Jonah was told by God to go to Ninevah and preach His word. Jonah didn't like that order, went the opposite direction, got on a boat, went out to sea. A storm came up, the crew felt jinxed, tossed Jonah over the side...and then that fish came along... Allegedly, in a modern-day illustration of Jonah, a New England whaler named James Bartley was part of the crew of the whale ship "Star of the East", (Captain John B. Killam, commanding) about 1891, when his whaleboat was split in two by an enraged whale. One man was killed, and Bartley disappeared, only to turn up inside the stomach of the freshly-killed whale the next day, alive. Here's the problem with the Bartley story: it didn't happen. Here's what I think as to why: 1. The "Star of the East" was not a commercial whaler. It was part of a fleet of Cape Horn windjammers (bulk cargo carriers under acres of sail) which were bought and converted to process and can fish under the San Francisco-based Alaska Packers Association. Out of about twenty vessels, the only survivor is the "Star of India", homeported at this time in San Diego. 2. A check of the logs for the "Star of the East" reveals no one named Bartley at that time, and no one having lost his life at any time while under Killam's command. 3. A check of a London hospital where Bartley was alledgedly treated for skin problems caused by the whale's gastric juices reveals no records related to the incident. Since it was a copy of Jonah, Bartley would have been photgraphed. Just a few short years before, Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, was photgraphed when his condition caused a sensation in a London hospital. 4. And since it was a copy of Jonah, it would have caused a sensation in the newspapers of the time around the world. Bartley would have been in demand as a public speaker. Again, it did not happen. In contrast, the sole survivor of the Mt. Pelee eruption of 1902, August Ciparis, a prisoner, burned over 30% of his body, made a living out of the event. This is not to say that it didn't happen to Jonah (it did...God has a wonderful way of making someone do what he doesn't want to do!), but to make up modern stories just to illustrate the Bible and say they're true when they're not is something else altogether.