This lecture was assembled before our latest documentary “Offshore Outposts” was created. There are several different lights profiled, including Harbor Beach, St Helena, DeTour, St. Martin’s and Poverty Island.
Based on our documentary by the same name, this program is an hour long look at commercial cement creation and transport by bulk freighter. From limestone mining to a voyage aboard the steamer Alpena, this lecture shares what it is like to work aboard a Great Lakes ship and some of the pluses and minuses of the lifestyle. Ric includes behind the scenes secrets of what it takes to film on a freighter, from climbing the smokestack to filling the holds with cement. Includes rare footage of the Huron Cement boats!
Missing Giants of Lake Huron
Includes the Water Witch, rumored to have a cargo of expensive copper on board, BF Wade, Pewabic, Egyptian, Carruthers, Clifton and the successful search for the Daniel J Morrell.
Deep Six (new in 2009)
Featuring the largest shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, from the Edmund Fitzgerald and William Moreland in Lake Superior to the Daniel J Morrell and Cedarville in Lake Huron. This was the first documentary to feature Lake Michigan’s largest wreck, the Carl D. Bradley. Ric also highlights the 1913 storm, which sent 12 ships to the bottom over one weekend. The 500 footers James Carruthers and Henry Smith are still missing. Also new is underwater footage and a survivor interview from Lake Erie’s largest shipwreck, the James Reed. This lecture also features how research brought in the rare interviews and how the re-enactments were filmed with a homemade liferaft made from hotpepper barrels.
Top 10 Wreck Dives in the Lakes
Ric’s favorite dives are featured in four of the Great Lakes. Selected for beginner to intermediate divers, this lecture encourages exploration the whole family can enjoy. Featuring wrecks in the Thunder Bay, Sanilac Shores, and Alger Underwater Preserves. Also wrecks at Whitefish, Milwaukee, Mackinac Straits, Tobermory and Lake Erie.
An incredible tribute to powerful cutters that protect our inland seas! Featuring the stories of the Escanaba, Mackinac, Hollyhock, and Sundew. Ric was invited to break out the Soo Locks aboard the Mighty Mac and also toured on the Sundew during its final winter run near Duluth. This lecture also chronicles the amazing rescues of the shipwrecks Cedarville, Nordmeer, Henry Cort, and Carl D. Bradley. Featuring rare interviews and never-before-seen newsreel footage of the Cort, Mackinac, Hollyhock and Bradley.
From giant spawning lake sturgeon to the tiniest diaporia, Ric explores our unique ecosystem and shares invasive species that are new to the lakes.
Wrecks of Saginaw Bay
This giant bay terrorized sailors who attempted to cross its expanse. Ric dives into the mystery of some of the ships and shows the bones of those that have been discovered.
Great Lakes Shipyards
Profiles of Ford, Defoe, Great Lakes Engineering Works, and the shipyards at Lorain.
Based on Ric’s first book, this lecture introduces the men featured in this unique biography of Great Lakes Storms. Featuring profiles of Len Gabrysiak (Cedarville), Lloyd Belcher (Novadoc), Ray O’Malley (Escanaba) and 1913 Storm survivor Ed Kanaby. Underwater footage of the shipwrecks and rare newsreel film make this a fascinating lecture!
Mystery of November Storms
Ric features the worst of the gales of November, from 1905 to 1975. Rare interviews with storm survivors and spellbinding underwater video make this one of our most popular lectures.. especially during the fall!
When Ric Mixter suits up for work.. it usually involves a flight suit or wetsuit. His work as a documentary producer and television cameraman has placed him all over the world.. from hunting alligators with Ted Nugent to flying F-16’s with the US Thunderbirds. Ric flew Michigan’s final B-52 missions and has also filmed atop the Mackinac Bridge, next to vampire bats, in monasteries, prisons and sewer pipes. His collection of rock and roll interviews from the 80’s are also an interesting look into Ric’s personality. Soon to be a new book!
Michigan’s airfields have launched the Tuskegee Airmen, biplane aces and one of the longest bombing missions in history. Join Ric as he shares rare footage and interviews with the men (and women) who made history at our local airbases. Featuring profiles of Selfridge, Kincheloe, Sawyer and Wurtsmith.
Beginner Wreck Diving
The Great Lakes are the best place to learn to wreck dive.. with some of the most preserved shipwrecks in the world. Many are located in shallow water and provide incredible training opportunities for those who wish to explore our inland seas. A great primer for non-divers who need encouragement to try this incredible sport!
Great Lakes Treasures
Chests of confederate gold.. copper salvors who died trying to recover Pewabic’s treasure. Modern day salvagers looking for coins and the raising of a Great Lakes schooner. Each are a quest for mythical riches.. but Ric shows the audience the true treasure is in the historical resources beneath the waves. Featuring footage of the Edmund Fitzgerald’s bell raising!
The Edmund Fitzgerald Investigations
Based on the best selling maritime DVD on the topic. This lecture uses video to showcase not only the building of the ship, but also theories involved in the sinking. Ric is one of only a handful of people who have actually dove the shipwreck, and he shares rare interviews with Coast Guard officials, Jean Michel Cousteau and others who have braved Superior’s icy depths to look for answers.
The Ship Time Forgot: The Carl D Bradley
Few remembered the name of this giant ship that was lost to a November gale until it was featured in Deep Six. Survivor Frank Mays returned to the wrecksite in the submersible Delta. Join Ric Mixter as he dives into the controversy of the sinking with exclusive interviews and file footage of the ship.
The Cedarville Collision
First to feature the limestone-hauling freighter in a documentary, Ric Mixter shares rare interviews and underwater footage of the Cedarville. Includes highlights from his book “The Wheelsmen”!
Career Training: Television Interview Tactics
An experienced journalist, Ric shares methods for directing better interviews and teaches how great soundbites can occur even with the worst subjects!
From the 1905 Gale to the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, this is one of our most requested video presentations. Interviews with survivors (including the 1913 Storm), original music by Dan Hall, and first-hand accounts of diving the wrecks make this program unique.
Safe Ashore: the 1940 Armistice Day Storm
This program is a big hit for communities along Lake Michigan’s shoreline. This storm claimed over 60 lives and three steel freighters, but 17 sailors were spared thanks to 3 Pentwater fishermen. Includes interviews of survivors and actual film footage of the 1940 storm and rescue.
The Great Lakes most famous Coast Guard ships: Mackinaw, Sundew, Hollyhock and Escanaba. Two are now maritime museums, two are on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. This is the first documentary to tell their stories, complete with eye witness rescues and rare film footage of all the ships.
A “Superior” Design: Whaleback Shipwrecks
Whalebacks were unique ships built in Superior, Wisconsin. Shaped like submarines, they sailed for 80 years before the tanker METEOR was retired as a museum ship. The video profiles their inventor and includes underwater visits to the Sagamore (lost in the St Mary’s River near Lake Superior), Colgate (foundered in the Black Friday Storm in Lake Erie) and Henry Cort, lost at Muskegon after a storm. Includes rare footage of whalebacks and an interview from the captain of the Cort.
Valley Girls: Ships Built on the Saginaw River
Did you know the ship that found the Titanic was born in Bay City, Michigan? Saginaw Valley has birthed hundreds of ships, from wooden barges to giant steel warships. Valley Girls chronicles the final resting place of some of those ships, along with a look at some vessels that are still sailing today. Features the Daniel J. Morrell, Eber Ward, Frank O’Connor, City of Bangor, USS Rich, Merida, Pretoria, Sevona and several others.
Diving The Great Lakes
Special programs can be set up to highlight your local shipwrecks. Our libraries include nearly 100 wrecks from around the lakes. We have dozens of stories already produced for GREAT LAKES INDEPTH, our PBS TV series. Email us or call for more details!
The Edmund Fitzgerald Investigations
Ric is among only a handful of submariners who have visited the Great Lakes’ most famous shipwreck. Lost in a killer storm in 1975, the Fitz sank with 29 lives. With rare footage and interviews from the men who built the ship near Detroit, interviews with former crew and especially interviews and underwater video from all of the major investigations including Cousteau, the Coast Guard, Sea Grant, Delta and the bell raising project. Find out new clues from this mysterious shipwreck and reach your own conclusion about the Fitzgerald’s final moments.
The Ship Time Forgot: The Carl D Bradley
This 600 foot self-unloading freighter is the second largest shipwreck in the lakes (next to the Fitzgerald), but few know its story. Two men survived the sinking in Lake Michigan, and one man returned to visit the wreck in a submarine. Learn more about Frank Mays and his incredible journey aboard the Delta Submarine. Part of the first team to put humans down to the wrecksite, Ric shares secrets that are slowly rising from the depths of Lake Michigan.
The Making of DEEP SIX
Heralded as one of the best Great Lakes Documentaries ever made, this program not only highlights the 6 freighters featured in DEEP SIX, but also shares some behind the scenes adventure in the making of the show. Includes the Fitzgerald, Bradley, Morrell, Cedarville, Carruthers, and William Moreland (lost on Michigan’s Keweenaw peninsula). Includes the first television interviews from survivors from the 1913 Storm, Cedarville, Bradleyand Morrell.
Remote lighthouses mark dangerous shoals throughout the Great Lakes. Ric Mixter showcases the most remote spots, including a visit to Huron Island, Spectacle Reef and exploration of the exploded Stannard Rock lighthouse. Includes the first ever interview of the survivor of Stannard Rock as well as the incredible renovations of offshore lights at St. Helena Island and DeTour Reef.