On December 12, 1968, Pan Am Flight 217, a Boeing 707, crashed near Caracas, Venezuela and all 51 passengers on board were killed. One of the crew members – an air stewardess as they were then called – was Franciska Buyers who must have been 23 years old at the time.

All this came to mind yesterday when I happened to google, as I some times do, trying to locate people I used to know when I lived in London as a student in the sixties. I was searching for Anton Buyers, Franciska’s younger brother who was a student at Cambridge University when she was killed. I did not locate him but when I did a search relating to the circumstances of the crash of Pan Am 217, lo and behold, I found several references to that ill-fated flight. In fact, I did not know the flight number but knew that it crashed near Venezuela towards the end of 1968.

So why am I writing about Franciska – she was not an old flame though she was a friend. But only three of the victims of the crash were named in the google searches that I did – there was no mention of Franciska and I decided that, with this posting, I would remedy the situation. The named victims – sometimes an almost cursory mention – included a moving account by, Brian, the son of the first officer on the flight, William Canell who was only eight months old when his father was killed. There was mention of the name of the captain, Sid Stillwaugh. Finally, a reference to one of the passengers Olga Antonetti, a former Miss Venezuela.

I did finally locate mention of Franciska’s name in the St. Petersburg Times, dated December 14, 1968, available on the web = though itis not something that would surface in most searches. Also mentioned are other names including stewardess trainee M. Ambrey who was believed to be on her maiden flight in her new role. Other victims names also appear in this newspaper report.

Brian Cannell, the son of the first officer on the flight, in a gesture of remembrance of his father, constructed a model of the Boeing plane complete with its “Clipper Malay” name – a couple of images appear below.


I lived for about 18 months with the Buyers family in Highgate, London, in the early sixties, as a paying guest – I was then a student. I rented a single room and was provided my meals and was, for all intents and purposes, part of the family. Another paying guest was Sethi, an Egyptian doctor, in his thirties, who was doing some sort of specialization. The parents, Jimmy and Drucie were an unusual English couple. For one thing, they were both communists and, not surprisingly, they were atheists. Drucie, interestingly, had a sister who was married to a well known physician who were both very conservative and the polar opposite of Drucie. Jimmy had been a first violinist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and had played with some famous conductors in his time with the orchestra. They were very good to me and we had numerous discussions on politics and other issues of the day – they treated me like a son. Even after I moved on, I would keep in touch with them and visit them from time to time.

One of the striking things – at least striking to me at that time – was that Franciska and her brothers Anton and Gordon, called their father by his first name, Jimmy. Later, in “To Kill a Mocking Bird”, we of course have Atticus Finch addressed by his first name by his daughter Scout. I recall asking Franciska how it ever came about that she called her father by his first name and she told me that it was her father who wanted it that way.

Franciska and I were about the same age and so we hit it off pretty much right away. We tended to hang out – saw several movies together including West Side Story and Lawrence of Arabia. She applied to become an air stewardess with Pan Am based in New York in 1967. She was surprised and excited when she was offered the job – this was in an era when being an air stewardess was associated with a certain element of glamor since traveling internationally was not something that many people did. Thereafter, I would see her from time to time when she visited London on her various travels around the world. She told me of her involvement with a guy from Florida whose first name was Kit and later around the time she was killed, she was involved with some guy in New York in what seemed a serious relationship.

I was in India when the plane crash occurred and I heard about it upon my return when someone who knew of my friendship with Franciska called me to let me know what had happened. I was shocked and in a state of disbelief. I went to see her parents to offer my condolences. They were remarkably composed and seem more bothered by how it was affecting me than anything else. They told me that it was a suspected case of sabotage and that Franciska’s body had been recovered but they told Pan Am that they did not want to see the body and asked that they not be part of any funeral or burial. They did not even know where she was buried – and had no wish to know. It may sound callous but it really was not – they told me they wanted to remember her the way they knew her when she was alive and given that they did not have any religious beliefs, the burial and any related related service of worship was of no importance.

The cause of the crash was never established – the crash occurred at a time when “black boxes” in planes were not in use. The rumor of sabotage as its cause seems to have been superseded by suggestions of pilot error.

I would assume that her parents have passed on since they would be over a hundred years old today. I have no idea where her brothers are today. Gordon, the older brother was in the British army when I knew Francsika and Anton was at Cambridge University.

The unusual spelling of Franciska’s name was because her mother wanted it that way – she gave me some reason for it but I don’t recall what she said.

This entry is a cyber-memorial of sorts to Franciska – if anyone does a search for her name, they are likely to reach this website.

This post has been updated here. It includes an image of Franciska and her friend, Katherine Kane, who was also a flight attendant with Pan Am.

ADDENDUM I: A New York Times article listing all the passengers and crew on this flight was recently provided to me by Jill Breitbarth.

ADDENDUM II: Jill Breitbarth’s tribute to her friend Juanita Martinez who died on the same flight

ADDENDUM III: Tribute to Marianne Ambrey by her friend Roxanne Loget

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98 Responses to “Pan Am Flight 217, ‘Clipper Malay’ – Franciska Buyers remembered”

  1. Marco A. Nunes Antonetti says:

    Thanks for bringin this story up in the net. Olga was my mom’s cousin. This story is always told in any single family reunion.

    Where I can get more info. about Captain Sid Stillwaugh please?

    Thanks again

  2. TJ says:

    Marco, thanks for taking the time to comment. I was fascinated to read about your relationship to Olga and that her tragic death is still told at your family reunions.

    Regarding Sid Stillwaugh, any information would likely be through googling … which I did but did not find any significant news. If you have any specific questions you may wish to post to the forum below where many former Pan Am employees do post to get information about their colleagues. Best wishes.

    http://members.boardhost.com/p.....1316392489

  3. Marco A. Nunes Antonetti says:

    TJ, thanks for your reply and for let me know that there is a forum on the subject, which I didn’t know. In Venezuela any beauty pageant competition is something very prestigious and of course, Miss Venezuela is the highest of all. That is why we in the Antonetti family remember Olga with high pride. For those who knew her, the news of her tragic death was so shocking. I can say because of the way my family members talk about her. They refer to the event like it happened just yesterday.

  4. Katherine, former Pan Am gal says:

    It’s wonderful you have honored Franciska in this way! I was a Pan Am stewardess based in NY when this happened. Pan Am had scheduled me for the same flight (JFK to Caracas) a day later. When we reported to crew check-in we were told of the tragedy that had happened the evening before. I had also flown the same route several days before this happened; one of my fellow crew members was also on Franciska’s fatal flight. The sadness and shock of this incident has been forever etched in my memory. At the time, no one knew the cause of the crash. It was heartbreaking but also a creepy experience.

    My warmest hugs to everyone who has suffered because of this tragedy. It was the only fatal crash of a Pan Am passenger jet during the years I was with Pan Am, 2 1/2 years.

  5. TJ says:

    Katherine, thanks for sharing your story.

    Wow – to think that you were scheduled to be on the same flight the following day!

    I see that you were with Pan Am for under three years. This brought back the memory of a conversation I had with Franciska on her first sojourn in London after she joined Pan Am. She told me that there was an age limit on stewardesses at that time and so there was, in effect, forced resignation at a certain age. I told her that seemed very unfair and she said that most air stewardesses got burned out within three years and would look to find other opportunities so, from a practical standpoint, it did not matter. Many would get married and the life-style would have made married life hard in those days. Your 2 1/2 years fits in with her comment.

    I am hoping through this blog post that someone will surface who knew her at the time when she worked for Pan Am.

  6. Brian Canell says:

    It’s 43 years ago today when it all happened. Where does the time go? I am the youngest son of the First Officer on that flight and the builder of the model at the top of the page.

    I did come across this website a while ago but wanted to wait until today to say something. I guess no one will ever know what really happened but I’m still believe it was either mechanical failure or some sort of sabotage. I can’t believe -maybe I don’t want to belive- it was pilot error but if the witness’ claim they saw and heard and explosion and then saw debris fall into the sea how could that be an undershoot? Surley if it was that it would have just gone in without the explosion?
    If it was pilot error then all I can say is I’m sorry for everyones loss.

    It was nice to see Thomas had made this first post and with the following posts tells me there are still people who remember and that we should never forget.

    My mum never really said much about the accident and since the weekend I can’t ask her as she sadly passed away in her sleep on Friday night, so as you can imagine a difficult time of year has now got that much harder and for the moment I have to deal with something new.

    To you all I wish you peaceful Christmas and hope as each year passes you don’t let memories of those we have lost dissapear.

    Brian Canell

  7. Marco A. Nunes Antonetti says:

    Brian,

    Thanks for your warm words. No need to apologize for something that was not in your hands. You too, in fact, had a great loss just as other families.
    I am truly sorry for your recent loss. Please accept my deepest sympathy.
    I do wish you a peaceful Christmas too.

  8. TJ says:

    Brian, first my condolences on death of your mother so close to the anniversary of the crash.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I was moved when I read your account of your father’s death. You were still a baby at the time. As I said in my posting, the early accounts were that the cause was suspected sabotage. I also recall that there was a lot of political unrest at the time in some parts of South America. So who knows what really happened – you are quite correct that some eyewitness accounts referred to a fireball being seen.

    The crash received a lot of publicity in England at the time. Franciska’s parents told me that the media swarmed around their residence and were anxious to interview them to get their reaction and learn more about their daughter. I assume that your mother probably faced some of the same media attention.

    Franciska would have been around 66 years old had she been alive.

    I do echo Marco’s sentiment that you should not feel any need to apologize for the crash even if it was a case of pilot error.

    By coincidence, I happened to do another google search this morning and found some additional newspaper accounts of the crash including the names of other crew members. I intend editing my post to “tag” their names so that if anyone does a search using their names it is more likely to surface this posting.

    I wish you the best – and a peaceful Christmas.

  9. Rafael Curra Lava says:

    My father was Dr. Rafael Antonio Curra, a 34-year old oceanographer and Ph.D. laureate who attended UCLA and the University of Edinburgh. At the time of his death on 12 December 1968, he was flying home aboard Pan Am flight 217 bound from New York to reunite with his three children and his mother after a very successful academic trip to New York and New Hampshire. He was an impressive over-achiever and a young widower who had lost his wife and college sweetheart Luisa Lava de Curra (my mother) just two years before.

    His name did not make the international press after the crash and I understand his body was one of the last to be recovered from the sea. His sudden departure did shake the academic circles in Venezuela. He was honored by naming the main research library at Universidad de Oriente´s Oceanographic Institute in Cumana (Venezuela) after him.

    I was just 5 years old when it happened. It is been 43 years already but I always think what if…

    Rafael A. Curra Lava

  10. Katherine, former Pan Am gal says:

    Bless you and your family, Brian. I along with other Pan Am folks touched by this tragedy express our loving support and strength to your family at this time. We honor you for speaking up about the fireball that preceded the crash, as after all, we all want the truth told and the greatest possible peace for the survivors. May you all experience blessings and healing on the passing of your mother.

  11. TJ says:

    Rafael, thank you for posting about your father being one of the passengers on the flight. He was taken away at the prime of his life having accomplished so much already. It is good to know that his memory was honored by the Universidad de Oriente´s Oceanographic Institute

    I wish you and your family well.

  12. Rafael Curra Lava says:

    Thank you, TJ… My dad was grandma´s only child (something quite unusual in latin culture) and she had to raise all three of us by herself. She passed away in 1992.

    I am really glad you decided to initiate this blog. I wish we could find a way to create a memorial for all those 51 lives who perished in PanAm 217 on 12 December 1968.

    Wish you and your family all the best…!

  13. Mike-Linus says:

    Michael says: December19th,2011 at11:00pm.Brian may I express my codolences to you and your family.I was just a young boy when you dad’s plane went down.I remember the afternoon like it was yesterday because it made the front page of the newspaper that day,the headline read like this and I quote ” PAN AMMERICAN AIRLINE CRASHES INTO THE SHARK INFESTED WATER OF THE CARIBBEAN SEA ON APPRROACH TO CARACAS”I understand your longing for answers and your loss.May God bless you and yours this holiday season!

  14. John says:

    Monday evening I talked to a man named Charlie Craig, a retired Pan Am pilot. Retired about 1986 or 1987. He told me that he knew the flight crew on a Pan Am flight that crashed at night on approach to Caracas, and that they never found out exactly what happened. He said that this flight crew were strict, by-the-book, in the way they operated an airplane. He didn’t tell me a year or a flight number, but that it was a 707 that crashed. I got on the internet and searched 707 accidents in wikipedia and found the only one that was Pan Am at Caracas. I did more internet searching and found this website. Don’t know if this is helpful, but decided to share.

  15. Rafael Curra Lava says:

    All,

    While browsing in the net, I found this list of the crew lost in Pan Am 217 on 12/12/68:

    Sidney E. Stillwaugh, West Islip, NY
    Willian J. Canell, Upper Saddle River, NJ
    Richard H. Titus, Ridgewood, NJ
    Alfred C. Perez, Valley Stream, NY
    Heidrum M. Caplan, NYC
    Franciska B. Buyers, NYC
    Catherine Kane, Roslyn Heights, NY
    Eva Johansson, Stockholm, Sweden
    Miss M. Ambrey, no hometown

    I have not been able to find a passanger list any where…

    Rafael Curra Lava

  16. dave miguel says:

    i had a school friend on pan am flight 217,his name was jose ignacio meza.i still miss him all these years later.he was only 14years old and went to embley park school,romsey,hampshire,england.he was on his way home for christmas.his parents had a cattle ranch in venezuela.if anyone knew of him i would love to hear from you. thank you.

  17. TJ says:

    Dave, glad that you commented on your friend Jose. As you may know, although the crew members and a couple of prominent passengers names appear in news reports still available on the web, the identity of the majority of passengers is no longer known.

    When I posted this particular blog entry, it was intended to be a personal recollection of one such crew member – namely Franciska Buyers. I am glad that others have chosen to comment on specific individuals who were part of their lives and who were tragic victims of this plane crash.

    Also, thank you Rafael, for posting the names of the other crew members who are not mentioned in my posting. At the time I posted the entry, I was not able to find their names otherwise I would have cited their identities as well.

  18. Cameron Kane says:

    I am the youngest brother to Katherine Mary Kane. My sister, Katherine was a close friend of Franciska’s. Katherine attended the University of Bordeaux to study French and Art History. I think they met there. After college they rented an apartment together on the upper east side of New York City. They both got jobs at Pan Am in May 1968 with some assistance from my father who had connections to the airline. They started flying in August on separate routes but wanted to fly together. They managed to do that in the late autumn. I had dinner with them in NYC a few weeks before the accident. We had a good time with lots of laughter and wit in the glamor of a New York City evening.

    I remember Franciska was a beautiful young lady. I have a picture of them both in uniform walking down my parent’s driveway in front of the flowering crab-apple tree. She was stunning! I remember wishing I were older so that I could impress her but I was just the little brother.

    The accident ripped Katherine out of my life. When I was born in 1952 my sister would climb into the crib to cuddle me through the night. About 2 years after flight 217 went down I went into Katherine’s room looking for something. As I stood there for a moment a finger poked me hard in the shoulder blade. I turned around expecting to see a friend but saw no one. Dumb me, I scratched my head and started on my errand when I stopped and looked up; and looked around and said something like “Jesus Christ! Is that you Katherine?” Not a word, not a movement and no apparition. I was disappointed that there were no other fireworks but upon reflection I was grateful for being the recipient of a significant gesture. For all of you who have added up the odds and decided this life on earth is one lucky splatter in the universe, I’ll say: “This life is just the tip of the iceberg and there’s a lot more coming!”

    I thank you for posting your recollections and I thank the people who gave comments. Each remembrance fills in a piece of the puzzle for me and I see that other people also grieve over this tragedy long ago.

    I have an altitude chart of the flight’s last minutes. My father sued for it. It shows level flight then a 45-degree angle descent, like a rock falling out of the sky. Something happened up there on its approach that made that plane un-flyable. I doubt it was a mirage that caused the pilots to navigate into the ocean, as stated in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_Flight_217

    I may have found Anton’s info. Email me.

  19. TJ says:

    Cameron, thanks so much for sharing your memories of Franciska and her association and friendship with your sister, Katherine as well as your memories of your sister as well as Franciska.

    I knew that Franciska was sharing an apartment in NY because she told me about it. She may even have shared your sister’s name with me in conversation but it was not something that registered.

    I do know that when the plane crashed Franciska’s parents told me that it was a suspected case of sabotage …. and that explanation was pretty much accepted at the time. It was a time when there were a lot of tensions between the US and some of the regimes in South America. It was a different era and the Cold War affected the relationships between various countries.

    As various posters have shared their memories of people they knew who died in that crash, it is very clear how much it affected people’s lives.

    I first met Franciska when she was about 17 years old and she was just finishing high school. It is amazing how much she changed over the years from when she was a school girl to what she became as a young lady working with Pan Am. I recall being a little startled when I met her for the first time after she returned to the UK on a break after completing her training and her first few flights. She had become a confident, poised and attractive young woman.

    I will contact you separately by email regarding Anton’s contact information.

  20. […] A few months ago, I posted about the crash of Pan Am Flight 217 in 1968 while en route to Caracas, Venezuela and more specifically about a friend, Franciska Buyers, who was an air stewardess on that flight. More about Franciska and my relationship to her and her family appears on this link. […]

  21. Brian Canell says:

    Quote:
    I have an altitude chart of the flight’s last minutes. My father sued for it. It shows level flight then a 45-degree angle descent, like a rock falling out of the sky. Something happened up there on its approach that made that plane un-flyable.

    Thanks for the info. That’s another piece to this puzzle that has an unknown amount of pieces and no complete picture.

  22. stephan says:

    I lost my dad on that flight ! I was 10 years old.

  23. Vibeke says:

    I often think back on the day of the crash because Eva Johansson was my classmate in Miami when we were in training and lived in the same building I did in Queens.We had just had a party where she told us that she had resigned to go back home to Sweden.She was to leave the following January.Flying had not been what she had hoped for.I will always remember what a shock that crash was.I don’t know if she was ever found but I hope she was given peace.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for you tribute to Franciska Buyers. I too have scoured the archives for information about flight 217. I lost a most dear member of my family, Juanita Martinez. We had lived in Venezuela prior to moving to Westport, Connecticut. Juanita, our housekeeper in Venezuela who became a beloved member of our family, joined us there, working and living with us for two years. She was returning to Venezuela for Christmas. Though she was excited to be seeing her Venezuelan family, her life in the U.S. was now established. Juanita was eager to come home to us, her fiance, and her friends. I sometimes wish I could visit her relatives in Guigue, Venezuela. I don’t have an address but imagine it could be found via the internet, much in the same way I found your blog posting. It seems that today, when these tragic accidents occur, there are groups available to help and support systems in place. We didn’t have it then. I was 12-years-old, devastated and shocked. Juanita is a part of me and I still miss her so. Thank you for your tribute to Franciska who probably smiled at Juanita during their last hours. Juanita was as ebullient and charming as Franciska seems to have been. Thank you.

  25. Jill Breitbarth says:

    Thank you for you tribute to Franciska Buyers. I too have scoured the archives for information about flight 217. I lost a most dear member of my family, Juanita Martinez. We had lived in Venezuela prior to moving to Westport, Connecticut. Juanita, our housekeeper in Venezuela who became a beloved member of our family, joined us there, working and living with us for two years. She was returning to Venezuela for Christmas. Though she was excited to be seeing her Venezuelan family, her life in the U.S. was now established. Juanita was eager to come home to us, her fiance, and her friends. I sometimes wish I could visit her relatives in Guigue, Venezuela. I don’t have an address but imagine it could be found via the internet, much in the same way I found your blog posting. It seems that today, when these tragic accidents occur, there are groups available to help and support systems in place. We didn’t have it then. I was 12-years-old, devastated and shocked. Juanita is a part of me and I still miss her so. Thank you for your tribute to Franciska who probably smiled at Juanita during their last hours. Juanita was as ebullient and charming as Franciska seems to have been. Thank you.

  26. Jill Breitbarth says:

    The previous “anonymous” comment was from me. I submitted my thoughts before typing my name.

  27. TJ says:

    Stephan, Vibeke and Jill: thanks so much for sharing your memories of those close to you who were killed in the tragedy that befell Pan Am 217.

    Jill, your account of Juanita is moving and I can imagine how devastated you must have been when the tragedy occurred especially given that you were only 12 years old at the time.

    For all who lost loved ones in this crash, I would like to extend an offer: if you prepare a write-up regarding the person who was killed in the crash, I will dedicate a separate page to each individual which should be available in any search performed on the net. The narrative can be as long or short as you wish and you can include image/s of the person.

    I have sufficient space and band-width under my hosting plan so it will not cost anything to those who choose to avail of this offer. All you need to do is to send me a Word file containing the write-up and the digital files of any image/s you would like to include within the page.

  28. Jill Breitbarth says:

    TJ, Thank you so very much for your offer! When I posted, I had yet to read ALL of the other people’s comments. I am floored. My heart goes out to all of you who have walked forward since 1968 bearing such sorrow. I was not involved in any kind of memorial or funeral right after the accident so I would be honored to post something on your site.

    Please let me know where I should send the material.

  29. TJ says:

    Jill, I am emailing you with specifics of how to proceed so that we can include your tribute to Juanita Martinez.

    It is relatively simple …….. just email me a Word document with the write-up and any images you would like to include.

  30. Brian Canell says:

    Hi all,

    While going through stuff from my mum’s house recently, I found a Pan Am internal newspaper from the time whch gives a brief account of the crash -nothing that we don’t know already (ie, no-one really knows).
    However it does show small photos of all the crew. When I get chance (hopefully in the near future) I’ll make a scan and send them to Rana to be shown here. I do have heaps of things to do just now but I will do it as soon as I can.

    Brian

  31. TJ says:

    Brian, I’ll be pleased to include information pertinent to Pan Am 217.

    I have today added a separate posting listing the names of passengers and crew on the flight as reported by the New York Times.

    http://www.josephclan.com/tjblog/?page_id=1468

    The information was provided by Jill Breitbarth who has previously commented on this post.

  32. TJ says:

    Another posting relating to this crash appears on the link shown below. It is a moving tribute by Jill Breitbarth whose comments appear above.

    http://www.josephclan.com/tjblog/?p=1558

  33. george banks says:

    Working in the airline industry for BCAL and British airways for 40 years i often flew to Caracas for work [as i was responsible for airline catering contracts and menus]approaching Maquieta over the sea and although very fond of Pan Am in the late seventies and early 80s, as i often met many nice Pan Am crews and staff in Caracas and at the Robertsfield airport hotel Liberia……. was not involved with Pan Am or this flight, but an interesting fact is that the Purser on this flight had previously survived another Pan Am DC 4 crash in the Carribean.As i always enjoyed Caracas i send my condolences to all those who lost family and friends Sincerely George Banks

  34. robert contreras says:

    hola dispongo de fotos de periodicos venezolanos de la epoca si estan interesados enviar correo a robertalcove@hotmail.

  35. robert contreras says:

    hola TJ el archivo es demaciado pesado para enviarlo por hotmail tendras otros medios para recibirlo es mejor grabarlo en un cd pero adonde lo envio ? espero tu respuesta. saludos

  36. TJ says:

    Thanks to Robert Contreras who sent me a number of images of media reports and picture from Venezuela pertaining to the crash of Pan Am 217.

    They can be seen on the link below.

    http://www.josephclan.com/tjblog/?p=1750

  37. Brian Canell says:

    44 Years today.

    Back in August someone on a modelling forum I visit posted the following;

    Born and raised in Venezuela, I grew up two doors down from the house of the General Electric manager in Valencia who was also on that 217 flight. The way his widow related the story to us, was that she was made to understand that the altitude instruments had been recently worked on in that aircraft, and that, aware of some possible malfunction, the tower twice advised that Clipper Malay seemed to be coming in too low and that when the third warning was about to be issued it was when the plane disappeared.

    I would have preferred to send a private message, and I sincerely hope I am not contradicting anyone or anything said already, or suggesting any culpability on the part of the crew, but just wanted to share this info from another person directly affected by this tragedy.

    Could faulty instruments have used the crash? I guess there’s no way of finding out.

  38. Jill Breitbarth says:

    44 years ago today. Thank you, Brian, for posting additional information. Every little bit helps. No matter how long ago the tragedy occurred, it’ll always be felt as fresh.

    On this anniversary, my family has a yahrzeit candle burning in memory of Juanita Martinez. In the lighting of the candle, renewed condolences are also being sent out to all affected by the loss of flight 217. Abrazos del pasado hacia el futuro.

  39. TJ says:

    Brian, thanks for sharing this information on the tragedy that occurred 44 years ago today. I guess the reality is that we will never know what happened.

    I am glad that this post on my blog which was intended as a personal tribute to someone I knew who died in the crash, has turned out to be a meeting place of sorts for others who were impacted by this crash.

    I echo your sentiment, Jill: “Abrazos del pasado hacia el futuro”

  40. Andrew says:

    The trainee stewardess was Marianna Ambrey, 22, of Windsor, Ontario.

  41. Cristina says:

    Hello
    Last week I was talking to the husband of one of my daughters favorite teacher Mrs. Sue Anne Morrow and he asked me if by any chance I knew the family of Pablo Guttman from Caracas Venezuela, a very good friend from Lawrenceville School, NJ, who died in the accident of the Pan Am flight 217 in 1968. This week I have being searching to find any information about his family so Mr. David, my daughter’s favorite teacher’s husband could give them his condolence. He really wishes to contact them.
    Please if you have any information please let me know crisfiasse@hotmail.com
    Thank you

  42. Sandy says:

    Thank you for posting the information regarding the plane accident. My aunt, Ana Rodriguez, and my cousin who was 4 at the time, Damaris, were killed in that same accident and I have been looking for information about it for a long time.

  43. Brian says:

    45 Years today. 🙁

  44. Jill says:

    My heart goes out to all who lost on that day 45 years ago. I can’t believe it’s been so long. Thank you, TJ, for bringing us together.

  45. Vibeke Streeval says:

    45 years. It almost seems impossible. It tells us short their lives were and how much we have to be greateful for. Rest in peace Eva.

  46. TJ says:

    I am currently spending a couple of months in Cochin, India.

    Vibeke said it well: 45 years makes one only too aware of the lives that were lost while many were still very young.

    RIP

  47. Sandy says:

    May my aunt Ana Esther and cousin Damaris both rest in peace. Your memory lives on.

  48. Nathalie Trottier says:

    I was almost 5 years old when the crash happened and I remember it vividly as my mother was crying in my father’s arms…her dad, my grand pa, was in that flight. I remember my grand papa so well and also the day he left for Caracas. I miss him still to this day and my poor mom who lost her dad so tragically with no hope or sight of him. I began only recently wondering what happened as my parents had no details at the time. I began searching the web and I am feeling overwhelmed now to find some information. My grand papa was Canadian from Montreal Quebec. His name was Louis Philippe Lariviere. My grand papa kept telling me that one day he’d buy be a pony…I was crazy about horses…

  49. Brian says:

    46 Years today.

  50. Anonymous says:

    46 years: an unbelievably long AND short time ago. The clarity, clip, and humor in Juanita’s voice and the warmth of her hugs still inspire me each day.

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