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Author Topic: Dead Whale mistaken for a crashed Zepplin at Birchington - 1914  (Read 2643 times)

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Dead Whale mistaken for a crashed Zepplin at Birchington - 1914
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2014, 20:17:03 »
The Illustrated London News - Saturday, November 14, 1914

On October 17th, the life boat of Margate put off to rescue the possible survivors of a sinking Zeppelin. Eager crowds awaited the return of the rescuers with their "prisoners of war", however, they would be dissapointed as the large balloon shape in the sea turned out to be a dead whale. Having discovered their mistake, the would-be rescuers, in disgust, turned homewards. They left the whales body to its fate, and within a few hours, the body was washed up at Birchington. The whale was a not quite adult female, sixty one feet long. The cause of death was evidently due to an enormous tear (marked on the photograph) in the hinder portion of the abdomen. The edges of the tear gave the appearance of having been suddenly and violently torn, and it is thought that the injury might have been caused by some explosive action, such as a mine. It may be objected that so violent an engine of death as a mine would have blown the body to pieces, or at least have riven it in two. But this by no means follows. The steel bottom of a battleship is a very different thing from the soft, elastic tissues of a living body. This unoffending animal may have unwittingly saved us another cruiser and hundreds of lives.


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