::: HAS THE Royal Canadian Navy DIRIGIBLE, HMCD Samuel de Champlain…FINALLY, finally, been found? ::
On MARCH 31, 1930, at 23:56 pm, a large airship, the Royal Canadian Navy dirigible, known as the HMCD Samuel de Champlain, which had been made in Friedrichshafen, Germany, by the Zeppelin Company, disappeared without a trace…and was never heard from again.
32 lives lost.
At the time it was Canada's largest air disaster.
Oh, they looked for her. For months afterwards. Crisscrossing northern Quebec, in vain, in vain, I tell ya!
Fast forward to 2009.
Well, the Samuel de Champlain has been lost for nigh of 80 years.
But has she NOW been found?
HAS THE Royal Canadian Navy dirigible HMCD Samuel de Champlain FINALLY been found?
AND CAN Vintage Wings of Canada rebuild her?
Well, we're getting ahead of ourselves, here.
Remember those bad storms that happened mostly throughout Quebec, and the Eastern provinces? The very one that caused only a few inconveniences around Ontario, but power was down everywhere else, about 10 years ago?
You remember that storm?
C'mon…you know the one that Mel Lastman, then Mayor of Toronto, called in the Canadian Armed Forces to restore…order in Toronto?
Well no, not actually, order…he called them in, to remove snow! S N O W !!
The Canadian Armed Forces!?!?
I can see my American friends rolling their eyes.
We have a lot of whackjobs up here, in Canada, folks.
Now, think 1930.
Same whip-snap cold…and the same, merciless, snow storms.
Montreal Canadiens star player Howie Morenz, the singer La Bolduc (the Celine Dionne of her day) and Guy Lombardo, bandleader, of "The Royal Canadians" on March 27, 1930 go missing in their Ford Trimotor while on a goodwill tour of mining sites in northern Quebec!
In those days that was pretty much ALL THE TALENT we had in Canada, folks!
The Prime Minister of Canada was immediately alarmed.
William Lyon Mackenzie King commanded the RCAF and the Royal Canadian Navy to quit playin' around, and find those damn stars!
The RCAF started looking immediately.
The Royal Canadian Navy joined the search two days later…with the arrival of the behemoth airship, the HMCD Samuel de Champlain. Crew of 2…with 30 observers for every porthole in the light deck (passenger basket under the airship).
If you can't find a missing airplane with 30 trained observers looking… that airplane can't be found. Even in stormy weather.
And WHO was the captain of that dirigible?
Commodore Morris S. Crosby.
Crosby, Crosby, Crosby…where have I heard that name before?
Oh, yeah…Sidney Crosby…Canada's winning overtime goal…for Men's Hockey GOLD in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Are they related?
Yup. Commodore Morris Crosby is hockey legend Sidney's great grandfather.
Commodore Crosby's last words at four minutes to midnight were,
"... weighed down. Men in panic. Seven lost at 1032 hrs... less than fifty feet... God help us live through...".
The HMCD Samuel de Champlain's last transmission was received both at Matagami, and Ste. Couche Tard.
And then for 80 years nothing.
And the search vessel, HMCD Samuel de Champlain was presumed lost.
Well there were apparitions. Crosby's grandfather and two guides have appeared to many folk. Several hunters have gone mad from these ghostly appearances.
Rogue, repeated, rough, HMCD Samuel de Champlain mayday transmissions…occurred through the years…years after the horrific event.
And what of the lost sports and entertainment stars?
When the storm lifted, they were found 30 miles from Matagami, safe and sound.
In 2009, two kayakers near Strutton Islands in James Bay found an old Inuit hunting blind that had been long abandoned. Strange cloth and framework construction thought the two kayakers. They took pics and showed them to the RCMP.
The RCMP is presently in lockdown mode around the issue. But it is believed the hunting blind is constructed from material that was found in the crew quarters of HMCD Samuel de Champlain.
THIS JUNE, Vintage Wings of Canada is returning to the crash site and hopes to be able to find the whole damn, dirigible.
And they hope to reconstruct her!
See what Vintage Wings of Canada has done thus far:
If anyone can do it, they can!
This was a Vintage Wings of Canada, APRIL FOOL'S joke!