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A mystery in a bottle

By Staff | Nov 21, 2017

A Pine Island Eagle dated Aug. 17, 1977, was found in a bottle floating off the coast of Jupiter, Florida, on the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 14. The 40-year-old, 12-page newspaper was tightly rolled and placed in the screw cap bottle and dropped in the water.

Dean Adler and his friend Sharon were walking along Carlin Beach, in Jupiter, Tuesday morning watching the sunrise when Adler spotted something floating in the water.

“We were walking along the beach watching the sunrise and sat on the edge of the eroded sand dune close to the water,” Adler said. “We saw the bottle bobbing around and didn’t really think anything of it. When we got up we noticed there was something in the bottle so we walked over and picked it up.”

According to Wikipedia, bottled messages date to about 310 B.C. One of the most famous messages in a bottle was when a bottle was found in 1999. The bottle contained a love letter written by a British soldier, Private Thomas Hyde, to his wife. Hyde had tossed the bottle into the English Channel on Sept. 9, 1914, just days before he was killed. Sadly his wife died in 1979.

The letter was delivered to his 86-year-old daughter.

“The interesting thing is Pine island is on the west coast and we’re on the east,” Adler said. “If it was thrown into the water over there, it had to travel through Key West and up the coast to Jupiter. That’s just astounding!”

The Eagle office has bound copies of every Pine Island Eagle dating back to the first issue April 21, 1976. On the front page of the Aug. 17, 1977, Eagle are two stories. One of a 9-year-old boy named Paul Mecke who lost his 6-month-old Weimaraner, Sigfried, near York Road Marina. The boy was playing with the dog shortly before the dog disappeared. Six days later the dog was spotted in Pineland and the two were reunited.

A second story entitled “Fire District gets land” is about a parcel of land at Station #1. The land was purchased to build the addition that houses the room for mechanical work.

At the time, Island Super Market had an 8-pack of RC Cola for $1.09 and 6-pack of Blatz Beer for $1.39. The Pine Island Eagle was 10 cents.

Dean Adler contacted the Eagle office last Tuesday and agreed to personally deliver his historic find to the Museum of the Islands. On Saturday, Dec. 2, Adler will present the bottle to the Museum of the Islands at its open house.