins as highly intelligent are more open to psychic contacts than those who regard them as big fish; familiarity with dolphin ways also increases the likelihood of interspecies ESP. People who have had psychic experiences with dolphins find them difficult to describe.

Don’t rush down to your local oceanarium expecting to pick up dolphin brainwaves, however. While you might, it is highly unlikely, unless you’re exceptionally psychic. As Dr. Lilly discovered, captive dolphins are a different breed from their wild counterparts. While some thrive in captivity, many more have died from it, and the survivors frequently display spirits broken by the rigorous behavior-modification techniques used to produce oceanarium shows. Conditions vary greatly from one establishment another: some take great pride in maintaining healthy, happy specimens, while in others the death rate is staggering. Stories of trainers mistreating their dolphins out of malice or ignorance are confined to backroom discussions, where the public can’t overhear.

Sometimes the dolphins bear mistreatment
 stoically; sometimes they retaliate!
 Some dolphins have been kept for years
 in lagoons with nothing more than a line
 of floats keeping them in; others have 
ripped steel fences apart to escape! It’s 
impossible to generalize about dolphins 
for the same reason it’s impossible to
 generalize about humans: no two are 
alike.
 But there is no doubt that the “happy 
dolphin” image perpetuated by
 oceanariums and the media is a lie.

The 
Flipper series shows them as happy-go-lucky types, fawning all
 over their human masters, Kenny and 
Bud. The movie The Day of theDolphin, while somewhat more
realistic, still showed dolphins as being 
childlike, naive, and gullible. Trainers 
know better: dolphins can be sweet, 
even sexy, but they can also be deceptive, arrogant, and demonically cunning. The recent movie Orca, the Killer
 Whale did little to change the image of
 the most maligned creature since the
 snake. Although the orca saves the
heroine, Rachel Bedford (a sympathetic
 biologist played by Charlotte Rampling)
 from a shark at the beginning, and
 spares her life at the end, in between 
these chivalrous deeds it devours Jack
Campbell’s (Richard Harris’) crew, 
sinks a fishing fleet, sets a town on fire,
 and rips a woman’s leg off! Dino De Laurentiis would be well advised to restrict his swimming to pools from now on.

Paul Spong, a Canadian biologist who has studied orcas for the past six years, knows better. When a group of orcas swim by his research station in Alert Bay, Spong may hop into a one-man kayak and paddle out to meet the “deadly” killer whales. When he plays his flute to them, the whales stop roaming and listen raptly. If we stop to think about it, aren’t humans the real monsters? Orcas are captured for oceanariums with concussion grenades, and catchers show no qualms about breaking up pods that may have existed for centuries.

The future holds greater promise for interspecies communications. While the scientific community wrangles, several groups are planning to decipher the dolphins’ language. The Dolphin Embassy Project, based in Australia, is headed by Doug Michaels, of San Francisco. This group is building a ferroconcrete “floating embassy,” loaded with electronics, which will function as a meeting place where humans can observe and interact with wild dolphins along the Great Barrier Reef. Plans call for the expedition to begin in April, 1978.

Members of the Canadian Greenpeace Project have, for the last several years, been literally laying their lives on the line to save the great whales. Using rubber Zodiac boats operating from a converted fishing vessel, Greenpeacers have been harassing Soviet and Japanese whaling fleets in the North Pacific, gathering evidence of illegal undersized kills and producing a documentary film. On two occasions Russian whalers have fired harpoons at whales the group was guarding, narrowly missing the humans!

Dr. Lilly, too, is returning to the dolphins with a new plan. He is programming a sophisticated computer to act as a human-dolphin translator, linked by radio to communications equipment in a sailboat. Lilly hopes that, by working with wild dolphins, he will both avoid the problems that plagued his earlier work, and vindicate his theories.

If any of these groups are successful, the benefits to humanity could be endless. We will have established communication with minds perhaps greater than our own; we will receive an outside view of ourselves from creatures who watched us evolve. The dolphins and whales could help us control ocean pollution and aid in the search for undersea energy sources. They might be able to shed some light on the persistent myth of Atlantis. And who knows? By the time we encounter real aliens from outer space, we humans might be able to say “Hello!” to them in their own language — with the smiling dolphins by our sides.

WGslide27

The Greeting, © 1970, 2010 Eyes Open Media.