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No. 35: Sep-Oct 1984

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Dolphins to the rescue -- again!

September 1983. Tokerau Beach, North-land, New Zealand. A pod of 80 pilot whales ran aground and were stranded by the ebbing tide. Local townspeople followed a new technique developed for aiding stranded cetaceans. They waded out, talking soothingly to the whales, and keeping their skins wet. When the tide came back in and refloated the whales, the New Zealanders turned them around and tried to guide them to deeper waters.

Sometimes refloated cetaceans just turn around and reground themselves again, but this time the pilot whales were fortunate. A school of dolphins fishing offshore somehow apprehended the situation and swam into the shallows around the pilot whales. The dolphins then guided them out to sea. 76 of the pilot whales were thus saved. In a similar incident 5 years earlier at Whangarei harbor, a helicopter followed the dolphins and whales several miles out to sea, confirming interspecies aid. Such stories are reminiscent of those where drowning humans are helped by dolphins.

(Anonymous; "Dolphin Pilots," Oceans, 17:50, 1984.)

Reference. More instances where dolphins have come to the aid of humans are presented in BHX3 in Biological Anomalies: Humans III. Ordering information is located here.

From Science Frontiers #35, SEP-OCT 1984. 1984-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987