Mother believes daughter has spirit of plane crash victim
Former Hahnville High School teacher Royd Anderson will appear in a Lifetime TV show about an Oklahoma girl whose mother thinks she is the reincarnated spirit of Jennifer Shultz, who was killed in Kenner during the Pan Am Flight 759 crash.
Anderson will be featured as an expert on the crash. In 2012, he released a documentary on Pan Am Flight 759, which crashed into the Roosevelt Subdivision in 1982. Everyone on board the plane died while eight people on the ground were killed.
It is still the worst plane crash in Louisiana history.Anderson got involved in the show after he was contacted by Amanda Spain, who is a producer for the Lifetime Movie Network. She wanted a copy of his documentary and asked Anderson to aid in research about the crash for an episode of “The Ghost Inside My Child.”
The Lifetime documentary television series features first-person accounts from people that claim to have children that have been reincarnated. This Saturday at 8 p.m. on Lifetime Movie Network (channel 305), the show will feature Anderson along with Cindy Obannion, who believes her daughter Rylann is the reincarnated spirit of a woman who was killed in the Pan Am crash.
Jennifer Shultz was on the telephone under the carport when Flight 759 roared through. She was later found dead.
Obannion believes that Shultz’s spirit resides inside of her daughter.
Anderson will answer questions about the crash from Obannion on camera and also helped the Lifetime production crew with location shots.
“I served as a guide in the neighborhood where the crash occurred and suggested we visit the memorial wall at the Kenner Police complex, which we did,” Anderson said.
He also helped producers track down Shultz’s exact date of birth, which was unknown.
“There was no listed obituary and her tombstone only had the year of her birth and death. Dr. John Baye, whose daughter Lisa was friends with Jennifer and also perished in the crash, was kind enough to provide me with the date of Jennifer’s birthday,” Anderson said. “We were unsuccessful reaching the Shultz family and that’s understandable. It’s a horrific tragedy that is very painful to reflect on.”
Anderson specializes in documentary films pertaining to tragic Louisiana events he says are overlooked by historians. In 2006, Anderson wrote and directed the documentary “The Luling Ferry Disaster.” The film recounts the story of the worst ferry disaster in U.S. history when 77 people were killed in the MV George Prince ferry crash.
In 2007, Anderson wrote and directed the documentary “The Continental Grain Elevator Explosion.” The film examines the deadliest grain dust explosion of the modern era, occurring on Dec. 22, 1977 at the Continental Grain plant in Westwego. Thirty-six people died in the accident.
He followed up his 2012 documentary on Pan Am Flight 759 with a 2013 documentary on a French Quarter arson that led to the deaths of 32 people in 1973.
He is hopeful that the Lifetime series will reinvigorate interest in the Pan Am crash.
“This was the worse airplane crash in Louisiana history and the fifth worst in U.S. aviation history,” he said. “We must not forget.”