One time skipper of the ill-fated Ady Gil – rundown at sea by a Japanese whaler – and former feted Sea Shepherd member Paul Bethune has broken ranks with the whale huggers, accusing Paul Watson of lying about the sinking of the Ady Gil, which Bethune claims was scuttled.

But that isn’t the most interesting part of Bethune’s tale of lying and betrayal: he also claims Watson knew that the Ady Gil was equipped with a bow and arrow (for injecting poison into whale carcasses) and further alleges that Watson fabricated the 2008 incident in which he claims an unseen Japanese sniper shot him in the chest. Here’s Watson’s response to shooting skepticism:

Captain’s note: We in fact did produce the bullet. It is pictured on our website. We asked the Australian police to take a look at it and they refused. But if Shallhorn believes it was a piece of shrapnel, why would he scoff at the bullet proof vest that saved my life. The ship’s doctor examined the bruising left by the bullet. There is a hole in my suit and vest that was not there only a few moments earlier as can be seen in the film.

The Sea Shepherd video does not show “a hole in [Watson's] suit and vest that was not there only a few moments earlier”.

And had Watson actually been shot wouldn’t he have pursued attempted murder charges despite a claimed rebuff from Australian authorities? Jeez, it seems that attempted murder on the high seas would merit referral to the United Nations or perhaps, at the very least, an investigation by Japanese authorities. The “bullet” could have even been turned over to independent experts for analysis. Nope, the story was reported by Sea Shepherd, picked up by sympathetic news outlets and to this day remains uninvestigated and unsubstantiated.

By the way, the real life Ady Gil, who donated the money to Sea Shepherd for the purchase of the ill-fated trimaran, knows who he trusts:

“Pete [Bethune] is a credible kind of a guy, so he was asked to open hatches to make sure that it does sink,” Mr Gil said.

It ain’t looking good for Sea Shepherd “admiral” Paul Watson.

Editing note: The post’s title originally referred incorrectly to Paul Bethune.