According to the St. Petersburg Times, after University of South Florida scientists reported discovering "signs that the oil spewing from the well had formed a 6-mile-wide plume," the reaction by the federal agencies that sponsored their research was "shut up."
The personal experiences of scientists dealing with the federal government recounted by the Times are troubling.
William Hogarth, dean of USF's marine sciences department was told by some officials to "retract USF's public announcement" of the plume.
He said, "I got lambasted by the Coast Guard and NOAA when we said there was undersea oil." The dean compared it to "being 'beat up' by federal officials."
An oceanographer at the University of Southern Mississippi performed a similar mission to find undersea plumes of oil and had a similar problems, "We expected that NOAA would be pleased because we found something very, very interesting... NOAA instead responded by trying to discredit us. It was just a shock to us."
Read the full article here: USF says government tried to squelch their oil plume findings, St. Petersburg Times, August 10, 2010