He wasn’t fleeing Nineveh but one Massachusetts man is being called “Cape Cod Jonah” after he too survived being “swallowed” by a big fish — a whale.
Michael Packard, a 56-year-old commercial lobster diver, thought he was attacked by a shark on Friday, June 11, in the waters of Provincetown’s Herring Cove Beach.
Packard was “swallowed” whole by a humpback whale.
When he appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Wednesday night and was asked if he’d been swallowed by a whale before, he said, “Thank God, no!”
Unlike Jonah, however, he wasn’t there for three days and three nights. He shot out in less than a minute.
“All of a sudden, I felt this huge shove and the next thing I knew it was completely black,” Packard told the Cape Cod Times. “I could sense I was moving, and I could feel the whale squeezing with the muscles in his mouth.”
Marine biologists say it was most likely an accident as humans are not on a whale’s menu.
“The water off the Cape is pretty murky,” New England Aquarium’s lead whale researcher Peter Corkeron said in an interview NBC News-10 Boston, “and when whales are doing these feeds, they’re moving really fast… This [was] just an accident. I imagine the whale had this, ‘Oh my goodness!’ moment and probably got rid of him as quickly as it could.”
The whale resurfaced and shot Packard back into the murky water.
“I was completely inside; it was completely black,” Packard told Cape Cod News. “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 16 years old.”
The Daily Astorian reports that he also survived a small plane crash in a Costa Rica jungle. Now he has another whale of a story with biblical proportions to tell.
“Thank God it wasn’t a white shark,” his sister, Cynthia Packard, said. “He sees them all the time out there.”
WATCH PACKARD’S INTERVIEW WITH JIMMY KIMMEL BELOW: