Heal Our Planet Earth
The shooting of Capt. Watson - a technical analysis

As a result of my two comments on the attempted murder of Capt. Paul Watson by the Japanese whalers and/or Coast Guard, I received a number of responses.

One said, "Your e-mail was forwarded to me by a friend. Before you continue to report this you might want to check out the facts. A kevlar vest will not stop a rifle bullet, at least most common center-fire rifles which would be in use by the military. Secondly, guns are very, very regulated in Japan, and it is not likely that seamen on a whaling ship would ever be allowed to own a rifle. The story is therefore suspicious and reduces your credibility unless you can convince other military vets or police who are familiar with rifles."

I have thought about this even before I wrote my comments. What I knew were:

1. Kevlar cannot stop a high powered hard-point rifle bullet, e.g. a 30-06, but it can stop a slow pistol bullet or a very small calibre rifle bullet, e.g. a .22, though it is unlikely that someone from another ship would use either.

2. Kevlar can stop some low-velocity soft-point bullets, even one fired from a rifle.

3. Besides the whalers, the Japanese Coast Guard was on the scene, and they were surely armed. And

4. If the bullet was fired from the Whaling vessel Nisshin Maru, it would not be by a common seaman.

Another person who wrote me was Allison Lance Watson. She forwarded me an email to Capt. Watson written by Marc Gaede, an accomplished and respected anthropologist, author and photographer, among other things. With permission from both Allison and Marc, here is what Marc wrote:



"I feel it important to point out a few things that I see in your shooting. As you know, this is a subject I know a lot about.

"You were shot by a sniper with a rifle and with a special bullet. The vest that protected you is meant for pistol rounds, not high velocity military bullets. Had you been shot with a military rifle cartage, you could be dead. Had you not been waring the vest, you most certainly been dead by a massive untreatable wound, which is what they intended.

"By what I see in the pictures, the compression of the bullet means it was a soft lead 'Dumb-Dumb' round. Because of the tissue destruction these bullets cause, they were banned for military use by the Hague Convention of 1899 although most people now call it the Geneva Convention. All militaries conform to the convention because no one wants to go there due to the unspeakable carnage they would cause. Even the Nazi SS didn't use Dumb-Dumbs.

"The Japanese Coast Guard (or a special agent - AM) shot you with a Dumb-Dumb bullet which is in violation of the Geneva (Hague) Convention because the JCG is part of the military. This is significant because the world's military will pay attention that the Japanese military used Dumb-Dumbs. It may be one shot, but it is significant and governments will pay attention.

"Next, I want to point out that this was not a a knee-jerk reaction to shoot you. I was the best shot in HQ Company at Camp Pendleton for two years (1966-67), and couldn't have done this in my prime. Apparently, you were shot from high to low involving two moving ships on the high seas. Also, you were probably moving at random, and the shot was within three inches of your heart. This sniper practiced this shot for months back in Japan , and no doubt, they used a moving target ship that was lower than the moving shooting platform, and they practiced in varying wind, distance, and seas to perfect every situation. I'm guessing they brought in a Japanese Marine sniper because Coast Guards don't have this kind of talent. The flash-bang grenades were used to cover the rifle shot but should be audible on tape. Like earthquakes, gunshots will show up electronically from all the other noise. There might be other shots, but I don't think so, it was just one shot, I think.

"The Dumb-Dumb bullet is a give-away because it was chosen specially to kill. No pistol shooter in the world could have made this shot, it had to have come from a rifle and a sniper rifle for sure. The Dumb-Dumb was caught by your vest so it was low velocity such as fired by most pistols. Why would the JCG fire a low velocity Dumb-Dumb at your heart? Well, they didn't know you had the "Second Chance" vest on under your Mustang suit. The low velocity Dumb-Dumb should have blown a 5" hole in your chest and you should have died quickly from massive blood loss. Every black powder (low velocity soft lead bullet) hunter knows the low velocity allows the bullet to expand within the animal causing extreme damage. High velocity bullets go through too fast for maximum destruction.

"So this was a special bullet, probably hand loaded, for you. Low velocity, soft lead for a modern military rifle. I don't believe I have ever seen such ammunition for sale in my life.

"Ok, the Whale Gods were with you. Everyone now knows you have a cop vest under your suit, so you can expect to get shot next time with a high velocity full-metal-jacket round which will go through your vest. The only vest that can help you is the ceramic-plate armor. You might look into "Dragon Skin," which is what most our Iraqi troops want but can't get. When you are outside exposed in confrontation, keep moving, don't stop but for a few seconds and stay out-of-view as much as possible.

"Make no mistake, the Japs intended to kill you.

"Return safe,



Obviously, this cannot be verified until the forensic report comes out, but I deem it a highly credible assessment based on intimate knowledge and experience on the subject matter. If this doesn't pan out, it would at least be a sound piece of technical analysis, and should give pause to skeptics, nay-sayers and conspiracy theorists.

A parting word of advice to all whalers and whaling-supporters: For you to assassinate Capt. Watson, or anyone on board the Steve Irwin, or anyone in the whaling movement, is tantamount to you committing Kamikaze, again. Maybe you've forgotten, but it didn't work when you tried it the the last time.


Anthony Marr, founder
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)


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