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A Message in a Bottle from Craig, Alaska with a Sense of Humor

On August 11th, 2017, a couple named Michael and Nora made a surprising discovery that has only grown more surprising over time. It was a message in a bottle from Craig, Alaska. It’s an example of my favorite kind: a funny, kind, good-spirited letter. Clearly, it was written by the kind of folks that most of us would like to meet. And there’s the rub! Try as they might, Michael and Nora have not been able to locate the people who sent the note. Why? Well, the senders only signed their initials: W.T. and L.S. On top of that, they sent the note five and a half years earlier, in May of 2012. They could be anywhere by now!

Michael and Nora found the message in a bottle in the Warm Chuck Inlet on Alaska’s Haceta Island. That’s here, zoomed way in:

Now, for context, I’ll zoom way the heck out and show you where this is in the world.

I realize that looks more like Canada than Alaska, but that’s where the bottle was found, and it is indeed in Alaska. Alaska is the most chaotically shaped state in the Union. I mean, look at this!

Anyway, take a look at the message for yourself:

Mike's Message in a Bottle From Craig, Alaska

Michael and Nora’s Message in a Bottle From Craig, Alaska. Photo: Michael & Nora.

It’s kind of hard to read the message, so I tinkered a tiny bit to reveal the writing better:

Mike's Message in a Bottle From Craig, Alaska

Michael and Nora’s message in a bottle from Craig, Alaska. Photo: Michael & Nora.

Best I can tell, the letter says this:

To who ever finds this bottle: I drank it. Best of luck for the Spring fishing and happy travels to you.

Craig Alaska



May of 2012

Soooo…not a lot to go on!

Who Sent This Message in a Bottle from Craig, Alaska, and Where Are They Now?

The funny thing is, it kind of seems like this message would be easy to solve. First of all, Michael is from Craig, Alaska. At 1,201 people, it is not exactly a booming metropolis, so it’s a little surprising that he hasn’t found the writers–IF they are in fact from Craig, too. Michael told me that “The bottle and note are displayed at JT Browns [a store in Craig] hoping someone would recognize the note or names on it.” Well, here we are almost half a year later, and no one has recognized it yet. Maybe this post will do the trick!

JT Brown’s Store in Craig, Alaska. Photo: Becky / Flickr / onlyinyourstate.com.

A curious point: The letter says “I drank it,” as in, a single person. Yet, there are two sets of initials. Why? Did one fisherman / fisherwoman sit there and watch the other get blastered? I think the only way we will learn the answer is to find W.T. and L.S., provided at least one of them remembers sending this bottled note!

Anyway, here’s the deal: The message includes the town of “Craig Alaska” (which, not being an Alaskan myself, and due to the absence of a necessary comma, I thought was an adventurous pseudonym–like if I called myself “Clint Utah”. I see now that I totally should…). By the way: If the town’s name sounds like a person’s first name, that’s because it is. Craig is named for Craig Miller who built a fish salting operation there among many other things.

So, W.T. and L.S. could be from Craig, Alaksa themselves, or they could have simply sent the message from Craig while there on a fishing trip from somewhere else. Here’s Craig, Alaska in relation to Haceta Island where the bottle was found. See it there, southeast of Haceta?

Mike's Message in a Bottle From Craig, Alaska - Start and end points for the message in a bottle.

Heck, this is all so close to Canada that W.T. and L.S. could be from there!

I have one final question: Are W.T. and L.S. commercial fishers? Or just two people knocking back some dranky dranks and rippin’ lips?

I don’t know about you, but I am dying to know. My guess is that they live somewhere in Alaska–maybe Craig, but maybe somewhere else. Here’s hoping that we can get this story in front of one of them, solve the mystery, and connect them with Michael and Nora!

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