Sunderland sender of 48-year-old mystery 'message in a bottle' found, thanks to Echo readers
A 48-year mystery over a message in a bottle has been solved thanks to Sunderland Echo readers.
Just days ago, we asked if anyone knew who had sent a message in a soda bottle back in the 1970s. It was found recently in the Caribbean.
The people of Wearside came up trumps and the bottle sender is retired seaman Paddy Taylor, 70, who lives in Sunderland.
Paddy spotted the Echo's story on social media and said: “I couldn’t believe it. As soon as I saw it I recognised the hand writing.
"I never expected it to be found in a million years. I think I sent it in about 1974 when I was working abroad as an able seaman.”
Paddy remembers that he used to send ‘dozens’ of messages in a bottle during his 30 years at sea. He worked on ships worldwide from 1969 to 1999.
The appeal for the sender of the bottle was launched with the Echo’s help last week by American musician Clint Buffington who runs a website called Message in a Bottle Hunter (www.MessageInABottleHunter.com).
It shares true stories of messages found by people including himself. One of his finds prompted him to get in touch with the Sunderland Echo.
Clint, who lives in Indiana, USA, said last week: “For a few years, I have been absolutely stumped by a message in a bottle I found in the Caribbean that was sent by someone from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear (possibly on a cruise?). I believe the message to be quite old - from at least the 1980s, but more likely the 1970s.”
Close investigation showed that Paddy was indeed the message sender.
Clint said he was ‘amazed by the power of people working together to solve a mystery and bring a little joy into the world. Before, Paddy and all his friends and family were strangers to me, but now they feel more like friends I haven't met in person yet. ”
Sadly, the message is so fragile it can not be returned to Paddy. But Clint, who can also be contacted at www.Facebook.com/MessageInABottleHunter or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themessageinabottlehunter/ described Paddy as ‘a walking example of how one man can touch the lives of more people than he'd ever dream’.