Letters: Oral History Project For Navy Dolphins

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

Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF DOLPHINS)

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.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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 NPR.org and click on Contact Us.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.