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Topic: George Thomas Thornton

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October 31, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Oregon engineer behind exploding whale dies at 84

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — An Oregon highway engineer who blew up a dead beached whale with a half-ton of dynamite in 1970 has died at the age of 84.

George Thomas Thornton gained national attention over the exploding whale, and the act endured for decades thanks to a video that shows giant pieces of whale carcass splattering across the beach and spectators.

Thornton got the call Nov. 12, 1970 to remove a 45-foot-long sperm whale estimated to weigh 8 tons that had washed up near Florence, and had started to stink.

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