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Eastern Airlines Flt 401 Crash

John C

Well-known member
The producer of the National Geographic film shoot E-Mailed me a few more pics. I think the night shots look pretty good.


Bud running across the grass with the wind in his face at 50+ MPH


Bud and me watching Don Onstead and DavieGSO480 making a pass in front of the camera


Filming Bud at the crash site at night.


Don Onstead


Night shot with the lights of Miami in the backround


Well-known member
Great Shots. If I was a tad more patient, I would have been there.

Swampcritter, feel free to give me a call tonite about the dog, by the way, his name is Roscoe, named after Roscoe P. Coltrane from the Dukes of Hazzard.

I am going to get a digital camera tomorrow, I seem to have lost the one I had, and I can email you some pictures. He is an incredible looking dog, brindle and white, ears and tail were already clipped when I got him.

786-728-2600 and I will wait to hear from you.



Well-known member
I visited with Mr. Marquis for about an hour yesterday. Just a few rambling thoughts as I write from work.

He seemed like he felt good and enjoyed talking. He even chuckled a few times. We were talking about his boat rebuild and he was pretty excited about that. Then the topic of the recognition ceremony came up and his demeanor changed just a little. I said something like "Looks like you're aren't looking forward to that so much" and he gave a kind of impish smile and then I said "Well, you're just going to have to take the bad with the good". For some reason that struck him funny, probably because he is feeling that way somewhat - getting his boat redone (good) but having to put up with all the fuss (bad). Having said that, let me go on to say I'm sure he appreciates the time and effort going into the ceremony. About his boat, without knowing how much he knows about the restoration, I told him about how bad his mags were and what a beautiful job Mike had done on them. He said that whenever he went to run his boat the last few years he always had to mess with them and file the points to get it going.

So much has been posted about the events of that night and things he has said about them so some of this may be repeat. One thing I don't think I had heard before was that he saw the plane for awhile before the crash. So I said something like "Oh, then you knew it was going down". He said no, it was so dark that there wasn't a horizon so he couldn't guage the altitude at all. He just saw the lights of the plane and then the big fireball. He repeated to me that had it been five minutes later he wouldn't have seen it.

The rake that's on the boat now is not the rake that was on it that night. It originally had tubing with a piece of aluminum riveted to it but as has been said before he bent it when he hit a piece of the plane (he doesn't know what kind of piece). He said the sawgrass was 8-10 feet tall there and it was all he and his partner could do to get off of it. The area of the bulk of the crash itself was not deep sawgrass. He didn't say whether there was no sawgrass there or if the plane had just mashed it all down.

He said that after all the rescue people got there he wound up riding doctors around in an ever increasing radius looking for survivors. After they determined there were no more and still before sunrise, the person in charge told him he could go home as they didn't want to do anything else until after good daylight so they could photograph everything before it was disturbed. He said he got back home just about daylight.

Now about his camp and the surrounding area. It's probably safe to say no one knows that area like him and it's likely no one ever will. He worked the area as leo and then after leaving that he said he seldom ever missed a weekend out there and never missed two weekends in a row. He said he spent as many as 30 days at the time out there at his and other's camps. Just living in the glades. As he told me various stories he was calling off the names of the levies, sloughs, sections of Tamiami Trail, etc.. telling me you run this until you see that and then turn there and go this way... Needless to say it was all over my head since other than driving the trail a couple of times I haven't been out there at all.

He asked if I had a boat and how wide it is. When I said eight feet he told me I couldn't get to his camp. If you're wider than 7'2" you can't get back there. Used to be 7' even, but then he widened it a little. It's been about two years since he's been back there and he really wants to go again.

On his leo career, he got a state airboat his last two years. He said that when he started there were only him and two other officers that had all of Dade and Monroe counties. At some point he got talked into taking the sergeant's exam in Tallahassee (in his words he was "just about made to") and was then made sergeant. He didn't go into specifics other than to say "Too many bosses", but it wasn 't fun for him anymore after that so he quit.

About present day stuff, although he was quick to say he didn't need gps, he was clearly intrigued and understanding of it's value since playing with John C's. BTW he said that on one of the rides the other day the lead boat was going wrong and John C in the back kept wanting to follow the lead. He had to keep John C going the right way. :lol: :lol:

About all the stuff that's going on now he's appreciative and excited. I don't know how much of the stuff he's seen printed out. He asked specifically abou the youtube thing that was put together and although I was able to tell him all about how the website worked (and a good bit abou the web in general) stupid me didn't ask if he'd actually seen the video or just heard about it. Someone with a laptop and an air card needs to get over there and show him stuff. I have an extra laptop but no card. One thing he wanted to know about southernairboat and youtube was who paid for it. I described banner ads and hits and he understood. Mentally, he's sharp as a tack. He's just been kind of isolated for so long that he's behind the times.

He asked if I would call John C for him because he wanted to make sure the steelflex was the right color. John, I can tell you that in watching him talk to you and talk about you, you have really earned a special place in his heart. Same goes for Ken Pine. I told him a lot about the other people involved too but all I know about the rest of you is your screen names. Oh, he thought the idea of screen names was funny.

I guess that's about all for now.


Active member
You are absolutely right I had to talk him into coming to the event on Dec. 3. I don't think it's an appreciation thing for him it's just so much has been going on in the past few months, it's a little overwhelming for the two of them before this they just watched movies and layed around. You guys have brought Bull frog bud back to life it is a whole new adventure for them at this stage..... I am very happy for all of this going the way it has, he needed this He definetly missed the glades that is home to him. We will be at the Dec. 3 event my brother and his family are coming also we are all very excited. We will be down on the 1st so that gives me a little time to get him and grannie excited they just do not know everything that is going to take place that day I just told them he was getting some sort of award...

John C

Well-known member
airduds thanks for stopping by to see Bud. He really enjoys the visits on the front porch. And you are right, he is sharp as a tack. Its funny that you bring up the ride out to the crash site. I don't know exactly how long its been since Bud has been out there, but he sure knows where he is going. If Bud says you need to go over there, then you need to go over there. He knew right where the trail was.

I am glad to read that kmarquis and family will be coming down on the first to spend some time with Bud and Nancy. I think it will mean a lot to Bud to be at the Dec.3rd ceremony with his family. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone.

stress relief

Well-known member

John C

Well-known member
I need to make a correction. Don is my neighbors name. His father in laws name is Joe Roden (Maddog) Maybe some of the old timers will recognize the name. He said he was a member of the AAOF back in the sixties and early seventy's.

John C

Well-known member
Getting ready to go to Homestead to pick up Bud. We are going to go the the AAOF club, put the boat in and get Buddy a little stick time. I'll take some pics and keep you posted


Silent Prop
R. I. P.
:blob8: :hello1: :headbang: AWESOME!!! GO GET 'EM BULLFROG, IT'S ABOUT :clock: Thanks JohnC for letting us know. :blob8: :hello1: :headbang:


Well-known member
Don't lose JohnC out there Bullfrog, we need him for the 29th! :wink:

Great Job again John, yu da man! Thanks!!!

Enjoy yourselves! :thumbup: :thumbup: :lol:

Olf Art

Silent Prop
R. I. P.
Posting over here again to see if John or Rick have any word on when we might look for the upcoming National Geographic special that
was filmed about Bud. I'm thinking we should be hearing something soon.

I subscribe to their magazine, and for years it's been the finest resource of unbiased information about the beauty and mystery
of our planet available anywhere. Hopefully, in addition to the documentary, there will be an article in one of their issues also.


Olf Art

Silent Prop
R. I. P.
Hey y'all. Thought I might kick this old thread back out into the daylight for the benefit of a lot of our newer members.

A lot of folks who've joined recently might have overlooked reading about this project that we had last year.

This is what Southern Airboat, and airboating is all about. It's more than a sport or a hobby. It's a commitment to always be willing
to help a fellow airboater wherever you find him.



Well-known member
Good idea Olf! I often see that there are still people reading it. That's good to know. :)

Sorry I missed your call the other day. Call back any time.

John C

Well-known member
Just got off the phone with Bud and Nancy. They say Hi, and as always tell me to make sure I say THANK YOU to everyone. Bud has a couple of Doctors appointments this week. Bud sounds good and says he feels pretty good too. I am going to try to go down to Homestead and see him and Nancy on Friday. Maybe we can get out and smash some grass if Bud feels up to it. I think he will.


Active member
A Thank you from Nancy and Bud Marquis

We both love every single one of you and thank you for all the beautiful things you have done for
Both of us. Never dreamed in our wildest dreams so many lovely things would be done for us.
Especially at a time things had been getting harder for us as the months went by. We are proud and
Want to take care of ourselves but lordy its getting hard…ha. I was so pleased to see Buddy on the
Airboat even just sitting there, and looking like he did 40yrs ago. Never ever seen so many nice
People as there was at the lovely ceremony, all those awards for Buddy, all those people thanking
Him, just everything! All the delicious food the firefighters cooked, picture taking, people crying,
I’m crying now. The airboats and people going in the Everglades for all those lost people, planes
Dropping rose petals, we will never ever forget it!!! It will be in my mind forever. Then the barbecue
And all those people, the best memories of our lives. We heard from people all over the United
States. THANK YOU- THANK YOU-THANK YOU. By the time we got to the barbecue and I
Was presented all those lovely gifts, I was stunned and not even sure of my name, so sorry I just
Stood there. I am still looking at everything in the middle of my living room. I have temporal lobe
Seizures and panic and anxiety attacks so it’s a wonder after all those nice things that day out there
That I didn’t just have a big attack. Sorry I could not talk any better than I walked when I got off
The airboat. As I said I can still see all those lovely people sitting on all those airboats and will till
I die, sure Buddy feels the same. This does not even start to thank everyone for everything.
Love to you all , Nan and Bud Marquis