What would wake up civilized humanity and connect it
to nature? Put an end to killing of dolphins and
Alter the way humanity views the non-human world and the absolute
importance of protecting the viability of the oceans?
-Millions of angels descending on the earth and introducing us to
the nature spirits?
-Friendly ETs suddenly appearing
on every TV station in the world and revealing possible futures:
disaster if we don't connect, salvation if we do?
I am convinced that the most likely slam dunk would be conducting
demonstrable conversations with orcas, dolphins
The approach to interspecies communication with dolphins taken by
John Lilly and Lou Herman missed the mark. If anything it indicates
that dolphins are intelligent enough to figure out how we
communicate or want them to communicate, but so far we have not been
intelligent enough to fathom the nature of their language.
of Dolphin Language
In The Orca Project: A Meeting of Nations I proposed that language
in toothed whales evolved from sonar echoes. A widely accepted
theory for the origin of human language is onomatopoeia. The word
for wolf comes from the sound the wolf makes: we say "wolf" to
communicate about the wolf. Applying this concept to the toothed
whales that use sonar to accurately monitor their world, perhaps
they communicate with one another by imitating the sonar echoes they
All the toothed whales emit sonar clicks and all communicate with
one another using clicks. Some species also employ squeaks and
whistles which may communicate individual identities and group
affiliations. Perhaps they also communicate
emotions somewhat like song does among humans. But some species
never whistle or squeak. The consistent element of
communication among all the species of toothed whales is clicking.
The language of toothed whales may be non-linear. Many sounds they
make extend over a great frequency range, some up to 250,000 cycles
per second. The interpretation of biophysicists is that dolphins and
orcas can transmit extreme amounts of information instantaneously.
The Superman Theory
It gets more elegant when you consider that their sonar penetrates
objects and allows them to “see” inside bodies including
ours and other members of their species, the equivalent of X-ray
vision. Vision is our primary sensory modality which
relies on superficial reflection of light which we then attempt to
communicate about in a different modality – speech. Human language
is linear: it takes a long time for us to attempt to describe in
words what our eyes perceive in a moment, and even then spoken
language falls terribly short. Which is why we say “a picture is
worth a thousand words.”
Now imagine you are Superman able to see through objects, a quantum
leap beyond human vision. Now imagine that
you could look into Superwoman’s eyes and transmit everything you’ve
just seen with X-ray vision directly into her eyes.
That would constitute the most efficient communication system known
and it holds immense implications for the
evolution of mind and society.
That is what I believe the dolphins and orcas may achieve with sound
holography derived from sonar.
Dolphins, orcas and belugas have made frequent efforts to
communicate with us in all sorts of ways, often successfully.
Dolphins are master mimics of human postures and gestures, and
dolphins, orcas and belugas have imitated human speech and other
sounds including music and motor boats even spontaneously. To
decipher the language of an alien lifeform that has developed an
advanced communication system over millions of years the problem is
not as simple as devising
We need to start the process with a common basis for communication
and we need
Have Orcas Confirmed the Prediction of Exobiology?
For decades now we have broadcast into outer space the
radio-frequency of the Hydrogen atom supposedly because intelligent
life out there would recognize it as an effort to communicate and so
would respond in an appropriate way indicating that, “We know you
are trying to communicate with us and we’d like to communicate with
you.” That’s the
In the mid-70s, the same experiment was conducted in B.C. by Erich
Hoyt, the sound engineer aboard a sailboat where a film crew was
making the first documentary about orcas. In his book, Orca: A Whale
Called Killer, Hoyt says that he assumed that the one sound he heard
most often from the resident orcas might be a greeting call. He went
to work with the synthesizer on board to produce an imitation of the
call, but even the crew could distinguish the imitation from the
Not only that, we discovered in the late 1970s with the help of the
Applied Physics Lab at the University of Washington that audible
orca sounds including whistles like the one Hoyt thought was a
greeting call go to extremely high frequencies, more than ten times
higher than our upper hearing range. The upper frequency that humans
can detect is about 20,000 cycles per second, but the orca sounds we
recorded with the world’s leading technology at that time went up to
250,000 c.p.s., the implication being that orcas emit enormous
amounts of information in a small period of time.
So Hoyt broadcast his imitation from underwater to the orcas coming
down Johnstone Strait. Keep in mind that the human ear could detect
the imitation, and that the actual sound made by the orcas extends
far above the capacity of his synthesizer. According to Hoyt, the
orcas swam directly to the boat’s hydrophone and made a “perfect
imitation” of his imitation.
Hoyt’s experiment confirms the prediction of exobiology: if there is
intelligent life out there they will perceive the intent of our
broadcast and respond in such a way that confirms they perceive our
effort to communicate and they would like to
communicate with us.
In the late 70s I wrote a letter about Hoyt’s experiment and
submitted it to the A.A.A.S. journal Science, precisely because it
demonstrates that orcas are intelligent lifeforms and that we may be
able to communicate with them. The letter was returned, rejected
without comment. Perhaps there is intelligent life only in the sea.
New Science of Animal Telepathy
Like many people I have had a number of telepathic experiences, but
my interest in telepathy with animals began when
orcas communicated with me telepathically two weeks after I started
studying them in Puget Sound. I was not a John Lilly fan nor an acid
head, but a linear-thinking scientist who had his world turned
upside down by the event. I went on to have telepathic experiences
with Haida, the orca at Sea Land of Victoria, and conducted a
successful telepathic experiment with Skana at the Vancouver
Aquarium. (See my article,
Cetacean Classroom, in the inaugural issue.)
Then I discovered from Frank Robson that he used telepathy to train
dolphins in New Zealand without rewards or voice
commands. He simply held a mental picture of what he wanted the
dolphins to do and they did it. There is a very extensive body of
anecdotal evidence for telepathy between wild and captive dolphins
and humans in which dolphins have responded appropriately to human
thoughts before words were spoken. Though scientists dismiss
anecdotes, a leading animal behaviorist, Marc Bekoff, reminds us
that a series of anecdotes = data.
For those who are still living in the shadow of scientific doctrine,
see Rupert Sheldrake's book, Dogs that Know When Their
Owners Are Coming Home. He has been described as the Darwin-Einstein
of our time for his theory of morphic resonance.
An internationally known experimental scientist Sheldrake has
demonstrated telepathy between humans and dogs as
well as other species.
(Look for an interview of Sheldrake in the first issue of The
Dolphin and Whale Magazine.)
Shedrake also has examined telepathy among humans most of whom say
they have had the experience. Mothers especially
report telepathy with their children.
Sheldrake’s research offers a model of how we could proceed. In the
delightful video of his lecture to Schumaker
College (visit www.sheldrake.org) he shares with his audience split
screen images of a woman away from her dog and
the dog at home. At a time that Sheldrake's assistant tells
her it is now time to start back home, the woman stands up,
takes a few steps toward her car and the dog at home stands up and
walks to the door and waits for her arrival ten
Half of the hundreds of dogs Sheldrake has studied are telepathic
with one of more humans to which they are bonded. It should be
possible to apply his experimental model to dolphins and their
trainers at swim programs in Mexico, the Bahamas and Florida
because, like dogs and their owners, most dolphins are bonded to
their trainers and anticipate their return. Like Sheldrake we can
alter the times that trainers return, and for controls, recruit the
help of visitors who have not yet interacted with
the dolphins. It is likely to work too with belugas and orcas if we
can get aquariums
A similar approach is possible with wild, friendly dolphins who are
bonded with certain people such as those who take people out on
boats to swim with dolphins.
I encourage you to read Long's book, the classic in the field of
animal telepathy, How Animals Talk (get the Inner Traditions edition
with preface and foreword by Marc Bekoff and Sheldrake who got it
The mechanisms for telepathy are unknown; however, in Chapter 3 of
my book on rites of passage, From Boys to Men of Heart, there is a
discussion of “Spirit Tracking” which presents the consensus of
great tracking cultures including the Apache, Abos, Akamba and
Kalahari Bushman. They track game following energy trails which can
be seen only with peripheral vision.
The Bushman say they use these same “ropes” to communicate with one
another long distance which has been accurately documented, for
example, a hunter sending a message back to the distant camp that an
eland or kudu has been killed. When the hunters arrive the women and
kids have built a bonfire and are dancing and singing the eland or
kudu song. The Bushman also say they heal one another by sending
energy across the ropes to certain individuals. The impressive Huna
tradition of Polynesia describes the same phenomenon as "aka" cords.
Bradford Keeney wrote two books about Bushman spiritual life: Ropes
to God and Bushman Shaman. He was the first
white man to whom the Bushman revealed their tradition because they
recognize him as a Bushman shaman. I am
suggesting that ropes may be some form of etheric energy connection
between dogs and their owners which serve as
transmission lines for telepathic communication, and I expect the
same is possible between dolphins and people with whom
they are bonded.
Science as Culture
We well may ask why there is resistance to telepathy among most
scientists. On the one hand science is a powerful problem solving
tool. But on the other it is the great myth of
Western man, which is to say we live in a scientific culture. When
asked where babies come from most people in the civilized world will
spout the scientific answer, a sperm, egg and embryo story though
very few actually have observed it. Likewise, we speak confidently
about atoms and electrons, ignorant that no one has ever seen them.
to say that we no longer think science, it thinks us.
The problem is that what can not be measured or tested is ignored or
rejected by science. As a consequence significant
phenomena are not part of the cultural conversation. Yet how many
students taking a college biology class are told that the
structure of DNA, among the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all
time, was discovered not in the lab but in a dream? Where science
begins we already have been; where it ends we do not.
The point is simple enough: there are many ways of knowing. With
life on earth threatened, it is essential that we move beyond
dogmatic scientific doctrine and dare to find creative solutions
which could help us work with the cetaceans to
serve life – their life, our life, all life. The clock is ticking.
We invite you to support this important project with your donations
and by volunteering and participating in the research.
assembling a world-class team of experts in communication,
scientists and people who have extensive non-verbal communication
with dolphins and whales.