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Hurricane Creekkeeper John Wathen who was named “Local Person of
the Year” by Locust Fork News-Journal videotaped the Gulf of Mexico
while he flew over the BP oil slick yesterday on a flight provided by
Our local person of the year is Hurricane Creekkeeper John Wathen of
Tuscaloosa, who deserves the credit for being more of a bona fide
environmental activist than all the other fine people working for all
the other non-profit organizations in the state.
“The enormity of this slick began to sink in to me,” Wathen says on
the video. “It seems as if the thing was spreading out over the entire
Gulf of Mexico.”
Watch it here:
There also seems to be an ongoing inconsistency with the reports of
the size of the spill. The NOAA Cumulative trajectory map based on
satellite images and overflight Data for May 5th is below.
Why doesn’t the NOAA Map match their satellite image
The discrepancies between the Government NOAA Map and the satellite
images are huge! The NOAA map shows the slick 50-60 miles away from
Mobile, Alabama while the satellite images clearly show the oil
approaching the bay.
Just to pre-empt any claims that the obvious oil the satellite images is
silt or wind here is a snippet from Mike Di Paola, a Bloomberg reporter
who was on the overflight video above from Mobile.
Horrified Pilot Sees Oil Slick Near Gulf Coast:
Mike Di Paola
May 5 (Bloomberg)
— Oil is still gushing from BP Plc’s leaking rig, 80 miles from the
It hasn’t yet touched shore in the Alabama city of Mobile, though
some residents say they can smell the fumes of the approaching slick.
Coast Guard officials say it’s onshore elsewhere.
Yesterday, Tom Hutchings, a volunteer pilot for Southwings Inc.,
took me and photographer John Wathen out over Mobile Bay in a
four-seater Cessna to have a look. Hutchings flew over the rig last
week: foul weather since has kept him on the ground. Southwings uses
aviation for conservation causes.
Just eight miles from the Alabama coast we saw the
first visible signs of the oil — a thin glistening sheen.
The slick tapered into fingerlike tentacles reaching — and truly
heading — northeast toward the coast. We hear it’s predicted to make
landfall within 72 hours.
“The magnitude of it is so much bigger today than it was a week
ago,” Hutchings said. “It’s mind-boggling. That sheen was well offshore
last week and now it’s basically onshore. You’re sitting and waiting
for it now.”
Some of the islands are already circled by thousands of feet of
orange boom lines, much of them anchored in a desperate defense against
the coming oil filth.
Farther out, 30 miles or so (about halfway to the
rig), the sheen has thickened into clumps of reddish-brown froth,
dotting the ocean’s surface as far we can see. We ran into thick
clouds and had to turn back well before we reached the rig. What we saw
from this distance was bad enough.
(Mike Di Paola writes about preservation and the environment for
Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)
Where is the disconnect between what is actually in the Gulf and what
the Government agencies are reporting?
One final note. In a re another note, BP upped the amount of the
worse case scenario and is now saying the leak rate is would be 60,000
barrels and we are more
than likely dealing with 40,000 barrels if the leak gets any worse.