The Author Of 50-Year-Old Message In A Bottle That Washed Up In Australia Has Been Found
Paul Gilmore threw the message-filled bottle into the Indian Ocean in 1969 when he and his family were emigrating to Australia, he was only 13-years-old, now it's finally been found.
“We are 1,000 miles east of Fremantle, Western Australia … please reply,” were the words scrawled on the rolled-up piece of paper dated 17 December 1969.
Fifty years later his penpal has finally written back.
Jyah Elliott, 9, discovered the bottle on South Australia's Talia Beach while on a fishing trip with his father Paul.
The note explained that the teenager was on board the Fairstar, a ship which brought many British migrants down under in the 1960s, and included the boys brand new address, asking for whoever found the bottle to write back.
Initially, Jyah's family thought it was fake, but after some digging around, Gilmore's sister Annie Crossland was tracked down.
Her family had moved back to the U.K. in 1973.
“It’s amazing, absolutely incredible,” she told the ABC.
As luck would have it, Gilmore doesn't even know that young Jyah has found the bottle after all this time, he's currently on a cruise in the Baltic Sea.
But Jyah wrote back, as requested, sending his letter to the address in Mitcham, Victoria that was originally provided.
It turns out there isn't just the one bottle, Crossland told the national broadcaster that he sent about six of them all up but this was the first to be found.
Jyah, they said, should expect a reply as soon as his new pen pal makes it back to land.
It's not the first time a message in a bottle has been found in Australia.
A Perth family found what is believed to the oldest known message in a bottle last year, almost 132 years after it was thrown into the ocean.
Dated June 12 1886, experts confirmed it was an authentic message from German ship, Paula.
It was part of an experiment into ocean and shipping routes by the German Naval Observatory.