A couple of weeks ago, Chrissa and I were in Sunday School and our teacher, Bro. Cavenaugh, was talking about Jonah.
He asked the question, "Are there any accounts of people having been swallowed by a whale or a fish?"
I opened my big mouth and said, "Actually, there was a Japanese sailor on a whaling boat that was swallowed by a whale. They killed the whale and when they cut its stomach open they found him, bleached white by the stomach acids, but otherwise alive."
Bro. Cavenaugh looked a little bit stunned and then went on with his lesson. Chrissa leaned over and said, "I don't think that was the answer he was looking for."
I decided to find out if what I had said was true or not. I vaguely remember being told this story myself, but I can't remember when or where. So I started looking online and, I'll tell you...it does not look good! First off, I haven't been able to find ANYTHING dealing with a Japanese whaler being swallowed--only Japanese fishermen killing a Great White shark that had the skeleton of a man, obviously not alive. I've only found 3 cases of humans being swallowed, and one of a dog. Here are the humans:
- James Bartleby
- Marshall Jenkins
- A Reader's Digest article
By the way, just in case it wasn't obvious: my whole point of writing about this isn't to prove whether or not the Book of Jonah really happened. It's to see if I'm a liar.
I'll let you know if I hear anything back about that Reader's Digest article. But, for now, it looks like I'm going to have to come clean to Bro. Cavenaugh...