"Little known but key…" (2/14/02)

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The exploding whale is a favorite topic of Register-Guard columnist Bob Welch. It was mentioned in the following two columns in February 2002. Excerpts can be viewed in the thumbnail and transcriptions below.

Page 1D:
Welch Feb 2002

Thursday, February 14, 2002

Little known but key data

The Register-Guard

It’s Oregon’s birthday — we’re 143 today — so I’m celebrating by recognizing Obscure Oregonians Whom We Mustn’t Forget (If We Ever Knew of Them to Begin With):


  • Walter Umenhofer, the guy in Florence whose car was crushed by blubber from an exploding whale in 1970. When a 45-foot dead — and very smelly — whale washed ashore south of Florence, the state Highway Division decided the practical thing to do was blow it up with dynamite. Umennhofer, who lived in Springfield at the time, didn’t find their solution all that practical. A 3-foot piece of whale meat crashed through the roof of his brand new Oldsmobile Regency 98, assuring that his obscurity over the years would be interrupted by media folks still fascinated by flying whale blubber.

February 17, 2002

Exploring the deep questions

The Register-Guard

Time for a midwinter’s day delving into the questions that confound us, such as:


Q. Any way of seeing that exploding whale you referred to in Thursday’s column?

A. Sure, check out the film footage on the following Web site: www.hackstadt.com/features/whale/1

© 2002 Register-Guard

1 The URL cited by Welch is no longer valid. It appears as it did in the article, but it links to the new address for this website.