The Eagle Has Landed!

By | March 23, 2020

Hi again, everyone.

Yes, it was a dramatic last 24 hours. We jumped through hoops, and mainly my daughter Elaine jumped through them. But we got her home last night shortly before midnight. Thank goodness. 

Of the two major airports in Paris, one of them, Orly, just closed. The other, Charles DeGaulle, remains open but is severely paired down in its flights. I don’t know by how much but I am told something close to ninety percent. As Elaine was about to board her flight yesterday out of Charles DeGaulle, she was stopped by security. The problem was that she is an American citizen but was flying to Toronto, Canada. Normally it wouldn’t matter but of course it sure does now. The French authorities would not let her board the plane unless she had a confirmed flight out of Canada scheduled on the same day she arrived. 

Now, Tracey and I had already looked into that, but the fact is that there were no such flights available. She was set to arrive in Toronto at 5:45 p.m. The only flight available out of Toronto that could get her to Rochester departed at 6:18 p.m. There was absolutely no chance she could get through customs and whatever biocontrol system was there to go back through security and catch her flight. Knowing this, Tracey and I had set up a flight the next morning out of Toronto that would get her home by early the next afternoon. 

But now, as the plane was ready to fly out of Paris, Elaine was being told she needed confirmation NOW that she was booked for a flight to leave Toronto the same day. She called me and told me she had three minutes to show French security that she had such a ticket. And in about two minutes, amazingly, Tracey and I found the 6:18 flight, booked it for her, took screenshots and sent it to her just as she was about to be turned away. (Good news: we received refunds on all the flights and expenses we put out for all of this). 

When she arrived in Toronto, she got through customs pretty easily but of course missed the 6:18 p.m. flight. That was a foregone conclusion. We then debated whether or not it was possible for her to get out of the airport by bus or some other transportation, in which case she might be able to get to the border at Niagara Falls and somehow cross it so that we could get her. Tracey and I were not sure if I would be allowed over the Canadian border, since I am an American citizen and it might be determined I would not be “essential.” That is what I had been told the day before by Canadian customs over the phone. 

It turns out that although Greyhound was operating out of the airport at least to the border, no seats were available either that night or the following morning. We were ready to have her fly out of the airport on the tickets we had for the next morning, but Tracey was able to find a private Uber-type of service that would take Elaine to the Niagara Falls border. 

So, while Elaine was being taken to the border, we drove from our end and arrived just a few minutes after she got there. She wasn’t allowed over by foot, but we were able to drive over just enough to get her — switching out her over clothing quickly in the freezing weather outside the car — and then went through U.S. customs control while they checked over everything. Good grief. But we got through.

I didn’t think we’d get her back yesterday but it’s done and we are in 14-day quarantine at the house. We can do this, so please don’t worry. All is well. 

Tracey and Elaine and I would like to thank all of you for your kind words and support. It was stressful but it’s done. One thing I can definitely say is I am proud of my daughter, who was as cool as a cucumber while getting through it all. It was insane, her mind was in a whirl, but she did everything perfectly and showed great capability while under pressure. 

We are thinking of all of you during this time. And get ready for a Weekly Fireside Chat video upload later today.

Richard, Tracey, and Elaine

33 thoughts on “The Eagle Has Landed!

  1. alisonbell

    Thank Heavens she is back! It might take 14 days to feel safe and warm again. Hugs, and loves to all 3 of you. 💗💗💗💗 you all deserve and need them.

  2. Todd

    Wow, you received cash refunds on all the flights? My wife and I had to dump some 6 tickets in cancelled travel and were soaked by United and Southwest.

    1. lindabaker

      I suggest you and your daughter write down notes about all of this, in no particular order right now. If anything it will be a precious saga for your family in decades to come. Write down feelings and sights and sounds. Be sure to record her or your decision point for her to leave France. Perhaps her employers have a quick story as well! What did the French child or children do? Were they old enough to understand the ramifications? Where will you place the inciting incident in the story? Good luck and bon chance!

  3. Craig Champion

    Wow – how ‘bout submitting the account to Hollywood screenwriters – what a truly harrowing and tedious sequence of events!

  4. Allen

    You guys are quite the team, including Elaine. I would not have had a clue as to how to handle a situation like that. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

  5. Ed Coffman

    Sing the praises! Elaine is home!

    Would love to see this “whole thing” in a movie. There is no script writer out there that could’ve done a better job imagining an “edge of your seat” scene.

      1. PressToDigitate

        Have them both ‘on-air’ on your video! It would be fascinating to watch Tracey interview them about what it was like, growing up the offspring of the world’s most famous Ufologist! You’re on TV, somewhere, multiple times a week, addressing the subject, and have been for over a decade. At the beginning, it might have been awkward, with friends/friends parents and all; whereas, today, *nobody* has a cooler ‘Dad’. I imagine that the Wright Brothers and Robert Goddard probably had kids that went through that same ‘transition’ over the years…

  6. Scott Santa

    OUTSTANDING!! I am so very happy for all of you! What an ordeal !!! Welcome home Elaine, time to wind down with the rest of us!

    My very best to all of you.


  7. DanActual

    Congrats on getting Elaine home safely! Sounds like you can all sit back in satisfaction that the Dolan family plan came together! Nicely done.

  8. Alan Davis

    Good heavens Richard! What an ordeal, but it’s done! You and Tracey work well together. It’s great to hear some good news for a change. Best regards to all of you.

    Alan, K2WS

  9. iten-kun

    Yay I’m so glad it all worked out! Try to enjoy your time together under the circumstances and we look forward to your Fireside Chat! 🙂

  10. jennymemon

    For Elaine,
    Now THAT is something to tell your grandchildren!
    For Richard, kids eh!
    I am so relieved for you Rich, well done to all involved, now have a stiff drink! xxx

  11. GrannyChanie

    I’m so glad that your daughter is safely home. What a stressful situation, but your perseverance payed off. Prayers for you all, as you weather the next two weeks in self quarantine, that you will all be virus free.

  12. FamousAmos

    You Dolans are smart, tough and resourceful.
    Now that its over and the excitement has thankfully passed… what a great story!
    Best wishes to you all.

  13. Stephen Early

    I’m so glad that your daughter is safe and home. Richard Dolan you are such a wonderful writer.You makes this crazy affair so interesting.Its like that I’m there with you.But just one problem. I’m under Covid-19 watch with my wife. I’m here reading one of your great books.Yourfamily will be safe now in the days ahead. Love you all.

  14. Gaspar74

    So glad you guys made it happen! What crazy times we live in. Stay safe and healthy all of you. I hope Tracy is feeling better by the way.

  15. Joni Berger

    Richard, Tracey and Elaine,
    To say that life is exciting in the Dolan Lane of the highway is the understatement of the year!
    So, so happy that Elaine is home and everybody is safe and sound (that includes you too, Mike!)
    Give yourselves some well-deserved “down time” to decompress from a ridiculously stressful

    Quarantine will go fast, so enjoy family time! If I didn’t live across the country (Tucson), you’d have
    to look every hour on your doorstep for homemade meals and treats from me.

    My best to all,

  16. Ed Claytor

    ” Tracey was able to find a private Uber-type of service that would take Elaine to the Niagara Falls border. ” A Canadian Grey Wolf, Northern version of a coyote? Just kidding glad she got home to family safe. Everyone stay safe out there

  17. RyAn33

    Standing on my roof wearing something fashionable with a bullhorn in my hand !


    I repeat





  18. WTJimbo

    Thanks for sharing this remarkable experience…I’m convinced a Devine intervention was in play.

    Continued blessings to all of you,


    Isaiah 41:10

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