This post is contributed by our board president, Jim Spurr:
As members, we have long recognized that Whitefish Point is a very special place. It has been for hundreds of years and continues to be largely because of the presence and efforts of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society; creating a world class museum centered upon a fascinating topic of interest equally to both scholars of maritime history and the general public.
This summer alone, at least three television networks independently came to the same conclusion and with them came crews, cameras, scholars, research, scripts and a request for assistance, from the Shipwreck Society.
The Discovery Channel arrived in late August and began filming a segment of the 13 part series “Ghost Lab.” The paranormal activity at Whitefish Point, given the tragedy surrounding her maritime past, has always been the stuff of legends. The Discovery Channel approaches the topic seriously and scientifically and informed our Executive Director Tom Farnquist that the site was one of the more “active” they have ever encountered…sustaining the reputations of many visitors to Whitefish Point who have experienced an all too close encounter.
National Geographic and Discovery Canada chartered our Captains, crew and vessel for a visit to John B. Cowle. National Geographic divers were equipped with rebreathers, underwater communications systems and underwater high definition cameras. The production is premised on what would be found, both natural and man made, were we to “Drain the Great Lakes.” Obviously, shipwrecks would play an important role in many fascinating discoveries. The series sounds like a winner.
At the same time, the Travel Channel visited Whitefish Point and worked to further a segment of the popular series, “Mysteries of the Museum.” Many of these museums featured are some of the finest in the world, such as Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry and Detroit’s Henry Ford.
The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society’s Shipwreck Museum “hangs with the best of them” by all accounts of those who have visited many. The Travel Channel will be doing a program featuring Edmund Fitzgerald and the recovery of her bell.
The reputation and contacts of Executive Director Tom Farnquist assisted in landing all three programs, hopefully bringing invaluable marketing attention to our efforts as a Shipwreck Society. We will keep our members apprised as to the showings of each production.