Published: Dec 06, 2013 5:46 PM EST
Updated: Dec 06, 2013 6:21 PM EST

EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla. - A pod of pilot whales, originally thought to be heading back out into open waters is turning around  and moving in towards the shore again.

The whales captivated the nation this week when dozens of them were found stranded near the Everglades National Park. 

It's discouraging news for researchers. About 20 whales are moving southward towards the shore. The whales are in 10 to 12 feet of water. 

NOAA scientists say the whales were spotted earlier Friday moving into deeper water, but now the whales have changed direction.      

They are eight to ten miles away from the whales found dead, and the latest sightings show them five miles off shore near the Plover Key area. Since 51 were found Tuesday, many have died already.

The whales are disorganized and scattered, and are most likely malnourished and dehydrated. Researchers still don't know what is causing the whales to strand themselves.

They've stopped operations Friday because of weather. Sunrise Saturday, a flight is going up to survey the whales once again.