Kentucky Man’s Message in a Bottle Returns to Him 37 Years Later
I've never done the "message in a bottle" thing. I came close sitting on the rocky shores of Bar Harbor, Maine back in 1992, but I couldn't think of anything to say, so I gave up. I'd absolutely do it now and ask whoever finds it to message me on social media. 30 years ago, there was no such thing.
Also, I've often wondered if you'd have more success, say, tossing it into the river. Then I think about all the unfortunate garbage we see make its way to the banks, and I realize that it wouldn't raise any interest; it would just look like more trash.
But messages in bottles tossed into the ocean have worked a time or two throughout history, or no one would do it. And if you DO toss one into the Atlantic or the Pacific, don't hold your breath waiting for an answer.
KENTUCKY MAN REUNITED WITH MESSAGE HE DISPATCHED 37 YEARS AGO
If Troy Heller of Mount Washington KY had done that, he'd be in the Guinness Book of World Records after having held his breath easily longer than anyone else in the history of mankind.
Back in 1985, when Troy was 10 years old, he was on a family vacation in Vero Beach FL and decided, for the heck of it, to scribble something on a piece of paper, shove it into a bottle, and dropped it into the Atlantic Ocean. What he scribbled asked whoever might find it to call or write to him--he'd included his 1985 phone number and address.
KY MAN'S MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE FOUND IN FLORIDA IN 2022
In November, after Hurricane Nicole ravaged the Sunshine State, this happened:
@carmaxfam11 Whoever finds this write me back #38yearsago #messageinabotte #hurricane #verobeach #treasure #pepsibottle ##hurricanenicole #hurricanenicoletreasure #specialmemories #howcool #morningwalks #teachersarespecial ♬ Message In A Bottle - The Police
Two teachers passed it off to the Carrmax family who managed to track Troy down online. (I'm thinking this couldn't have happened prior to the Internet.)
Well, I would have been completely blown away and, actually, might not have remembered doing that. But Troy did once he saw the image Katie and Annie Carrmax sent him. I cannot imagine how he felt, but I don't have to; he was interviewed not too long ago by WLKY-Louisville about this extraordinary discovery:
By the way, that message was discovered a mere 13 miles up the shore from where it had been dropped. Happenstance is amazing, isn't it?
BOTTLE MESSAGE DISCOVERIES -- NOT AS UNCOMMON AS YOU MIGHT THINK
What fascinates me is that this is not nearly as uncommon as you might think. I'm not talking about the actual SENDING of a bottle but the discovery of one. Here's a message that was found 47 years after it was dispatched into the water:
THE WORLD RECORD HOLDER FOR OLDEST MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE
And what about the OLDEST message in a bottle ever found? That, according to Guinness, would be one that was found nearly 132 YEARS after is sent out to sea:
Well now I want to go the beach. Listen, about what I said earlier about how you might get better results tossing a bottle with a message into the river. Yeah, forget that. Someone might find something like that a WEEK later. Big deal. That would be like putting stuff in a time capsule to be opened in 50 years and then opening it next month.
What a phenomenal story, and what a cool piece of Troy Heller's past he probably never guessed would re-emerge nearly four decades later.