Whales of the High Desert explores the story of James Wickham; an Englishman who was reported to have brought whales to Great Salt Lake in the 1870’s. Though his story was reported as ‘true’ in newspaper articles in 1888, the truth of this local Utah legend no longer matters as the debate around its veracity has uncovered a greater truth—the Great Salt Lake is dying—and if we want to keep legends alive, we have to keep the very real Lake alive that can support the legends. Professor of Folklore, Dr. Lynne McNeill acts as our guide through the history and origin of Wickham’s tale, and shares with us why paying attention to his story today can secure the health future of Great Salt Lake.

Directed by Joseph Adam LeBaron

*Filmmaker in attendance