Bultema Barge

Bultema Barge

N 42.23.280 , W 86.24.135

Ralph Wilbanks and his search team from Clive Cussler’s National Underwater and Marine Agency discovered a 40-foot barge while searching for the remains of Northwest Airlines Flight 2501 in 2009. Found in 125 feet of water, the presence of machinery on board hinted that this was not an intentional scuttle, but rather a barge that sank accidentally.

MSRA’s subsequent research revealed the following story¬† from the Benton Harbor News Palladium, Wednesday, August 21, 1968:


(Covert) – “Two Oak Park, Illinois youths were arraigned here yesterday before Covert Township Justice Frank Consolino on charges of malicious destruction of property. Troopers said Michael G. Mathais, 15 and Thomas J. Dillon, 19, pleaded guilty to the charge and were ordered to pay fines and costs totaling $59.50 each.

Police said the arrests were made Tuesday after Stanley Andrie, superintendent at the Consumers Power plant construction site apprehended the youths following an investigation of two boats set adrift.

Police said a 40-foot barge containing about $1,800 worth of equipment and a 20-foot boat, both owned by Bultema Dock and Dredge Co., Muskegon, were set adrift in lake Michigan.”