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Disaster on Mount Slesse: The Story of Western Canada's Worst Air Crash

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Mount Slesse, a jagged 2,500-metre peak near Chilliwack BC known locally as "The Fang," lived up to its evil reputation on December 9, 1956, when Trans Canada Airlines Flight 810 slammed into it, killing all 62 aboard. For five months nobody knew what happened. Flight 810 had just disappeared into the night. Adding to the sensation was the fact that the flight carried five professional football players fresh from the CFL All Star game in Vancouver and a mystery man by the name of Kwan Song who was rumoured to be ...
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Overview

Mount Slesse, a jagged 2,500-metre peak near Chilliwack BC known locally as "The Fang," lived up to its evil reputation on December 9, 1956, when Trans Canada Airlines Flight 810 slammed into it, killing all 62 aboard. For five months nobody knew what happened. Flight 810 had just disappeared into the night. Adding to the sensation was the fact that the flight carried five professional football players fresh from the CFL All Star game in Vancouver and a mystery man by the name of Kwan Song who was rumoured to be carrying a sizeable fortune in cash. Finally on May 10, 1957, a diminutive female mountaineer named Elfrida Pigou discovered the gruesome crash site, setting off a stampede of macabre treasure hunters. It wasn't until May 25, 1995, that the BC government placed a protective zone around the debris field, declaring it a Heritage Wreck Site. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of this historic tragedy, Betty O'Keefe and Ian Macdonald have written a gripping, blow-by-blow account of western Canada's worst aviation disaster, carefully examining its context, causes and aftermath.
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Editorial Reviews

The Hamilton Spectator
"Betty O'Keefe and Ian Macdonald tell the heart-rending story in gripping fashion... Rich in detail...Disaster on Mount Slesse makes for poignant reading and is a fitting tribute to the memory of those whose resting place is high on the peaceful slope of a mountain."
--Gord McNulty, The Hamilton Spectator
The Hamilton Spectator
Betty O'Keefe and Ian Macdonald tell the heart-rending story in gripping fashion... Rich in detail...Disaster on Mount Slesse makes for poignant reading and is a fitting tribute to the memory of those whose resting place is high on the peaceful slope of a mountain.
—Gord McNulty, The Hamilton Spectator
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781894759212
  • Publisher: Caitlin Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/31/2006
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgements     9
Introduction     13
A Spectacular-and Deadly-Landscape     17
The Storm of '56     20
An Ugly Football Game     23
The Flight 810 Crew     26
The North Star     34
Anxious from the Outset     38
The Flight     48
The Search Begins     55
Sixty Planes on the Search     68
Hope Dwindles     73
Ground Search     77
Snow Obliterates Everything     79
Crash Site Discovered     88
Paddy Sherman's Scoop     99
The Stark Impact Scene     105
McDonald's Inquest     116
A Hair-Raising Climb     120
"We Commit Their Bodies"     124
The Inquiry Board Report     129
What If?     143
TCA Builds a Monument     147
A Living Memorial     151
Preserving the Site     153
Major Philip Edwin Gower, MC     156
Archeological Study     161
Vivian Clarke's Resting Place     166
Epilogue: Another Mountain Claims Elfrida Pigou     169
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