Howdy folks! Today’s post is a plea for your help: I found a message in a bottle from someone named Ray who lives in Philadelphia, but I need help finding Ray!
Imagine you lost your parents years ago. Imagine that today–decades after they passed–a stranger delivers to you a final letter from them. You thought you would never hear from them again. But here they are, one last time.
Emily Crowhurst never imagined she would receive such a letter. Through love, war, loss, and a dash of genealogical good fortune, that all changed one day in 1999.
Private Thomas Hughes, a soldier since 1905, was a member of the Durham Light Infantry in England. He was among the first soldiers called to the war in 1914. BritishArmedForces.org states that Private Hughes and his brothers-in-arms “landed at St Nazaire and made their way to the River Aisne, north of Rheims, where Germans were dug in. [Hughes] and 40 comrades died on September 21 . His body was never recovered and he is commemorated with 4,000 British ‘unknown soldiers’ at the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre memorial.”
In other words, when Hughes died, Continue reading →
In its early days, Australia had two main newspapers. One was The Argus.
On Friday, July 9th, 1909, The Argus told of a message in a bottle found in Singapore. It was signed by two men, Palmerston and Flenn, who asked the finder to send help, as they were “lost in one of the New Guinea islands”.
The brief message simply read: Continue reading →
Life is such an amazing adventure that most folks don’t want it to end. And when it inevitably does, some send their loved ones on a final journey. In recent years, a number of beachcombers have stumbled upon human ashes in bottles. In every case, the person whose ashes are in the bottle was deeply loved by their family, and the family chose this gesture as a way of honoring the person’s love of travel or desire to see the world.
Personally, my favorite version of this memorial is the kind that implores the finder to share a drink with the “person” whose ashes are in the bottle.
If you find human remains in a bottle tomorrow, I guarantee a stiff drink is going to make you feel less nervous. Continue reading →
Y’all have helped me solve some incredible mysteries. Like the 46 year old note from “Donkeyman” Jimmy Robertson, and the 7 year old message in a bottle from Sabine of Dusseldorf, Germany. Couldn’t have solved those without your help!
I need your help again! We’re gonna solve a “cold case” this time–a message in a bottle found by Stefanie Padilla on Hermosa Beach, CA, in 2013. In fact, she found EIGHT messages inside one bottle, all from German-speaking folks.
In fact, Stefanie discovered the bottled notes as they floated to shore! Can you believe it? Here’s the bottle, on it’s way in: Continue reading →
One of the most remarkable messages in a bottle I’ve ever heard of comes from the archives of the The Warnambool Standard in March 1916.
It was written by Private R. Lock of the Australian military, who wrote in the message of a “girl” who had recently been discovered aboard his ship. She had been “masquerading” as a man in order to fight for her country.
Her reward? She was Continue reading →
A while back, a reader wrote to me of a lovely message in a bottle he and his wife had found while they were on vacation at Excellence Riviera Cancun north of Puerto Morelos, Mexico, in November of 2014. And now, finally, we are trying to find the person who sent that message in a bottle–but we need your help!
Here’s where the bottle was found:
On the morning of July 26th, 2016, Kristin Morin was out for a walk on Cape Neddick beach in York, Maine, with two of her four children. The out-of-the-way beach was quiet, and the tide was low. Perfect beachcombing conditions.
“There’s an exposed sand bar,” Kristin wrote in her message to Continue reading →
When Ashley Guerra of J2LR General Contractors in Indianapolis wrote to tell me of her company’s 87 year old message in a bottle discovery, I was dumbfounded. You see–they didn’t find their message in a bottle on a beach. Instead, their crew found it while digging up a construction site at 10th and Emerson in Indy.
The tiny bottle contained a single piece of paper inscribed on both sides. The front side is hard to read. It appears to simply be a “work ticket”. It shows the business brand and logo, but the handwriting is faded beyond readability:
Well it was a long hard search, but we did it! We found “Donkeyman” James Robertson who sent a message in a bottle 46 years ago!
The story about James Robertson’s message broke in early January when Bernd Igwerks found the half-century old bottled note washed ashore on the small German island of Norderney.
I knew right away that there had to be special story behind this bottle–and a special person. Turns out Continue reading →
archives of the sea, castaway, hoax, Inspiration, Long Island Sound, message in a bottle, New York Times, News, North Atlantic Current, Norwegian Current, shipwreck, SS Crathie, SS Elbe, The North Sea
On January 30th, 1895, a German steamship called Elbe was in the North Sea, making her way from Bremerhaven to New York carrying 354 passengers.
In the predawn hours of January 31st, she was accidentally rammed by Continue reading →