“But the LORD sent a great fish to swallow Jonah, and he remained in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (Book of Jonah, Chapter 2, Verse 1)
OK, it’s unlikely that Michael Packard of Massachusetts is a latter-day Jonah (and for those who know the biblical tale, let’s hope not), but they did share in a rather remarkable experience.
They were both swallowed by a whale.
Packard’s experience was of somewhat less duration than Jonah’s, lasting roughly 40 seconds to the latter’s three days and three nights, but still.
According to multiple press reports, Packard, a lobster fisherman diving off of Cape Cod, was approximately 35 feet below the surface when suddenly he felt a shove and then everything went black.
From the New York Post:
“[Packard] thought to himself “This is it, I’m gonna die.”
“I was completely inside [the whale]; it was completely black,” Packard told the Cape Cod Times. “I thought to myself, ‘there’s no way I’m getting out of here. I’m done, I’m dead. All I could think of was my boys, they’re 12 and 15 years old.”
Packard described feeling the whales mouth muscles “squeezing” and, after about 40 seconds, he felt the beast rising to the surface and shaking it’s head vigorously, ultimately throwing Packard into the air and back into the water.
“I saw light, and he started throwing his head side-to-side and the next thing I knew I was outside [in the water],” Packard said. “My first thought was I can’t believe I got out of that situation. My second thought was for how injured I was,” Packard said.
Incredibly, Packard was only slightly injured in the ordeal, and plans to continue diving as he always has.
But now he has the ultimate fish tale to tell, with the press clippings to prove it.