The idea was that the rotting whale would be nearly disintegrated by the blast, and that any smaller pieces left over would be taken care of by seagulls or other scavengers. Terms of Use It includes Linnman’s iconic closing line: “It might be concluded that should a whale ever wash ashore in Lane County again, those in charge will not only remember what to do, they’ll certainly remember what not to do.”. The event has been local lore for years so this year, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the event, the city named a park “Exploding Whale Memorial Park.” You can see the news report on You Tube by looking for “exploding whale Oregon.” -0-Here’s a joke a high school buddy sent me: Flo the Whale stands by the newly named Exploding Whale Memorial Park sign. Built in 2019, the park oversees scenic views of the Siuslaw River … 69,796, This story has been shared 62,897 times. ", The blubber bits were so big, one managed to smash a car, and the scattered remains still had to be buried. On the 50th anniversary of the “Florence whale explosion” Thursday, a former Oregon TV newsman recalled what it was like to cover the infamous event —… “I was asked about it virtually every day of my life, or commented on it, by everybody, strangers alike,” Paul Linnman told KATU-TV in Portland. Shannon Gormley is originally from Baltimore, Maryland. 62,897, This story has been shared 45,310 times. Here’s What Happened. The Oregon Highway Division had decided the best way to remove the dead 8-ton sperm whale that had washed ashore was to stuff it with 24 cases of dynamite and blow it up. A widely reported case of an exploding whale occurred in Florence, Oregon, in November 1970, when the Oregon Highway Division (now the Oregon Department of Transport… The community also created a mascot for the exploding whale's 50th anniversary: an adorable, totally intact whale named Flo. “The humor of the situation suddenly gave way to a run for survival.”, According to the Oregon Historical Society, Paul Linnman said in an on-the-scene news broadcast. Clearly, the residents of Florence have a sense of humor and pride about what's been dubbed a "fateful day in 1970 that changed the world forever" by, an entire website dedicated to the event. Recently named the "Exploding Whale Memorial Park," the new park provides views of the Siuslaw River and Bridge as well as the iconic sand dunes on the South side of the river. The park is named in honor of the 1970 explosion of a rotting sperm whale on the Oregon Coast just outside of the city's limits. This whale memorial is total blast. FLORENCE, Ore. – Welcome to the newest park on the Oregon coast – Exploding Whale Memorial Park! Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Locally, the City of Florence included on its recent Nov. 2 agenda the issuance of a proclamation recognizing the 50th anniversary of the “Exploding Whale” incident and, last June, officially designated Florence’s newest park — a small pocket park with beach access from Rhododendron Drive — as “Exploding Whale Memorial Park… “Portland Sheriff” Mike Reese Gives $500 to Joe Biden’s Presidential Campaign, Doubling His Donation, Prominent Anti-Vaccine Pediatrician Dr. Paul Thomas Has License Suspended by the Oregon Medical Board, Oregon Governor Imposes Statewide “Freeze” to Curb COVID-19 Spread, Restricting Bars and Restaurants to Takeout Service, Some Oregon Republicans Are Reluctant to Reveal Their Thanksgiving Dinner Plans, Multnomah County Records 715 COVID Cases in Two Days, The 2022 Governor’s Race is Officially Underway: Dr. For the anniversary, the Oregon Historical Society released a remastered version of the 16mm print original, which has been under the museum’s care since the 1980s, according to the Willamette Week. Clearly, the residents of Florence have a sense of humor and pride about the debacle. "The humor of the situation suddenly gave way to a run for survival," KATU reporter Paul Linnman said in an on-the-scene news broadcast. An outdoor recreation site along the Siuslaw River is now named Exploding Whale Memorial Park. A small coastal town... Post was not sent - check your email addresses! In November 1970, the Oregon Highway Division attempted to dispose of a rotting sperm whale that had washed up out of the Pacific onto a beach in Florence by blowing it up with dynamite. Exploding Whale Park had simply been undeveloped land owned by … Sitemap 45,310, © 2020 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved Nearly 50 years ago, a whale beached itself on the shores near Florence, Oregon. “All of a sudden, we realized blubber is coming down … There was that momentary ‘Oh … This stuff is landing.’ And it could have hit us,” Linnman recalled. Experts determined the best method would be to blow it up using dynamite. Will Oregon Decriminalizing Drug Possession Make Street Drugs Cheaper? More information on the park can be found here. “To have it live as a story still on the internet after 50 years is just amazing,” Brazil said. Bud Pierce Declares His Candidacy. According to the Oregon Historical Society, "In addition to the stench and the possibility that the body would burst, local officials were concerned that people curious about the carcass might climb on it and fall in.". This story has been shared 69,796 times. You’ll be pleased as punch to know you can now visit Florence, Oregon’s Exploding Whale Memorial Park. Actual explosives have also been used to assist in disposing of whale carcasses, ordinarily after towing the carcass out to sea. 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Learn the story behind Exploding Whale Memorial Park. Please support the city we loveby joining Friends of Willamette Week. We've received your submission. So to prevent carcass climbers, and thinking it would be easier to dispose of the sea mammal if it was in smaller pieces, state officials decided to blow it up using dynamite. Or in the words of Linnman: "The remaining chunks were of a size that no respectable seagull would attempt to tackle.". Oregon Expected to Receive 228,400 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses by Month’s End, A Dozen Oregon Republican Lawmakers Urged the Attorney General to Support Texas Lawsuit Undermining U.S. Election Results. Do Not Sell My Personal Information, Your California Privacy Rights For the uninitiated: Nearly 50 years ago, a gigantic, dead whale washed up onto a Pacific Northwest shore and really stunk up the joint. An Oregon town has named a park after a whale that the state blew up 50 years ago. The peculiar name commemorates a historic event. It’s a whale of a tale. Earlier this year, the people of Florence were asked to name the city’s newest riverfront park, and they chose to memorialize that day of blasted blubber by dubbing it Exploding Whale Memorial Park. Its carcass was "dealt with" with dynamite by city officials, causing the blubber to fly! In a public poll, "Exploding Whale Memorial Park" won a landslide victory over more picturesque names like "Dune View Park" and "Little Tree Park." Oregon Coast's Exploding Whale 50th Celebrated in Florence, Online . Tech & Science Oregon Youtube Florence Footage of a 45-foot sperm whale being blown up with dynamite on an Oregon beach has been remastered and re-released 50 years after the event took place. It has bike racks, picnic tables, kayak access and views of the Siuslaw Dunes. In a poll to determine the new park’s name, “Exploding Whale Memorial Park” garnered 439 … Your California Privacy Rights Alternately, … PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — If you’re in Florence, Oregon anytime soon, you might want to stop to visit the Exploding Whale Memorial Park. The Oregon Department of Transportation used 20 cases of dynamite to … You may have heard about the exploding dead whale of Florence, Oregon. In November 1970, an 8-ton, dead and decaying sperm whale washed up on a Florence beach. PORTLAND NEEDS WILLAMETTE WEEK. Exploding Whale Memorial Park is now open to the public. The whale explosion footage gained national fame in the 1990s, and received renewed attention on YouTube, becoming a viral hit. Published 11/05/20 at 4:45 AM PDT By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff The mascot for Exploding Whale Memorial Park is shown in Florence, Ore., in June 2020. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. It was too big to simply bury and posed a public health risk. On Nov. 12, 1970, Linnman and his cameraman Doug Brazil were just 23 when they were assigned to capture the blubber blast on a beach in Florence, Ore. A beauty spot in Oregon has been named 'Exploding Whale Memorial Park' after the infamous exploding whale incident of … WW NEEDS YOU. Oregon State, meanwhile, has since implemented a policy to bury carcasses that can’t be easily removed. In fact, the event became the city’s claim to fame, and Florence in June christened a riverfront park “Exploding Whale Memorial Park” to … The Register-Guard wrote of "a 100-foot-high column of sand and whale," and that "chunks of the animal flew in every direction, and spectators began to scream and run for cover when they glimpsed large pieces soaring directly overhead. On the 50th anniversary of the “Florence whale explosion” Thursday, a former Oregon TV newsman recalled what it was like to cover the infamous event — where authorities used half a ton of dynamite to blow up a beached whale. Your Ad Choices The coastal city of Florence has announced a name for its newest park, which references a literal blast from the past. As Linnman’s deadpan segment covered, chunks of the sea creature flew in the air like shrapnel, sending screaming onlookers running and even flattening a car. The need for strong, independent local journalism is more urgent than ever. On Nov. 9, 1970, a 45-foot sperm whale had washed up on the beach near Florence, but as KATU reporter Paul Linnman noted at the time, it later became "a stinking whale of a problem. " However, the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 continues to makethis a very challenging time. This riverfront park provides access to the Siuslaw River in Historic Old Town Florence. November 12, 2020 | 10:35pm | Updated November 13, 2020 | 9:27am. In 1970, a deceased 45 foot, eight ton whale washed ashore near Florence. Park amenities include a shelter with picnic tables and a nice grassy area to enjoy a picnic on a sunny day. Photo courtesy city of Florence. Residents of Florence voted on the name last year, and anointed the park with a new sign yesterday, the Siuslaw News first reported. Florence, Oregon's newest park is named after an actual event that happened there in 1970. Named by residents to memorialize the notorious "exploding whale" incident that took place on the Oregon Coast in the 70s, this beautiful wayside park offers sandy beach and views of the Siuslaw River Bridge. Privacy Notice The city of Florence recently unveiled the “Exploding Whale Memorial Park” on the north side of the Siuslaw River. She covers local and non-local music in Portland, and writes for Baltimore City Paper whenever she's visiting her hometown. I Tried Microdosing With Four Different Psychedelic Drugs. Megan Messmer / City of Florence Florence has a new park and it’s named after one of Oregon’s greatest triumphs -- welcome to Exploding Whale Memorial Park. In his alliterative voice-over of the clip, Linnman quipped that “land-lubber newsmen” became “land-blubber newsmen … for the blast blasted blubber beyond all believable bounds.”. In July 2020 — half a century after the explosion — Florence residents voted to dedicate a park to the incident. "Huge chunks of whale blubber fell everywhere." We'll send you a newsletter with what you need to know every week. Officials were flummoxed — how do you bury an 8-ton titan? There have been several cases of whale carcasses bursting due to a buildup of gas in the decomposition process. On November 12, 1970, a dead beached whale in Oregon needed to be disposed of. The most absurd and gory piece of Oregon history has been commemorated by the residents of Florence, Ore.: An outdoor recreation site along the Siuslaw River is now named Exploding Whale Memorial Park. Thanks for contacting us. The story is legendary. Nov. 12, 1970 is an auspicious day in Oregon history. The City of Florence hosted the Siuslaw River Beach Access Park grand opening on May 14, 2019. It did not go as planned. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports on…”Exploding Whale Park.” Exploding Whale Correspondent: "I Got Over That' In a time when people are questioning the names behind public spaces, the city of Florence has announced the name for its newest park.