John Hargrove’s Trip Down Selective Memory Lane


In his whale of a tale, Beneath the Surface, John Hargrove details how SeaWorld maintains meticulous records of instances of whale aggression. But strangely, in other statements he claims incidents go unreported.

When pushing a narrative in a for-profit book, selective memory is important. Mr. Hargrove’s selective memory is on full display.

Hargrove writes:

Like a nurse at a hospital, I was taught to observe and record each whale’s behavior patterns and note them down in the meticulous documents kept by SeaWorld”. (BTS Pg. 37)

But in an article from April 3, 2014 – Beyond Blackfish-The John Hargrove Story by James Smith – Hargrove claims “hundreds of events go unreported.”


Smith wrote in his April 2014 article:

It has been said that aggression in captive killer whales may have happened as many as 1000 times over the last 50 years. I asked Hargrove what he thought of that number, and he said, ‘That isn’t hard to imagine.’ Like many things in SeaWorld modus operandi, an ‘incident’ may be subject to interpretation … In the end, hundreds of events go unreported”.

So we are supposed to believe that SeaWorld taught John Hargrove to “meticulously” record all activity, but then he claims SeaWorld hid hundreds of incidents? So what changed?

Let’s review the facts – meticulously. Oh, that’s right John Hargrove needs to sell books.

You can’t claim SeaWorld “meticulously” maintains records on one hand and then, when it suits your claim, say management doesn’t document incidents.

Selective memory only works when the things you “forget” aren’t in print.