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Woman Admits Sexual Experience With Dolphin As Part Of NASA Study

Woman Admits Sexual Experience With Dolphin As Part Of NASA Study

She took part in a unique study back in the 1960s

Claire Reid

Claire Reid

A woman who took part in a, somewhat bizarre, NASA-funded experiment involving dolphins said the animals became so close to her that one ever tried to have sex with her. You can see an interview with her here:

Back in the 1960s Margaret Howe Lovatt was part of the experiment that saw people spending long periods of time with dolphins, which resulted in them building up a strong connection.

Speaking to the BBC, Margaret recalled that one dolphin - named Peter - used to 'rub himself' against her knees, hands and feet in a 'sexual' way.

She said: "It was sexual on his part - it was not sexual on mine, sensuous perhaps."

Animal-loving Margaret had just turned 20 when she was told about the programme by her brother-in-law during Christmas of 1963.

At the time Margaret was living in St Thomas in the Caribbean and her brother-in-law revealed there was a 'secret island' that was being used to carry out work with dolphins.

Margaret Howe Lovatt.

Unable to ignore her curiosity, Margaret drove out to the lab to explore what was going on and met lab director Gregory Bateson, who she managed to impress so much after simply marching straight up to the complex that he allowed her to get involved.

Despite having no scientific background, Bateson let Margaret observe the animals and write her findings down, which soon helped him realise she had a knack for spotting animal behaviour.

This eventually secured her a place on the NASA-funded study, which had been designed to determine whether or not dolphins could be trained to understand and speak English.

In BBC documentary The Girl Who Talked to Dolphins, Margaret recalled spending time with the three dolphins involved in the study. She said: "Peter, Pamela and Sissy. Sissy was the biggest. Pushy, loud, she sort of ran the show.

"Pamela was very shy and fearful. And Peter was a young guy. He was sexually coming of age and a bit naughty."

Spending more and more time with the dolphins, Margaret found she formed an even closer bond to them - including one in particular.

For the study, scientists flooded an ordinary home in knee-high water to create a dolphinarium'.

"Peter liked to be... with me," she said in the documentary.

"He would rub himself on my knee, my foot or my hand and I allowed that.

"I wasn't uncomfortable - as long as it wasn't too rough.

"It was just easier to incorporate that and let it happen, it was very precious and very gentle, Peter was right there, he knew that I was right there."

She continued: "It was sexual on his part - it was not sexual on mine, sensuous perhaps.


"It would just become part of what was going on like an itch, just get rid of that we'll scratch and we would be done and move on.

"I was there to get to know Peter, that was part of Peter."

The study had been set up by American neuroscientist Dr John Lilly, who hoped the experiment would enable dolphins to communicate with humans by making human-like sounds through their blowholes.

He managed to secure funding from NASA, having convinced the agency that it could help understand other intelligent life forms using other forms of communication.

Eventually, however, the study was closed down following various concerns, including claims the dolphins had been given LSD.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Nasa, Weird, Animals