When a young Carl Sagan visited St. Also in the group was the eccentric neuroscientist, Dr. His quasi-sci-fi book Man and Dolphin highlighted the theory that dolphins wanted to and likely could communicate with humans.
Drake helped the doctor secure funding from NASA and other government entities in order to realize his vision: Lilly then built a laboratory housing a workspace on the upper level and a dolphin enclosure on the bottom.
Tucked away on the picturesque shore of the Caribbean, he called the alabaster building Dolphin Point. When year-old local Margaret Howe Lovatt realized that the lab existed, she drove there out of sheer curiosity. She fondly remembered stories from her youth where talking animals were some of her favorite characters. Arriving at the lab, Lovatt encountered its director, Gregory Bateson, a famous anthropologist in his own right. Perhaps wanting to make her feel useful, he asked her to take notes while observing them.
Both he and Lilly realized her intuitiveness, despite any lack of training and offered her an open invitation to the lab. She worked diligently with the dolphins, named Pamela, Sissy, and Peter. Through daily lessons, she encouraged them to create human-esque sounds. But the process was becoming tedious, with little indication of progress. Margaret Howe Lovatt hated leaving in the evenings and still feeling that there was much work left to do.
So she convinced Lilly to let her live in the lab, waterproofing the upper rooms and flooding them with a couple feet of water. This way, human and dolphin could occupy the same space.
Lovatt chose Peter for the revamped, immersive language experiment. They co-existed in the lab six days of the week, and on the seventh day, Peter spent time in the enclosure with Pamela and Sissy. If I was sitting here and my legs were in the water, he would come up and look at the back of my knee for a long time. He wanted to know how that thing worked and I was so charmed by it. So, reluctantly, Margaret Howe Lovatt decided to satisfy the sexual urges of the dolphin manually.
It seemed to me that it made the bond closer. Not because of the sexual activity, but because of the lack of having to keep breaking. I was there to get to know Peter. That was part of Peter. He sent one of his colleagues, the year-old Sagan, to check the goings-on at Dolphin Point.
But by , Lilly was more enthralled with the mind-altering power of LSD than he was with dolphins. Lilly belonged to an exclusive group of scientists licensed by the government to research the effects of LSD. He dosed both himself — and the dolphins at the lab. Luckily the drug seemed to have little to no effect on the dolphins. A few weeks later, some terrible news: If life becomes too unbearable, the dolphins just take a breath and they sink to the bottom.
The sorrow of losing the relationship was too much. And that was OK. Thomas after the failed experiment.
She married the original photographer that worked on the project. Together, they had three daughters and converted the abandoned Dolphin Point laboratory into a home for their family. Recently, however she granted interviews to Christopher Riley for his documentary on the project, the aptly named The Girl Who Talked to Dolphins.
After this look at Margaret Howe Lovatt, learn more about how dolphins communicate. Then, read up on the fascinating development of military dolphins.