One day in 2013, a young woman named Jess and her dog were walking along the beach on the UK’s east coast.
Suddenly, something caught her eye on the sand–a bottle lying just beyond the water’s reach. And inside: paper!
She tells the story:
I actually found it on my 18th birthday! I was on holiday with my mum at a little seaside town called Sutton on Sea on the east coast of England. It was an evening in late August 2013. I was taking my dog for a walk along the beach and paddling in the sea and I saw the bottle lying on the sand just above the water level.
It was a small sized wine bottle and it still had a label on, but no lid. Although it had no lid, it wasn’t filled with water completely–but the note was very wet. It was a few sheets folded in half, so by the time I pulled them apart and unfolded them there were a lot of rips and torn sections. I went back to the hotel and laid all the pieces of the note on top of a radiator to dry it out and then squashed the paper in between a notebook to try and flatten them out!
I could sort of piece them back together but because it’s a different language I couldn’t tell what it said! Some of the writing is in blue and some in back so I don’t know if a couple of different people put a note in there. I tried google translate with no luck, and didn’t know anyone else who could translate it so I just kept it all together in a little bag thinking I would never find out its story!
When Jess contacted me about her message in a bottle, I knew right away it was special, and that we needed help.
So, what language was it in? Well, she found it on England’s east coast. That told me it was probably French. Maybe German or Spanish.
Boy, was I wrong. When I looked at the message, I saw a language I did not recognize. Check it out!
Right away, I started researching online. Soon, I found it was Lithuanian! Cool, right?
But…what to do with a Lithuanian message? I couldn’t read it clearly enough to type it accurately into Google translate, so I called on friends and followers of the Message in a Bottle Hunter Facebook page.
Like you amazing people always do, y’all responded with offers of help to translate this message. From Jess and myself: Thank you.
So far, we’ve been intrigued by two translations. The first one attempts to translate the three photos above, in order, starting with the first:
Page 1. (Try) to love so you could truly say I AM HAPPY (female).
? so fears, bad memories and tears always grow small and eventually disappear. Only tears of joy and happiness would remain
(Wish?) happiness and success for Žygis, Aivaras (Lithuanian names), You, Mon (or for me?) and all that are dear to you.
Signed by either Modesta (female) or Modestas (male)
Page 2. If he is THAT man, God please open my eyes. (Something like we would say „God give me a sign if he‘s the One“ I guess)
Page 3. To be happy (female) with a man who loves you. (written in infinitive)
Happy future with your son and your beloved one. (written in infinitive)
Here’s the second translation. It feels more complete, though it skips the 2nd page:
LITHUANIAN: Noriu galėti(?) Tave mylėti taip, kad galėtum visiem sakyti–AŠ LAIMINGA.
TRANSLATION: I long to love you in a way that you’d be able to tell everyone – I AM HAPPY.
LITHUNIAN: Noriu, kad mažėtų, o galiausiai ir visiškai dingtų visos baimės, ašaros, blogi prisiminimai ašaros akyse tik iš laimės ir džiaugsmo.
TRANSLATION: I wish that all fears, tears, bad memories would dwindle and finally disappear altogether and the only tears in my eyes would be those of happiness and joy.
LITHUANIAN: ?Žygiui, Aivarui, Tau, Man ir visiems, kurie mums brangūs ir svarbūs, pagal (?) laimė ir lydėtų sėkmė.
TRANSLATION: (I wish for) Zygis (a name), Avaris (a name), you, me, and for all who are precious and important to us that happiness and success would be with us (along the way)
Page 2: ?
LITHUANIAN: Būti laiminga su mylimu žmogum.
TRANSLATION: (I yearn) to be happy with someone I love.
LITHUANIAN: Laimingos ateities su sūnumi ir brangiu žmogum.
TRANSLATION: (I yearn) for a happy future with my son and someone I love.
So that’s all we have. Various versions of three names: Žygis, Aivaras, and either Modesta (a woman’s name) or Modestas (a man’s name). Three notes in one bottle.
Based on where it was found, I think it was sent either from the UK’s east coast, where it washed back ashore, or from France’s west coast, where it crossed the channel to England. It was found in 2013, and given that the bottle had no cap but the paper was still salvageable, I think it was not at sea for a very long time. I’m guessing it was sent between Jan. 1, 2012 and August, 2013, when it was found.
Now comes the hardest but funnest part: finding the senders! Please share to help us find them! And if you know someone who can add insight to the above translation, please let me know!
For now, I really think it’s important to end with a closeup of Jess’s pup, sooo…
There you go. Consider this adorable photo as advance payment for your help with sharing this post so we can find the sender! Cheers! 🙂