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‘Ghostbuster’ Dan Aykroyd Spotted At Cane Bay Monday Afternoon By St. Croix Man

CHRISTIANSTED — In a time of coronavirus, there was a celebrity spotting on St. Croix’s beautifully-scenic North Shore.

Longtime St. Croix resident Michael Belcheff said he struck up a conversation with Canadian-born American funnyman Dan Aykroyd at Leatherback Landing Bar & Restaurant (formerly Eat At Cane Bay) about 4 p.m. on Monday.

Belcheff said he spotted Aykroyd at the Leatherback Landing Bar. He was there to pick up his takeout food and drinking a cocktail at the bar while he “patiently” waited for his order to be prepared.

Belcheff said he couldn’t help saying to the man in “big sunglasses” that he looked a lot like actor Dan Aykroyd.

Dan Aykroyd seen at EIF Canada Press Conference at the MaRS Centre on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Ryan Emberley/Invision for EIF Canada/AP Images)

The response the St. Croix resident got from the incognito superstar surprised and delighted him.

“He turns to me and says: ‘Yeah, I get that all the time!” Belcheff recalled. “Then he drops a bomb on me and says: ‘Well, that’s because I am Dan Aykroyd!’ And I said: ‘No way.’ And that’s when he whipped out his Citibank gold card to pay his tab and it said the ‘D Aykroyd’ on it. I managed to keep my composure, pretending it was no big deal but it totally blew me away.”

Belcheff suggested that Aykroyd must be happy to be in St. Croix, where the incidence of COVID-19 is minimal, rather than the coronavirus capital of the USA — New York state.

Aykroyd owns a home in the Finger Lakes region of New York state and a home in Loughborough Lake, Sydenham, Canada, according to ABC News and Fabiosa.

“Then he told me he was already on St. Croix a while ago to film a scene in the movie Trading places at the Carambola Beach Resort,” Belcheff said. “Which I had no idea.”

Aykroyd shot scenes for Trading Places and its sequel at Davis Bay in 1983 and 2014.

Michael Belcheff is originally from New Jersey and has lived in St. Croix since 1983.

Belcheff said his phone was in his vehicle charging and that he wanted to protect Aykroyd’s privacy by not snapping his photo in a public place.

“I really didn’t want to start taking pictures of him and making him feel uncomfortable,” he said. “I think he appreciated that, too.”

The New York Times reported today that anyone coming from New York City should “self-quarantine” for 14 days.

Island Direct offers food delivery from a wide variety of restaurants and grocery stores on St. Croix and St. Thomas for a minimal fee.

So people in the USVI can “self-quarantine” and still get needed supplies to survive the COVID-19 crisis.

Belcheff admitted that he is no stranger to celebrities, having previously met TV host Merv Griffin, Tina Louise (who is “Ginger” on “Gilligan’s Island”) and Utah Senator Orrin Hatch on St. Croix, among others.

The movie “The Island of Dr. Moreau” starring Burt Lancaster, Michael York and Barbara Carrera was shot there, too, in 1977.

The beach scenes from the 1994 film “The Shawshank Redemption.” starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, were shot at Sandy Point beach in Frederiksted.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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