Why Whales Strand — US Navy Cover-Up

why whales strand
The US Navy has covered up the truth about why whales strand for decades!

Why whales strand: Regardless of the increasing number of dead whales washing ashore, the US Navy and the oil industry have nothing to worry about. They’ve been bribing whale scientists and the media for over 40+ years!

The bribery is weird because the #1 danger faced by marine mammals comes from Mother Nature, not from the US Navy or the oil industry. For example, about 1,500 undersea earthquakes above magnitude >5 occur annually along the subduction zones and borders of the tectonic plates that circle the globe. Ninety percent of these borders course along the bottom of our oceans and seas. This means that 90% of all earthquakes (aka: seaquakes) occur in the backyard of whales and dolphins. Add several hundred more submarine volcanic explosions annually (link) and another 10 to 20 meteorites slamming into the water’s surface, and you begin to see that the backyard of whales and dolphins is not such a safe place to dive, especially when you realize that natural upheavals generate rapid and excessive changes in ambient water pressures that can easily traumatize the sinuses of an entire pod of diving whales. In other words, Mother Nature is the #1 reason why whales strand; it’s been that way for at least 30 million years. 

The #2 reason why whales mass strand is the noise makers used by the US Navy and the oil industry. These two groups have known why whales strand for decades. They use powerful sonar, airgun arrays, and underwater explosives that emit practically identical low frequency pressure oscillations as do natural seafloor disturbances and meteorites slamming into the ocean’s surface.  In fact, the  whales would not know whether man or nature caused their injuries.

Exposure to rapid and excessive changes in diving pressures is every diver’s worst nightmare come true. As an example, the #1 injury is scuba divers in sinus barotrauma cause by rapid and excessive changes in diving pressures.

Natural seafloor upheavals, sonar, airguns, meteorites, and underwater explosions generate potent low frequency positive and negative pressure pulses that crisscross the bodies of diving whales, rupturing their cranial air spaces.

After suffering a busted sinus, whales lose their ability to echo-navigate and echo-locate their food. Nor can they dive much deeper than a few feet due to severe head pain. This is why whales strand. They always beach with no food in their stomachs and severely dehydrated (all their fresh water comes from the food they eat.)

The reason they lose their acoustic sense of direction is because the air held in the cranial air sinuses serves underwater not only to generate biosonar clicks but also to reflect, focus, and channel the returning echoes. Without the proper volume of air in each cranial air space, their acoustic navigation system quits working.

There is the additional danger that the rapidly changing air volumes inside their skull might do other damage such as force closed the eustachian tube or snap a bone that plays an important part in biosonar function. Much can go wrong when the volume of air in the sinuses and middle ear cavities bounces back and forth too excessively.

Those on the beach don’t appear injured because sinus barotrauma is the slightest, most deadliest internal injury any diving mammal can receive and still look outwardly healthy.

But the mysterious part is not why whales strand. The real enigma is why both the US Navy and the oil industry have refused to fund an investigation into how extreme changes in diving pressures generated by natural underwater disturbances kill marine mammals. You’d think they would be thrilled to prove that Mother Nature is the reason why whales strand just so they could get themselves off the hook.  It is even more strange considering the fact that the US Navy’s Maritime Safety Division warned us back in 1966 that UNDERWATER DISTURBANCES are  extremely dangerous to marine life. They said  “MARINE LIFE CAN BE DESTROYED BY A SEAQUAKE.”  (see page 59 of this pdf)

This article even warned on the last page: Damaging seaquake: The ship may be thrown about in the water with such force that mast, booms, superstructure and machinery as well as the hull may be damaged. It is possible for seams to be opened to such an extent that flooding cannot be contained and the vessel sinks.

If a seaquake can sink a ship, it can darn sure injure a pod of diving whales in a fashion to destroy their acoustic sense of direction. Lost whales could easily swim into a beach, especially on an incoming tide, so why don’t the US Navy and the oil industry blame strandings on undersea seismic disturbances? 

The US Navy pays for 50 percent of all whale research worldwide (link). The oil industry (by way of various taxes and fees) pays for 47 percent. The question is why are the two worst underwater noise polluters on the planet paying for 97% of the research to study the world’s most acoustically dependant animals? This is the same as letting a pack of wolves guard our sheep. Are we that stupid?

Do you remember how big tobacco controlled all the lung cancer research in the 1950s and 1960s? They were paying doctors to advertise cigarettes. They doled out all the money for cancer research because they wanted to control the best available scientific information on smoking and lung cancer. If the scientists didn’t come up with the results big tobacco wanted, they got blacklisted and never got another dime. Plenty of crooked, lying, lowdown, mudsucking scientists step forward, stuck out their greedy hands, and wrote all about how healthy it was to inhale cigarette tar and a hundred other deadly chemicals into your lungs. They didn’t give a rat’s ass if you died of lung cancer. All they cared about was MONEY!

Science is for sale and it always has been!

But what motive does the oil industry and the US Navy have to want to control 97% of all the whale research worldwide? More important, why does Congress, the Secretary of Commerce, NOAA, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Marine Mammal Commission allow all this lopsided control over whale research?

And why do they want to keep you in the dark about barotrauma in the cranial air sinus of whales as a result of pressure waves generated by natural underwater disturbances? This ain’t rocket science. Besides, the US Navy already told us that seaquakes kill marine life. You’d think they would be telling us more specifically about how seaquakes do the killing, especially when it comes to marine mammals.

Their motive is simple. As mentioned above, military sonar, oil industry airguns, and explosives cause the identical injury in diving whales as does undersea seismic upheavals. The low frequency pressure waves generated by nature and by man are about the same and they cause the same barotraumatic injuries. This is true because the cranial air spaces are the most delicate part of a diving whale’s anatomy when exposed to rapid and excessive changes in diving pressures.

But they can’t let you know that natural undersea catastrophes cause sinus barotrauma in marine mammals because there is little difference between the injuries caused by their underwater noise makers and the injuries caused by Mother Nature. In other words, if they convict nature, they convict themselves.

Why Whales Strand

The US Navy knows that sinus barotrauma explains why whales strand. But they refuse to allow the scientists they support to talk about it. Doubt me?  Search online for “sinus barotrauma and whales.” You find mostly my work.

Here is more specific evidence:  The first scientific objective in one US Navy sponsored research paper (link) was: “To understand how the ears of deep-diving marine mammals are structured to prevent barotrauma.”

The paper was considered special because it would be presented at the 1998 NATO meeting to discuss the sonar impacts on beaked whales. Regardless of the stated purpose of this research, Dr. Darlene Ketten, the world’s leading whale hearing expert, who has received hundreds of grants payoffs from the Navy, declared therein:

” . . .we (scientists) have no knowledge of what auditory structural adaptations these animals evolved to endure bathypelagic and rapidly changing pressures . . .”

There was no discussion whatsoever about the massive air sinuses and air sacs in the heads of these deep divers. How is it possible to discuss BAROTRAUMA in diving mammals and not mention the sinuses and air sacs, the part of their anatomy most vulnerable to excessive low frequency pressure changes? The ONLY purpose of this US Navy-sponsored scientific doublespeak was to have Dr. Darlene Ketten officially declare that there was “no available scientific information on barotrauma in whales.”

Here’s another scientific article in which Ketten says scientists have no knowledge about hearing in whales (link). Everywhere you turn, whale scientists are claiming to be just plain dumb about barotrauma and hearing injury in whales. They are still arguing about how sonar kills whales. Many whale scientists blame the injury on the whales because they get spooked and swim to the surface too fast.

Keep this in mind… as long as there is a scientific argument, all available scientific information is questionable until the argument is settled. The argument can go on as long as the US Navy and the oil industry keep the money flowing! The best available scientific information can never emerge until many decades of arguments are settled.

But why is denying knowledge in a research paper so important?  The reason involves the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  Click the link and look for the yellow highlights. The legislation that protects our whales and dolphins states over and over again (17 times) that the Secretary of Commerce must protect marine mammals to the “best available scientific information.”  This law offers NO PROTECTION if there is NO AVAILABLE SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION TO GUIDE THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE.  Read it! The US Navy and the oil industry are doing the exact same thing big tobacco did in the 50s and 60s.

Bottom line is that the Marine Mammal Protection Act protects the world’s worst underwater noise polluters, not our whales.

Said differently, the scientific information to determine the level of protection from the noise generated by the US Navy and oil industry is under the direct control of the US Navy and the oil industry. Obviously, the easiest way for these two acoustic polluters to defeat that Marine Mammal Protection Act is to use taxpayer money and tax deductions to control whale scientists and the best available scientific information they develop.

The whale-loving public has been fooled!

Please allow me to repeat myself:  This defective law states repeatedly that Secretary of Commerce must protect marine mammals to the “best available scientific information.” If there is “no available scientific information on barotrauma or barosinusitis in whales” as Dr. Darlene Ketten openly stated, then the Marine Mammal Protection Act is worthless scrap of paper.

Equally obvious, the US Navy and oil industry are not going to use taxpayer money to sponsor any research that will show how their operations cause rapid pressure changes that kill marine mammals. Nor do they want to see earthquake-induced barosinusitis accepted as the cause of mass beachings since it is only a small step over to barosinusitis induced by explosives, sonar, and/or airguns.

I repeat, the whale-loving public has been fooled!

Capt. David Williams
Deafwhale Society
(the world’s oldest whale conservation group)


Site Map for http://deafwhale.com

Why Whales Beach: Sinus Barotrauma
Seaquakes kill 322 Baleen Whales in Chile
Three Fin Whales Killed by Seaquake
The Danger of Seaquakes
How Seaquakes Cause Whale Strandings
Scientists Lying About Whale Strandings
Whale Scientists Spreading Propaganda Part II
Scuba Divers Survive Seaquakes
Surface Currents Guide Whales to the Beach
Seaquake-Vessel Encounters from 1900 to 2015
Seaquake-Vessel Encounters from 1800 to 1899
History of Whale Drive Fisheries and Seaquakes
Typical Seaquake Reported by a Ship at Sea
Various Whale Beaching Theories
Whale Stranding Solutions
Variables in Seaquake-Induced Whale Strandings
Narwhals Trapped in Arctic Ice
Seaquake Causes Whale Beaching
1988 article why whales and dolphins strand (PDF)
2013 Science Article – seaquakes cause whale strandings (PDF)
Seismic Airguns Kill Endangered Sea Turtles
Nuclear Submarine USS Scorpion (SSN-589) sunk by seaquake
1966 US Navy verifies seaquakes sinks ships and kill marine life
Ghost Ship Mary Celeste abandoned during seaquakeSite Map for http://deafwhale.blogspot.com

2016 Jan 22:  13 Sperm Whales Beach in North Sea
Jan 13:  Beached Whales in India Injured by Earthquake


Dec 27:  If you love whales, stop listening to lying whale scientists
Dec 20: Hunting Whales Puts Bad Karma on Japan
Dec 09: Whale Dangerous Earthquake South of Perth
Dec 09: Seaquake causes dolphins to strand Baja California
Nov 23: Seaquakes kill 322 baleen whales in Chile    (shocking)
Aug 24: NOAA whale scientists dumbfounded
Aug 14: stranded dolphin is determined to be deaf
Aug 08: seaquake causes pilot whales to strand Nova Scotia
Jul   27: is our stranding solution flawed as scientists claim
Jun  01: pilots stranded Isles of Skye from Reykjanes Ridge
May 22: dead whales washing ashore on the California Coast
May 10: earthquake kills 20 Sei Whales near Chile Coast
Apr  10: seaquake strands 150 melon-headed whales in Japan


Dec 25: navigation failure in mass stranded whales  (most popular)
Dec 08: seaquake causes 7 sperm whales to beach Australia
Nov 24: seaquake beaches 3 sperm whales at Golden Bay
Nov 04: seaquake beaches 60 pilot whales in Bay of Plenty
Oct 29: nine pilot whales strand on Prince Edward Island
Apr  11: 60 pilot whales beach in Bay of Plenty
Mar 20: Cape Ray Newfoundland 37 dolphins beach
Mar 14: undersea quakes louder than nuclear explosions
Mar 13: seaquakes cause whale strandings 32 million years
Mar 02: blue whale killed by seaquake in Kuwait
Feb 27: seaquake kills young killer whale
Feb 23: predicting mass beachings based on seaquakes
Feb 21: lessons in understanding why whales beach
Feb 18: seaquake Greenland Sea kills 3 sperm whales
Feb 12: nine orcas killed by seaquake
Jan 30: Cape Cod mass stranding predicted
Jan 20: seaquake causes 39 pilot whales to strand Florida
Jan 16: seaquakes beach 65 pilot whales in Golden Bay
Jan 05: seaquake beaches 30 pilot whales in Golden Bay


Dec 06: why did pilot whales beached in the everglades?
Apr 30: seaquake beaches 6 killer whales in Iceland
Apr 25: beached whales stop war games


Dec 08: seaquake beach pilot whales South Carolina
Nov 15: pilot whales beach at Golden Bay, New Zealand
Nov 04: seaquake causes two pods to beach at King Island
Oct 28:  pilot whales strand on North Andaman Island
Oct 17: earthquakes cause New Zealand whale stranding
Sep 09: earthquake kills pregnant sperm whale
Sep 03: seaquake strands pilot whales in Scotland
Aug 24: two quakes cause near beaching in Cape Verde
Jul  28:  200 Pilot Whales Northwest of Iceland
Mar 19: Four Sperm Whales Wash Ashore in China


Dec  31: world’s rarest whales killed by earthquake
Mar 06: 52 melon-headed dolphins strand in Japan


Nov 20: 52 Pilot Whales Stranded in Tasmania

Copyright 1972 thru 2016: This explanation of why whales strand is the copyrighted intellectual creation of Capt. David W. Williams, and registered with the Writer’s Guild of America—Reg. No: 10608118. The reproduction and use of any part or all of this intellectual creation in any form, including film, is strictly prohibited. In particular, no part of these web pages may be distributed or copied for any commercial purpose. No part of this intellectual property may be reproduced on or transmitted to or stored in any other website, or in any other form of electronic retrieval system or used in any film or book; however, you may link to this website without permission. Reference this web page as the source when quoting. Send email request for any other use.

2 thoughts on “Why Whales Strand — US Navy Cover-Up”

  1. Wow… Physicists Les Hamilton confirms (below) that submarine upheavals can cause whale strandings! He’s also right when he says the idea that undersea earthquakes might stun whales and knock out their acoustic sense of direction was first suggested before I was born. It was first mentioned in a short newspaper article in 1935. This concept was also confirmed in 1966 when the US Navy clearly stated that seaquakes could kill marine life and sink ships. My first published article about seaquakes injuring whales did not appear until 1987.

    For my readers, Dr. Les Hamilton is the famous sonar physicist who works for the Australian Navy (DSTO). It’s nice to see that an acoustical physicist now agrees with the idea that seaquakes cause whales to strand.

    As to why I mention the US Navy’s cover-up of the 1968 sinking of the nuclear submarine USS Scorpion by a seaquake: This is a historical event and backed up by clear and convincing evidence. Anyone interested should take a look at http://deafwhale.com/uss-scorpion/

    I can also understand why a sonar expert working for the Australian Navy might feel threatened by my work. I like to assure Dr. Hamilton that I have no intention to put military sonar out of business. In fact, I’m working on just the opposite. A few geophysicists friends have joined me in an effort to sort out how whales detect earthquake precursors. If we get lucky, we will be able to duplicate these signals and play them back to the whales to cause them to flee areas before military sonar is even used. The whales might even teach us humans how to detect major earthquakes many weeks before they occur. Lofty goals I know, but I like shooting for the stars, especially if it saves human lives and whales at the same time.

    Dr. Hamilton, why don’t you talk the Australian Navy into joining this effort? There is no doubt in my mind that great whales detect big quakes weeks in advance. It shouldn’t be too difficult to understand how they do it, especially with the Australian Navy’s help.

    But I doubt if the Australian, British, or the US Navy will be interested. This is why I’m so upset. You military guys are lying about whale strandings just to protect a few dead admirals. On the other hand, if you would help my group understand how whales detect earthquake precursors, we could save millions of human lives and the whales too. We might even win a Nobel Prize for our efforts. You should think seriously about joining us.

    The answer to why some earthquakes injure whales and others don’t is quite simple. Not all earthquakes give off the detectable precursors, especially those between 4.7 and 6.7 magnitude. These are the events that catch the whales by surprise. Most quakes above 6.7 are detectable by whales, especially major events near 8 magnitude. In fact, there is no record anywhere of whales being injured by earthquakes above 7 magnitude.

    I might also mention that some earthquakes can spread down a fault line for a hundred mile at a lightening-fast speed. Whales 50 miles away could easily be caught by surprise when this happens. These types of events are called super-shear quakes. They break the underwater sound barrier when they speed down the fault line faster than shear waves can travel.

    Here’s another little tidbit I bet you don’t know: All the calving grounds for the great whales in your part of the world are free of any dangerous earthquakes going back to when records were first kept. These earthquake-safe zones were selected as calving grounds over a million years ago. It seems the whales have known about the danger of seaquakes long before man ever walk upright.

    Don’t you think it is about time the Australian Navy admitted the truth instead of lying about whale strandings? It’s gonna catch up to them sooner or later. The quicker they confess to their lying ways, the better it will be in the minds of Australian citizens. You guys just can’t continue to lie forever. There is a day of reckoning coming soon.

  2. Dave, Subterranean upheavals might well cause some strandings. Who knows, it’s only an idea (and one conceived before your time), no matter how plausible. Why embellish this old idea with conspiracies, coverups by the US navy, obsession, whales near the bottom of the ocean (), radiation hazards, and other such confabulations. If whales “could detect seismic precursor signals weeks before the main shock” why would any ever die? Why would they be caught by surprise? There is no logic to your imaginations. If you kept to a simpler story then people might see some sense in it. Seems to me you are now deliberately broadcasting misinformation to the uninformed. How does that help anybody? The truth is out there? Perhaps it’s time to write your memoirs and leave the science to those qualified to do it. Regards, Les Hamilton

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