Whale carnage and the Navy

It’s looking increasingly likely that a new US Navy sonar system is to blame for the record number of injured and dead whales washing up on beaches this year. (We hate to say we told you so, but the MoJo Wire published a story about this more than a year ago.)

The ASSOCIATED PRESS has now picked up the story, reporting that, according to the federal government’s own expert, the large number of beached whales in the Bahamas recently is linked to the use of the Navy’s extremely powerful anti-sub system. The system’s high-powered sound waves can cause ear hemmorhages in marine mammals, causing whales — who depend on their own sense of hearing to navigate — to veer off course during migration, or even die from their injuries.

The Navy is reportedly hiring a panel of experts to examine the issue as a “priority need.” Then again, that’s the same thing they said back when experts first voiced concern about the system’s potential for carnage.


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.