Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
FBI Alert Possible Violence after Ferguson Decision; State of Emergency in Ferguson; Kassig's Parents: Our Hearts Are Battered, will Mend; ISIS Kills American Peter Kassig; W.H. ordered review of hostage policy; DEA agents hit NFL with surprising visits; Hunting V.S. Saving Killer Whales; New Video alleged showing MH17 crash aftermath; Ebola Doctor dies in Nebraska; Mason gets marriage license
Aired November 17, 2014 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 HOST: Hey good evening. Thanks for joining us to the special live edition of 360. We start the hour with exclusive new details of preparations for any trouble in Ferguson in and around the country when the Grand Jury finally decides whether to indict Ferguson Police Office Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown.
As you may already know today Missouri's Governor Jay Nixon activated the National Guard. And late tonight, we learn that the FBI has a nationwide bulletin to law enforcement warning of possible violence when the decision finally comes down. However Sara Sidner exclusively reports tonight, there's even more than preparations than just that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Governor isn't the only one preparing for violence in Ferguson, Missouri. CNN has obtained video of dozens of Homeland Security vehicles which showed up last week parked about 30 minutes away from Ferguson in a hotel parking lot. Mark Paffrath discovered the vehicles when he left his work at the hotel.
MARK PAFFRATH, FORMER HOTEL EMPLOYEE: On Thursday I noticed that there was a lot Homeland Security vehicles there.
SIDNER: Is that unusual?
PAFFRATH: Very unusual, you know, it was surprise. I mean I was rather shocked that they were there. So I took a short video and a picture of the vehicles, then I give any location out.
SIDNER: He took this picture of them.
PAFFRATH: And then posted it online with the status "Why are all these vehicles here. I wonder if it has anything to do with Ferguson, #hashtagferguson#nojusticenopeace."
SIDNER: Two days after he posted it on Facebook he says he was fired.
PAFFRATH: And the head of security for Drury was in there. And he pretty much called me a terrorist. And saying I dishonestly served my country for posting these pictures and videos on Facebook.
SIDNER: Paffrath was devastated. It turns out he is a Navy Veteran who served for three years and showed us the paper work where he was honorably discharged allowed to re-enlist whenever he liked. We asked Drury hotels what happened and they sent out this statement. It says, "We do not publicly discuss confidential personnel matters. The safety and privacy of our guest and our team members has always been and will remain our top priority."
A law enforcement source told CNN that Department of Homeland Security does have additional resources in place to protect Federal buildings but also because the world's attention is on Ferguson which could attract attackers looking to make a statement. Paffrath was also born and raised in Ferguson, a place where daily protest have now gone on for more than a 100 days including in Clayton, site of the Prosecutors Office and where a Grand Jury will make its decision on whether or not to indict Officer Wilson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Sara Sidner joins us now from Ferguson. The State of Emergency that the Governor has declared, has there been any reaction to that there on the ground?
SIDNER: Absolutely, there's been a reaction, immediate almost reaction from those who have been protesting for than 100 days and have stayed mostly peaceful out here. But still, you know, loud and excited saying that this announcement basically makes it seem as if they have been violent all along and that they are planning to be violent in the future. They're very frustrated with this decision however the Mayor for example of St. Louis and some of the residents and business owners say it is good that there is actually preparation. It does take time to get the National Guard in place.
And then so they are not upset about it. They are saying "Look, you have to prepare for whatever happens." Not every one thinks is going to explode in violence. There are plenty of people here on the ground who are protester saying we have been policing ourselves. And if someone decides to be violent we are going to try to keep them from destroying our community, Anderson.
COOPER: Sarah Sidner, appreciate the updates. In Prospector now on the guard activation and all the rest of the preparation, joining us is Retired Army Lieutenant General Russell Honore, author of Leadership in the New Normal. General, good to see you. So this warning from the FBI about violence in Ferguson what do you make of it? Is it prudent to prepare for the worse?
LT. GEN.RUSELL HONORE, AUTHOR, "LEADERSHIP IN THE NEW NORMAL": Well that would be the normal answer, Anderson. I think it's unusual that the FBI would issue such a pointed warning to police. But at the same time give nothing to the public. And make no public statement to the people of this country and give a warning that affects the entire nation without narrowing it in on Missouri and neighboring towns. They gave them that large warning to police officers to be prepared with specific warnings about water treatment plants, about cyber attack.
I think that's a question we need to toss back to the FBI on when they are going to talk to the public about this and this massive build up of Federal Law Enforcement. When is the government going to come out and tell the people what's going on? And worse than that when are they going to tell the people the announcement is going to be made?
You know from the beginning this has been -- the people have tried to get information. And have protested to get information. Look like to me we could pick a date and time that the announcement will be made to try to end some of the speculation at what's going to happen, Anderson.
COOPER: In terms of calling the National Guard, activating the National Guard, I mean spoke to our Legal Analyst Sunny Hostin last hour. She said she thinks it's almost a provocation. Do you agree with that? That it could in some ways do more harm than good?
HONORE: Well if you're a poor person in Ferguson who -- a disadvantage person that speculate on what's gone on this trial has already been decided and you doubt in your mind. And somebody tell you that they have mobilized the National Guard. Then that's quite possible. But I think how they described that to people that the National Guard there is there to protect people and property. Its not there to necessarily to focus on a handful of protesters that might get out of control. That they are there equally to take care and protect the people. And that is the concern I have that the Governor continue to leave it to the media, people like you to describe to the people, to citizens what's happening.
COOPER: We are just learning also that Ferguson Police Department, they are not going to be in the primary position of enforcement in the wake of the announcement. That responsibility is going to fall to the St. Louis Police Department. Do you think that's wise move especially given all the criticism of the Ferguson Police Department that they have come under and what we say in the early days after the shooting?
HONORE: I do think that that's probably wise. I mean, but I speak from that as an observer on that. But I also speak from the position that if some things going to happen that is probably going to be focused on St. Louis and not just on Ferguson because the seat of the power of that County surrounds St. Louis, not Ferguson. And that the level of preparedness at Ferguson is well undisturbed but more than likely that the protester will focus on St. Louis.
COOPER: Do you think authorities there are better prepared to deal with protest? And I mean as we said this protest for the last 100 days have been by and large incredibly peaceful, you know, people just expressing their anger, their outrage, their point of view. And what we see early on clearly was various police force is not use to dealing with crowd control. Pointing riffles at unarmed people, firing tear gas. Do you think they've learned lessons?
HONORE: I do think they had learned some lessons. And making sure they don't have an over show of force. But I do think they are still lacking in communicating with the people. In an announcement by the Governor that he has created a -- using his emergency powers in starting a State of Emergency and calling up the National Guard without some detail talking to his people and making sure his people understand, having town hall meetings...
HONORE: ... and communicating with them is a little strange. It's almost like I'm mobilizing the National Guard. Now come on out now if you want to.
COOPER: General Honore, good to have you on, as always. Thanks very much.
A quick reminder, make sure you set your DVR so you can watch 360 whenever you want. Coming up next, Remembering Peter Kassig, the latest America murdered ISIS. His parents and close friend talk about the difference that he made in his life and the legacy that he leaves behind and all those he helped in Syria and elsewhere.
Later Rachel Nichols with new details on new details on why the Drug Enforcement Agency paved calls on a string of NFL teams, medical staffers and trainers over the weekend. What exactly were they looking for and what they did they find? Details ahead.
COOPER: ... back. There are many late developments in the killing of American Aide work Peter Kassig who became the third American and the fifth westerner beheaded by ISIS. New clues from the video which surfaced yesterday morning in the brutal proceedings, the possibility that more of Western recruits were among the murderers. We begin though by focusing squarely on the remarkable life that was taken.
Peter went to the Middle East as an Army Ranger to fight initially. He returned as an aide worker to heal providing medical assistance to the victims of the Civil War in Syria. Thirteen months ago the Syrian checkpoint he was taken from the ambulance he was driving and fell unto the hands of ISIS. At one point his cellmates reportedly included American Journalist James Foley, Steven Sotloff, as well as British Aide workers David Hines and Alan Henning, who are also beheaded one by one starting in August.
The atrocities of course captured on video and sent around the world. We are obviously not showing you those videos. Yesterday, another video surfaced. This was Peter's. Today his parents Paula and Ed Kassig spoke about the death of their son who converted to Islam while captivity and his mission in life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED KASSIG, FATHER OF PETER KASSIG: Greater love hath no man than this than to lay down his life for another. A while ago we were informed that our beloved son Abdul-Rahman no longer walks this earth. Our hearts, though heavy are held up by the love and support that has poured into our lives these last few weeks. PAULA KASSIG, MOTHER OF PETER KASSIG: Our hearts are battered, but they were mend. The world is broken, but it will be healed in the end. And good will prevail as the one God of many names will prevail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That was quite a sentiment from two people as deeply wounded as they must be right now with their son's murder. One American captive remains in ISIS hands. U.S. officials did not want her name made public fearing the attention would put her in even greater jeopardy. Meantime there's breaking news, we are learning tonight the Obama administration is rethinking the way it handles hostage taking. The story comes from Daily Beast's Senior National Security Correspondent Shane Harris who joins us now. He's the author of, At War, The Rise of The Military-Internet Complex. Shane, this review of U.S. hostage policy, what do you know about it?
SHANE HARRIS, SR. NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, THE DAILY BEAST: All we know is that it began in the summer in the wake of some of the first beheading videos that appeared. And that President Obama personally ordered this and directed all of the various components of the government that have a stake in hostage negotiations to take part.
So you have the FBI, the State Department, the Intelligence Community and its being described right now as a comprehensive review looking at all of the ways that this process is working and frankly in many ways people say not working right now. And trying to essentially get every one on the same page and to think innovatively in a nontraditional ways according to the way one Pentagon official put it.
That's a pretty broad characterization. It could mean rethinking our diplomatic strategy, rethinking how reach out through the third parties. But basically a top to bottom review of how this is actually done right now with an eye towards getting these Americans home as quickly as possible.
COOPER: And was there one particular moment that prompted this review? Do we know?
HARRIS: It's not clear. The Whitehouse told me tonight it had, that the review was ordered by the President earlier this summer. And of course the first beheading videos happened in August. And the video James Foley was really-- actually quite shocking of course and the President who was on vacation at the time, again addressed that in a televised remarks. It sounds like it was either the first one or two of these videos prompted these review. And there was pressure building on the hill to do more to mount a comprehensive strategy around that time as well.
COOPER: Shane Harris, I appreciate the reporting. I want to bring in Investigative Reporter David Rohde who endured seven months in Taliban captivity before managing to escape. Also Dan O'Shea, Vice President of Ground Technologies, a former Navy Seal and from 2004 through 2006, he was coordinator of the hostage working group at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. David, you have been raising this flag now for a long time. You know I talked to you about a lot saying that there needs to be a conversation about U.S. Policy when it comes to hostages. What do you make of this idea that there's a review going on?
DAVID ROHDE, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER REUTERS: The review is a good first step and the problem in the U.S. I think is how these families particularly this around in Syria were communicated with -- by government officials. One family, the Foley's complained that they were told that if they did try to pay a ransom for Jim Foley's release they might prosecuted under American Law that bars material support to a terrorist organization. That's very unusual, because for years the governments looked the other way when a family or organization pays a ransom. So they really need to clear up that confusion, I think is a first step.
COOPER: Dan, do you think there is an issue about how families are dealt with that. I interviewed James Foley's mom. And I was surprised that it seemed like how little interaction that they had.
DAN O'SHEA, V.P. GROM TECHNOLOGY: Well the reality is the government doesn't ever really communicate very much to the families in large part that the fear that something would be released via an interview or something else. I mean we dealt with this in Iraq on numerous occasions. And for the most part I didn't have a lot of direct contact directly with the families. I met a lot of these families after the fact. And one of their complaint was the same as the Foley's aid, they were fed very little information and what information they were federal, scared them from doing anything.
So they were kept being told that the U.S. Government is doing everything to bring their son or their daughter or their loved one. And in some cases that may not necessary been the case.
COOPER: David, I mean obviously there's a big difference between how the United States and at least publicly how many European Governments deal with their citizens being taken hostage, they are willingness to pay for it? Is there any -- does it seem to you David that there's any movement on that either of the U.S. starting to pay or of the European government to rethinking that their payment policy?
ROHDE: I think that's the big question here because it's too separate issues and we have talked about it. There's can (ph) the treatment of the family be better month after month and I think that can improve. But is the U.S. Government going to start paying ransoms? I don't know. You know Shane can comment of that if that's part of this review. That would be an enormous change in America policy. And that's the only change that will really result in maybe hostages being freed because, you know, the sad truth is that for the mass majority of these cases the only way they end is when ransoms are paid. European Governments are paying multi, multimillion dollar ransoms. The U.S. is not and that's why we have these Americans dying.
COOPER: Yeah, Shane what is reporting show on that? Any rethinking of that because obviously there argument against the U.S. starting to pay is that is just encourages more hostages to be taken for these groups to earn more money or is there any evidence that the U.S. has had success in trying to convince European nations to rethink their policies?
HARRIS: There's no good evidence that there's been any success in that. And the review very pointedly does mention anything about ransoms. In fact it leaves very open this idea of what it says is innovative and non traditional means. But if somebody wants to read ransom into that is sort of an open question. It does emphasize though by the way that it's going to look engagement with the families. The families also complain that many of the leads that they were sharing with the Whitehouse that they generated from some of their investigations weren't followed up on.
So I think it's very interesting that as we're talking about how the family were treated in this last several months that the Whitehouse is responding to that and it seems to have taken to heart now, wants to look particularly at these various agencies interact with them. But ransom is going to be a very, very tricky and delicate issue and I don't think that you're going to see that addressed at least publicly in this review.
COOPER: And Dan, you formerly believe the U.S. government cannot get into paying ransom, right?
O'SHEA: Absolutely not. And the sad fact of the reality is, I mean David Rohde this case and point is as unique situation that he was held by a very hardcore group that (inaudible) will release him but if you he know any about that cunning network that held him they were really a mafia organization and they run a business. But most of the groups and the groups they grab, you know, James Foley, Sotloff and the ones we dealt within Iraq, the hardcore groups, their goal is stated.
They want an American and they want to behead that American on T.V. and the reality is I don't care what a matter of ransom you raise. I mean I think Foley's was confronted with 121 -- $120 million ransom and no one is going build to come up with that kind of money without a massive kidnapping or ransom insurance policy. And the reality is ransom aside, some of the groups, they want that imagine, the imagine they just keep sending with these propaganda videos that's the message they're trying to send and no amount of ransom is going to do anything otherwise to bring those people back, by a group like ISIS or ISIL.
COOPER: Right. Dan O'Shea, good to have you on again. And David Rohde as well, and Shane Harris, thank you.
For more on the story and others check out cnn.com. Just ahead, I'm going to talk to former NFL defensive end, Marcellus Wiley, who says that NFL trainers and doctors pumped him and other players full of powerful pain killers to keep him on the field, to keep him playing. They didn't tell him about the dangers.
COOPER: And welcome back. Tonight, the NFL is feeling some new hit from the government. Federal drug enforcement agents paid surprise visits to couple of NFL teams after their Sunday games and question their medical and training staffs.
These so called spot checks are apparently part of an ongoing investigation. Sparked by class action sue the alleging (inaudible) spread abusive of painkillers in the league. The agents did not make any arrest. In the statement the NFL said, "Our teams cooperated with the DEA today and we have no information to indicate that irregularities were found."
CNN's Rachel Nichols joins me now with the latest.
What more do we know that this kind of surprise check?
RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORT: We'll five different teams were questioned by the DEA, as you said no arrest were made but they did do pretty thorough checks. They directly check through gym bags, travel bags. They interviewed team's medical staff. And this seems to be part of an information gathering process that is lasted a few months and it seems to be lasting a few months into the future.
The DEA does not do this kind of coordinated effort and then after one day just drop it. These are serious charges that were (inaudible) in lawsuit that you mentioned.
NICHOLS: And they want to look at into, laws are being broken.
COOPER: And how much do we know about the lawsuits in this clash (inaudible) suit.
NICHOLS: Filed on behalf of more than a thousand of players. They got a lot of potential witnesses here and they are alleging that all kinds of laws and violations have -- were broken and violations happen. They're saying that they were prescribed drugs that they should have been prescribed. That they weren't told if they were addictive or not. That they weren't told of the side effects. That's all against the law that they were -- the drugs were cocktailed, meaning that they meaning that they were mixed in ways they shouldn't have been mixed. That they were often handed beer to wash them down with...
NICHOLS: ... which is something that should not happened.
There are scenes describe of, you know, when you got on a plane and there's a pillow and a blanket left on your chair, they will describe a little pockets of prescription drugs and serious prescription drugs, (inaudible) that we'll left on their seats to just, you know, take with them on their way. One of the things the DEA looked at yesterday was visiting teams.
All the teams questioned were teams that were not at home. And part of that is one of the other allegations that physicians were handling these prescription drugs out on the road. That's another big no-no. High level prescription drugs, physicians can only prescribe them in their home state.
So if they travel to another city, what they are suppose to do if their player needs a high level prescription pain killer? They're suppose to go to the home team doctors and say, "Can you examine our player. Can you prescribe it?" Well visiting teams don't want the home team...
NICHOLS: ... to examine their player and know what their weaknesses might be. There are laws getting broken there. The DEA frankly, doesn't care that you don't want the competitive...
NICHOLS: ... disadvantage of the other player examining...
COOPER: And the NFL is asking authorities to dismiss the lawsuit.
NICHOLS: Yes, but they're not asking it to be dismissed on the merit. And that's what's interesting. They're not saying that none of this happens. What they're saying is, "Hey the league isn't responsible. You should be having your beef with the teams themselves." And by the way it shouldn't even be within a lawsuit. This is collect -- part of the collective bargaining agreement. So you should have your discrepancies with the owners that you shouldn't even be suing them.
COOPER: Do we know how big this -- I mean, what's the next in this investigation or sort of just let them (inaudible) I supposed?
NICHOLS: You know, we've been hearing that they've been interviewing team physicians away from the facilities and so that's going to be question. Who have they been talking to it? If been talking to former physicians, who used to work with teams or maybe you're going to be a little bit more free phoning with their information. Will there be more surprise visit teams are certainly concerned. Maybe this is going to curve practices curve practices in of itself. That would be a benefit. It's certainly one thing the DEA would like to see happened.
COOPER: Rachel, a fascinating stuff, big news. Marcellus Wiley is one of about 1,300 former NFL players involve in the class action suit that we've been talking about. He is a former all pro-defense have end. And now is a commentator for ESPN. He is joins me tonight along with his attorney Steven Silverman.
So Marcellus, first of all, what do you make of these surprise inspections by the DEA that took place yesterday.
MARCELLUS WILEY, FORMER NFL PLAYER: They're doing their due diligence and certainly these are not manufactured stories from us. I'm looking forward to what their discovery was of the NFL's practices right now. But also understanding that the NFL has taken steps because of this investigation to clean up some of the ills of the days I played.
COOPER: Walk us through if you will your own person experience being given drugs to keep you on the field, to keep you playing.
WILEY: Yeah, I mean their myriad of scenarios, but let me give you one, imagine you're playing in a game and you have an acute injuries, so that game you sprain your ankle and you're on the road. You tell the team doctor and trainer, "Hey, I got a sprain ankle. I know it's going to flare up on the team playing 30,000 feet up." They'll give you some pain medication and anti-inflammatory to deal with that.
Typically draw envelope without your name on it whatever it may be.
COOPER: So what would they give you?
WILEY: Typically I would get hydrocodone, I would get Vioxx, which is not banned, it causes heart failure and strokes. But that was something that was given. The cocktail basically was prescribed based of off what your issues and injuries were. So if it was just general soreness it could be Aleve, it could be Vioxx. If there was more it could be Vicodin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, whatever it may be depending on what you dealt with.
COOPER: You're saying they just want to get you out on the field for that game and then figure out the next game what it took to get you out in the field.
WILEY: Well yeah, I mean they use the motivation that we all had and we were all common in that respect of wanting to be on the field. As a player I want to be on a field, that's how I supported myself, that's how I help my team. As a medical staff or employee, they wanted us on the field as well.
I think where the divide is the fact that they weren't given us informed consent whether that was ethically, legally or the fact that where the long-term ills of these medication.
COOPER: If you had known that there might be a long term ramifications would you still taken? Because there's a lot of folks out there who say, look, you know, guys who have work their whole lives to get into the game would do whatever it takes to stay on that game as long as they can. Would you have continued to take whatever they give you?
WILEY: Well, that's -- I think a lot of people say that are coming from a place event security, not believing in themselves and understanding the athlete's ego. If you would have told me that I had to take something and it will shorten my career, shorten my life, I wouldn't take that because I know there was another course of action. I believe enough to may talent. I know ahead opportunities. I would wait so I can go out there and naturally heal or take something that didn't have a long-term negative effects.
That wasn't the option that was presented. They told you these things are fine. You trust in a doctor, who is your team doctor. Think about it team. You trust on a doctor who went to medical school. The last thing you're thinking is they're going to undermining that and give you something that is harmful for you. As a professional, no one is going to sign up to something that is going to hurt them long-term just so they can have a short term fix.
COOPER: You've had a number of health problems, I understand. You say as a result of taking these drugs, what kind of health of issues?
WILEY: Yeah, in April, I had renal failure, so my kidney shutdown and that was something that left my doctor scratching their head, because going through my evaluation process, post retirement, everything was fine. And the only thing that they can really point to with certainty and uncertainty was the fact that me taking so much medication through out the years as NFL football player that made them say "I think if we're going to find a problem here in your life that cause this is going to be those playing years."
COOPER: Steve, you're the main lawyer in this class action lawsuit. How widespread is this problem? And I mean, how long does it go on for that? How far back?
STEVE SILVERMAN, LEAD COUNSEL IN NFL CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT: Well we have interviewed over 1,300 former NFL players and they're all telling us the same thing that Marcellus is telling us, that control danger, substances and prescription medications were handed out to them with absolute no disclaimer, no discussion of the warnings, the cocktail effects of these drugs and all of them are suffering long term effects as a result of this.
Coupled with the fact that they are really are no medical records of what medications these players were given....
COOPER: There weren't records...
SILVERMAN: ... so the doctors are having to -- there were not records kept for the vast majority of our clients.
COOPER: Well Marcellus, I appreciate you're being on and Steve Silverman as well. Thank you so much. We'll continue to follow.
SILVERMAN: Thank you, Anderson.
WILEY: Thank you.
COOPER: Up next, SeaWorld under fire, the Theme Parks profits weigh down and some were saying it's because the allegations coming lie about the way they treat the animals and their care. Well there's a view you have not seen, how killer whalers are actually caught. This is astounding video. It's big business. It's also a highly controversial.
A former whale catcher shares his incredible video. He has left the business. But will he return for the chance to make millions. Stay tune.
COOPER: Attendance and profits have taken a plunge at SeaWorld, the company which operates 11 Theme Parks as that third quarters earnings fell 28 percent from a year ago and they had half million few park visitors, all during what are supposed to be to busy summer months.
CEO -- SeaWorld CEO -- excuse me, is confident, they're addressing the companies challenges. They're building larger tanks for killer whales. The first expected to open in San Diego in four years. The move come after CNN aired documentary Blackfish last year. And the film raised a lot of questions of alleged animal abuse at these parks. SeaWorld entertainment group denies the allegations.
And tonight you're going to see how a SeaWorld and other parks get killer whales. A former whale hunter sharing his video, he spoke with CNN's Ivan Watson. Here is the report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is the unmistakable sound of fear coming from one of the world's largest predators. A young killer whale effectively screaming just hours after being captured from the wild. So traumatized and disoriented, the animal can't even swim after its journey from the ocean with this small pool
This rare never seen before video of killer whales captured neared Iceland in the 1980s is being shared for the first time with CNN by Jeff Foster, a man who masterminded the capture of many killer whales.
How many years were you actually capturing killer whales?
JEFF FOSTER, FORMER WHALE CATCHER: For it was from 1972 to 1990.
WATSON: That's a long career.
WATSON: And how many of the killer whales you think you captured.
FOSTER: Couple dozen, probably 12.
WATSON: A couple dozen, with all of them going to marine parks like SeaWorld.
Are killer whales a big business?
FOSTER: Absolutely, yeah. Killer whales are the most expensive animal in the world aside a race horse. So the other worth millions of dollars and of course the amount of people like the (CVs) animals in a captivity, the owners have a huge demand for that.
WATSON: Foster started his career as a teenager here in Seattle, which was the birthplace of the captive killer whale industry.
In 1976 a banned on capturing Orcas in Washington State along with the growing public outcry in the U.S. against the practice, forced Foster and his colleagues to move their operations to Iceland. There they snatch young whales from the fidget waters of the Atlantic Ocean. And domesticated and trained them for eventual sale to marine parts in the U.S., France and Japan. Over time Foster says he got more and more uncomfortable with ripping wild killer whales from their families in the sea.
FOSTER: Its cry like a most like a -- it was like baby is crying. And it -- so yeah, it's, you know, it taunt to your heart.
WATSON: Over the last 20 years, Foster has gone from being a hunter to rescuer of marine mammals.
FOSTER: Hi Thomas.
WATSON: We first met Foster two years ago in Turkey when he lead a back to the wide project that rehabilitated to abuse Dolphins and release them into the Aegean Sea. He has work on similar rescue projects with the killer whale Springer (ph), it was found lost and disoriented in the Puget Sound and with Keiko, star of the film Free Willy who survive for a short time in the wild after spending decades in captivity.
But two years go Foster got a very tempting offer to return to the hunt. He says he was offered $7 million to capture killer whales off of the Pacific Coast of Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Up next, would Jeff Foster actually that offer and go back to hunting whales. Part two of Ivan's report in a moment.
COOPER: Before the break we told you how a SeaWorld's profits and attendance of plummeted and these comes after CNN air of the Blackfish documentary, accusing SeaWorld of abusing killer whales. SeaWorld denies the allegation. But no one despite the killer whales are big business. Ivan Watson spoke with the former whale hunters, has been offered millions he says, to return to the job. The question is, will he go back on a hunt? Here's part two of Ivan's report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Jeff Foster is a man who knows what it's like to experience the trill of the hunt and the high dollar payoff that capturing killer whales to Theme Parks can bring. But after decades as a leader in the captive industry Foster changed his focus.
FOSTER: All right Bobby (ph), you're clear.
WATSON: Turning his attention to marine conservation instead.
And then, attempting offer to capture a whales again. This time off the Far East Coast of Russia, proved almost too lucrative for him to refuse, an offer that would have allow Foster to retire as a multimillionaire with $7 million paycheck.
FOSTER: They offer $7 million for me to do the whole thing, to collect the animals select them, do the initial training and then transport them to the facilities that their going to.
WATSON: And how many killer whales?
FOSTER: A total of eight.
WATSON: And where would this have taken place?
FOSTER: In Russia. And it was -- that the buyers were Chinese buyers. There was mentioned that a two of the animals would be going to the Olympics. And the two towns that I had never even heard off, in Sochi, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Sochi.
FOSTER: Yeah, yeah.
WATSON: Sochi was the host city of this years winter Olympics in Russia. It also home to a small dolphin park called the Sochi Dolphinarium.
This Dolphinarium in Sochi has denied reports it was seeking to acquire killer whales.
Calling those reports a hoax aimed at slandering Russia's winter Olympics. And we certainly didn't see any killer whales at this very small facility. But according to Russian official documents there were very different plans involving killer whales for the Dolphinarium as recently as 2012.
The Russian fishery agency issued a permit to the Sochi Dolphinarium in 2012 for the capture of two Orcas in the sea of Okhotsk. The Far East Russia Orca Project, a killer whale watchdog group reports more than half dozen whales were caught last year in Okhotsk. The question is why after months of negotiations did Jeff Foster turned down an offer that would allow him to retire in comfort.
FOSTER: I mean got to that point and literally I was looking in the mirror and when I would just said no, I can't do this. And I can't -- I'm not going to -- I mean I can't get involve with the anymore captures, you know, of killer whales.
WATSON: Foster takes us out on the boat into Washington State Puget Sound, where he first learned to capture killer whales.
FOSTER: There we go.
WATSON: He said scientist have learned over the past 40 year that unlike many other wide animals, these social highly intelligent Orcas live longer in the wild than they do in concrete pools, at parks like SeaWorld and Marine Land.
FOSTER: One of the reasons why I have, you know, changed my attitudes on these animals being in captivate is that pools really haven't change since the 80s. I mean we've develop new pools for dolphins and new pools rather species. But the killer whale tanks haven't really changed for, you know, over 30 years. WATSON: Foster point to the case of a young killer whale named Morgan, who he says is suffering in a park in Canary Island.
FOSTER: She is just as wonderful little animal that is confuse, lost and alone. And she is in a horrible situation where she's getting beat up all the time.
WATSON: Morgan was brought to this Sea World affiliated park after she was found disoriented and sick off the coast of the Netherlands. On two visits to the park, Foster says he say Morgan abuse by larger killer whales, and says she was so despondent she was banging her head against the side of the pool. He says she also constantly called out for her missing family.
FOSTER: The loud, loud calls, the loud screaming calls, yeah, and it was -- it's continuing over and over and over. And I just, you know, and just at that point, it just, you know, really hit me -- it really hit home that this poor animal is in a really terrible situation with a very dysfunctional group of animals and she needs to be moved out into a better place.
WATSON: Foster joins the campaign to free Morgan. But in April after lengthy multiyear appeals process (inaudible) in the Netherlands disagreed, ruling the whale should stay in the park. In an impassioned statement, the park's owner defended the court decision by saying "I honestly think that this decision can be seen as a pardon for Morgan because her release would have meant suffering and death."
So Morgan remained in a pool in Captivity despite the best effort of Foster and the other Free Morgan activities.
The former Orca hunter is learning, it's far easier to capture a killer whale, than it is to set one free.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Ivan Watson joins us. Now, what does he hope the industry does? What does he want them to do?
WATSON: Well he doesn't want to stop holding killer whales in captivity. His arguing that it's time to advance the technology, not keeping these enormous sophisticated animals in concrete pools. Well basically trying to fence off base so that they can be in a more natural and habitat, to be able to hear wild life and be able to interact with outdoor more. As we've seen kind of zoos evolve Anderson, from just holding a big wide animal in a cage to having a more natural habitat.
But it's clear that there's some new players on the scene. We've got a killer whale monitoring organization that say that the Russians have captured killer whales recently. And it seems like the industry is moving east to China, a massive market, there are millions of millions of millions of Chinese who've never had the experience of seeing a killer whale up close. So he argues that it will important to reach to counties like China to ensure that they try to grow into this potential industry and try to treat this sophisticated animals in as most humane away as possible, Anderson.
COOPER: It's heartbreaking to see that video he took in the 80s. Ivan, thanks very much. There are a lot of other stories we're following. Tonight, Susan Hendricks is at 360 Bullet, Susan.
SUSAN HENDRICKS CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, on the four month anniversary of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. A new video has emerged online, allegedly showing the burning wreckage just moment after that plane went down in Eastern Ukraine. 298 people were killer. Ukraine and other say Pro Russians separatist a shot the plane out of the side. Moscow claims the Ukrainian forces were responsible.
And Dr. Martin Salia a surgeon who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone and was being treated at the University of Nebraska died early this morning. Doctor said his condition was extremely critical when he arrive late Saturday afternoon.
And a mass murder Charles Manson and his fiancee have got a marriage license. The 80 year old intends to marry to 26 years old, her name is Afton Burton. She goes by the name Star. She visits him in prison and believes, Anderson, that he is innocent.
COOPER: Wow, crazy. Susan, thanks very much. The RidicuList is next.
COOPER: Time now for the RidicuList. And tonight we're adding the professional Cuddling Industry. That's right, yeah the Cuddling Industry which is apparently an actual thing. I don't really know how to explain. I get the cuddles for fee from Wolf Blitzer of course. Other than to say it's a service that provides cuddling, platonic cuddling that is as you can see at a professional cuddling service, you can get a variety of techniques and setting which frankly is more than I can say for Wolf Blitzer. These images are of a business called Cuddle Up To Me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMANTHA HESS, "CUDDLE UP TO ME": I'm Samantha Hess, and we're here at Cuddle up to me, my professional cuddling studio in Portland Oregon. This was a great one to rock in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: All right. I'm not entirely clear what the heck is going on but look no judgment, no judgment. No one is saying its wrong. Of course of the idea of cuddling for hires strikes, it's was a bit strange on the set that look sort like porn shot. You're not alone, even the owner agrees with that. But, you know, what makes -- you forget about this strangeness that's right theme rooms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HESS: This is the cascade room. This was done by a local Artist. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So every room what in it?
HESS: A camera. Each room is securely monitored, we've got a bed in each room and we use new pillow case for each session.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's good. New pillow case after ever session in the cascade room folks. Charlie Rose, I think I have found your Christmas present. Let see a bit more of how this actually works.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HESS Do you want to start as the cuddler or the cuddly?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like to be as the cuddler.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here we go. My Rhea Barber (ph) and I'm hired here a new professional cuddler.
HESS: So lean back on you and you can lean on me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I cannot imagine you're doing this. I'm just doing on the record. I just cannot imagine. I don't really want some stranger touching me. That's the owner and one of staff her doing a demonstration. That seems like a huge H.R. issue to me. You have -- your employees cuddling you. Look, training -- look, I know training is important. I'm sure their professional and I guess if you're going to get spooned you want to get spooned right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HESS: A lot of people when they come in here they really don't have much experience with platonic cuddling or a touch in general. I mean you hug your friends you mom. But outside of that you're not hugging strangers. And so, we get to kind guide people and teach team this whole new world that they may not have seen before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Always speak to yourself honey. You know, it might be a whole world for some people, but for the rest of us it just another Monday. What is that? Whose arm is that? That's such a creepy, creepy (inaudible). They told me they're going to make a graphic. But I didn't know it look quite so awful. It's truly awful. As for the Cuddling Industry at large, I'm a little bit skeptical, but again, no judgment. If we don't cozy up with you, the cascades (inaudible) Ridiculist. That does it for us. CNN Tonight starts now.