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The Phantom Fitz
The Great Lakes ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald sank in eastern Lake Superior on November 10, 1975, during a bad storm. All hands were lost. Its remains were not positively identified until May 21, 1976. But on Halloween night, October 31, 1980, my boyfriend Jerome Renner and I saw the Fitz.
The city of Duluth is built on the hills around the west end of Lake Superior and a scenic route at the top of the hills runs the length of the city. That Halloween night my boyfriend drove along Skyline Drive and stopped for a panoramic view of the city.
In the harbor we saw a stationary ore boat. It was not parallel to the docks as boats usually are but at a funny angle. All American boats show a specific individual light pattern at night and none is duplicated, especially after a sinking. We recognized the carrier as the Edmund Fitzgerald.
For such a large ore carrier to enter the harbor, the Aerial Bridge has to go up. Jerry later talked with the men on the bridge. They told him they saw the boat coming, signaling to raise the bridge. They acknowledged and raised it. They told Jerry they could hear the sounds of sledgehammers opening the hatches as the boat passed under.
The phantom ship was gone without a trace the next day.
- Wendy Mitchell, Duluth, Minnesota