In 1989, the U.S. Navy discovered a mysterious 52 hertz frequency on a series of underwater microphones that been used to track enemy submarines ever since the cold war. After much debate, an elite bio-acoustian named William Watkins determined that this unique sound was coming from a solitary whale who had been calling out at a frequency that no other whale could understand. It is believed that this whale has never once received a response, making him The Loneliest Whale in the World.
Watkins would spend the next 12 years tracking the whale, whom he nicknamed “52” for his unique 52hz call until his death in 2004. That same year, The New York Times published an article about the whale prompting an intense response among the thousands of people who identified with this creature’s lonely plight. However with Waktins’ death, no one was left to track 52, leaving the loneliest whale friendless once again… that is until now.
52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale is a feature length documentary that follows the expedition to once again, find 52. Overcome by the enduring reaction to 52, now known through social circles as the lonely whale, director Joshua Zeman and producers Adrian Grenier and Lucy Cooper felt a moral calling to explore this fascinating mystery. Assembling a team of marine scientists to embark on a deep-sea expedition, they are choosing to unite the lonely whale’s prolific community through Kickstarter—the internet’s home for crowdfunding creative projects.
The film will explore how one incredible whale’s experience of profound solitude has made us all more connected to the ocean—and to each other. The quest will be guided by experts in marine science and the modern human condition. This network includes oceanographers, marine biologists, bio-acousticians, animal psychologists, musicians, artists, journalists, activists, designers, bloggers and many more. In addition to their search for the lonely whale, the expedition will help to raise awareness over the growing scourge of ocean noise pollution that is doubling every decade. The expedition will be collecting data in some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, as the team helps the scientific community to better understand the threat of ocean noise pollution and how it affects the welfare of marine mammals across the globe.
The Kickstarter campaign will go towards funding the expedition. Funding beyond the goal will go into production of the film. Rewards in return for donations include whale watching with Adrian Grenier, a visit on set, an opportunity to connect with the bio-acousticians that will be on our expedition and custom artwork by Shepard Fairey revealed for the first time through this campaign.
Learn more about this compelling Kickstarter campaign here.