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Old 08-20-2007, 03:17 PM   #1
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Default Edmund Fitzgerald ring a fake?

Edmund Fitzgerald ring a fake?
Associated Press

Last update: August 20, 2007 11:08 AM

DETROIT The Edmund Fitzgerald, already the stuff of Great Lakes legend, has spawned another tale.
A vacationing family hunting for rocks along a remote patch of Lake Superior shoreline earlier this month believed they had found a life ring from the famed ship that sank roughly 200 miles away 32 years ago. It reads "Edmund Fitzgerald" in faded but mostly legible white letters, and matched in many ways a ring recovered from the ship now on display at a shipwreck museum.

But the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum received a visitor recently who refutes the ring's authenticity.

Cynthia Edwards told a museum employee last week that her father bought the orange preserver at a garage sale many years ago, painted the name of the ore carrier on it and hung it at his cabin in Eagle River not far from where it ultimately was found in the Upper Peninsula's Keweenaw Peninsula. When they remodeled two years ago, they put the ring on a tree and from there it disappeared.

"With the information coming in now, it looks more and more like it's not from the Edmund Fitzgerald," said Tom Farnquist, executive director of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, which owns the museum.

A message seeking comment from Edwards was left Monday by The Associated Press.

Farnquist believed it could be the real deal but made no promises when Joe Rasch and his family brought the ring to the museum in Whitefish Point in early August. It matches in size and configuration to the ring on display, but has some key differences: The one Rasch found has no "S.S." before "Edmund Fitzgerald" and reads "Duluth" on its back side.

Farnquist said the differences were puzzling but at least the latter came with a plausible explanation: The Milwaukee-based ship spent its winters in Duluth, Minn.

Rasch, an apple farmer from Conklin, near Grand Rapids, said he plans to hang it in his shed, but wouldn't be opposed to returning it if Edwards' family wants it back. He added he's disappointed by the news but accepts it.

"You can't change the facts," he said Monday. "What appears isn't always so."

That also could sum up many of the stories that swirl around the ship that sank in a vicious storm Nov. 10, 1975, killing 29 men, Farnquist said.

"There have been three different theories about (why it sank)," Farnquist said. "Three expeditions have been done by the ... society, but there's no evidence to prove those theories.

"It's still a mystery why the Edmund Fitzgerald went down."

2007 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.
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Old 08-20-2007, 03:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Edmund Fitzgerald ring a fake?

Well at least the question about if the ring was authentic seems answered..
why the ship sunk may never be answered definatively..
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Edmund Fitzgerald ring a fake?

Didn't they find one of the lifeboats one time?
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Edmund Fitzgerald ring a fake?

At least the song is a geniune hit...
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