When Richard Platz sent a message tucked inside a bottle aloft, he likely didn't imagine it would take 100 years for someone to find the personal letter. Last week, a relative of the author of the message in a bottle found in the Baltic Sea about 100-years-ago, got to hold it during an emotional moment at a museum in German. According to a report on April 9 by USA Today, the prized relic could be the oldest such find in the world, but the Guinness Book of World Records has yet to validate the claim.
An unsuspecting fisherman, Konrad Fischer, was out on the water near the city of Kiel when he reeled in the bottle floating on the surf. Initially, he nearly discarded it as garbage, but upon closer inspection, he observed a tattered postcard tucked inside -- and to his surprise -- it contained a 100-year-old message ( pictured here ).
The scribbled writing was barely legible, but he managed to decipher that the sender (Platz) requested that anyone who found the bottle containing the message to return it to an address in Berlin.
Mashable wrote that the bottle and its contents were turned over to the International Maritime Museum, which dated the message inside the bottle to around 100-years-ago. The next task was to find a blood relative -- assuming the sender had already passed away -- to verify the writer’s identify and notify them of the possible record-breaking discovery.
In short order, a genealogist was able to track down Platz's granddaughter, Angela Erdmann, 62, who said the man behind the message in a bottle was her mother's father and was an avid reader. He died in 1946 at 54.
She never met him, but said the day he launched the beer bottle into the sea, he was on a hike. Researchers say the bottle was found not far from where he supposedly hurled it into the Baltic.
Currently, the piece of history is at the museum, where it will remain until May 1. Its journey from there is uncertain, but his family can now track the treasured 100-year-old bottled message as it takes its next voyage. According to Guinness officials, a bottle containing a message was found in 2012 that had been at sea for 98 years.