The concept of find a message in a bottle sound whimsical enough on its own. But finding a message in a bottle that was sent over 30 years ago from Scotland enters a whole different stratosphere of remarkable.
This unlikely scenario is precisely what happened to Florida residents Ruth and Lee Huenniger when they happened upon a message in a bottle lying under a fence near the Atlantic Ocean.
The message itself was sent in the 1980s by a class of students from Forfar, Scotland who were learning about pirates.
"We are learning all about pirates. We would like to see how far this message goes. Please write and tell us where you found this bottle. We are class 213, Chapelpark Academy Street," the message reads.
Surprisingly well preserved, the Huennigers were not only able to read the decades old message, but they were able to decipher the return address and send a return letter.
The letter's paper was covered in transpaseal to preserve it from water damage.
Ruth Huenniger detailed to The Daily Mail how they found the letter, and how promptly they wrote a letter.
"Lee found it after Hurricane Irma as he was checking for damage along a fence in our homeowner's association.It was a large plastic bottle, like a Coke bottle and it was frosted over and you could not see very well inside. Lee could not get the top off of it but saw a corner of the paper near the neck of the bottle. He was going to put in the recycle bin but decided to cut it open. It was several weeks maybe six before we received a response.We threw the original bottle out because we thought we were not going to hear anything else about the note."
The Forfar school's location changed in 2007, however, Huennigers' letter still found its way to school staff.
They received a letter back from recently retired teacher, Fiona Cargill, of Angus, Scotland. Cargill was pleasantly shocked by the letter, and managed to narrow the messages down to one of her classes from the 1980s.
"It's amazing. I liked to teach a project on pirates because it helped develop a lot of different skills. One part of that would involve getting in groups, writing a letter and sending a message in a bottle out to sea and seeing if it ever came back.I believe it is one class of primary 2/3 in particular because one of the children was related to a trawlerman in Arbroath who would take the bottle in their boat and throw it a bit further out so that it was less likely to just wash back ashore. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the pupil who wrote the letter but looking back there's an error where they meant to write 'street' which I found quite amusing. Stupidly, I forgot to get them to date the letter which really would have helped in narrowing it down."
A few former students from the school found the story online and shared their memories.
This must be a total mind bender for them.
The story of finding this bottle truly exemplifies that one man's trash is another man's message in a bottle.