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where bottles have been found.,...
Comments by Quizmaseter Roger Lipsett
Angela Erdmann never knew her
grandfather. He died in 1946, six years
before she was born. But on Tuesday
she described the extraordinary
moment when she received a message
in a bottle 101 years after he had
lobbed it into the Baltic Sea.

Thought to be the world's oldest
message in a bottle, it was presented
to Erdmann by the museum that is
now exhibiting it in Germany.
Quiz #476 Results
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Answer to Quiz #476- May 17, 2015
1. World record for...?
2. What are the details?
3. Second place is held by...
1.  The oldest note found in a bottle
2.  Richard Platz threw the bottle in the Baltic Sea while on a hike with a
nature appreciation group in 1913. He was 20 years old at the time.
3.  Second place is now held by Captain Brown of the UK that found a bottle in
2013 that was 98 years old, having been tossed in 1914.
Comments from Our Readers
I Googled "world record bottle in net" with satisfactory results.
Peter Norton
This quiz fell out very easily.  Crusty seaman with crusty bottle, what else to google
than "message in a bottle"?  With song of the same name eliminated, there it was.

I'm interested that this bottle, and that in second place, did not move all that far in
the long times between cast-off and retrieval.  It brought to mind a contrary
instance gleaned in my own family history.  I will write to you about it separately.
Megan Neilsen
This is in fact my first quiz, I found out about the quiz from a new colleague of
mine, she's been answering your quizzes for a couple years and when she heard I
was majoring in Forensics she thought I'd enjoy them.

I've never taken much thought to how many messages could be out there but I
have always thought sending a message in a bottle to be quite interesting, and
reading the article about this find was really intriguing.

Thank you for sending me an email, I greatly appreciate it and I look forward to the
next quiz.
Felicia Rodrigues
I got such a buzz with myself when I worked out your mystery photo.  I thought it
might have a cache of old wine that had been found at first.  It really was a matter
of looking at the photo and having a think about it.  I found the answer after a
search in Google images and was also pleased to see that it was the Australian ABC
News website that provided the information.
Liz Pidgeon
Of course I wish Mr. Therber would open the bottle! I actually find it very odd that
he won't, especially because the man that wrote the note obviously wrote it so that
someone along life's path would find it and open it. I guess Therber has his reasons
for not wanting the bottle opened, and maybe they are good ones regardless of the
fact that the rest of us really don't get it or understand. Maybe he doesn't want all
the pomp and circumstance that goes along with opening it and simply wants to
keep things private. Hopefully, Therber will change his mind.
Cindy Costigan

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How Tony Solved the Puzzle
My first impression of this image was of a man holding an old bottle
next to some nets. This plus his hat indicated he was probably on a
boat and had got the bottle from the sea. I searched google images
for "a man with a bottle", "man in blue checkered shirt with a bottle";
and a few others like that but came up with nothing. Then I tried
"world records" which brought up a bunch of odd and some weird
pictures. I thought I had hit a dead end. Then I looked at the picture
from a different perspective. The focus was really on the bottle. So I
tried "old bottle from the sea" and there was your picture but in
reverse. Clicked on view page which brought me to
which had the story.

Tony Knapp
Recently a 101-year-old message in a
bottle was found off the coast of
Germany. The bottle was tossed into the
Baltic Sea back in 1913 and was
discovered this year by fishermen
(pictured above) who then donated it to a
local museum. Just about every news
outlet is saying that it's the oldest message
in a bottle ever found. Except that it's
No, That's Not the Oldest Message In a Bottle. This Is.
probably not.

I was going to wait until Friday to report on this, since it would be perfect for our
weekly round-up of time capsule news. But I keep seeing this story pop up so
frequently (along with the claim that it's the oldest) that I feel like I have to set the
record straight.

The actual oldest message in a bottle was found just last year in British Columbia,
Canada. The bottle even made it to number 2 on our list of the Top 10 Time Capsules
of 2013. The Canadian message in a bottle (pictured below) dates back to 1906, and
was found by a man named Steve Thurber when he was out walking along the beach
— which means the bottle was 107 years old when it was discovered.

The curious wrinkle in the Canadian bottle story? Thurber doesn't want to open it. This
makes independent verification difficult, and will probably lead to the German bottle
being officially declared the oldest by the Guinness Book of World Records. Before
Thurber's Canadian capsule was found, the oldest known message in a bottle was
discovered near Scotland in 2012 and dated back to 1914, having spent nearly 98 years
floating at sea.

But just know that there's an older bottle out there. A bottle that, for whatever reason,
its finder doesn't want to open. Time capsule nerds sure are a weird bunch, aren't we?
"It was very surprising," Erdmann, 62, said, recalling how she found out about the
bottle. "A man stood in front of my door and told me he had post from my grandfather.
He then told me that a message in a bottle was found and that the name that was on the
card was that of my grandfather."

Her visitor was a genealogical researcher who had managed to track her down in Berlin
after the letter was given to the International Maritime Museum in the northern port city
of Hamburg.

The brown beer bottle, which had been in the water for 101 years, was found in the
catch of Konrad Fischer, a fisherman, who had been out in the Baltic Sea off the
northern city of Kiel last month.

Holger von Neuhoff, curator for ocean and science at the museum said this bottled
message was the oldest he had come across. "There are documents that have been
found without the bottle that are older and are in the museum," he said. "But with the
bottle and the document, this is certainly the oldest at the moment. It is in extremely
good condition."

Researchers believe Erdmann's grandfather, Richard Platz, threw the bottle in the sea
while on a hike with a nature appreciation group in 1913. He was 20 years old at the

Much of the postcard was indecipherable, although the address in Berlin on the front of
101-year-old bottle message: Baltic find reveals my roots, says granddaughter
the card was legible, as was the author's
polite request that the note be sent by the
finder to his home address.

"He also included two stamps from that
time that were also in the bottle, so the
finder would not incur a cost," Erdmann
said. "But he had not thought it would
take 101 years."
She said she was moved by the arrival of the message, although she had not known her
grandfather because he died, at the age of 54, six years before she was born.

"I knew very little about my grandfather, but I found out that he was a writer who was
very open minded, believed in freedom and that everyone should respect each other,"
she said. "He did a lot for the young and later travelled with his wife and two daughters.
It was wonderful because I could see where my roots came from."

Like her grandfather, Erdmann said, she also liked culture and travelling around the
world. She described herself as open minded, too. "What he taught his two daughters,
my mother taught me and I have then given to my sons," she said.
Despite her joy at receiving the bottled message, she said,
however, that she hoped others would not repeat what
her grandfather had done and throw bottles with
messages into the sea. "Today the sea is so full of so
many bottles and rubbish, that more shouldn't be thrown
in there," she said.

The message and the bottle will be on display at
Hamburg's maritime museum until the beginning of May
after which experts will attempt to decipher the rest of
the text. It is not clear what will then happen to the
bottle, but Erdmann hopes it will stay at the museum.

"We want to make a few photos available to put with the
bottle and give it a face, so visitors can see the young
man who threw the bottle into the water," she said.
Second Place
A day after I completed this week's quiz, news of another bottle in
my area appeared.  The one of the girls that did the bottle were
interviewed on local TV.  She didn't remember doing it, but said it
was really their work on the papers.  I thought it interesting that it
popped up just after doing a search on messages in a bottle.

Quizmaster Judy Pfaff

N. B.  It's amazing how the media is tracking the Forensic
Genealogy quizzes.  

I bet you if I had not chosen that quiz, the man might not have
found the bottle, it would not have appeared in the news.  

-Q. Gen.
Man Finds 21-Year-Old Message in a Bottle
Updated: Wed 10:58 AM, May 20, 2015
By:  Ann Pierret
Do you remember what you were
doing twenty-one years ago? A
couple of girls in Lansing put a
message in a bottle and dropped in
the Grand River. And, this past
weekend that message was found.

IONIA, Mich. (WILX) - For the
past 21 years, a message from two
Lansing girls traveled 35 miles down the Grand River to Ionia.

"It's in pretty good condition really. I mean, it was water
stained, it was damp and when I took it out of the bottle. But,
it's in really good condition for being 21 years old," said Terry

Smith found the film case while hunting for mushrooms
Monday afternoon.

"You never know what you're going to find in something like
that; and, this was quite a surprise," he said. "I couldn't believe
it that it lasted this long."

Inside, Smith found three pieces of paper written by
12-year-olds Angela and Leah in 1994.

Two of the papers are covered in drawings of the girls. The
third is a letter to whoever would find it.

"I thought it would be quite an experience if I would get a hold
of them and let them know that I did find their message,"
Smith said.

And, less than 24 hours later, we found Leah.
"I'm shocked I'm totally shocked," said Leah Sedelmaier. "I
was just "was this us?" you know, like I don't know. It's

She doesn't remember putting it all together.
"We used to play in this creek that's back here in the
neighborhood; and, we used to make rafts and have races with
them. I totally believe we would've done something like that,"
Leah said.

Now, she's reconnected with Angie to try to piece together a
20-year-old memory.

"We went to school together. All the way - grade school
through high school," Lisa said. "See if she remembers,
because that would be neat."

Smith is actually from Ohio. He's been in Ionia on vacation. He
tells us this isn't his first message he found, but it's the first
one that's been legible. He plans to put the notes in a photo
album as a keepsake.
The obvious answer is: this is the world record for the oldest
message in a bottle. The details are at
this bottle was found in Kiel; its contents led its origin to be traced,
and the granddaughter of the man who threw the bottle in the water
was located in Berlin. The previous record holder had been thrown in
the water in 1914 and was recovered in 2012.

However, after I figured out what this was, a Google search for
"world record bottle in ocean" gave what you would expect; but
under the headline about the current record holder, the text snippet
displayed by Google did not appear in the story! It reads "Apr 11,
2014 - According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the oldest
known message in a bottle is from 1914, a year after this one. But
according to Matt  ...". I figured this was old text that was in a
cached copy, and indeed if you pull down the little green arrow next
to the URL and select "Cached" you get (at least I got - I'm not sure
where the cache is) an alternate version of the story. That contains
the following information:

"According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the oldest known
message in a bottle is from 1914, a year after this one. But according
to Matt Novak at Gizmodo, theres an even earlier bottle that actually
takes the prizehaving been written and set afloat in 1906 and found by
a man named Steve Thurber last year. Or at least thats the most likely
date for the message, Novak explains why theres some difficulty in
dating it:

The curious wrinkle in the Canadian bottle story?

Thurber doesn't want to open it. This makes independent verification
difficult, and will probably lead to the German bottle being officially
declared the oldest by the Guinness Book of World Records. Before
Thurber's Canadian capsule was found, the oldest known message in
a bottle was discovered near Scotland in 2012 and dated back to
1914, having spent nearly 98 years floating at sea.

According to Therber, you can make out a date by looking through
the glass to the message inside, which he says reads September 29,
1906. So while this new Baltic bottle will probably take the prize for
oldest verified message in a bottle, Thebers find probably trumps it. "

So this bottle would be older than either of the others, but the fact
that there is no mention of it in the actual posted story indicates to me
that it is out of the running in terms of being the record holder.

I find it amazing that Guinness has a world record for this sort of
thing. And equally amazing that a bottle survived for that long in the
ocean, with contents more or less intact. I also thought it was pretty
cool that Google maintained an older version of that story that
contained additional information; I've seen discrepancies like that
before, but never one that was actually useful!

Roger Lipsett
Floating on North Sea currents

FOUND BY: Scottish skipper Andrew Leaper near the Shetland Isles, 2012
SENT FROM: Captain C. Hunter Brown near the Shetland Isles, 1914
TIME AT SEA: 97 years and 309 days

A drift bottle released out to sea on June 10, 1914 by Captain C. Hunter Brown was
recovered by UK fisherman Andrew Leaper almost 98 years later, on April 12, 2012.

Brown was a scientist at the Glasgow School of Navigation studying the currents of the
North Sea, and the bottle was one of 1,890 released on June 10, 1914.

It is the current Guinness World Record holder for oldest message in a bottle.

The message inside read: "Please state where and when this card was found, and then
put it in the nearest Post Office. You will be informed in reply where and when it was
set adrift. Our object is to find out the direction of the deep currents of the North Sea."

The bottle was discovered 9.38 nautical miles from the position it was originally
Eight other bottles to fill out the top ten...
3.  Jonathan to Mary

Matea Medak Rezic in Croatia, 2013
SENT BY: Jonathon (identity unknown) from Nova Scotia, Canada, 1985
TIME AT SEA: 28 years

4.  Writing to Zoe

A Dutch couple in Oosterschelde, Netherlands, 2013
SENT BY: Zoe Averianov, from a ferry travelling from Hull to Belgium, 1990
TIME AT SEA: 23 years

5.  A mother to her son

Karen Liebreich and Sioux Peto on a beach in Kent, 2002
SENT BY: An unnamed French mother from a ferry crossing the English Channel, 2002
TIME AT SEA: A few weeks

6.  A grandson's connection

Geoff Flood at Ninety Mile Beach in New Zealand, 2012
SENT BY: Herbert Hillbrick from an unknown location, but thought to be from a ship
travelling from England to Australia, 1936
TIME AT SEA: 76 years

7.  From five-year-old Frank

Daniil Korotkikh on the Curonian Spit in Lithuania and Russia, 2011
SENT BY: Frank Uesbeck from a ship travelling to Denmark, 1987
TIME AT SEA: 24 years

8.  Across the Atlantic

Breda O'Sullivan in Dingle, Ireland, 1946
SENT BY: Frank Hayostek, 1945
TIME AT SEA: Eight months

9.  Escaping a regime

Dorothy and John Peckham from a cruise to Hawaii, 1979
TIME AT SEA: Four years

10.  A British soldier on the way to the front

Steve Gowan on the Essex coast, England, 1999
SENT BY: Private Thomas Hughes when he tossed it into the English Channel, 1914
TIME AT SEA: 85 years
Personal Story Submitted by Quizmaster Megan Neilsen
Some years back I was researching the Canadian-Australian mail ship "Miowera".  I
came up with at hit at Google Books It only gives one
of those frustrating snippet entries, but enough for me to work with.  It concerns an
1898-1899 bottle journey, the report of which was published in a German hydrographic
journal in 1900.  Here is my translation of the text:

Submitted by Herr Dietrich Hermsen in Hamburg

w) Set out from the Canadian - Australian R.M.S."Miowera", Capt. Bird, on the journey
from Java to Honolulu, by the 4th officer Stanley Bayes Davy, on 27 August 1898 at
3°27´S latitude and 168°54´W longitude, weighed down with sand; found by Martin
Nielson on 21 January 1899 on the beach of the island Rongevik (Marshall Islands) at
approximately 11°25´N latitude and 167°0´E longitude.

Some research showed me that at that time the Marshall Islands were controlled by
Germany, so the appearance of the find in a German journal is not surprising.  It also
told me that the captain was not Captain Bird, but his replacement Captain Hennessey,
that the ship was travelling from Suva to Honolulu (its customary route was
Sydney-Wellington-Suva-Honolulu-Vancouver) and that the part of the Marshall Islands
near the given co-ordinates is the Rongerik Atoll. But it was the co-ordinates that
caught my attention.  The bottle had crossed both the equator and the antimeridian!
Plus Google maps gives the distance between release and finding as 3,086 Km (= 1,918
miles).  Quite a trip by drift in just under five months.

By now you may be wondering why I happened upon this in the first place.  Noting
that the bottle finder was a Martin Nielson might suggest that he was my search object,
given that I am Megan Neilson.  Not the case!  Neilson/Nielsen/Nielson/Neilsen/Nelson
is the difficult name that I research for my husband Peter's family.  My maiden name
was Davy, and the dispatcher of the bottle was my great uncle, Stanley Bayes Davy,
whose life story spans five continents (and proved one of my most difficult research
challenges).  The fact that his bottle was found by a N??ls?n is just a curious

Megan Neilsen