Is the Viral Story About the Whale Almost Swallowing the Lobsterman Fake?

Some experts are finding Michael Packard's flukey tale of ending up in the mouth of a humpback tough to swallow

A Humpback whale breaching the surface of the ocean
A humpback whale feeding.
Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Some experts are finding lobsterman Michael Packard’s whale of a tale about being chewed up and spit out by a humpback tough to swallow, per The New York Post.

In case you’re not familiar, Packard claimed last week that he was almost swallowed by a humpback whale while diving for lobsters off the Cape Cod coast but suffered only a dislocated knee and soft-tissue damage after being spit out.

“This is how you’re going to die. In the mouth of a whale,” Packard recalled. “I just was struggling but I knew this was this massive creature, there was no way I was going to bust myself out of there. Then I was just laying on the surface floating and saw his tail and he went back down, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, I got out of that, I survived.’”

If it really happened …

“People who are in the fishing industry, and people who know whales, are finding this hard to believe,” a Massachusetts lobsterman who has fished the area for 44 years told The Post. “It’s a first-ever that this would happen. For a guy to be in the middle of that giant school of fish corralled by a whale doesn’t make sense.”

An unnamed emergency room doctor at the Cape Cod hospital where Packard was treated also found it hard to believe the 57-year-old wasn’t hurt by the sudden change in water pressure that would have occurred if the story was on the sea level. “He reportedly ascended from a 45-foot depth in 20 to 40 seconds and didn’t have any evidence of barotrauma?” the ER doctor asked.

The Post isn’t the only outlet that has uncovered individuals who aren’t getting baited into believing Packard’s fishy story as a number of midday callers to Boston radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub threw cold water on the aquatic account.

Listeners of another Boston radio station also aren’t buying Packard’s story according to a poll that was posted on Twitter by morning show host Greg Hill.

While we’re not sure what to make of Packard’s story, perhaps we should give him a little credit because another sensational tale he shared about surviving a plane crash in Costa Rica that killed three other people checks out, according to this Associated Press piece. “In Costa Rica, they call me Milagro Mike. Now I’m times two, here,” he said.

Until further evidence comes to the surface, we suppose we’ll let him off the hook.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.