I recently ran across an article on the Net about a British Sailor (in the Mid to late 1800’s) who was supposedly swallowed by a Whale… I lost the link and have been unable to duplicate my search (yes I am a dork, but I am serious) … The article was interesting in that the author detailed his considerable efforts in tracing the source e.g. research local papers, shipping records, etc. It mention that this story was publihed as part of a series of proofs on biblical accuracy. Has anyone else ever come across anything similiar. Also what is the probabilty of a human being able to live for any significant period of time under this conditions. Any help would be appreciated.
Plug “whale swallowed James Bartley” into your search. You’ll have all the info you need.
Thank You …
The story almost certainly isn’t true. I found a very thoroughly researched paper called A Whale of a Tale: Fundamentalist Fish Stories by Edward B. Davis. There was no James Bartley on the list of crew of the Star of the East (which was not even a whaler), and there exists a letter from the widow of the ship’s captain saying no such incident ever happened.
Even if the story were true, it would not do much to corroborate the story of Jonah. Jonah was supposed to be inside a living fish, whereas Bartley was supposed to be inside a whale that died shortly after it swallowed him. Digestion inside Bartley’s whale would have ceased after it died.