Bob Welch tracks down Walter Umenhofer

[The RG]One of the Exploding Whale’s biggest proponents strikes again! Bob Welch, a columnist for the Register-Guard (Eugene, OR), profiles Walter Umenhofer, the gentleman whose brand new Oldsmobile 88 was crushed by a 300-pound piece of dead whale sent skyward when the Oregon Highway Division detonated 20 cases of dynamite underneath a rotting whale carcass (see video). Mr. Umenhofer, now 75, has long been one of the most intriguing, if reluctant, characters in the saga of the Exploding Whale. He has largely avoided interviews and little is known about his opinion of the incident.

“It’s funny,” [Umenhofer] says. “That was one big piece of blubber. It hit so hard that it bent my roof down and pushed the back of the seats to the floor.”

Unfortunately, Bob’s interview, which is part of his “Where Are They Now?” series, is pretty brief. Walter does share one humorous tidbit: when he purchased his brand new Olds, the car dealer was using the motto, “Come to us for a whale of a deal.”

Here’s a link to the original article:

And here’s a link to the permanent copy stored in our archive:

Finally, for additional background, here are links to some of the original Register-Guard newspaper reports from 1970 that involve Mr. Umenhofer:

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