Background information: In the early evening
of November 10, 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald sunk on Lake Superior during a heavy
storm. Her Captain and crew of 28 men were never found. No one
knows why the ship sank so quickly or why the Captain never sent out a distress
though many years have passed since the incident, mystery still surrounds the
I didn't remember the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, because I was so young
when it happened. I do remember Gordon Lightfoot's popular ballad about the
sinking. How could one ever forget that? I began this psychic
investigation knowing next to nothing about the ship, it's crew or the sinking.
I knew only that it sank during a vicious storm, taking all of her crew to the
bottom, and no one really knows why or why the Captain failed to send
out a distress signal. I studied pictures of the ship and a map of the
location where she sank before I attempted a psychic connection.
At 1 AM, I got into my relaxation mode and
successfully connected to the Edmund Fitzgerald. The connection was
frightening at the onset, because I arrived before the ship sank while it was
being battered by a terrifying storm--the dreaded Witch of November. It
was as if I was watching the ship on a television screen and yet at the same
time, I was there. I could not feel the cold or water as I was there in
mind, not in body.
Yet I could almost feel the malevolent essence of the storm as I watched great
and punishing waves turn the water into jaws with the strength to cut metal. All
the while, great winds launched an assault of their own, prying at the deck and
pummeling the already compromised hatch covers. She was heavily loaded
with iron and traveling low in the water, which only contributed to her taking
on a lot of water from the unimaginably huge waves.
And the Captain and crew in the pilot house realized that the ship was taking on
a lot of water and that there was a problem with the hatch covers. I saw
two men go on the deck, about to do something--perhaps to close a hatch cover
that had blown off. A great wave lashed out at the deck and carried the
two men off. The Captain said something else and then the bow was
abruptly hit by another wave, while the stern was rocked by another.
Below I saw water rising up through big stacks of
metal pellets. I saw metal pellets shift toward the bow and could almost
feel the ship strain from the unimaginable tug on her bones. I saw the
bow listing precariously. Yet on the radio, I heard the Captain say something
like: "We're holding our own."
And then the vessel was
swamped by water, literally beaten and broken by the waves and gales.
And--much to the crew's shock--the ship split at a point that was about two
thirds of the way down from the bow. There was
no time to react. The ship went down headfirst, almost instantly, and the
stern followed, taking the crew down with it.
I watched the undulations of the black water for
some time, reflecting on what I'd seen, an overwhelming sense of dread and fear
welling up inside me as I pondered the crew's terrible fate. I was afraid
to follow them into the depths and had to remind myself that I must in order to
find the information that I sought, and that it was entirely safe for me to do
so. And finally, I summoned enough courage to take a dive where I came upon
I was met by an older, gray-haired man in the front of the ship who
identified himself as the Captain. He told me his name was "Sorely,"
or at least that's how I heard it.
He was evasive about the ship's sinking, seemed not to want to discuss the
incident. He didn't seem opposed about my being there, but was somewhat
intimidated by it. The other members were afraid of me and stayed away,
hiding within the ship's stern, but I knew they were listening to the
conversation with great interest.
This is not the first time that
I've experienced this strange "fear" reaction from those I've made a connection
some of my other Case Files to see what I mean. Since I was meeting this
resistance from the men, I started to explain to the Captain that I'd come for
research purposes, telling him that the world wants answers about why the ship
sank and about the men who went down with her. He seemed to relax as I
began to ask questions.
I asked why the ship had sank, and he said:
I asked again and was told: "Brittle metal"
When Questioned further he said only, "Metal fatigue,"
and I got a strong mental picture of the weak metal and the great stress going against it.
It had to cut itself loose from the grind. Could no longer contain itself. It
broke in two just as I'd seen.
I asked why no distress signal was issued and why
no one tried to leave the ship.
He said: "No time."
These short spirit statements are not uncommon. I
would be more surprised if the person I connected to issued full and descriptive sentences.
They don't generally represent the person's reluctance to tell the truth.
Instead, I believe that the lack of verbosity is due to some kind of mental
resistance or block--a difficulty for them to relay the information to me, like a
bad phone line. After all, we're thinking to each other, not using our
lips. I also believe that they're, for the most part, not allowed or are
unable to convey information to me unless I ask them something specific.
Somtimes that's not true, however, as the following spirit contact reveals.
There was a strong voice among the men, though I could make out few details
about him, as he continued to hang to the back in the darkness; nevertheless, I
sensed that he was a younger man with brown or reddish hair. He
yelled repeatedly and strongly, "Tell Elaina (or Alena) I love her!" He
virtually screamed this message at me and did so often during the connection. It
was important to him that I carry this message to the world, and I assured him
that I would deliver his message if possible. If there's an Elaina out there who had a loved one on board the ship, I would certainly
appreciate it if you'd let me know. It would make me feel so much better
to know that you'd received the message.
As The Captain took me around the battered remains of the
vessel for what I can only call a tour, the others started coming forward.
By the look of things, I'd started out many years after the wreck--in the
present, but as we proceeded, it didn't seem like the ship was wrecked
or under water. I could have been on board during a beautiful
day when it was getting ready to set out on its next adventure.
The tour ended in a room with a long table. I sensed that it was the men's
favorite room, the place where they most liked to gather. And we talked
for some time. Unfortunately, I don't remember what we said,
but I apparently gained the men's trust, and they no longer feared me.
In fact, many of the men who'd expressed fear about my presence earlier, now seemed to
want to be with me--they seemed glad that I was there, so glad that many of them
wore big smiles.
I don't wish to upset any family members with my account, but I feel that I must
be truthful when revealing what I saw and sensed during a connection, and I'm sorry to say that
despite this amiable environment, in which I found myself, I feel that many of the men are not entirely
at peace. Many had not accepted the tragedy or their own deaths.
Even the Captain seemed unwilling to accept his fate. I strongly felt that
not all 29 men were there. Some had either moved on to the other side or were still hiding from
I strongly felt that it might help the men if we prayed together and they agreed. We
formed a big circle, all holding hands, as I asked God to give these men peace
and comfort, and to let his healing light flow through them.
Then I snapped out of it. It was 5 AM. I had been on
board the ship for more than 4 hours. I was very hungry--something
that often happens when I make a psychic connection, especially a very strong
and revealing one like this. I immediately began to evaluate what I saw.
Research: Before she went down, the
Edmund Fitzgerald's radar had malfunctioned about four hours earlier and
the Arthur M. Anderson, an ore carrier in the U.S. Steel fleet, commanded
by Captain Jessie B. "Bernie" Cooper, had been trailing the ship and providing
it with navigational aid.
The Fitzgerald Captain, McSorley (I was close. I got the name "Sorely" in
my connection) had radioed the Anderson several times in the course of
the storm, reporting that the ship had "a fence rail down, two vents lost or
damaged, and a list." It had apparently taken on the list
after it passed Caribou.
had activated two large
ballast tank pumps to control it. In addition, he had reduced speed to
allow the Anderson to close the 17-mile gap between them.
At that time,
the ship didn't seem to be in
danger and no one in the Anderson's pilot house or on board the
Edmund Fitzgerald had a cause to be overly concerned.
Later McSorley radioed the Anderson again, saying
that the Fitzgerald "had a bad list, had lost both radars, and was taking
heavy seas over the deck." And yet, the situation still didn't seem overly dire
to either crew. In fact, when Captain Cooper radioed the ship, asking how
it was doing, Captain McSorley said: "We are holding our own."
Those were the last words that anyone ever heard
from the Edmund Fitzgerald's crew.
Later when the snow
stopped and visibility improved, the Edmund Fitzgerald was no where to be
seen. Cooper and his crew were alarmed. They searched for the vessel
and radioed the ship endlessly without success. The Edmund Fitzgerald
wasn't showing up on radar, and they couldn't see its lights ahead. They could
see the lights of three other ships that were supposed to be much further ahead
than the Fitzgerald.
Having a bad feeling that she went down, Cooper called the Sault Ste. Marie
Coast Guard station at 7:39 p.m. and reported the ship missing. They didn't seem
to be concerned and just thought that he wasn't picking her up on radar due to
the storm. He continued to try to contact the missing ship. No
response. And at 8:32 p.m., he again called the Coast Guard to express
grave concern that the Fitzgerald had sunk.
Search and rescue efforts started immediately after Cooper's second call, but
the nearest Coast Guard vessel that could sail in the huge seas was the
Woodrush, stationed 300 miles away in Duluth, Minnesota. Coast Guard
aircraft were on the scene by 10:55 p.m.
Commercial vessels in the protective waters of Whitefish Bay were requested to
form a search effort and several, ships including the Anderson, ventured
into the storm-tossed seas to search for survivors. None were found and only
floating debris gave clues that the Fitzgerald and its crew were lost.
Within days, the location of the wreck on
the bottom of the lake was pinpointed by U.S. Navy aircraft, and the following
spring, the Coast Guard positively identified the wreckage using underwater
surrounding the sinking have been unresolved--namely why did she sink so
quickly? Why didn't the captain issue a distress call?
There are several theories about why the ship sank,
some feasible, some ludicrous--for instance some believe that a spaceship came
down and zapped the ship.
The Coast Guard launched an extensive investigation into the sinking, and after
many months of research, they came to the conclusions that faulty hatch
covers were at fault. According to this theory, water seeped in the
hatches, the ship took on too much water, and sank as a result, breaking up
beneath the waves. Just before the Edmund Fitzgerald had set out on her
last journey, the Coast Guard had an inspection ordered that four of the hatch
covers needed to be repaired.
The Lake Carrier's Association blamed shoals,
believing that the ship got too close to the deadly Caribou Shoal and "holed"
herself without realizing it. The trouble with this theory is that no one
is certain whether the Edmund Fitzgerald actually did go into the dangerous
shoal area. No one tracked her and no record was kept of the path she
took. The Coast Guard, however, believes that it's unlikely that she hit
the Caribou Shoal. Another thing that discredits this theory is Captain
McSorley's experience. He was a capable and experienced sailor, it's
unlikely that he would have struck the shoal, much less have taken on that much damage without
Some believe she could have sank due to structural damage, that the heavy seas
were too much for her and she broke apart. Captain Cooper of the
Anderson mentioned the possibility of a stress fracture in his testimony
before the marine board and also included it in his personal story of the wreck
in James R. Marshall's Shipwrecks of Lake Superior. Captain Dudley J.
Paquette of the SS Wilfred Sykes sailed through the entire two-day storm,
was part of the search effort and is a vocal adherent of the idea that the
sunken ore carrier suffered stress damage at what he calls the "hinge area"
where the greatest amount of flex is observed in a ship's hull. Located about a
third forward of the stern, this "working area" is approximately the same as the
area where the intact stern of the Edmund Fitzgerald separated from the rest of the
After my psychic investigation, I believe that
structural damage was the cause of the sinking.
I feel that the hatch covers contributed to the ship taking on too much water
during the storm, but was not the ultimate cause of it sinking. Despite
the troubles with the hatch covers, I believe she could have safely made it to
Whitefish Bay, 15 miles away if not for brittle metal.
the ship sank due to a stress fracture. I saw quite clearly that she
had brittle and weak metal and just couldn't withstand the heavy seas that were
twisting and flexing the hull.
The great gales and waves
that lashed at her were too much. Unfortunately, she was also ponderously
loaded with over 26,116 tons of taconite pellets that sat her deeper into the
water and allowed more water to get in from the deck. Water infiltrated the ship faster
than the pumps could force it
out. She began to list heavily, the moving pellets adding more stress to
the weakened area. As she took on more and more water, her bow began to
plunge deeper, and ultimately snapped.
She broke up on the surface, about a third of the way from the stern, breaking
along the weak place and going down by the bow. Shortly afterward, her
stern went down, carrying the men to the bottom.
I believe that neither the captain or the crew knew the ship was sinking
until the very end and that it was too late to send a distress call. I
believe that shortly before the ship sank, two men went on deck and were carried
overboard by huge waves, and that the ship sank shortly afterward as yet another
great wave came in.
I also believe that the spirits of some of the men are not at rest. You can help them with prayer. Please pray for them. Ask God to give them comfort and to see them safely home.