Mystery Message #6: Two Names in a Medicine Bottle

It has been a while since I have posted one of the “Mystery Messages” that keep me up nights, wondering who on earth sent them and why.

You might remember The Case of the Crazy Dollar Bill, or the mystery message from Christopher aboard the Gripsholm, also known as the Sagafjord. You might recall The Mystery of the Beautiful Terrorist, or the Mystery Cameras I found washed ashore–one of which contained photos of a man I am hoping to identify.

This mystery message is a little different than those. Most of the Mystery Messages I’ve posted so far either include no name, or only a partial name, or are damaged to the point that I can’t find a name.

This message, however, contains two perfectly clear names, as you can see.

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That’s Ramon Soler Deliz and Angela Guerra.

You’d think this would make them easy to find–but the opposite is true.

It turns out, Ramon Soler is a very common name. Because “Deliz” is cramped below “Ramon,” it’s a little unclear whether this is actually a surname or something else. But there is no shortage of folks named “Ramon Soler” online. There is also no shortage of folks named “Angela Guerra”. Instead of being an asset to the search, this is a problem: There are too many folks to sift through. But maybe–just maybe–if we share this post around the web, it might just find its way to the actual senders!

One thing that would help me narrow down the search would be knowing the countries where these surnames–Soler, Deliz, and Guerra–are especially common. If you know, please bring me up to speed:-)

So, here are the clues I can figure out, aside from the names:

If you can believe it, the message was in this orange pill bottle, washed ashore on a deserted island in the British West Indies in 2008.

Ramon Soler Deliz 1Ramon Soler Deniz 2

This medicine bottle provides almost no protection: it’s not watertight, and it is plastic (the least reliable kind of container for messages). So, this note cannot have traveled far. It must have been launched by someone in the Caribbean just days or weeks before I found it–maybe a few months at most. To be safe, let’s say the senders sent it between February 2007 and February 2008, somewhere in the Caribbean.

It could be that the choice of a medicine bottle to send this “message” in was totally benign–like, it was just handy and so they used it.

On the other hand, it speaks of distress. In the first place, people generally only need medicine bottles if they are carting around medicine to treat something that needs treatment. A physical ailment? Mental? Did the senders finish all of the medicine and then use the bottle? Or were they in such a dire situation (a sinking boat?) that they simply grabbed the only bottle available and quickly wrote down their names, rather than a long, flowery message?

Taking all this into consideration, I believe it came from one of three places:

  1. A cruise ship
  2. A Caribbean island with Spanish-speaking inhabitants
  3. A boat carrying refugees / migrants trying to get from a Spanish-speaking island (Cuba?) to somewhere else.

And that’s pretty much all I have.

So what do you think? Can we find them? Can we solve this mystery? Will we ever learn who Ramon and Angela are? Will we ever learn why thy sent their message in a pill bottle?

I really think there is only one path to solving this mystery, and that is by sharing this post far and wide. That’s especially true of folks who live in areas with Latino populations, including such areas within America as well as Spanish-speaking countries around the Atlantic: Mexico and Central American countries, South American countries, Spain, Portugal, etc.

Help! Share! Spread the word! Let’s find Ramon and Angela!

Messages in Bottles, Social Media, and Online Dating

A lot of folks like to compare messages in bottles to social media—particularly Facebook. Reporters often suggest that sending a message in a bottle is like the original “friend request” and that responding to one is like accepting it.

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Seeking Ray from Philadelphia!

Howdy folks! Today’s post is a brief one, because it’s only part of a story, and it’s mainly a plea for your help. Here it is: I found a message in a bottle from someone named Ray who lives in Philadelphia, but I need help finding Ray!

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Why Do We Romanticize Messages in Bottles?

Well, sports fans, those of you who have been keeping up with the blog know that I have been posting about my travels in Europe in 2015 to meet the senders of bottles I have found. This post takes a break from that in order focus on the question in the title.

Recently, I was asked a series of questions about why people send messages in bottles and why we romanticize them so much. I’m sharing my response to those questions here in hopes that you will comment and respond to this line of questioning, too. Why are we so fascinated by messages in bottles? Why do we send them? Why do we hope to find them? What do they tell us about ourselves and about our world? My responses are right here. I hope you’ll respond in the comments below:-)

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Canterbury Trails

Here’s that bottle I found while shuffling past a bunch of plastic body parts on the beach in 2011:

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Litter

There’s something beautiful but unsettling about cloudy days in the Caribbean. You expect every day on every Caribbean island to look more or less like a Corona commercial: blue skies, turquoise water, blinding white sand. When it’s not like that, something just feels…off. And so it was that I set out on a gray, cloudy beach hike May 26th, 2011 feeling all gray and cloudy myself.

Somehow, that mood transferred to my beachcombing and it affected what I saw. I kept zooming in on stuff like this:

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1983

Meet Kelvin and Sammie Euridge–father and daughter.

Sammie and Kelvin Overlooking Grand Valetta Harbour 1983 Close Up

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