Great White Shark: Beyond the Cage of Fear (2013) Movie Script

He's one of the most feared
animals on the planet.
He weighs 2,000 pounds,
has razor sharp teeth,
and has evolved to be one of the most
stealthy ambush hunters in the oceans.
He's so dangerous, in fact,
that many believe
the only way to study him
is through the bars of a cage
and so most of the time
this is how we see him.
And this is how he sees us.
But are we protected
by the bars of the cage?
Or blinded?
On a small research vessel off the
Coast of Mexico a group of scientists,
divers and filmmakers
will swim beyond the cage
in order to look into the mind
of a single Great White Shark.
Their goal:
To determine once and for all
if he is an intelligent animal
or a mindless killer.
There are some things
you have to take risk on.
If any of those sharks really want
you they're going to get you.
You can't change the whole
world's perception on sharks,
but if we get people to care
about Great White Sharks
it will trickle down to all the
rest of the sharks and the ocean.
Empathy leads to care and
knowledge leads to empathy.
In order to understand the
Great White,
the crew of the Captain Jack
will look through his eyes,
swim with him, touch him,
interact with him,
and, in the end, they will be so confident
in the relationship that they've built,
that they will attempt an experiment
that most people
would find absolutely crazy.
I feel so much like the bait
right now.
Everything we know about sharks
tells us that this is impossible.
Of course, it doesn't really
matter what we think.
The only thing that matters
is what he thinks.
On a beautiful day
at the beginning of summer,
a Great White Shark will
leave the Hawaiian Islands
and begin swimming east.
It is a journey
he's made many times before
as did his ancestors before him.
It is a journey from warm
water to cold.
From feeding on Dorado and Wahoo,
to Tuna and Elephant Seals.
It is 35 hundred miles,
and he will swim it on a course
which is almost perfectly straight.
His name is Bruce or at least
that's the name we've given him.
He could be 11 years old or
12 or 20.
He is one of the dominant males
of one of the most powerful species
of predators on the planet.
And if you were to fall in the
water with a Great White Shark
this is exactly the animal
you'd want by your side.
People run out the door
to come and see Bruce.
They like Bruce and they think
Bruce likes them.
The crew of the Captain Jack
has sailed to Guadalupe Island,
off the Coast of Mexico,
in order to work with Bruce
whose unique personality is
perfect for their experiments.
The White Sharks they have
different personalities.
Sometimes you can identify the
shark just because of the behavior.
Dr. Mauricio Hoyos
has probably spent more time
working with the Great Whites
on Guadalupe Island than
anyone else on the planet.
I started to love sharks
because of the movie Jaws.
And I had the same idea as
everybody at the beginning.
My conception of it was
that it was going to try to feed
on the divers or to attack the cage
and nothing like that happened.
It has changed because I have been
in touch with them and I know them
and I think that
if you want to change your
mind you have to know
in person these animals.
Bruce and hundreds of other
Great Whites
migrate each year to Guadalupe Island,
making it one of the most
important destinations
for shark research on the planet.
I'm using ultrasonic transmitters
with temperature and depth sensors.
Also I have under water receivers
to know the diving behavior of
the shark when it's near the island.
The tag on Bruce and others
like it
have allowed scientists like Mauricio
to paint an increasingly precise picture
of what Bruce's life is really like.
Some areas, however,
remain shrouded in mystery.
Great White Shark reproduction has
never been witnessed by human eyes.
What we know has been pieced
together from tracking data,
lab experiments and comparisons
with other species of shark.
Bruce's parents probably mated somewhere
in the course of their long migration.
Perhaps it was in Hawaii or Guadalupe
or perhaps it was at the
Great White Cafe,
a mysterious spot
in the middle of the Pacific
where Great White Sharks gather
from all across the Western Hemisphere.
Unlike other fish, Great
White's eggs hatch in the womb,
and are carried to term
before a live birth.
However, even in the womb
Bruce had to fight for survival,
competing with the other pups to consume
their mother's unfertilized eggs.
The loser of these intrauterine battles
were often consumed themselves.
After a year long gestation period,
Bruce's mother gave birth to him
and a few other survivors.
Bruce was probably just under
five feet
as he swam into the open ocean
for the first time.
And from that moment on,
he was on his own.
How did he find food?
How did he protect himself
from larger predators?
while ultra sonic and satellite tags
can provide scientists like Mauricio
with an incredible amount of data
what they don't do is tell us
what a shark like Bruce is thinking.
Why is he going deep or shallow?
What does Bruce's behavior mean?
In many ways, the study of sharks
is in the same position today
that the study of primates
was in 40 years ago.
It took two women,
Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey,
to revolutionize the way
animals were studied.
Instead of observing the animal
from a distance
or through the bars of a cage,
they interacted, they connected,
they formed a relationship
with another species
and learned things about the
Chimpanzee and the Mountain Gorilla
that no one had ever suspected before.
Their work the crew of the Captain
Jack has been trying to emulate
for much of the last decade.
In 2004 this led them
on one of the most unusual
and ill fated experiments
in the history of shark research.
So in taking the ideas that
Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey had,
we came up with this idea to
build a shark
that we could be inside with and swim
with the sharks like we're a shark.
That idea alone shows how
incredibly out of touch we are
with their world.
After years of work and a few
close calls,
the crew of the Captain Jack
finally got their shark to swim.
However, the lessons
you learn from the experiment
are often very different
from what you set out to find.
The moment the first Great
White saw Robo,
we were certain that something
big was going to happen.
Maybe they'd posture, test it,
attack it, but they didn't.
The most interesting thing
the crew saw
wasn't inside the shark sub
but outside.
Something that people don't
think about with a show like this
is that for every shot you see
there was a cameraman in the
water shooting it.
While the sharks were kind of
interested in the sub
the things they were really
curious about were the divers.
This experience led the crew
of the Captain Jack to an idea
that most people
would find absolutely crazy.
What if, instead of observing the
shark through the bars of the cage
or even from inside Robo,
they attempt to interact with
him in the open ocean?
Would it be possible to form a
relationship with a Great White Shark
in the same way
that Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall
formed relationships with their primates?
We get a call in at National Geographic
and it's this guy Mike Hoover.
So I call Bob Cranston, "Hey, Bob,
have you ever heard of Mike Hoover?"
"I know Mike Hoover!"
Well, he's saying he wants to film
white shark predations without a cage.
"Yeah, that sounds like Hoover!"
Mike Hoover has filmed Everest,
led three unsupported expeditions
to Antarctica,
windsurfed from Alaska
to the Soviet Union
and lived for years among the Mujahideen
during the war against the
Soviets in Afghanistan
and the Taliban before
September 11th.
And he's done all of this
in order to transform the way
we see the world.
I have seen the same passion
that I have about the sharks.
That's the most important thing.
He wants to learn about the sharks.
You become less arrogant as you
start to listen to the other side.
You start to think, how much
does a Great White Shark know?
What could we learn from him?
This is a whole library of information.
Gathering that information
is what Mauricio has been doing
in the waters off Guadalupe
for the last seven years.
And we learned really interesting
things about their behavior.
They know they're really powerful,
so in order to avoid a fight
I have seen like two sharks
swimming really close to each other,
measuring each other
in order to know who's bigger.
I have seen something
that it's called a display.
It's like a dog showing the teeth.
So, I don't want to have a fight
with you, let's try first this.
And if it doesn't work, then there's
going to be a conflict between them.
I have seen the sharks
biting each other on the gills,
on the head or even on the fins.
It was questions of shark interactions,
social behavior and dominance
that the crew was determined to explore
during their Robo Shark experiment.
But they could never get the Great Whites
to treat Robo like he was one of them.
There is no way you can fool them,
because they're so much smarter
than you think.
Robo Shark might look like a
Great White to us
but sharks don't sense the
world the way we do.
In addition to excellent sight
and a far superior sense of smell
sharks also possess
electrical sensing organs
known as the Ampules of Lorenzini.
These jelly filled canals are
so sensitive
that they can detect
the one billionth of a volt,
generated by the heartbeat of
a tiny fish buried under the sand.
Without this sixth sense,
it is impossible for us to imagine
what the underwater world looks
like to a Great White Shark.
An even stronger current is
produced when metal such as steel
comes in contact with salt water.
Actually, when the cage diving
operations started
all the cages were made of steel
and the sharks were really aggressive.
We thought that they're trying
to eat the divers in the cage.
That's what everybody thought.
"It wants to eat the persons inside."
But no, it's because of the reaction
of the salt water with the metal.
It's a Galvanic Current.
Once shark cages were
constructed out of aluminum
incidents of unprovoked sharks
biting the bars fell considerably.
This same Galvanic Current explains
why sharks are drawn to bite
everything from outboard motors
to Trans-Atlantic Communication Cables.
It also explains why Robo Shark
never fooled any of them.
While the crew of the Captain Jack
was struggling to get a shark to swim,
National Geographic's Greg Marshall
was refining a far more elegant solution.
The Critter Cam.
The Critter Cam.
The Critter Cam.
Yeah, the Critter Cam!
Rather than hiding
a cameraman inside a shark,
the Critter Cam turns a shark
into a cameraman.
Since its development
the Critter Cam has been used
on everything from a Blue Whale
to a common house cat.
I always wonder
if I would be a shark,
what would I see.
I think that with the Critter
Cam you can know that for sure.
But if you want to deploy a Critter
Cam on a Great White Shark,
you need two things.
The right shark and the right crew.
I want to understand this animal,
to check it out, see how they react.
I want to see how you react.
Brandon Wahlers.
You guys see that, right there?
He's like 23 going on 17 in
some aspects.
He was described in on of the
diving magazines
as the Tiger Woods of Blue
Water Hunting.
He's got my back
and it's the same with him,
I got his back.
He is a friend of mine, I don't
want to see him get hurt or eaten.
Mark Healey has gained an
international reputation
as one of the world's
top big wave surfers.
But he's also a world class freediver.
The way I look at it is,
I learn a lot about myself
whenever I push the envelope.
In the past, most underwater
shark research
has been done using scuba.
Unfortunately, sharks don't like
all the noise scuba gear makes,
and the steel tanks produce
the same Galvanic Current
as an old fashioned shark cage.
But Brandon and Mark
are world class freedivers.
That means that on a single
breathe hold
they can swim down to depths
of well over 100 feet.
Their speed,
silence and freedom of movement
will hopefully allow them
to interact with Bruce
in ways scuba divers never could.
I pride myself in being
passionate about them
and feeling that I know what
they're thinking
and what they're doing and why.
At least for the most part and
then they do something different.
I've been studying them for seven years
and they've been around for millions.
What the hell do I know?
Andy Brandy Casagrande the 4th.
The world's neatest name.
It turns out there is no 3rd,
there is no 2nd.
His dad made it up and he thought
it sounded better with the 4th on it.
"You're going to swim with
Great White Sharks, you're crazy."
And then they speed away in
their Porsche and snort cocaine.
The guy has some loose screw
in his system
that has made him super
passionate about wildlife
and in particular the Great
White Shark.
Where is he? Talk to us.
He's in front of you.
He came knowing a lot
and he still knows a lot.
It would be more the other way,
what we've learned from him.
But the most unusual member
of the Captain Jack's crew
isn't a scientist or a filmmaker.
Mermaids are a myth and a legend.
But for Hannah Fraser they're
a symbol,
a reminder that our lives
and the lives of our oceans
are intimately connected.
And so Hannah Fraser
dons a fish tail and swims.
She swims with porpoises and turtles,
with big fish and even bigger whales.
And if Brandon and Mark's dives
go absolutely perfectly,
it's Hannah's intention to
take a swim with Bruce.
Bruce has incredibly precise senses.
He hears the engine,
the generator, the anchor drop.
He smells the chum.
He might pick up on the electrical signal
from the Captain Jack's metal hull.
Maybe he thinks he can get an easy snack.
Or maybe he's just plain curious.
But while we'll probably never
know what Bruce is thinking,
with the help of the Critter Cam
we can get a pretty good idea
of what he's seeing.
For a while, Bruce became the
project's most valuable cameraman,
filming scenes around
Guadalupe Island
that had never been seen before.
This shows the deployment.
This is immediately after this
camera got put on the shark.
Like little critters on the
shark too, they'll run around.
The most interesting thing that
I didn't know that I was going to see
is the behavior of the Ectoparasites
on the head of the shark.
What is that on the left there,
the left side of him?
What's that?
That's a bunch of them.
They were moving all the time.
Actually, I think
that we got the first record
of mating of these parasites
right in front of the camera.
The parasites
might explain another behavior
they saw in the Critter Cam.
The shark was close to the bottom
for more than 45 minutes.
They're almost scratching
their belly on the bottom.
They also could be looking
for fishes on the bottom.
A lot of prey items of the stomachs
of sharks are fishes from the bottom,
so it could be both.
Trying to figure out whether
Bruce went to the bottom to hunt
or to scrape parasites off his belly
is one of the things that makes watching
the Critter Cam footage so exciting.
That's the Captain Jack.
There's another shark.
You got another shark. That's awesome.
And we saw interactions of
the sharks.
On one occasion,
you could see a small shark that
was coming right in front of Bruce
and suddenly it disappeared.
Because Bruce is a really,
really big shark.
So the crew of the Captain Jack
continues to work day after day
with the Critter Cam.
But after so many perfect deployments
it was almost inevitable
that something would go wrong.
The Critter Cam is designed
to release automatically
and float to the surface for retrieval
but for some reason it hadn't.
The guys that designed this
thing are really smart.
They built in a redundant
release system.
At a scheduled time the blade
comes down and cuts that zip tie.
But if that doesn't work
there's a little magnesium post
holding the whole thing in place
and magnesium dissolves in
salt water.
So if all of the electronic
stuff completely fails,
after 10 hours this thing
should pop off all on its own.
But while the system worked perfectly
the Critter Cam became
tangled in the other tags
on Bruce's dorsal fin.
This wasn't about losing
a valuable piece of equipment,
this was about Bruce.
And there was no way of knowing how long
the camera would be stuck on his back.
There was only one solution.
If the Critter Cam
didn't fall off on its own,
then somebody was going to
have to swim down
and take it off by hand.
If you knew an animal was evil
would it change the way you
treat it?
The Killer Whale is one of the most
powerful predators in the oceans,
but it is protected and revered
while the shark is slaughtered at
the rate of about 100 million a year.
If you knew an animal
was unfairly labeled as a demon,
how much would you be willing
to risk to save it?
Well, going into the trip,
I made up my mind that I wasn't going
to force any kind of dangerous situation.
I'd only jump in with a shark and
interact with them outside of the cage
if it totally seemed
like it made sense to me.
So first five minutes we get
on the boat,
Bruce, the biggest shark we
saw the whole trip, was there,
and the second I saw him,
I knew he was one I could swim with.
This Critter Cam was supposed to deploy.
It never did, it was stuck on his back.
Apparently at National Geographic
they spent a ton of money on this thing.
So they really wanted it back
and they were kind of talking
jokingly amongst themselves about
somebody could just go and cut it.
So I was like,
"Yeah, I think we can do that."
I knew that everything was there
and he was the perfect White
Shark to come in contact with.
But it's like having all the
information on insider trading
but you have to put
your life savings up front.
The moment that he came
and tuned straight into me,
and I realized that I was
the sole interest of him at
that moment,
that's when I'm sure that shark could hear
my heartbeat loud and clear in the water.
It felt like it was beating
right here in my throat, you know.
I was his for the taking,
if he wanted me.
It's a 100% chance he would
have been able to have me.
He came up and I actually
didn't approach him right.
I kind of rushed it
because I was super nervous.
So he could see me with his
left eye,
and as I'm coming down
he's kind of rolling.
I'm trying to get to his dorsal fin
and it's getting further away.
I'm getting closer to the mouth,
further away from the dorsal fin.
So I'm like, "Oh crap."
I ended up clipping that zip
tie on the Critter Cam,
and you could tell he was kind
of trying to shake it off,
and went up to the surface and
thrashed around and got it lose
and took off but then he came
right back around again.
The shark's still around,
the shark's still here.
Bruce is circling around.
Bruce is back.
Seemed like he wanted more,
you know, it's bizarre.
This is a chance for an interaction.
He's coming in to see about us and
we're out there to see about him.
Let's kind of figure out
some way to interact.
The interaction with Mark
Healy is a first step.
But if the crew of the Captain Jack
wants to forge a relationship
with a predator as powerful
as Bruce,
they're going to need
some very special help.
Thirty five years ago, forming
a relationship with a Killer Whale
was almost as crazy as forming
one with a Great White Shark.
Killer Whales are the other
apex predator in the ocean,
and in many ways they're dominant
even over the Great White.
But in the last 35 years,
the image of the Killer Whale
has been completely transformed.
Looking at the show at Sea World,
I was more interested
in how they got them to do it
and there had to be somebody,
some Bill Gates of Killer
Whale training,
and I wanted to meet him.
And that guy is Thad Lacinak.
When I first started, animal
training was a lot more basic
than it is today.
There was a lot more
of tell the animal what to do.
And we found with Killer
Whales because...
Their name alone says it,
they're not going to be told
what to do by anybody.
They have to do it because
they like you,
because they built up
a relationship with you.
And they have to do it
for things other than food.
So we changed the way we train the animals
and focused more on the positive.
The result was a new
relationship with a wild animal
and the transformation of its
image from killer to friend.
At a small facility in Jamaica,
one of Thad's students, Eric Bogden,
is using his techniques
to work with an animal that most people
would consider to be untrainable.
Yeah, this is... Look at that!
Look at the other ones.
That is absolutely incredible!
Upperhand conditioning at its best.
That is just incredible.
These animals know exactly
where to go and what to do
as soon as they hit the water.
And these are sharks, these
are suppose to be not so smart.
I know we are going to be able
to do some stuff with Whites.
But working with Killer Whales
or even Nurse Sharks in captivity
is very different from working
with Great Whites in the open ocean.
Still, in many ways,
the greatest obstacle the
crew of the Captain Jack faces
is the one they brought with them...
Terrifying, isn't it?
But what if, instead of looking at
it through the eyes of a victim,
you could see through the
eyes of the shark?
Maybe you'd notice how the
shark attacks from below,
ambush style,
or how it's jaws dislocate
and he can move his rows of
teeth almost independently.
Maybe you'd even notice
how the guy with the bait
pulls it at the last possible second,
in order to tease the shark
and get his shot.
If you could see all that, the
shark would remain exactly the same
but you would have changed.
That's why the crew
have come to Guadalupe.
Not to change the shark but to
change our perceptions of the shark
through direct physical contact.
But how do you interact safely
with a predator as powerful as Bruce?
Well, the first thing you do is you
ask the guy who's done it before.
What was it like the first time you got
in the water with the Killer Whales?
Well, I mean, we spent days
before we got in the water with them,
working with them on the surface.
I mean, we've been here, what?
Seven, eight days?
And I worked with a Killer
Whale named Ramu
who was a pretty aggressive
male Killer Whale.
He weighed about 9,000 pounds
but we'd make mistakes once in a while,
we'd push him a little to far,
we'd ask a little too much
of our relationship with him.
And we got hurt.
We got dragged to the bottom
of the pool, held under water.
We made all the mistakes back then.
And we learned from them.
And that's kind of what we're doing here.
That's what we're doing here.
It's a little bit of trial
and error.
The difference is we don't have 35 years
of studying and working with them.
With the exact same animal.
And in those controlled circumstances.
That's the difference.
Hey, and I'm not saying
I wouldn't do it.
I'm not saying...
Well, will you do it?
Yeah, I'd try it.
After Brandon.
Thad, how do we answer the
question, why?
Well, in my opinion, you never...
You can't find out more about the animal
until you try something.
A next step in learning about them.
I absolutely feel that way.
And it's a next step in them or at least
this small population learning about us.
So under Thad's direction, Brandon
and Mark swim away from the cage.
Their goal: To interact with a
16 foot, 2,000 pound predator.
But what happens next is something
nobody would have predicted.
Not only did Bruce not attack them,
he allowed Brandon and Mark
to ride on his dorsal fin.
Not just once, not just twice,
but all afternoon.
But it wasn't just Bruce.
Other sharks showed up to interact.
And not one of them
came in to take a bite.
That was fun.
It certainly is fun.
A dorsal ride is a lot of fun.
And you actually sort of feel
an affinity towards the shark.
And you kind of feel...
And this is maybe
Anthropomorphizing way too much,
you feel he might feel
the same way towards you.
I'm not one of those people
that think I like got some...
Magical communication telepathy
with animals.
But what really amazed me
is how some of them would just...
They loved it, they'd keep
coming back for more.
They actually wanted to be
around you.
And not in a...
In the context of prey and predator.
If the shark didn't like it,
number one he'd probably swim
as fast as he could to get away,
or he'd turn around and lunch the
guy but they haven't done that.
Yesterday I watched one shark.
In a matter of 45 minutes,
he came around eight times.
And each time he let one of the
divers grab him by the dorsal
and go for a long ride.
I know this sounds crazy as hell
and I can't even believe I'm
saying it,
I probably would not have said this
had I not seen what I've seen here now,
with these sharks.
But I know animals,
and that shark is telling you,
"It didn't bother me at the least."
And he may have enjoyed it.
There are people out there that
are going to think this is a stunt.
That I dared Brandon to grab onto
a White Shark so I could film it.
No matter what we do
some people are going to say
it's a stunt and we're going
to be on all kinds of blogs,
being a bunch of yahoos,
cowboys, whatever.
But what Thad said right now
is so profound.
That it wasn't aversive to
the shark,
contrary to what everybody
would have predicted.
The shark comes back.
The shark goes by the Tuna.
He's curious about us.
He's learning about us.
We're learning about him.
But is Bruce really learning
about the crew of the Captain Jack?
After all,
most people think of him as
little more than a mindless killer.
Actually, in the past
most of the people thought
that the sharks were stupid creatures.
Early analysis of White Shark Anatomy
revealed a brain not much
larger than the human thumb.
But recent data suggests that
the brain of the White Shark
might be far bigger
than anyone ever suspected.
Just below what we thought
was the shark's brain
is a large, flat, Y shaped structure
whose cells bear very close
resemblance to brain tissue.
In a 16 foot White Shark,
this Y shaped structure can grow
up to two and a half feet long,
implying previously
undetected cognitive ability
in an animal widely believed
to be a mindless killer.
And yet, despite all the new data,
the myth of the Demon Shark
is stronger than ever.
A shark is a killing machine.
They show no love, no mercy.
They're hungry and out to get people.
They can sense blood.
I didn't swim for years after I saw Jaws.
Sharks kill only
a handful of people each year
but the fear of sharks affects millions.
If I see a dolphin fin
it gives me a slight...
You know, fear.
And how do people know what
they know
about the Great White Shark?
I see it on TV a lot.
Mike Hoover has spent much of
the last decade
filming the Great Whites.
While his intention
is to demystify the animal
the realities of the entertainment
industry have put him
in an almost impossible position.
You see,
there's only one real way
to sell a shark show...
And if you want teeth you're
going to have to use bait.
So if we don't deliver the
shark shot
we don't have a film, we don't get
paid, and we don't get another job.
We have to get that shot.
And pivotal to getting that
shot is the bait.
Once the bait's in the water
all you can do
is wait...
And wait...
And wait.
And even when the sharks do
come to visit,
there's no guarantee that
they'll actually take a bite.
We put out bait in the water
and they often swim right by it.
And you go,
well then why are they here?
You think about the number of times
that they come in and swim by the bait,
you would think that might be two to one
or three to one or something like that.
It's probably closer
to 40 to 1 that they come by
and come by and come by...
Often they don't even go by
the bait.
The White Sharks do not eat
all the time.
Actually, there was a study.
Some scientist set an internal transmitter
in the stomach of the shark
in order to know when the
shark was going to feed
and the shark didn't feed for
one month and a half.
And then, finally, after weeks
or even months of waiting,
you get the shot you were
looking for.
So, how we know what we know
about Great White sharks
has largely been influenced by
only seeing sharks that are eating.
Imagine if everything
we knew about human beings
was watching them eat at the
dinner table.
And now, from that we're going to be able
to describe what their lives are like.
When this becomes
the totality of what you know
about Great White Sharks,
your opinion of them is going
to be bent.
Because, first of all, we only
see them in one particular mode.
And second of all, the media
tends to amplify that mode.
And you see it over, and over,
and over, and over again,
until that becomes
what a Great White Shark is.
A mindless eating machine.
Which it isn't.
One of the most interesting
things the crew discovers
is how broad and varied
the range of personalities are
among the sharks of Guadalupe.
From the calm and cautious
sharks like Bruce
to the small, twitchy, aggressive,
and, to be honest, very
frightening shark named Mao.
We weren't getting rides on those guys,
like that scarred up one, Mao,
he was... He wanted a piece, Man.
He tried to sneak up on me
a bunch of times.
He's really...
I don't like to say aggressive
but it's all the time, he's really
active, all the time he's moving.
He's on the other side of the
cage and he's biting the motor.
He's smaller, he's younger, probably.
And he's got shark bites on him.
You'd think that's changed his behavior.
An interesting thing about White Sharks,
you can learn a lot about their behavior
just by their looks.
The rougher and ripped up and scarred
up and more beat up the shark looks,
means the shark
has no problem with brawling.
Has he been picked on by other sharks
and that could cause him
to have an attitude?
And that goes back to my point
that you can not predict
what these sharks are going to
do and you have to be careful.
You do not know what the individual
history is on the animals.
And the more we do it and the
more we're all in the water,
then we can start to predict it
but you can make mistakes too.
So what is Bruce thinking when
he sees the diver in the water?
Is he motivated by hunger or curiosity
or some other instinct
we haven't even begun to suspect?
It's a big question and the only
way to answer it is experience
as we advance step by tiny step.
Present Bruce with new things
and observe his reactions.
Will he be cautious, aggressive,
curious, fearful...
Maybe even playful?
The more unusual the situation
the more interesting the reaction.
And sometimes
the most exciting experiments
are the ones where no one has
any idea what will happen next.
This is the world as Bruce
sees it.
White light shining through
blue water.
The feel of coarse sand
against his rough skin.
And the smell of a thousand lives
connected by the shimmering
buzz of electricity
which we will never see.
This is his world and he
knows every inch of it.
But for the last several weeks
he's been focused on something else.
Is it possible that he is
just as curious about us
as we are about him?
Well, when we're in the water
they seem more interested
and engaged with us than the 80
pound Tuna hanging above our heads.
That convinced me, we watch it,
you've got this fish hanging out there
and they're not coming up
and taking a swipe at it.
Bruce is coming, again and again
because it's interesting, it's curiosity
it's telling you that it's...
An intelligent animal.
Behavior works like this, you have...
You have the behavior and
then a consequence happens.
For instance, a shark could rub
up against the side of the boat
and knock some parasites off.
And that feels good, that...
And then he does it again.
I think that it's really
important the research of Thad
because he has a lot of
experience with behavior.
With mammals, not with sharks,
but maybe we could learn a lot
of the white shark behavior
because nobody knows anything.
We have the small things about
that behavior with the technology.
But I think that sometimes
the most important thing
is to be there,
watching face to face.
For instance, and I know this
is going to sound really crazy,
even to this group, but probably
even more to this group on television.
Will they like tactile?
Will they like touch?
I mean, every animal I've ever worked
with absolutely loves a belly scratch
or a rub with a brush or...
Killer Whales love tactile,
elephants love it,
cats, dogs, every animal likes tactile.
Would these animals like it?
They've got a lot of parasites on them.
And would they repeat something
for that reinforcer.
Like a couple of dorsal rides
I started rubbing their sides and stuff,
and they loved it.
Now, instead of simply
being motivated by hunger
the sharks at Guadalupe Island
are coming in for something else.
For curiosity and possibly even
for direct physical contact
which the crew of the Captain
Jack can use
to push the envelope even further.
They try to look at you
when you're riding them.
If you put your head over to one
side it almost acts like a rudder,
they'll look back at you
and turn their head that way
and when they turn their that way,
their body goes that way.
Then you go to the other side
to turn left.
Left to turn left, right to turn right.
Let's try it.
I'm sure with the right shark
you could do it.
You could totally steer them.
Ok, any other ideas before we
go out... And get stupid?
I really don't have a show
if there aren't people in the
water with the sharks.
So, I try to be the first guy
in the water with the sharks
and the last guy out of the
water with the sharks
to demonstrate that not only
do I think it's safe
but they can see for themselves.
It's safe. Relatively safe.
But is everything he does safe?
No. No, it's not safe.
And at some point you've got to
realize just like on this trip
shit's going to happen.
If you do this enough,
swim with Great White Sharks,
somebody's going to get whacked.
But what's that mean?
You stay in a cage your whole life?
I don't think so.
You take a guy like Mark
Healey or Brandon Wahlers
and they wouldn't be here
if it wasn't dangerous.
The truth is, it takes a very special
person to do this kind of work.
One who is driven not by
money or fame
but out of a passionate desire to
see through the eyes of a species
which is at once
beautiful and misunderstood.
This is the Great White Shark song.
The adult version.
If I was a Great White
I wouldn't bite you
But I'd swim right next to you
If I was a Great White
I wouldn't bite you
But I'd swim right next to
you and ask you
How ya do?
Then you'd look at me
and pull out a harpoon
And try to shoot me
Then I'd realize how fuckin'
really hungry
I am right now
Sorry about your leg I'll be
back in a while for the rest
Don't stress
My sister will be back
to clean up this mess
Kickback it's only a Great
White Shark attack
If I was a Great White
I wouldn't bite you
But I'd swim right next to you
Cuz it's my ocean too
So, please, keep it clean
cuz I can be fuckin' mean
And I got sharp teeth
And if I realized that that
you don't care about the sea
Well, that means you don't
care about me
Oh, well
That's fine,
I'll just bite you in fuckin' half
This time if I was a Great White
Yeah, if I was a Great White Shark
Each one of them came with a
different perception of the Great White.
But having seen them, swum
with them, even touched them,
none of those perceptions
remain the same.
The question is,
have they done enough
to change the way we see the
Great White?
According to Mike Hoover
the answer is "No."
If they really want to make a change,
they are going to have to push
the envelope one last time.
Looking into the mind of the
Great White Shark isn't easy.
Because there isn't
one Great White but two.
One is the child of evolution,
elegant, powerful, and perfect.
The other is the child of our imagination,
blood thirsty, vicious and
absolutely terrifying.
Between these two visions
is a great barrier,
one made not of steel or stone
but of something far more powerful...
We've become more and more
afraid of things.
Safety first.
The most important thing is safety.
If we're not safe
we're not being responsible.
And before you know it
you have become trapped
in a cage of fear of your own making.
And then when we go out into the
world we take that cage with us.
And anything that's different
is perceived negatively.
And that attitude is an
effective blinder.
It makes you incapable
of seeing other things
because your biggest concern
is safety.
But once you've crossed that barrier
and you go out of your cage
and you come forward openhandedly
and you get to know the animal,
even if it's a dangerous animal,
once that happens
you will care about the animal.
Hannah came to Guadalupe to see
if it was possible for a mermaid
to swim with a Great White.
But the real demon she faced
wasn't the one in the water.
I was absolutely petrified of sharks.
I'd had all my friends and
family writing me emails
just saying, "Please don't do this.
Nothing's worth the risk."
But as she observed Bruce's
interaction with the other divers,
her perceptions began to change.
To see you guys go and do fin rides
and stuff like that, it's...
It's beyond what I thought
would be possible,
and to see that they don't
even flinch.
But just because something
worked once or twice
doesn't mean it will work
every time
and there is a fine line between
confidence and carelessness.
You should never take animals
for granted.
And you should never take any
wild animal and just accept
that this is going to always happen.
The crew of the Captain Jack
have shown that it is possible
to interact safely
with the Great White Shark.
But they've also learned that the
variables to such an interaction
are exceedingly complex,
if not entirely mysterious.
Where's the shark?
Right there.
No way. I don't like that.
Visibility is deteriorating, got
about 15 to 25 foot of visibility.
Don't think it's very safe of
an idea.
I guess the greatest risk
or the greatest danger would be
of a shark making a mistake,
so to speak.
They don't have hands
to touch things with.
They investigate everything
with their mouth.
The biggest problem with the
Great White Shark is its size.
If you go wading in a pond
and a bunch of little minnows
start biting at your toes...
"Aren't they cute",
is what you might say.
But if the minnow weighs 5,000
pounds it isn't so cute.
The behavior is the same.
In one case it tickles,
in the other case it's fatal.
For Hannah to swim with the Great
Whites, she must deal with risks
which are far greater than
those faced by Brandon or Mark.
Brandon and Mark got a wet suit on,
they've got a mask.
I wouldn't want to do that without a mask.
Little goggles are hard to see out of.
Everybody who's swimming with
sharks has something in their hands,
whether it's a big camera or a
stick or a spear fishing gun.
I'm in there, and I've got nothing.
It's just me.
And Hannah is breathing
compressed air off of Andy's tank.
That means that if she chooses
to swim towards the shark,
she will have to swim away
from her air supply.
And because Andy is weighed down
with extra tanks and a camera,
there is absolutely no way
he can keep up with her.
Now Hannah can hold her breath
for a very long time.
But eventually she will either have
to turn her tail towards the shark
or escape to the surface.
And that is not the place you want to be
with sharks circling around underneath
because that is
how they identify their prey.
And my silhouette looks like a
skinny, anorexic elephant seal
and if they're feeling hungry, they
might just think, well, close enough.
If the greatest danger
of working with Bruce
is that he could make a mistake,
then how safe is it
to introduce him to something
that is half human and half fish?
When I listened to my inner self
and got past the actual fear,
it became clear that it was...
Definitely a journey I wanted to take.
I feel so much like the bait
right now.
I can't believe I'm doing this.
I mean, people are always telling me...
You look like a six foot shiny lure.
As Hannah watches the sharks circle
her from the safety of the cage,
she can't help but think about all
the unknowns that are waiting for her,
just a few inches away.
Will Bruce's incredible senses be
able to distinguish the difference
between the mermaid tail
and that of an elephant seal?
Will he be curious enough
to approach Hannah
but not so curious that he
comes in for an exploratory bite?
And, perhaps most importantly,
this is the open ocean,
and while the goal is to swim
with Bruce,
there is no real way to control
which sharks Hannah will encounter.
What if it's Mao?
Or even a new shark whose history
and personality remain unknown.
No one, not Hoover, Thad,
Mauricio, or anyone else
can predict what Hannah will
experience when she swims out
into the unknown.
It is, in the end, a leap of faith.
Faith in the shark, and,
perhaps more importantly,
faith in herself.
That moment, when I actually
took off towards a shark,
wearing the mermaid tail,
something clicks inside my head,
and I feel like I am literally
at one with the ocean.
Hanna swims among the sharks at
Guadalupe Island for six straight days.
The shark is back.
The shark is back?
He's back?
And not one of the sharks responds
to her, even for a second,
as anything remotely resembling
a food source.
So what exactly does this prove?
Can we say definitively
that Bruce's incredible senses
allowed him to instantly differentiate
between the mermaid
and the animals he usually hunts?
Or maybe he was acclimated
to swimming with divers
by the positive interactions
he had with Brandon and Mark.
Maybe Bruce is just a very
sweet shark
or maybe he just didn't
happen to be hungry.
The answer could be all of
those or none
because the truth is that Hannah's
swim, like the dorsal rides,
critter cam and every bit
of Mauricio's data
are merely tiny clues in a
vast mystery.
But the crew of the Captain Jack
knows that even the tiniest step
brings them a little bit
closer to understanding
the deep complexity
of the Great White Shark.
And as they prepare
for the long journey home,
they know
that just below the surface another
long journey is about to begin
for a Great White Shark named Bruce.