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Blake: Cousteau’s Motives Pure

May 11, 1998

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) _ French undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau’s motives were ``totally pure,″ his successor, Sir Peter Blake, said today.

The Sunday Times of London reported over the weekend that members of Cousteau’s underwater film team had told the British Broadcasting Corp. that Cousteau faked some scenes in his documentaries.

In one case, footage of an octopus scrambling out of a tank and hopping overboard was obtained by pouring bleach in the tank, the newspaper said, previewing a BBC documentary to be broadcast next week.

Blake, who took over as head of the Cousteau Society after the Frenchman’s death last year, said today he did not know enough about the allegations made in the BBC documentary to comment conclusively.

Cousteau might have been responsible for some indiscretions because nobody was ``lily white″ but his aims were ``totally pure,″ Blake said.

Blake also said the allegations could have come from some of Cousteau’s former crew members, who were unhappy with past treatment.

In another example from the BBC documentary, the Sunday Times said, the documentary of two wild sea lions trained to walk on the deck of the ship Calypso before returning to the sea actually used four sea lions because the first two died during the filming, the newspaper said.

``We kept them out of the sea too long to make the film,″ Calypso crewman Albert Falco was quoted as saying.

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