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Mysterious Message Washes Ashore in Australia

Another fascinating and mysterious message in a bottle has been discovered on Australia’s west coast! The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that Michael Thompson discovered a 35 year old message in a bottle on a remote beach in northwest Australia around Mundabullangana Station.

Look at this thing!

Mysterious message in a bottle - Nigel Hanlon's Message

35 year old message in a bottle recently discovered by Michael Thompson. Photo: Michelle Stanley / ABC.net

Michael told ABC news, “The paper was that brittle I couldn’t get it in my finger inside the bottle to drag it out without breaking the paper, and so I had to knock the end off the bottle and break the bottle to get the note out, and of course it broke in three.” This had the effect of “shattering” the writer’s last name.

This has happened to me and to others as well: paper shatters when it is this brittle. Michael did the best he could, and, based on my experience, it’s impressive that he preserved as much of the note as he did! If you ever find an old message in a bottle, remember: Don’t get in a hurry. Either take it to a professional glass cutter, or cut the glass yourself with something like a dremel tool.

Contents of the Mysterious Message in a Bottle

According to ABC, what’s left of the note reads:

This bottle was dropped over the side of the MV “Cape Don” (2000 tons) 50 miles from Port Walcott, north Western Australia on 20 November, 1982.

If found please write sending (?) Nigel Han…n (age 41), (?)7 Mawarra Street, Kingston, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

The crumbling of the paper proved costly: Michael only had a first name and the first letter of the author’s surname. According to ABC.net, Michael “contacted the Fremantle Ports Authority, and the MV Cape Don Society,” the latter of which was able to determine from Steve Slavely, who was a member of the MV Cape Don crew in 1982, that a “Nigel Hanlon” had indeed also been a crew member aboard the MV Cape Don in 1982. He even shared this photo of himself (left) with Nigel Hanlon (right):

Mysterious Message - Steve Slavely and Nigel Hanlon MV Cape Don 1982

Steve Slavely (left) with Nigel Hanlon (right), both members of the MV Cape Don in 1982 when Nigel sent his message in a bottle. Photo: Steve Slavely / ABC.net

Mr. Slavely stated that the last he knew of Nigel’s whereabouts, Nigel was living in Fremantle, Western Australia. He would be about 76 today. Michael, who found the mysterious message in a bottle, would very much like to make contact with Nigel.

Help Find Nigel Hanlon, Author of This Mysterious Message in a Bottle!

If anyone out there has information regarding Nigel Hanlon’s whereabouts today, please drop a line! Maybe we can bring this story full circle 🙂 Even simply sharing this story will help spread the word!

Wanna see some other fascinating messages in bottles from Australia?

Check out this one, and this one, and definitely this one.

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