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Message in a Bottle Hunt Turns Into Hunt For the Authors!

In February of 2022 I went hunting for messages in bottles. It was a very, very good feeling. I mean, conditions were harsh and I was pretty beat up by the end of it. But, like so many others – so many of you reading this, I am sure – just getting to do something I missed so much, something that is a core part of my identity, was wonderful. And the best part of all was that I got very lucky and found a little treasure among the trash that continues to wash up everywhere. One treasure was this beautiful message in a bottle.

Becky and Jim Message in a Bottle in situ on the Caribbean beach where I found it.

Becky and Jim Message in a Bottle in situ on the Caribbean beach where I found it.

The bottle was so dark, I nearly walked past it. But luckily I could see that the cork was intact, so I swooped in for a closer look. Lo and behold, there was indeed a message inside!

Becky and Jim message in a bottle in situ close up, showing message inside. Clint Buffington holding Becky and Jim's message in a bottle on the beach. Clint Buffington holding Becky and Jim's message in a bottle on the beach close up.

Seeking Bottled Message Authors: Jim From Portland and Becky From Washington DC

When it came time to open this bottled message, I wasn’t entirely sure I could do it without cutting the bottle open. The message sat conveniently stuck in the neck of the bottle, so I thought maybe I could pull it out with tweezers. But, sometimes this technique fails. In the worst case scenario, it damages the message. That’s what happened when I tried to pull out Ed and Carol’s message back in 2007. I set up the dremel tool just in case I would need it this time. But as luck had it, I WAS able to pull the message right out! A zippered plastic bag enclosed the paper. I slowly, gingerly pulled the message all the way out of the bottle, teased the stiff paper out of the bag, and unfolded it. It was beautiful!

Becky and Jim message in a bottle, unrolled, showing full text.

Becky and Jim’s message in a bottle from 2018 wishes “GOOD LUCK” upon the finder. I’ll need some to find them!

Happily, the paper was in great shape! Impressive, considering it had been in the ocean for 4 years, circling the whole north Atlantic, and enduring the fierce Caribbean sun. This message, short and sweet, says:

June 8, 2018

9:56 pm EST

The finder of this message will be visited by GOOD LUCK!!

Put in the Atlantic Ocean by boat many miles out to sea, east of Jacksonville, Florida.

Email us at: messageinabottlebeckyandjim@gmail.com

Becky           &           Jim

(Washington DC)     (Portland, OR)

Help Find Becky and Jim, Authors of 2018 Message in a Bottle!

As soon as I read this message I emailed the address they provided. But look, that address is four years old! It’s oddly specific, too… “MessageInABottleBeckyAndJim” is clearly not either of their REAL email addresses. I bet they set up this email address just for their bottle, and then had it “forward” any incoming mail to one of their real addresses. Based on the fact that they didn’t give their last names, this “forwarding” trick, if I am right, was probably intended to provide them a layer of anonymity in case some weirdo (like me?) emailed them out of the blue.

I don’t know about you, but forwarding often does not work correctly for me. I’ve missed emails for months due to poor forwarding. There’s also the possibility that my email ended up in a spam folder. It didn’t bounce back, so the email address in the note appears to be real. But the question is: What about the email address that it was supposed to forward to? Was it Becky’s email address? Or Jim’s? And, whoever was supposed to receive forwards from messageinabottlebeckyandjim@gmail.com, do they still have their same email address today?

The fact is, it’s been over a month since I emailed the address in the note, and no one has written back. I don’t believe that my email ever actually reached Becky or Jim.

Clint Buffington holds Becky and Jim's message in a bottle.

Becky and Jim sent their message in a bottle off the coast of Florida in 2018. I found it in 2022.

So, how do you find the authors of a bottled message when they have only signed their first names and hometowns? You ask for help, of course!

Many times, I have only connected with the author of a bottled note thanks to your help, readers! By spreading this story on social media (particular Facebook and Instagram), we may be able to find Becky and Jim. You helped me find Paddy Taylor, and his note was from the 1970s! You’ve helped me find many others, too. So it’s time again for us to demonstrate one of the positive aspects of the internet by finding Becky and Jim and hopefully bringing them a little joy and some happy memories. 2018… It was a different world…

I must say many thanks to Christelle Koumoué at KGW8 in Portland. Christelle’s story for KGW8 on Becky and Jim’s message in a bottle is helping spread the word as we speak.

Likewise Ben Hooper’s story for UPI on Becky and Jim’s message in a bottle is also raising awareness.

But at the end of the day, it could be YOU who shares the story at the right time – YOU who solves this mystery and lets Becky and Jim know that their message in a bottle has been found.

Solve A Message in a Bottle! Get a Message in a Bottle in Your Email!

Follow my Facebook page and my Instagram profile to help solve future bottled mysteries, and see real messages in bottles as soon as I post them! For more info on messages in bottles, including links to message in a bottle history, facts, myths, and pop culture references, check out the main page for Message in a Bottle Hunter Clint Buffington! New stories appear on my message in a bottle blog, and if you subscribe to follow the blog via email, it will be like getting messages in bottles delivered right to your inbox 🙂