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Author V. O. van Heest is available to deliver programs, television or radio interviews, and do book signings. Please contact her publisher at info@in-deptheditions.com to schedule an appearance.

From the desk of author and explorer V. O. Van Heest:

I did not set out to host a web site or write a book about the loss of Flight 2501. Rather, I intended to help with research into the plane’s crash only to find information that might lead our joint-venture NUMA/MSRA search team to the one spot somewhere on the bottom of Lake Michigan where the wreckage of Northwest Flight 2501 still lies.

Then in 2006 everything changed for me. I heard from the grandson of one of the victims. Very shortly thereafter, I started a search of a different kind—to find out about the people lost with Flight 2501. They were long dead, of course, but through their spouses, children, grandchildren, and others, I could get to know them. Tracking down those many people took me the better part of four years and the task is still not complete. Even though more than a half-century has passed, I discovered that literally hundreds of people still exist who have a personal connection to the individuals lost in this accident. In talking to them, I realized that they were still seeking a reason to explain why their lives were turned upside down and inside out in that one moment, minutes after midnight on Saturday, June 24, 1950.

After many in-person meetings, emails, and telephone calls with these family members discussing this heart wrenching topic, I realized that what began as a joint-venture challenge to solve an historical mystery would be infinitely more significant to these relatives. I created this web site to serve as a memorial to them and to make sure the accident and these people are never forgotten. I also came to realize that I had an obligation to write a book. However, the failure to find the wreck of Flight 2501, which I felt necessary to writing a book, along with success in locating several shipwrecks, drew me away from that plan. Between 2007 and 2012, I wrote five other books on fascinating Lake Michigan shipwrecks, designed several museum exhibits, and kept a full schedule of speaking engagements at conferences, libraries, historical societies, and schools. Then, in 2012, I learned that the daughter of one woman who died on the plane had herself died, and I realized that even though we had not found the wreckage, the time had come to finally complete this book before others connected to the crash might pass. Sadly, I could not write fast enough. In the ten years since I began this quest, many of the people I interviewed have since joined the victims of Flight 2501.

I welcome contact from anyone connected with this tragedy, whether family, witnesses, aviation experts, officials, or other interested people. In particular I am still seeking the families of the following victims with whom I have not yet had any contact:

Miriam Frankel  (thank you to the family for reaching out in 2015)
Mary Frost
Hildegard Hovan
Nora Hughes
Ruth Johnson
Hilma Larson
Leo Long
Pearl Main
Adelaide and John Schafer

Please contact me at 616-566-6009  or email  valerie @ michiganshipwrecks.org