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High-Speed Message in a Bottle
Status: Highly unlikely
In the news over the weekend was this report of a message-in-a-bottle that traveled all the way from the north-east coast of Scotland to New Zealand... in 47 days. That means it traveled at a continuous rate of 18 miles per hour. It really didn't have any time for detours. It must have made a beeline straight to its destination.

The sender of the message was six-year-old Keely Reid, and it was discovered by six-year-old James Wilson. This all sounds too perfect to be believable. Even Reid's family is having a hard time swallowing it:
"I can't see how it got to New Zealand. Did somebody maybe pick it up and fly it to New Zealand? It is a bit of mystery," admitted Pearl Reid, Keely's grandmother in an interview to 'The Independent' .
Scientists also are skeptical:
Experts in ocean currents at Fisheries Research Station Laboratories in Aberdeen share her apprehension as they try to figure out how the bottle could have covered more than 32,200 kms in just 47 days- at an estimated 18 miles per hour. "As a scientist, I would usually hedge my bets and leave room for some possibility but there is absolutely no way the bottle could have made it to New Zealand on its own, it must have been picked up by somebody," Bill Turrell, a scientist at the Station was quoted in the paper.
This isn't the first suspect Message in a Bottle that we've seen here at the MoH. Back in Feb 2006 there was the message that crossed the Atlantic, only to receive an angry reply.
Categories: Exploration/Travel
Posted by Alex on Sun Oct 15, 2006
Comments (8)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
I threw several messages in bottles into the Atlantic from the end of a pier in Atlantic City back in 1998. I have yet to hear anything from anyone.

I also threw some bottles into the Pacific on my birthday about four years ago. Same outcome: nothing yet.

47 days to go from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific in 47 days seems highly unlikely.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Oct 16, 2006  at  12:26 AM
Yeah, this must be a hoax: much too fast, too impossible...

In fact, given the pattern of sea currents from Scotland it most likely would be taken by the Gulf stream and end up in the Arctic ice... although on a drifting bottle wind perhaps is a more important factor instead of current (yet persistent wind direction where the bottle was alledgedly thrown in is in northeast direction too).

Another 'coincidence' besides both boys being 6, is that both have English as their native language...

On anther note, got similar memories by this all to Cranky (but at least one of my bottles was found!!):

A botlle with a letter put overboard by my cousin (who was a sailor at that time) on my request on the mid-atlantic on 12 Feb 1984 still has not been found.

A bottle thrown into sea by me from a Pilot boat a few km out on sea in front of IJmuiden harbour in the summer of 1983 was picked up by a beachcomber a week later at Callantsoog 40 km north of where I threw it in.

A botlle thrown into sea from the beach of Katwijk by a local boy was found my me the same day near Zandvoort, 15 km to the north.
Posted by LaMa  on  Mon Oct 16, 2006  at  04:29 AM
Oops: to avoid confusion, that "the same day" in my post above means: the same day he threw it in. In fact no more than a few hours can have been inbetween he throwing it in and me finding it, so this particular bottle did travel fast...there was a strong wind that day.
This was in December 2004 by the way.
Posted by LaMa  on  Mon Oct 16, 2006  at  04:33 AM
If the bottled was equipped with it's own jet pack, I could believe it. Who knows? It's possible! They make jet packs for bottles!!!
Posted by Dily  on  Mon Oct 16, 2006  at  07:50 AM
Sent by a six-year-old,recieved by a six-year-old(and wouldn
Posted by nitedrive  on  Mon Oct 16, 2006  at  01:54 PM
Well, seeing that it's a six year old, my guess is that kid was probably seeking attention for one reason or another.
Posted by RAMChYLD  on  Mon Oct 16, 2006  at  07:17 PM
I can see if a kid through it into the ocean - but if this actually happened, maybe someone picked it up, realized what it was...and planted it in NZ, to "help".
Posted by Maegan  on  Tue Oct 17, 2006  at  03:28 PM
I have thrown several bottles in to the ocean. I had one found. It traveled from Delaware - Indian River Inlet to California in 5 months and 5 days. It was found in a Kelp forest near an Island of the coast of California by a diver. The bottle was only 4 inches tall.
Posted by Shawn  on  Tue Jul 31, 2007  at  08:14 PM
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