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2017 Message in a Bottle Answered by Anonymous Irish Beachcomber

I love this story! It’s so mysterious! Check it out: An American girl named Catherine went to the beach on January 2nd, 2017, with her dad and her sister. There, she sent a message in a bottle in celebration of the new year and wishing the finder happiness, according to the Donegal Daily. Then, presumably, they all hopped in the car and drove home, and that was it. Flash forward to March 2018, when they received a lovely but mysterious letter in the mail from the bottle’s anonymous finder in County Donegal. That’s right: Anonymous! Usually it’s the SENDER who is hard to find–but in this case, the person who FOUND the message in a bottle remains a mystery! Catherine’s 2017 message in a bottle thus managed the strange feat of being found by someone who she cannot find.

There are so many things to love about this story. For one, Catherine, now 11 but 10 at the time, apparently asked for a typewriter for Christmas 2016. A TYPEWRITER! Now, everyone knows (or should know) that typewriters are extremely cool. They are immensely satisfying to write on. Each word–no, each letter you type smacks the page with a hearty THWACK! Writing on a typewriter makes writing feel important. And it goes without saying that people who own typewriters are regarded as extremely cool. The fact that Catherine asked for this for Christmas–well, she’s just singlehandedly revived my faith in the upcoming generation! Here’s her typewritten letter.

Catherine Carroll 2017 message in a bottle

Catherine’s typewritten 2017 message in a bottle. Photo: Carroll Family / Donegal Daily.

Transcription of Catherine Carroll’s 2017 Message in a Bottle

Hello whoever finds this letter. I hope you had a wonderful 2016 and I wish you a even better 2017. I am writing to you from Hamilton, Massachusetts with my tipe writer. My name is Catherine Carroll I am 10 years old. I have two dogs, one cat a sister named Una and a mom and a dad. My parents own Lark cookies and I spend a lot of time at the bakery wane the cookies are made and packadged in esex mass. One of my favoret things to do is roler skate around the house and go on my trampoline. I play basketball, soccer and locross. My sister plays hocey and my dad coaches highschool girls hokey for the school pingrey. my address (blanked out) drive in south hamiliton Mass. if you get this letter please write back as soon as possible.



Catherine’s 2017 Message in a Bottle Found by Unfindable Person

Catherine’s dad, Bob, told the Donegal Daily that “The person who found the message was kind enough to write a lovely letter back to Catherine, as she had requested. However, the letter we received was not signed and there was no return address. The only clue is that the letterhead is the Gallagher family shield.”

Indeed–here is the lovely letter the mystery finder sent back, including the Gallagher family shield:

Catherine Carroll 2017 message in a bottle response

Letter from mystery finder of Catherine’s message in a bottle. Photo: Carroll Family / Donegal Daily.

Perhaps the shield belongs to the person who found the bottle–that would make them, likely, a Gallagher. On the other hand, perhaps the finder of the bottle simply acquired some old Gallagher family letterhead at a secondhand store. If so, maybe they are using the letterhead to throw us off the scent–they clearly enjoy a mystery! Who knows?

They did also include a wonderful map showing Ireland and where the bottle was found, which was on a beach with the delightfully sing-song name of Tra Na Rossan beach, which is in northern Donegal.

Map of Ireland showing where Catherine’s message in a bottle was found. Photo: Carroll Family / Donegal Daily.

Message in a Bottle Mystery Intrigues and Delights

Will we ever know who found Catherine’s message in a bottle? Certainly it would be lovely to know that they actually connected and became penpals. I think it would be really cool to receive typewritten letters from a kid across the sea, but maybe that’s just me. For now, Catherin’es penpal has chosen to remain anonymous. But why? Are they encouraging Catherine to follow the mystery via that Gallagher family letterhead? Or are they politely suggesting that they would rather be left alone? It’s just so mysterious!

Whatever happens, this will be an unforgettable experience for Catherine and her family. The typewriter, her sweet message full of goodwill, the friendly and beautiful response… Doesn’t it just give you hope for humanity? Doesn’t it remind us that most people are actually good and kind and want to be friendly to strangers? If nothing else, I’ll take that reminder with me wherever I go, glad to be inspired by Catherine’s message in a bottle.

***If you liked this post, click here to find me on Facebook and like my page for more message in a bottle stories! You never know when YOU could be the one to solve a message in a bottle mysteryClick here to learn more about messages in bottles, and you can always contact me with questions, ideas, or stories. Don’t forget to check out this list of ideas for plastic-free gifts that work for holidays, birthdays, and more.