The Noise from a Secret Navy Program Was So Awful, Whales Beached Themselves

Monday, July 14, 2014

Joshua Horwitz tells the story of a crusading attorney who stumbles on one of the US Navy’s best-kept secrets: a submarine detection system that floods entire ocean basins with high-intensity sound—and drives whales to strand themselves on beaches. The attorney launches a legal battle to expose and stop the Navy program. In his book War of the Whales: A True Story, Horwitz writes about how underwater noise is affecting whales and other sea life, and the confrontation over the Navy program that harms whales.


Joshua Horwitz

Comments [9]


How about they test it on themselves and their family....oh ya its just animals. Not......we as humans are suppose to protect the innocent not kill.

Jul. 15 2014 11:25 PM
Dog day from NYC

Loud loud music was apparently used in Gitmo to torture suspected terrorists. Unwanted loud noise levels are a disturbance to humans as animals...
Dogs go nuts on the 4th of July, prisoners are tortured, now whales committing suicide.

Jul. 14 2014 04:49 PM
Dani from NYC

Great idea Maier. I often would like to send a link to someone just after hearing a show, but it's not clear when and where that link to the audio appears. WNYC? Leonard? staff? Shouldn't these basic instructions appear somewhere prominent and evergreen on the website? Thx!

Jul. 14 2014 01:57 PM
Amy from Manhattan

NRDC couldn't get the documents via FOIA because they were destroyed in a fire? What, there was only 1 copy?

Jul. 14 2014 01:31 PM
The Truth from Becky

Did you know sewer water is NOT treated before it is released into the sea?

No bueno.

Jul. 14 2014 01:31 PM
Clif from Manhattan

Gee, I wonder why whales beach themselves when people introduce loud & jarring noises into their environment. Let's take a simple example with humans. Put a person in a room and blast some loud and jarring noise at them at random for an indefinite period of time and let's see how fast the person goes crazy.

Maybe if we just stop messing with the natural world in unnatural ways these things won't happen.

Jul. 14 2014 01:26 PM
John Weber from NJ

Unfortunately the State of NJ (Rutgers) wants to use seismic testing (blasts) supposedly in the name of science. The same fate will befall marine mammals and fish etc.

Jul. 14 2014 01:14 PM
tom LI

Uh...not that much of a secret if you read the early Tom Clancy, or similar genre novels. These detectors played a major role in Cold War era submariner genre novels. The secret was likely their effects on marine life.

Jul. 14 2014 01:08 PM
Maier Goldberg from Naples, FL (WNYC contributor)

Please have an MP3 "Download" link on your program webpage, so I can save a program to my MP3 player and listen to it while skating, biking, or in my kayak.

Jul. 11 2014 03:37 PM

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