The revelations about the lost bodies from the Two Harbors diver raised many questions about what happened to the men who went down with the Edmund Fitzgerald. Where are they now? From the many official videos I had seen over the years, the camera seemed shy of peering into the wheelhouse but lingered a few feet away. Broken glass was no problem for the camera's entry for there was no glass that I could see -- it had been only ordinary household- type glass and had shattered quickly in the quick plunge of the Fitz at speeds up to 28 mph. down into the depths some 550 feet below. But a private diving expedition began to dispel the mystery when a published pictured showed a man's body in the muck beside the Fitz, face down and wearing a personal floatation device which had failed in the depths. Adding to the mystery was the fact that the port side wheelhouse door was dogged (locked) in an open position, which surely must have happened after the big boat was at rest in the depths. During the horrific storm on the surface, of course, the door had been locked shut. This leaves the only conclusion possible: that at least one person was alive after the Fitz went down, dogged open the door, and stepped out to his doom. His PDF was crushed by the depths and he sank and drowned not far from his vessel. It also raises the question of what happened to the other wheelhouse crew members. Several captains told me the others are still down there, probably swept to the aft (back) section of the wheelhouse and they now rest probably for all eternity beneath the aft chart table. The Two Harbor diver's revelation I had just heard -- that bodies are preserved in the cold, dark waters of Superior -- suggests that for some reason government intervention prevented the information from getting out. Why?
BREE'S BLOG: In The Wake of the Fitzgerald
Bodies on the Fitzgerald?
May 11, 2018 12:55 PM EDT
Nope. Not at all the "only conclusion." Some oreboat skippers made a practice of dogging their lee door (in Fitz's case, that would be the "port" door) open to better hear in reduced visibility. And Fred Stonehouse's take on the body is that the life jacket is the wrong vintage and the fabric too decayed to belong to anyone from the Fitz. Connecting the two is just creative lubber wish-think.
Nov 27, 2018 6:36 PM EST
The storm was terrible and waves washed down the boat and piled up behind the pilot house. In those conditions I cannot feel that anyone in the pilot house would dog open a door for ventilation. It would have been shut tight to keep the water out. As for the crew member who lies on the lake's bottom, he probably tried to get out and ascend to the surface but the pressures at that depth would have crushed all floatation out of it. A crew member off someone else's boat just ending up right along the Fitz? Pretty remote, I'd say
- marlin bree