When I was five years old, in 1971, my paternal grandmother and I visited Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is where both she and her son (my father) were born.
In my foggy memory of that trip, we were scheduled to fly home one day, but had the option of staying over for another, and it was my decision which. Whatever my decision was, I have ever since been under the impression that the flight that we didn’t take was the one detailed here that was hijacked to Cuba, making it “Canada’s only successful airline hijacking.”
But the dates don’t add up — the hijacking in question took place on boxing day of that year, and I’m fairly certain we visited in the summer or the fall, as there was no snow. And, besides, five year olds don’t generally leave their parents alone for Christmas.
It’s amazing how something I’ve so long believed to be true turns out to be a fanciful merging of true facts into delightful fiction. I think, in retrospect, what probably happened was that we visited in 1972, after the hijacking, and took the same ill-fated Air Canada Flight 932, albeit several months later. My grandmother or one of my Thunder Bay relatives probably mentioned this and somehow my 5 (or 7) year old mind mushed this altogether into the story I believed for the next 30ish years.
Air Canada no longer has a flight numbered 932. All the flights from Thunder Bay to Toronto start with the number 5.
Imagine: hijacked to Cuba from Thunder Bay!
I have another theory. Read any report from the day and you’ll see mention of a third hijacker who managed to slip away, which he managed to do because he was only 3 feet tall. People said this story was fabricated, but the supposed witnesses said he had red hair and freckles, which I always thought was more detail than you’d expect if they were just making the story up. I suppose you can account for your whereabouts on the day in question, Peter?
Hi Oliver — I noticed this while collecting data for a project.
I want you to know that I went around for years thinking a storm I experienced at Lake Scugog, Ontario was actually Hazel, the famous hurricane.
It wasn’t — it was hurricane Carol — it happened in August. Hazel happened in November.
Candas only hijacking, what a claim to fame for thunder bay, thankfully we have alot of postive news from thunder bay to counteract this distinction.
You can see some of the best parts here.
Thunder Bay Guide