Steve Thurber has found the oldest-ever message in a bottle after spotting a green bottle on Tofino beach last week.
The Courtenay, B.C., resident was walking along the beach last Monday when he made his discovery. Peering into the bottle, he saw that the letter was dated Sept. 29, 1906, which would make it 107 years old.
If it turns out to be the real deal, it would set a new world record for the oldest message in a bottle successfully recovered. The current record is held by British fisherman Andrew Leaper, who discovered a bottle that was 97 years and 309 days old, recovered in April of 2012.
The letter inside Thurber’s bottle was signed by one Earl Willard. According to the Times Colonist, researchers have found one such man born in 1888 in Michigan, and he would have been 18 at the time of the message. He was apparently on a steamship sailing from San Francisco to Bellingham, Wash., when he threw his message into the sea. Willard and his wife also lived in Vancouver for some time, then moved back to the U.S.
There may be more details contained within the note, but Thurber has so far refused to open the bottle for fear of damaging its contents. Guinness World Records has been notified but it will take months before they assess and rule on whether this is indeed the oldest message in a bottle ever found.
[Times Colonist][screencap via Global News]