9:41 AM PDT, June 15, 2021
Did it really happen? Questions are being raised about the real-life Jonah – the guy who claims he was swallowed by a whale in Cape Cod last week. Michael Packard was lobster-diving when he says the humpback whale sucked him right into his mouth, before spitting him out after 30 seconds.
“He was just going along, and I just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Packard told Inside Edition.
For some, the story seemed fishy. But Rainer Schimpf, a 54-year-old scuba diver, says he totally believes the story. That’s because he had an almost identical experience two years ago — and has the photos to prove it.
His body can be seen sticking out of the mouth of a whale who had swallowed him off the coast of South Africa when he was filming footage of the sardine run.
“Without the picture it’s very difficult to prove that you have actually been inside,” Schimpf said.
Whales swallowing humans is exceedingly rare. The odds it will happen are one in a trillion, according to one expert.
“He wasn’t harmed, I wasn’t harmed and it was like a happy ending,” Schimpf said.
Experts say whales usually don’t bother with humans because they prefer to eat small aquatic animals — not people.