Brace yourself, because your faith in human kindness is about to be (temporarily) restored: a stranger just traveled across the country to return a 50-year-old message in a bottle to the daughter of its original sender.
I KNOW. It’s like humans have the capability to actually be good people sometimes!
Utah native Clint Buffington found the bottle while vacationing on the coast of the Turks and Caicos Islands (a British territory just south of the Bahamas). The waterlogged bottle was nestled in the sand, and appeared to have a note inside.
Upon unfurling the delicate paper, Buffington could just barely make out a message. “I could read words like ‘return’ and ‘Beachcomber,” he told WMUR9.
Those sparse clues miraculously led to Buffington hopping on a plane and eventually returning the bottle and its cryptic message to Paula Pierce, of Hampton, New Hampshire.
When Buffington gave her the piece of paper, Pierce immediately recognized who authored the note: her late father. “And it just hit me, it was my father’s writing,” Pierce said. “And I was shocked.”
Clint Buffington (left) explains how he found a note in a bottle which was written by Paula Pierce’s (right) father fifty years ago.
Pierce was able to determine that the note reads: “Return to 419 Ocean Blvd. and receive a reward of $150 from Tina, owner of the Beachcomber.”
Pierce’s parents had apparently bought the Beachcomber Motel in Hampton in 1960, and her father had jokingly written the note before stuffing it in a bottle and tossing it into the Atlantic. Pierce’s parents have both passed away, and the Beachcomber Motel sold two years ago — so the message in the bottle was an incredible and touching find.
Pierce insisted on giving Buffington the $150 reward, as he went to so much trouble to return the note in the first place. “The significance of the message in the bottle was not lost on (Clint). It took him to find it, and it took him to come across the country and bring it to me.”
Pierce also says that you can’t really put a price on a memento and message from your late mother and father.
“This is special because it brings back a piece of him, a piece of her, a piece of my childhood, a piece of the Beachcomber,” Pierce says. “All of these things are very hard to lose.”
Long story short: magic is probably real, y’all. And if this unlikely story isn’t enough to inspire some sort of hopefulness or positivity in your cold, dead heart, then I don’t know what is.
Now, go make Sting and The Police proud, and send out some messages in bottles.