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42 Year Old Message in a Bottle Found

The T&D reports that Erik Richardson of South Carolina found a 42 year old message in a bottle from 1976 in Lake Marion, SC, while hunting ducks! This was in November 2017. Does that ring any bells? It should! We just learned that Ashley Rogers of Arkansas found a 1944 message in a bottle along the Arkansas River, also in November 2017, ALSO while hunting! Deer for Ashley, ducks for Erik… Both went hunting for one thing but found something else entirely: Treasure, in the form of a message in a bottle. Well, I am love with this trend, and I hope it continues. Who will be the next hunter to find a decades-old message in a bottle on the shores of an American river?

The river where Erik Richardson found Mark Gram's 42 year old message in a bottle.

A little scenery near where Erik Richardson found Mark Gram’s 42 year old message in a bottle. Photo: Erik Richardson.

This is just an awesome message in a bottle. Right off the bat you can tell a kid made it because it’s stuffed with gum. A nice, playful touch 🙂

Mark Gram's 42 year old message in a bottle from 1976 as Erik Richardson found it--stuffed full of gum!

Mark Gram’s 42 year old message in a bottle from 1976 as Erik Richardson found it–stuffed full of gum! Photo: Erik Richardson.

Contents of Mark Gram's message in a bottle.

Contents of Mark Gram’s message in a bottle. Photo: Erik Richardson.

1976 message in a bottle with contents.

1976 message in a bottle with contents. Photo: Erik Richardson.

I don’t think anyone has figured out what those small metal beads are yet…They looks like large BBs to me.

Erik wrote a lovely summary of his adventure with finding and figuring out the 42 year old message in a bottle on Facebook, so I’ll just shut up for once and let Erik tell you how it all happened!

How Erik Richardson Found a 42 Year Old Message in a Bottle While Duck Hunting

“Two weeks before duck season Ryan Frazier and I were scouting for ducks in Santee when we found an old 7 Up bottle washed up on the bank. Best we could tell it just had some old gum wrappers and some metal beads or something rolling around in it, but it had us curious. The top was virtually welded shut and we didn’t have any pliers, so we hid the bottle knowing we would be back in two weeks. When we got back to Santee we were able to get the top off and then noticed there was a folded up sheet of paper in it. We didn’t have anything to get the paper out without damaging it, so I put the bottle in my blind bag and brought it back to the boat ramp with us.

Fast forward to a month after the end of duck season to me sitting in my room doing homework when it hit me, I never tried to get the paper out of the bottle! I got a screwdriver and was able to pull out, much to my surprise, a mostly legible letter! It is dated April 10, 1976 and reads:

Close up of 1976 message in a bottle.

Close up of 1976 message in a bottle. Photo: Erik Richardson.

To finder,

I am in the 6th grade. I am twelve years old. I let this bottle go where the tiger rivers meet. I was fishing. I have 1 sister – 3 dogs – and plenty of friends. When you have finished reading this write another and let it go downstream.

Your pal,

Mark

This message in a bottle is dated 1976! To me, that’s just incredible! Do you know what was going on in the world in 1976? Well, here’s a little taste: Gerald Ford was president; Rubin Carter, subject of Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane”, was arrested; Viking 2 landed on Mars; Jimmy Carter was elected; The Band played its final concert, The Last Waltz; The Eagles released Hotel California; Apple Computers was born; Rocky debuted. Taxi Driver and The Outlaw Josey Wales were big in theaters. On the radio, you would have heard songs throughout the year like “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” and “Play That Funky Music,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

So that’s the world this bottle comes to us from, through the decades…

Erik continues:

“This bottle had quite the adventure. It started out near Spartanburg, SC, traveled down the Tyger River, onto the Broad River, through Parr Reservoir, down the Congaree, and through Columbia & Congaree National Park to end up at its final resting place on Lake Marion.”

Sender of 42 Year Old Message in a Bottle Found!

Erik ends with a happy conclusion to the story:

“Who knew one little bottle could go so far in 42 years! Who knows, maybe Mark will see this one day. Likewise, maybe I’ll take his advice and let a letter of my own go downstream sometime.

**Update** Thanks for all the likes and shares! I just got off the phone with Mark and he was overjoyed to hear that his bottle survived so many years! It’s amazing that in such a short amount of time Mark was found!”

It really is amazing that Erik found Mark so quickly! A great end to a great story 🙂

***If you liked this story, click here to find me on Facebook and like my page for more beautiful 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.

 

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