The Whale-Watching Web: The Alnitak Project


Operation Sunflower is a long term IDW research project into the healing power of dolphins

Glimpses Into an Autistic Mind

In the last issue of DOLPHIN (No33, June 1995) we reported how severely autistic Eve- Hanf- Enos communicated her 'Doppleganger Existence' to an audience in Amsterdam with the aid of her mother and a PC using what is called ‘facilitated writing'.

It was an extraordinary, heart moving event during which some of the audience thought they caught a glimpse of what was going on inside Eve's mind. Upon her return to the USA Eve wrote a moving open letter in which she eloquently if unconventionally expressed her personal account of that gathering.

At the beginning of her letter Eve, who has never spoken, anticipates the day she will speak, using lipwords as she calls them, as follows:

Open letter to Dilo Group No 2

Pending my imminent lipwords I must once more resort to printed words. Clad I feel knowing you in a new way now that we've met and seen who we all are.

Here are some further extracts:

Hungry I feel to taste more flavours of options on life's menu now that you've introduced me to some new ones. Hungry too, to try munching on some real tough oppositional ideas like facing various members of society our family included - who need to have their taste buds freshened after too many years of hoping to be nourished by stale options about who and why we are.

Rats run mazes in cages and people run mazes in their heads and both get lost until they find hope in the shape of fellow maze runners who know their way. For some of you dolphins play the leading role in helping you find the way out. For me who haven't swim yet with a dolphin, you have quietly caused a revolution in my head.


where wild dolphins and humans meet freely together
On 28th August 1995 Eve encountered free dolphins for the first time. She was a guest of the newly created Human Dolphin Institute in Panama City Beach, Florida.

In open letter No 3 she produced afterwards Eve described her encounters with the dolphins as "wonder dappled interlude between waking and sleeping ... Michael , Cathy and Frederich simply hauled me up and down off the boat as the lump I am, without complaint. Easy they made it look to dance around on the ocean floor."

Eve's letter No 3 was accompanied by a long poem. Here are some extracts from it.

Taming the Untameable

Omnisciently they give me labels 
Measure me by textbook tables 
I am, they judge, a bit less than human 
Just another disabled woman 
Yes, I rock and roar in rage 
From emotions tightly caged 
I drag my body and my soul 
Bury my mind in my own black hole 
I gag on moods, greet with averted eye 
Those people who about me sigh 
with pity. 
I am lonely for another soul 
Who sees, hears, feels my goal 
For taming behaviour as loony as mine 
I plead with you, go on take your time 
And face the unfaceable 
Name the unnameable 
Open your doors to us, 
the unblameable. 

Her letter continues:

". . . when we got back home we felt somehow in a dream state with waking state so I couldn't tell which is which, That was so scary until we realised that it was all the same anyhow. But we fell into a furnace hot fever two days followed by low sagging mood and no appetite. Opinions I would be grateful to hear if other people who know dolphins understand what really happened and why..."

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Rauno Lauhakangas