Why 650 pilot whales beach at Farewell Spit on 11 February 2017
WHY 650 PILOT WHALES BEACHED AT FAREWELL SPIT!
by Capt. David Williams
Whale scientists made a stupid mistake ~150 years ago when they started using the word “odontocete” to describe cetaceans with teeth as opposed to cetaceans with baleen. In Greek odonto means tooth and -cete means whale. But tagging the most acoustically superior mammals our planet has ever known by drawing attention to their teeth is not a fitting scientific name.
So before I continues, pleased allow me to change the scientific name of toothed whales from “odontocete” to “acousticete” in celebration of their highly advanced acoustic system, not their teeth.
Many more misleading statements spread by whale scientists in the last 50 years also needs to be corrected. In fact, if cetologists do not correct these false statements about acousticete, they will surely cause these beautiful mammals to vanish from the ocean just as the Dodo bird vanished from the island of Mauritius.
And if you think for one second that scientists are an honest bunch, please read a few recent articles out of hundreds that reveal the fraud, fallacy of peer review, and corruption in the scientific world. The number of dark lies we’ve been told by scientists is mind-boggling. Read about them:
The history of science going back to the first scientists to walk upright shows that so-called experts mislead us often. And they usually don’t get caught because we’ve been trained like blind pigs to trust and respect them far too much to call their bluff! On the other hand, lying scientists stick together to save each other because they know deception by one of their peers puts deserving shame on all them. They also know if they reveal the lies of their peers, their peers might turn and reveal their lies.
As you will see clearly below, the danger that many acousticete will become extinct is real. As cruel as it may seem to many whale lovers, marine mammal aquariums are the only place we can be sure to protect many species of toothed whales until we put an end the evil conspiracy between whale scientists and their primary source of funding, the US Navy and NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. The purpose of this shocking scientific corruption and conspiracy/scam is made clear at this link!
But instead of jumping right into the deception, I’m first going to explain some basic whale science that every scientists should know.
HOW, WHEN, and WHY DID ACOUSTICETE DEVELOP BIOSONAR?
Let’s back up about 55 millions years ago to the first acousticete. For some unknown reason, these canine looking animals started feeding on marine life in the shallows along the beaches. They learned to stick their heads under the water and open their eyes and look for food. Over time, natural selection and genetic drift improved their eyes for seeing underwater. Hearing underwater also needed to improve, but that take a few million year longer.
These first dolphin could hear good through bone conduction but hearing through your skull does not give an acoustic sense of direction in water. Usually when a sound beam strikes your skull, the sound travels in our bones reaching both cochlea at the same time. That’s why human divers can’t tell the direction from which a sound comes.
Being able to detect where the grunt of fish came from would be a huge advantage. Slowly, over many millions of years, evolution worked on an acoustic sense of direction for the new dolphins. It was a difficult job, but not impossible because of the large air sinuses they inherited from their canine ancestors. The abrupt change in acoustic impedance when a sound underwater strikes an air pocket causes the air to act as an acoustic mirror. In other words, the cranial air spaces of the early dolphins functioned underwater as nearly perfect acoustic reflectors, bouncing sounds around in the head in a fashion to finetune their acoustic sense of direction.
Air sacs, sinuses, and other air cavities are common features in the heads of all acousticete. In fact, more than 30% of the volume of their head is filled with air.
Then about 30 million years ago, these new echo-navigating and echolocating acousticete moved offshore and began their lives anew in pelagic waters where they lived in family pods for protection against a much greater population of oceanic sharks. These are heading animals just like herds of buffalo, caribou, zebras, and elk. These herds (pods) are not held together because members are madly in love with each other. They stay together so that each individual has a better chance to survive and pass along his or her genes.
If you are a member of large pod of 650 pilot whales that comes under attack by a predator, the odds are 650 to 1 that you will be spared. Pilot whales want to live just like humans want to live. They are driven by sexual urges to pass along their genes. Such an act in the meaning of biologic life, in that it is the why and how of it, as well as the stock of future biological existence. The genes that survive — and in turn the organisms they make — are the winners in the selfish game of existence. The forming of social groups within a species is driven by the desire of personal survival, bot group survival.
This is why I cringe when I hear a whale scientists say that the pod followed a sick member ashore and they all got beached by accident. Or, when I hear a scientists say that a sick whale strands and calls her pod mates to rescue and they all get trap by the shallow water. Then there is the totally ignorant idea that the healthy pod followed a sick leader to the beach. Nothing could be further from reality.
The “follow the sick leader” idea started a few hundred years ago when folks noticed that one of two whales led the others to the beach. The senseless concepts are easy to understand once you dig a little deeper into whale behavior.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF SOMETHING WENT WRONG WITH ACOUSTICETE’S BIOSONAR SYSTEM?
That’s a extremely valid and important question not discussed in detail in any scientific paper written by whale scientists. Of course, the scientists know the answer, but they refuse to talk or write about it in any detail. The reason is simple. The rescue teams are really volunteer beach clean up teams pushing the dying whales back out in the sea so that the beach owner does not have a huge clean up problem.
Just follow along. I will make it very clear.
We know acousticete uses the most advanced acoustic echo-navigation and echolocation system of any animal that has ever lived on our planet. We know this system relies on large and small cranial air spaces that will bounce back if forth through a compressible state and vacuum each time the seismic wave bounces between positive pressure and negative pressure. We know that as the vertical displacement of the bottom increases, the peak amplitude of the ocean-bottom pressure increases through the dynamic effect. If these dynamic pressure damaged even one of the many cranial air spaces, the injury would disable their ability to dive to the depth of their prey, echolocate their food, and echo-navigate the open ocean.
The truth is simple! Pods of whales and dolphins (odontocete) have mass beached themselves for ~30 million years because they lost their ability to echo navigating due to barotraumatic injury in their cranial air spaces caused by intense changes in diving pressures generated by one of three different natural catastrophic upheavals. In the order of most likely first, they are: (1) undersea earthquakes, (2) explosive eruptions of undersea volcanoes, and (3) the violent impacts of a heavenly body with the water’s surface. These pressure events are injurious the pod mainly at night while the divers are below the surface on a feeding dive.
The most whale-dangerous are seafloor earthquakes between 4.5 and 6.5 magnitude with an average P-waves frequency of ~7.5 cycles per second. That undersea seismic disturbances have been killing marine life for millions of years was confirmed by the US Navy in 1966. Marine scientists O. L. Martin, Jr. with the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office published a report entitled UNDERWATER DISTURBANCES! It was all about the danger of shock waves generated during seaquakes and undersea volcanic explosions. While reading it, ask yourself if the shocks and pressure disturbances mentioned by the US Navy’s Maritime Safety Division in 1966 might injure marine mammals, sea turtles, and fishes with swim bladders. You don’t need to read the entire article. Just look on the left of page 59 where it clearly states: “MARINE LIFE CAN BE DESTROYED BY A SEAQUAKE.”
The most pod-dangerous quakes occur less than 5-km below the rock-water interface. The intensity of seismic shocks (changes in ambient pressure) weakens as it spreads in all direction form the focal point. At 5-km under the seafloor, the energy has only a few seconds to spread before it transferes to the hydrospace. Furthermore, when the depth of focus (~5-km) is less than the length of the average seismic wave (~7 km), the P-waves pass directly through the rock/water interface and into the water as if there were no interface at all. Geophysicists refer to this strange behavior as an anomalous transparency. Most of the reported science refers to the air/water interface, but the physic of the phenomenon apply equally to the rock/water interface.
There are many challenges for researchers in picking the correct seafloor upheaval. First, the focal point of shallow quakes is difficult to determine because most seismic stations default depth to 10-km below the air-water interface. Other stations default to 33-km. Another difference to consider is whether the sudden jerking in the seafloor is in the vertical plane or in horizontal plane. Side to side quaking is harmless because water will not transfer shearing motion. It’s like rowing your boat with the paddle sideways.
Whether the event emits any seismic precursory signals in time for the pod to reach the surface and raise their heads out of the water is an another unknown. The main point is that there are lots of variables that make it difficult to predict in advance that a particular quake will cause a stranding, especially since we have no way to know if whales were above the epicenter or not. Stranding predictions are only ~10% accurate. On the other hand, predicting when mass strandings will not occur is almost 100% when based on the lack of underwater disturbances upstream from a given beach.
Since the diving-related injury induced by the seismic pressure waves damages their cranial air spaces and knocks out their acoustic sense of direction and their ability to dive and feed themselves, once injured, they will always swim downstream in the path of least drag. Furthermore, they will strand with no fresh food in their stomachs. And, since their fresh water comes from the food they eat, they will always be dehydrated. Thus, the best way to determine the cause of the navigation failure is to trace back upstream until you find an underwater disturbance capable of generating intense pressure waves that could cause injury their cranial air spaces.
We could examine the stomach content right away and get a good estimate of the last meal. This would get us much closer to when and where we might look for the upstream disturbances.
The perfect way to locate the source of a powerful underwater noise capable of injuring 650 whales at the same time is to request data from one of the hundreds of semi-secret hydrophone stations operating around the world. But I have been told repeatedly that they will not cooperate with my efforts. They assure me they will work with a proper scientific team with government approval; they just will not furnish this information to me. The point here is that if any whales scientists ever wanted to verify my hypothesis, if would be rather easy.
Hydrophone stations could also alert whenever dangerous cosmic impacts occur, but again they refuse.
Instead, whale scientists (and many others), have been bribed by the US Navy and the oil industry for over 40 years. They do not want you to know that rapid changes in diving pressures during natural catastrophic upheavals will cause sinus injury resulting in navigation failure in odontocete species. The reason is because natural disturbances, military sonar, explosives, and oil industry airguns all induce the exact same injury. Both natural and manmade pressure disturbances are nothing more than a series of rapid compressions and rarefactions commonly known as low frequency noise.
If they explain how nature causes mass beaching, you would understand how their operations do the same! You would also know to look upstream from the stranding beach to find the location of the injurious disturbance in diving pressures. With a little effort, we could explain every beaching on a marine mammal. The Navy and big oil certainly don’t want this to happen.
Navigation Failure in Mass Stranded Whales will further unravel this centuries-old mystery for you. But since the solution to why whales beach involves, cetacean anatomy, physical injury, oceanography, animal psychology, human nature, and several other elements, you will need to read a bit more than your busy schedule will allow.
You should also know that I have 50 years of ocean-going experience. Twenty-five of those years as a ship’s master. I have been fascinated with whales and other sealife since my first day at sea. I was always curious about why pods of whales would beach themselves. Before long, my curiosity turned into a serious obsession. I spent most of my free time reading everything I could find on whales. I was especially interested in how they navigated.
Every time one my crew spotted a pod of whales, I would steer my vessel off course just to observe them. We soon noticed that the pods spread further apart often jump out the water. These same loose pod would also disappeared below the surface to feed. They would even swim around the moving boat and play in the bow wake. They’d swim to all points of the compass in total disregard to the direction of any surface current.
But on rare occasion, we would come upon a tightly grouped pod that just swim downstream with the current without jumping, diving, or changing direction as we approached. If we got close enough, we could see sharks in the water 50 to 100 meters behind them. The sharks were obviously waiting for one or two whales to fall behind the others.
One day we noticed maybe 50 seagulls diving in the water. To us it meant that big fish were feeding on a school of small fish. We put trolling lines in the waters as we headed towards the birds. We were hoping to catch a few big fish for dinner. When we got closer, we could see maybe ten pilot whales. One of the whales we assumed to be a mother was carrying the carcass of young calf in her mouth.
We also notice blood in the water and small pieces of flesh and blubber. The birds were feeding on these tidbits. Apparently, sharks had killed and devoured a pilot whale. We also notice another pilot whale with a huge chunk of flesh torn from its tail no doubt by a large shark. This wounded whale had only a few minutes to live. Then in utter amazement, what we thought was a grieving mother with her dead calf in her mouth, suddenly turned and swam behind her wounded pod mate. She dropped the dead calf in front of the sharks and turn back to the wounded pod mate. The entire pod then made a sharp turn, swimming just below the surface until they disappeared from our view. The sharks were too busy tearing apart the carcass.
I had heard and read stories about whales and dolphins carrying dead calves in their mouth. Everyone said it was a loving mother with a broken heart that could not let go of her youngster. I now know better. The carcasses of the young are carried by members of an injured pod as an escape tactic when sharks get too aggressive.
This also taught me a good lesson. As soon as I saw the carcass in the mouth of the whale, I assumed, like everything I’ve read and been told, that it was a grieving mother carrying her dead baby. This is a common human mistake. We see animal behavior and right away attach a human meaning to it. We are easily mislead by what other tells us and by what we read as long at the message we understand agrees with human nature. That’s one of our big mistakes in trying to understand other mammals that live in a marine environment.
When I watch stranding videos, I notice right away that when whales go ashore, the surface current is always flowing to the beach. I also notice that when rescuers pushed these stranded whales and dolphin off the beach when the current is incoming, they will turn and come straight back to shore. But when the whales are released while the current is flowing away from the beach, they will continue to swim with the flow out to deep water.
What I have learned about whale strandings has come from developing an imaginary model and then trying to destroy it piece by piece. I keep tearing my model apart and putting it back together, trying to solve all aspects of the stranding mystery explaining all of the consistent observations. All parts must fit beyond even a shadow of doubt.
The more I learn, the deeper the mystery gets. I imagine myself as a member of a species that has faced natural catastrophic upheavals for 50 million years. Oh my, what has natural selection done to help me survive in an environment ten times more seismically active than on dry land? What skills do I have that might help humans survive natural catastrophic upheavals? Would saving humans obligate them to save whales in return?
The front page of my website made just such a suggestion!
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE 650 BEACHED PILOT WHALES?
They were obviously members of a super pod formed when 3-5 pods came together to feed on a massive school of squid that had gathered to breed and lay their eggs.
But before I get too far into explaining this beaching, I must let you know that the most popular theory to explain whale beachings is a scandalous hoax. This nonsense is promoted by dishonest scientists in a massive propaganda scheme sponsored by the US Navy.
If you love whales, you must stop listening to lying whale scientists and read the material of an old sea captain with sick obsession. Yes, I know it sounds wacky to take my word over a thousand trained whale experts. But maybe it will be easier if I first reveal why hundreds of scientists pretend to be confused about whale beachings.
You should also be aware that deceptive whale scientists use hedging words like maybe, likely, usually, could, or might. Such words are not decisive nor scientific, but we tend to ignore the weakness of the verbiage when reading what whale scientists say, especially in the mainstream media. We skip over the evasive words when we should be alarmed by them. Hedged statements from scientists is a propaganda tool!
IGNORE US NAVY PROPAGANDA!
One day soon the truth about why whales beach themselves will become public knowledge. There will be no rocks for the liars to hide under. Their deception is already PUBLISHED in black and white and easy to spot once your eyes have been opened!
And therein is my publicity problem… convincing you that whale scientists have scammed you for decades.
How do I know the truth will soon come out? Because more and more of the world’s top scientists are letting me know they finally believe me. They are not ready to go public because they have many reasons to avoid conflict, especially with the US Navy and the oil industry. But several of the world’s top geophysicists are ready to start helping me with some very powerful new science that could easily win the Nobel Prize.
THE TRICKY DECEPTION BY WHALE SCIENTISTS!
Dr, Rochelle Constantine. Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand unknowingly spreads nonsense to any mainstream media that will listen. She is likely trying to attract media attention so she can show the US Navy and the National Marine Fisheries Service (sponsored by oil industry money) that she is a team player. Her wild guess about why whales strand at Farewell Spit has recently become the #1 media-quoted theory on strandings. The public buys the deception because it is reinforced by the prestige of the mainstream media that publishes it.
She is quoted in a BBC report as saying, “The shallow water around Farewell Spit is what causes the whales to beach.” Rochelle, whales can ONLY beach in shallow water. It’s dumb for you to report such nonsense to the BBC.
Dr. Constantine adds, “Farewell Spit, geographically, is quite an interesting place. It spans around in a broad arc and has a lot of shallow water.” My goodness, there must be five thousand beaches just like Farewell Spit where whales could strand but don’t. All large beaches that form a semicircle have shallow water that gradually slopes. The usual flow of the current inside geographical arc-shaped beaches traps sand to build these gentle sloping beach that in turn traps non-navigating whales swimming downstream with the flow! You are own the right track Rochelle. All you need to admit is that the whales have lost their acoustic sense of direction due to a sinus injury.
But you can’t admit they are injured because the nonprofit save-the-stranded-whale groups that are always begging for money need the whales to be just plain stupid, not injured. If the whales are injured, they will need to be penned up, protected from sharks, hydrated, and fed hundreds of pounds of squid and fish for a month at least. Who is gonna pay? Certainly not the non-profit group ripping off the public. They got a great scam going and want the whales to make stupid mistakes and not be injured and dying. No one is gonna donate to save dying whales!
The poor whales have suffered a severe internal injury during exposure to potent changes in diving pressures generated by an undersea catastrophic upheaval, an explosion, a military sonar, or the violent impact of a heavenly body with the ocean surface. These underwater disasters generates rapid and excessive ambient pressure changes in the hydrospace surrounding the entire pod destroying their acoustic sense of direction.
There is no might, maybe, could, or possible in the above conclusion. This is an absolute fact and I challenge any and every lying whale scientists in the world to debate me in public! I double dare them to step in front of a camera with me. We could even do it on Skype “dw-williams” if any whale scientists dares show her face! I am correct. My evidence is overwhelming.
I have tried to publish my work in peer reviewed journals. Not as a solution but as only a lowly concept that might one day lead to an hypothesis, but whale science journals are control by the establishment. This is why I put my ideas on the Internet. It is also why I carry a chip on my shoulder for the “peer-reviewed scientific process.”
Anyway, there are indeed large sand banks visible inside the Spit known as Fluvial Sedimentation. This is sand and mud that has been washed for many decades over the top and around Farewell Spit during heavy waves and storms. This sedimentation builds up where it does because this is where the usual tidal currents, helped along by the prevailing winds, carry it. The same process applies to LOST whales… this is where the incoming tide and wind-driven current direct the non-navigating pods swimming downstream with the flow! This is indeed a trap for LOST whales because it is where deep water becomes too shallow for them to swim.
When the strong wind-driven current, couple with a rising tide, washes into the inside of Farewell Spit, it pushes the Fluvial Sedimentation closer to the spit itself to form shallow gray beaches. The first thing the LOST whales notice is that their bellies start dragging across the sand. It is as plain as the nose on your face. The flow of this current is what guides non-navigating whales into the shallows where they can no longer swim.
But Dr. Constantine says, “The water becomes gradually shallower (inside of the bay), adding that the whales may not be able to detect the slow changes in depth using echo-navigation in the same way they would detect a sudden change in depth on the ocean side.” She is absolutely right when she says, “the whales may not be able to detect the slow changes in depth using echo-navigation.” The only thing she misunderstands completely is that the entire pod is suffering from TOTAL FAILURE OF THEIR ECHO-NAVIGATION SYSTEM.
Whale scientists can easily and cheaply prove it to themselves and the world by following a hundred meters behind the next pod rescued from Farewell Spit. If the freed whales constantly swim down flow, they have no acoustic sense of navigation. If the pod does not dive to catch a meal, the pod is obviously suffering diving-related barotrauma! How simple it is! I would even pay all the expenses for the boat and the filming of the cruise to verify the effort was not faked by one of the lying scientists. Let the video show the entire world the truth. You could even film it from a drone.
But such a simple cheap experiment will never take place because the whale scientists already know the outcome will show they are lying.
Dr. Constantine goes on to say, “They can echo-locate, but it’s a problem with the signal that they get bounced back. It’s a combination of this gentle gradient and the soft sand. They probably aren’t detecting that they are swimming into more and more shallow water.” Again she uses “probably” confirming her wild guess.
But again, she is dead wrong by saying “they can echo-locate.” She says it is a problem with the signal not bouncing back from the shallow beach. Imagine you are a healthy whale using your superior echo-navigation system that has been fine-tuned for 50 million years. Suddenly, you notice that the echoes you emit are no longer returning. This tells you one of two things. It says you are in extremely deep water or you are in extremely shallow water. You dip down a bit and feel the sand rubbing your belly. If you are healthy, the first thing you do is turn your ass around and head back out to deep water. On the other hand, if you are injured and your echo-navigation is knocked out by an in your cranial air spaces, you have no bloody idea which way to swim to safety. You could swim left, right, forward, or turn around. You would still be as lost as a blind man on a pitch-black night.
If you were injured 2-4 weeks ago, as I preach herein, you have been trailed from behind by as many as a hundred starving sharks, picking off any stragglers that fall behind. You must keep swimming because you know the sharks are somewhere near because you sometimes hear you mates scream as they are ripped apart by a dozen white pointers. You can hear them, but your injury prevents you from knowing where the sound originates. What if you turn around and head to deep water and run right into the jaws of death? You are lost with no acoustic sense of direction so you stay as close to your pod mates as you possibly can. You know that if you stay near you other pod mates, the odds are much less that you will be the next whale eaten alive.
Whale scientists know it too. But they say injured whales stay close to their pod members because they love each other too much. That’s bullshit. They stay close because they are afraid the starving sharks might single them out if they wander off by themselves. Theses whales are praying one of their pod mates is the next to be devoured instead of them. The scientists also invent more bullshit by saying a whale gets stuck in the sand and calls her mates for help. They coming running to their sides because they love each other so much. Then they all get “accidently” stuck in the sand. The rescue team comes in and frees the stupid whales. But the must wait until the tide is washing out before the lost whales will swim away. They must also release them at the same time in a group because the whales will not go out and face the waiting sharks alone… no way Charlie Brown. The lying rescuers should be the ones to swim out and lead the whales to deep water. But that damn sure is not gonna happen.
Are you beginning to understand what goes on at pod beaching?
Dr. Constantine comes up with another wild guess when she says, “By the time they do realize, it’s often too late. The tide has already begun to run out.” In other words, the ignorant healthy whales continue to swim in the path of certain death until they suddenly wake up and realize they had been asleep at the wheel and are all now gonna crash and die. How stupid is that for intelligent mammals that have survived in the ocean for 50 million years? Dr. Constantine must think whales are as dumb as the extinct dodo birds.
This often-quoted whale scientists then says, “Farewell Spit is especially deadly as it sits, like a hook, right in the pilot whales’ path.” This sounds like an old hypothesis long ago discredited. In this dumb idea, scientists suggested that all whales followed ancient migratory routes that had been implanted into their brains. But over a rather long period of time, these routes had become cut off by natural changes in the landscape like what occurred when Farewell Spit was first formed. But the stupid whales continue to follow the ancient routes even though they are now blocked. And this explain why they run aground. It’s hard for me not to call a whale scientists an idiot or a liar because none of their concepts holds even a drop of logic. Furthermore, their concepts are so stupid that none of the roughly 150 stranding hypotheses have ever migrated to lead theory status. Scientists know this weakness in their facade. That’s why they now say their is a grain of truth in all their ideas. Yup!
It is true comedy… whales scientists have been trying to confuse the public with the most stupid shit one can imagine. They must think the whale-loving public are complete idiots.
Rochelle is admitting above that the lost pod was trapped by a hook-shaped piece of land! Truth be told, at least 80% of all stranded marine mammals are trapped by a hook-shaped landmass that extends out to sea opposing the flow of the shoreward current. Why does it not dawn on one of these scientists that the pod of whales might have been swimming with the flow of the current for a few weeks simply because an undersea seismic upheaval injured them in such a way to destroy their acoustic sense of direction? Is navigation failure due to a diving related injury so dumb that they could not at least call for an investigation. I’ll even pay to follow and film the next rescued pod. I’d even form a research party but I know the authorities would say I was harassing the whales. Maybe we can follow and film them from the sky with drones?
“They can swim straight into Golden Bay and the embrace of the Farewell Spit. It’s just geographically a very tricky spot,” Dr Constantine says. She adds, “While the shallow water and its effect on echolocation is the most likely reason the animals become stranded at Farewell Spit, pilot whales also have strong social bonds, and this could explain why such large numbers become stuck, or return once rescuers refloat them.
There she goes again using “most likely reason” and “could explain” clearly signifying mere guesses.
She also says, “I have attended a fair few strandings and what is highlighted is how variable they all are.” My bullshit detector just went off again. Why is she explaining why whales strand by adding “how variable they are.” If she had a valid theory on why whales beach themselves, then her theory MUST account for all the known consistent observations or it must be tossed in the trash can. She also adds, “We do know that because they are quite strongly socially-bonded, they will hang out with each other, but to be honest, every stranding is different. Sometimes they just muck up and don’t get the right cues, and other times it’s because they are strongly bonded to [stranded] individuals in the group.”
In other words, Dr. Constantine don’t have the foggiest idea what she is talking about. She says, “We think there’s some confusion going on in each stranding, but finding a reason is often difficult.” Again, she is confirming that she has no idea why pods of whales mass beach themselves!
She keeps telling us what she does not know. She says, “Scientists don’t know for sure why they regularly beach in January or February, though she said it could be because of feeding patterns and changes in ocean temperature which see more whales passing through the Cook Strait at that time of year. These are quite hard things to measure as scientists, because the reality is we don’t often see pilot whales in this area until they are about to strand. They are not really coastal. We really don’t know much about the movements of pilot whales in New Zealand. It could be simply they are not around at other times of the year.”
As to why pilot whales stand most often at Farewell Spit in January and February. I have found in my 53 years of stranding research that at least 90% of all mass strandings are caused by shallow seafloor earthquake that occur along the mid-ocean ridges that circle the earth like the seams on a softball. My findings show that the stranding beach is usually about 2,300 miles down current from a dangerous seafloor pressure disturbance that has occurred about 23 days before the beaching. The lost pod swims along at about 100 miles every 24 hours. The 2,300 miles and 23 days is only an average. Whales can be exposed to earthquakes 500 miles and 5 days from the stranding or they can be exposed 3,500 miles and 35 days before they beach,
These suspicious earthquakes usually occur along mid-ocean ridges during the breeding and egg-laying season of squid (the favorite food of mass stranding pods). The squid breeding and egg-laying season usually occurs during a period when the surface waters above the ridges are extremely rough. In my hypothesis, the hungry pods of whales follow the egg-laying squid regardless of the rough surface waters. On the other hand, the large waves on the surface create and send waves of pressure pulses towards the seafloor. These pressure pulses then trip earthquakes in the seabed.
The reason Farewell Spit claims so many non-navigating (lost) whale pods is due to the current eddies that form in the area. These eddies are due to the predominate current and wind flow in January and February.
As you can see, whale scientists repeatedly bullshit the media. They insist that the echo-navigation and location system of the whales might not work in shallow water. They say the pings from their biosonar might bounce back and forth from the shallow bottom to the surface so many times that the signal gets too weak to return to the whales. They even say micro-bubbles and sand might get kicked up by breaking waves and cause more echo-navigation failure by scattering the echos is a hundred different direction thereby creating an acoustic fog that likely blinds the whales! (ref: “The Puzzle of Pilot Whales, New Zealand Geographic)
WHAT REALLY CAUSED THE 650 WHALES TO BEACH?
Assuming the pod were lost long before they moved into Golden Bay, we must trace back upstream from Farewell Spit and look for seafloor disturbances within the last 35 days that might explain the stranding. The closest whale-dangerous seafloor disturbance we find was a 5.1 mag shallow earthquake that occurred at ~10:30 pm on 5 February in the Tasman Sea ~20 miles northwest of Resolution Island at the South end of South Island (Summary —- Maps —- Data). This event is about 550 miles upstream from the stranding beach. The trip from the epicenter to the beach would have taken ~6 days placing the injured whales at the beach on or about 11 February. The timing of this event and the first stranding match perfectly. There is only one problem that seems to disqualify this event; many of the whales died soon after beaching. This is not consistent with an injury that occurred 6 days earlier. If they find fresh food in the stomachs of these dead whales, this event becomes extremely likely!
There are 4-5 other events. But to go through each is far too time consuming and boring. If you want to do the research yourself, please go to this website and learn how to use the tools provided.
Below is my first opinion which I now believe is the correct one!
The barotrauma induced by the rapid and excessive changes in water pressure ruptures the cranial air spaces of the diving pod and disables their ability to echo-navigate. From the point of barosinusitis, they swim along with the downstream flow of the current because that are as lost as a blind man thrown overboard on a pitch black night. The current is the energy that carries sand to build beaches so it stands to reason that the bigger the sand deposit, the more likely lost whales and other flotsam will get stuck in the sand. Stranded whales and sandy beaches go together like apple pie and ice cream!
Considering the above beaching, we need to search the earthquake data file about 2300 miles upstream from the stranding site. We will trace the current back looking for an seafloor earthquake, volcanic explosion, meteorite impact with the sea, naval sonar operations, or sudden explosion. In other words, we are looking for any source of energy that would create excessive changes in diving pressures that could catch our pod by surprise while down on a feeding dive. Since pilot whales primarily feed at night, the source would better fit if it occurred during darkness.
A sudden encounter with severe changes is diving pressures would rupture many of the air spaces in the entire super pod and explain why a super pod of 650 whales were injured is such a way to destroy their acoustic sense of direction. (All the medical details are explained here.)
Fifty-three years of stranding experience has taught me that the most likely spot is along the Southeast Indian Ridge south of Australian in an area known as the Australian-Antarctic Discordance. This area is responsible for ~70% of all mass strandings of pilot whales in Golden Bay, New Zealand. There are many special feathers here that attract the squid that the whales are feeding on. There are also some extremely interesting findings that might explain why earthquakes in this area catch the pods by total surprise. Anyone wishing to know more about the geology of the area should consult this google site.
It did not take me long to find two likely seafloor disturbance. The summary for the most likely event (10 January 2017) can be found here. You should also visit the maps page. Switch to google maps for a better view. While you are at the maps page, click on quick MT solutions and pay close attention to the pattern of the beach ball. This oval center is telling you that the motion in the seafloor was thrusting vertically. This was a very dangerous earthquake for diving whales, which is why it is my #1 pick. It also has a very high amplitude (amp) rating of 247.6 (see data here). T-phase waves from this quake was measured by hydrophones in Australia (T-phases are a series of LF hydroacoustic pressure pulsations that are easily capable of busting the entire diving pods’ cranial air spaces all at the same time. Amplitude (amp) is the objective measurement of the degree of change (positive or negative) in the hydroacoustic pressure (the compressions and rarefactions of water molecules) caused by LF sound waves (aka: T-Phases). Sounds with greater amplitude, like the quake noted above, will produce more intense alterations from high pressure to low pressure. Amplitude is almost always a comparative measurement, since at the lowest-amplitude end (silence), some water molecules are always in motion and at the highest end, the amount of compression and rarefaction though finite, is extreme. This is another reason for choosing this quake.
The distance from the epicenter to Golden Bay is at least 2,500 hundred miles and maybe 3,500 miles depending on whether or not the lost pod encounter any circular eddies that often form in the southern Tasman Sea. They could easily swim in a circle for 1,000 miles.
I used to search the ocean currents from this earthquake hotspot to New Zealand’s Golden Bay using a program called OSCAR. But the site went dead and I could not find good data on the surface currents because I just didn’t have the time.