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In 1976 Gordon Lightfoot released his epic ballad “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald.” The song’s a healing tribute to a shipping freighter that sank during a particularly nasty storm on Lake Superior during November of 1975. At the time the Edmund Fitzgerald was one of the biggest ships on the Great Lakes and, similar to the Titanic, was considered unsinkable by many.

So, when the big freighter left Superior, Wisconsin and disappeared en route to Cleveland, Ohio it caused a great stir not only in lakefaring communities but throughout nation as a whole. Many, such as news anchor Clyde Biggums at Cleveland’s WOHO, felt the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald could only be attributed to sabotage by clandestine Canadian forces.

1975 had been a blood-soaked year with countless Canadian and American military clashes along the two countries’ border. The ideological struggle of standard measurement vs. the metric system had erupted in cross-border mortar attacks throughout the Niagra Falls earlier in the year and, despite many attempts to reach a ceasefire, the fighting between both civilian and military forces continued to escalate across the North American divide.

However, until the Edmund Fitzgerald incident, the Great Lakes had remained a neutral territory through which commercial traffic was allowed to travel uninhibited. Captains and sailors were indifferent to the standard vs. metric debate because of their use of “knots” to calculate speed. And, because nobody on land knows exactly what a “knot” is, the water people were simply left to their own devices.

Many historians now agree that if Edmund Fitzgerald had made Whitefish Bay that stormy November day Clyde Biggums wouldn’t have found sufficient reason to incite panic throughout the Greater Cleveland area. This panic spread throughout the border region into full-blown warfare. Without the Fitz’s sinking the Battle of Winnipeg, and its countless loss of life, may have been all together avoided.

What follows is a transcript from a special news bulletin broadcast on Cleveland  television station WOHO during the evening of November 10th, 1975.

Clyde Biggums, News Anchor, Channel 6 WOHO, CBS Affiliate, Cleveland, OH

“Ladies and gentleman we interrupt your regularly scheduled viewing pleasures of Chico And The Man to bring you some spectacularly dirty, rotten news. Now, I want you to get yourselves seated all nice and comfy in your La-Z-Boys and secure those beverages tightly in your hands or squeeze them extra firm between your corduroyed thighs, because this is a whopper…a genuine whopper.

Ladies and gentleman, the Edmund Fitzgerald has gone missing…in Canadian waters.

Now, hold on folks, don’t go grabbing your shotgun and running out the door to grab your rowboat. There is no reason, I repeat, there is currently no credible reason to suspect that those dirty Canucks have anything to do with the vanishment of The Ol’ Duke. Even if Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the stinky band of thieves he calls Parliament have threatened The Fitz on several occasions it is purely circumstantial.

More like Pierre TURD-OHHHHH!

We don’t want to fly off with our half-cocks and start World War 3. Don’t back talk me, sir, you do not want to start World War 3. Now sit back down in your La-Z-Boy before you act a fool. Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you, sit down, bitch.

Ok, now, the details of the “disappearance” are still real fuzzy, according to the United States Coast Guard. They say they didn’t get a distress call, there’s no life rafts floatin’ around in the lake or nothin’, and the son of a bitch is just gone. JUST GONE MISSING IN THE MURKY DEPTHS! Breathe, Clyde, breathe…keep your shit together…this is your shot.

Coast Guard officials point to gale force winds, and report that the Big Girl was running more stuffed than a ballerina at a Porgy & Bess cast party, as potential reasons for her disappearance. Additionally, The Cleveland Steamer was running in shoal-infested waters that were just waiting to give her belly a fit of Cat Scratch Fever.

The Coast Guard and multiple civilian vessels are combing the area. However, with winds exceeding 80 mph–that’s right, miles–the search for survivors is proving nearly impossible. Our meteorologists predict that it could be another 12 hours before a full-blown search can be undertaken.

Until then our prayers are with the crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald and their families. What a trying time it must be for them all.

Bitch, FUCK this shit! We all know it was those shady-ass Canadians who sunk the muthafucka! I don’t even care, I don’t even care, bring this war on. Pierre So-And-So had this shit comin’ for a long-ass time! Yeah, you frog, I’m talkin’ to you! I’m coming for you! Don’t even think I don’t know how to swim. I can doggy-paddle like a motherfuck! You best be runnin’, cuz Clyde is comin’ for you! REMEMBER THE FITZGERALD!”

*Blood-thirsty cheers heard in the background.*

*Biggums hastily leaves the set and the station’s transmission completely ceases several seconds later.

>>>Click here to download “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald” at 320 kbps<<<