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Saturday, 20 April 2013

A mini-reunion in Denver, Colorado

April 7th saw the blog author fly to Denver from Los Angeles to meet up with members from the Allen (Second officer) and Gray (pilot) families.

The big surprise was my meeting with Sandy Glau, former Continental hostess who vividly recalled the events of that evening in 1962.

Author with Sandy Glau and her husband John.

 Author with Sany Glau and her husband and members of the Gray family
 Author with members of the Gray family.
 Author with members of the Allen family.

Blog author with Jayne Specht and Duane Crawford

Miss P. Jayne Specht of Oskaloosa, Iowa has been an instrumental force in knowledge of Flight 11. She has not only sent me a tonne of newspaper clippings from the time of Flight 11 but also information regarding the accident aircraft's earlier hijacking in 1961. She was married to a Continental pilot (Joe Scordo) and attended Captain Fred Gray's funeral in Colorado. She has gone into great detail about the "brotherhood" at Continental between the pilots. Here she is pictured with the blog author in April 2013 in Pella, Iowa. The other gentleman in the picture is none other than Duane Crawford of Unionville, MO who pushed for the memorial in Unionville dedicated to Flight 11.

The legendary Sandy Glau with the blog author

Here is a snapshot of myself with Sandy Glau, former CAL hostess who flew N70775 the day of the incident and also said hello to the crew prior to 11s departure on the evening of 22/05/62.

Former Continental offices at LAX

The buildings in these photos are reportedly the very same ones that were in use by Continental Airlines at the time of Flight 11. They are now sitting derelict at Los Angeles International Airport opposite the LAX police centre. Many thanks to Tim Duley for alerting me to their presence and for taking me there.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Sandy Glau

I had the pleasure of meeting former Continental hostess Sandy Glau last Sunday in Denver (April 7). Her and the Allen family and Gray family had dinner in Denver. Sandy saw the flight crew of Flight 11 before they took off for that ill fated flight. Sandy was such a pleasure to speak to. Photos to follow when I return from the USA. Sandy also had a fascinating insight into air travel in the early 1960s and the impact Flight 11 had on them all following the crash. She spoke of the crew as being some of the best at Continental; a wonderful sense of humour and professionalism all the way. Thank you Sandy!!!

Junior Johnson and LaVan Smith

I had the pleasure to speak at the Putnam County Care Facility today in Unionville, MO. I was quite nervous and managed to speak for a fair while with the help of Mr Duane Crawford. I also had the extra special privilege of meeting Mr Junior Jonhson and Mr LaVan Smith both of Unionville. Junior saw a flash in the sky the night of May 22 1962 and subsequently three bodies were found on his property. He also reports finding a plastic aftershave bottle well after the crash in a field. He told me seeing that flash in the sky has bugged him for 51 years.
LaVan Smith remembers assisting in the clean up of the wreckage of Flight 11. He dug out some of the engines with a bulldozer and reported seeing much of the wreckage first hand. Speaking to both these gentlemen was a touching experience and both have been affected for the rest of their lives by Flight 11. Junior also added that he was meant to head north to pick up a tractor the morning after and the road looked like it had been heavily worn down with all be response traffic. His house at the time was more or less right under the flight path of Flight 11. A truly remarkable experience.


Ronnie Cook, 17 years old at the time of Flight 11, and the first person to discover the wreck with his Dad, has informed me of a little known mystery regarding Flight 11. His father and him drove to the state line to bring back the first response to the wrecked aircraft. On the first trip back to the site they encountered a car with a man and someone from KSO is Des Moines. Ronnie informs me this was a radio station at that time. He says that a man in that car, probably from KSO, took the first ever pictures inside the wreck of the aircraft. Those pictures were never released and Ronnie never knew what to make of the man who took them. But he said they would have been the first snaps taken of inside the wrecked 707. If anyone knows anything of KSOs mysterious involvement get in touch. Of course the strangest thing is how would a Des Moines radio station get wind of the crash so quickly and of the precise location; and why were pictures taken that disappeared from sight and have supposedly never been handed over or released...interesting.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Alan S. Boyd

Tim Duley, the son of Flight 11s gate agent, has visited with Alan Boyd, the chief board member for the civil aeronautics board at the time of Flight 11. Mr Boyd who is now aged in his 90s very graciously agreed to speak with Tim. He didn't have anything new to add but he remembered Flight 11 and was happy to see that a memorial had been created. Mr Boyd did not actually go to the crash site but he oversaw the writing of the report. Many thanks to Tim Duley for arranging this meeting.