Talk:SS Edmund Fitzgerald

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Featured articleSS Edmund Fitzgerald is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on November 10, 2011.
On this day... Article milestones
January 3, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
April 17, 2008Good article nomineeNot listed
January 3, 2011Good article nomineeListed
February 27, 2011Peer reviewReviewed
March 20, 2011Featured article candidateNot promoted
May 6, 2011Featured article candidatePromoted
On this day... A fact from this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on November 10, 2005.
Current status: Featured article


Why is the Edmund Fitzgerald referred to she/her in the article?Cladeal832 (talk) 22:30, 13 July 2020 (UTC)

In the archives there's a pretty thorough discussion on it but the key points were that it's a norm for ships, double so in the sources for this one. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 22:56, 13 July 2020 (UTC)
I see this like BC/BCE. Both are correct and pretty much whatever is in the article should stay unless there’s a compelling reason to change it. Using feminine pronouns for ships is probably a bit outdated kind of like BC but it’s not wrong. ‡ Єl Cid of Valencia talk 23:01, 13 July 2020 (UTC)
Using she for ships is no longer the norm in reference texts and see Third-person pronoun#Further reading and the consensus on the style manual was in support of using it Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Archive 217#"She" vs. "it" for ships.Cladeal832 (talk) 01:27, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
The discussion you point to actually concludes " I do not see there being consensus at this time to change this MOS guideline." (Although I personally prefer using "it" to "she".) TJRC (talk) 01:53, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
I'd personally make the switch myself as well. Imzadi 1979  02:05, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
The discussion that I was referring to was in this article and my revert was more from a process side (a decision from a discussion vs. one editor who wants to go against that). I'm kind of neutral on the question. Just to bring this to a conclusion, I'll say I'm in favor of changing the pronouns to "it". North8000 (talk) 10:53, 14 July 2020 (UTC)
At the end of last year, a very long and contentious discussion regarding universally changing ship pronouns to 'it' came to no consensus. I feel that the only way to respect that discussion is to leave ship pronouns as they are in established articles. It is obviously a heated issue (for some reason) and to circumvent the discussion by changing the pronouns in an old and featured article anyway doesn't seem to serve any productive purpose. ‡ Єl Cid of Valencia talk 12:39, 14 July 2020 (UTC)

A steamer is masculine, as well as tugboats - this should be referred to as he. (Symbios) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:8108:483F:CDB0:58F5:6C38:82F8:7C3F (talk) 11:56, 13 November 2020 (UTC)

Nouns don't have genders in English. Acroterion (talk) 12:55, 13 November 2020 (UTC)

Theory on sinking[edit]

So, I'm an anonymous user in Wisconsin. Not saying who i am, nor when I was born. However, I had heard the song by Lightfoot a long time ago, and I had liked it. However, i did not come here for personal Stories. Instead, I'm here to suggest a theory as to how the ship sank. Maybe the ship had been raised by 2 waves, and crashed by another in the middle, with the weight of the Cargo contributing. It is possible that this could have happened. Bottoming out is not possible, as the ship (in every expedition) had the bottom of the hull, apart from where the mid-split was, to be intact. No, there wasn't one running down the middle of the ship. However, when the ship was discovered, it had split in half, and if you imagine a Top-down view, with Port and Starboard facing the top and bottom of the paper, then imagine a split, going Vertically. The stern was upside-down, while the front of the ship was right-side up, with a slight list. It wasn't like this BEFORE it had sunk. It did, however, reach the Seabed like this. I'm simply saying, that the ship had been split by the Cargo and 3 waves (One at stern, one at bow, and one crashing into the middle). This is my theory on how the Mighty Fitz has sunk. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:6C44:507F:A83B:CD58:C5EB:CE96:B87E (talk) 15:03, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

I'm the one who put most of the theories into the article. In the process of doing that I read every book and report on this that I could find, which is over a dozen. Of course our job here is to summarize what reliable sources say which is that the cause is undermined and that there are a handful of theories. Not that my opinion should have anything to do with the article, but IMO the structural failure theory is the most likely one. All of the evidence aligns with it if you include the possibility that the failure started minutes earlier. Your idea is also structural failure, albeit specifying a particular wave configuration. North8000 (talk) 15:59, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

Witness to the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald?[edit]

On the evening of Nov. 10, 1975, 2 B-52G Bombers of the 69th Bomb Wing, Loring AFB, Limestone, ME were on a routine night training mission. The simulated bombing run was along a published, approved "Olive Branch" route usually at 'very low-level' (Nap-of-the-Earth) VFR altitude, starting near Fort Drum in northern NY. The plan was to fly along the route, over Lake Superior -and aim for the Whitefish Bay drive-in movie screen as the first simulated 'target' of the mission, then continue on to 'targets' MI and WI. In addition to bombing its own assigned targets, in the event of a war, a following bomber was assigned to perform a BDA (bomb-damage assessment) regarding the effectiveness of the first bomber's efforts. IF the first bomber failed to completely destroy its target, their job was to bomb it again to assure its destruction. However for training purposes this second bomber was tasked to perform normal bomb runs.

Due to severe weather forecast for the route, the low-level portion was ordered to be flown at the 'safer' IFR (Instrument) level of 1500'AGL (above the surface). At approximately 1900, the bombers began the bombing run, but experienced extreme turbulence, almost unable to hold course, with the winds at that altitude reported by the on-board Radar Navigator (aka 'bombardier') as over 100mph. Due to strong wind shear disrupting the clouds, the moon was occasionally visible above -and even reflecting off Lake Superior's surface, revealing foaming seas, enormous waves and heavy squalls.

At about 2200 as the B-52 approached Whitefish Bay for the IP (initial point) to start the bomb run (approx. 15 miles out) the Copilot stated to the Aircraft Commander (AC) he "thought (he) saw a flash of bright red light below". Sensitive equipment on a B-52 allows it to 'see' any heat or lights ahead. The AC noted nothing on the screens, however he radioed to the following B-52 AC to 'check for a possible distress signal on the lake'. Per mission orders, the following bomber 'must maintain a safe distance behind the Lead bomber..." (for obvious reasons) but at over 400mph, ~20 miles and 3 minutes later they passed the reported 'distress signal' point. The 2d bomber's AC radioed "the lake is dark, no light or debris of any kind is visible".

The next day at the regular Bombing mission debriefing, it was mentioned that a large freighter had sunk during near-hurricane conditions on Lake Superior -at about the same time and location that the 2 bombers would have been approaching the IP for the target at Whitefish Bay. Later analysis of the aircraft's recorded bombing radar placed the Lead bomber directly over the ship's last known location!

Were those B-52s actual 'witnesses' to the sinking of the "Edmund Fitzgerald"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:151:4401:EA80:3081:6E14:D08F:8DCA (talk) 00:17, 18 October 2020 (UTC)

What's the source on this? John R. Beck (talk) 15:13, 28 August 2021 (UTC)

NBC Report[edit]

NBC News released a contemporary report of the sinking. It might be useful.

45th anniversary of S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald wreck: Watch Nightly News coverage from 1975

Kxykzz (talk) 13:37, 12 November 2020 (UTC)

Edit Fitz footnote[edit]

How do I edit footnotes to make them match the rest of the article? And it is sourced...that's what the link in the footnote (199) was for... John R. Beck (talk) 13:51, 25 May 2021 (UTC)

I went to the link and saw nothing related to the text. Did I miss something? North8000 (talk) 15:41, 25 May 2021 (UTC)
Here is a working link: . Not giving any opinion on whether it should be included. Add - you need to go to the second photo. And on further inspection, the historian in the photo happens to be named John Beck, also... so I think there may be an attempt at self-promotion. ‡ El cid, el campeador talk 17:26, 25 May 2021 (UTC)
Well, that's pretty impressive and a large scale project! I think I'm neutral on inclusion. Anybody else have an opinion? North8000 (talk) 17:58, 25 May 2021 (UTC)
Leave it out. Self promotional, not clear that this is actually a memorial rather than simply a (large) model, and not accurate either (one history teacher does not a historian make, let alone several, as claimed). Meters (talk) 18:56, 25 May 2021 (UTC)

"One history teacher does not a historian make" seems a bit snippy for an open source anyone-should-be-able-to-edit website don't you think? I do have an Ed.D and also am a published historian on the subject of this ship (see ). It is not self promotional if it is objectively historical...Here's a link to a site unrelated to me... Not sure why it should be so hard to want to honor the lost with a picture of the ship...what's the real agenda here? Also, I used blueprints to build the interior and exterior to scale...see this link for "blueprints" similar to what I used: Perhaps it is more accurate than you might think...if you see something wrong on the ship let me know :-) John R. Beck (talk) 15:09, 28 August 2021 (UTC)

I think that myself and pretty well anybody that takes a close look would say that it's so cool you making that extensive model of the Fitz, and also respect your expertise and work. Besides being a bit rough-and-tumble like any online posting place, Wikipedia editing is a weird alternate universe. Right now I'm neutral about including anything on the model. If you'd like to discuss / explore further I'd be happy to. But thanks for your work on both the model and efforts to add to Wikipedia.North8000 (talk) 01:51, 29 August 2021 (UTC)
It's a cool model, but I don't quite think it merits inclusion here. Imzadi 1979  02:10, 29 August 2021 (UTC)

Image of recovered taconite[edit]

Might this be a good addition?

BTW I'm referring to the processed ore pellets, not the Tuesday night dining tradition.  :-) North8000 (talk) 01:41, 2 June 2021 (UTC)

This, right? I liked that addition, and would favor restoring it.
FWIW, I like the Tuesday night dining tradition, too. TJRC (talk) 04:12, 2 June 2021 (UTC)

I'm a near-neutral weak "include" on that. North8000 (talk) 15:03, 2 June 2021 (UTC)