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Letters: Oral History Project For Navy Dolphins

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Audie Cornish and Robert Siegel read emails from listeners about an oral history project dedicated to preserving the stories of U.S. Navy dolphins.


Time now for your letters. Yesterday, we took you to the landlocked town of Belleville, Illinois, where a group of dolphins has been retired.


SIEGEL: But these aren't just any dolphins. These were used by the U.S. Navy to disable, recover, neutralize and plant underwater mines. And one organization has made its mission to record their memories, as we heard from the project's curator, Cory Storr.

CORY STORR: It's a race against time. These dolphins are reaching their 80s, their 90s. We learned our lesson when we neglected to collect the stories from the Army rescue bunnies used in Korea.


I sensed something fishy about this, writes Norman Sider of Indianapolis. John Smith of Lake Forest, California also caught on to the ruse. He writes: Happy April Fool's, you dolphin geeks. We'll take that as a compliment.

SIEGEL: Skip Carver of Montgomery, Texas gave us props for our April 1st story. Touche, ATC, for your segment on audio recordings of veteran dolphins. While you failed to set the hook, I did nibble on the bait longer than a reasonably intelligent primate should.

CORNISH: Well, Keke Pounds of Kansas City, Kansas, fell for it hook, line and sinker. She writes: You got me. I was sitting at my desk listening with my mouth literally open in surprise at your dolphin story, until you said something about war bunnies. I laughed so loud I scared the people who work next to me.

SIEGEL: Sheila Millage of Bend, Oregon says, she suspected our annual April Fool's joke early on, but she writes: What I learned was that my own latent paranoia comes full blown afterward. Every story covered became suspect. I'm still not sure if the books reviewed, the video games discussed or even bison immigrating to Germany were real or a prank. These days, the line between reality and absurdity is more of a no man's land all year long.

CORNISH: Which brings us to our final letter from Elaine Otto of Evansville, Indiana. She writes: I now eagerly await an account of the rescue bunnies of the Korean War.

SIEGEL: Could be an occasional series in cooperation with the Rabbit Reporting Consortium. Thanks to all who wrote in, and please keep your letters coming. We promise to take them seriously. Just go to and click on Contact Us.

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