True Story of Secret Military Sonar's Effect on Whales

Sep 3, 2014

Smuggler’s Cove, San Juan Island, Washington 2003. The guided missile destroyer USS Shoup as it conducts a sonar sweep of Haro Strait. In foreground: whale watching vessels and orcas.

The book War of the Whales by Joshua Horowitz tells the true story of how a crusading environmental attorney, Joel Reynolds, stumbles on one of the US Navy’s best-kept secrets: a submarine surveillance system that floods entire ocean basins with high-intensity sound.  Reynolds teams up with marine biologist Ken Balcomb to expose the truth behind mysterious mass stranding of whales. The stage is set for a climactic showdown that pits admirals against activists, rogue submarines against weaponized dolphins, and national security against the need to safeguard the ocean environment. Mindy Todd interviews the author on The Point.