On Monday, Tyler Ivanoff of Shishmaref, Alaska, posted two incredible photos to his Facebook page showing a green glass bottle, and the message he found within, which appeared to be written in Russian.
“I found a message in a bottle today. Any friends that are Russian translators out there?” Ivanoff wrote above the post.
Shortly after Ivanoff’s post went live, several individuals commented with their translations (which vary slightly as these things tend to).
The letter was from 1969, and stated:
Best greetings from the Russian fleet of the Far Eastern Shipping Company. Fleet V.R.H.F. from vessel Sulak. I welcome you, who found this bottle, please inform us at the Vladivostok-43 vessel Sulak, to the entire crew. We wish you good health, long life and happy sailing! 20/06/1969.
An alternate translation from someone on Facebook said: “Salute from Russian Far Eastern Shipping Company from Sulak. Salute you, whoever finds this bottle, please notify us by address – City of Vladivostok-43 VRXF m/b Sulak to all crew. Wishing you the best of health, and long life, and happy sea fairing.”
According to Ivanoff, he found the bottle “down the coast from Shishmaref,” which is just above the Bering Strait.
One commenter suggested that Ivanoff have the letter translated, and search for any living crew members who may have been involved in writing it. While Ivanoff said that his work might keep him too busy to search himself, on Thursday, Russian TV station Ren posted an article to their website stating that the captain of the vessel had been found.
Anatoly Botanenko, now 86, allegedly dropped the message into the sea when he was just 36 years old.
He told Ren:
Great joy! It is surprising that exactly after 50 years the message was found. I personally took this ship. A huge steamboat. The pride of my work…
Then in the Sea of Okhotsk we received good news about production achievements, the implementation of the plan of our vessel, our crew. And then one of the crew members suggested writing a message and putting it in a bottle. What if someone remembers it somewhere, or we meet somewhere, let it be like a memory. And thrown into the sea. The bottle went very far, at least 2,000 miles.
While the captain didn’t specify exactly where the ship was in the sea of Okhotsk when the bottle was released, the distance from the greater Okhotsk area to Shishmaref is approximately 1,757 miles, according to Google.
Speaking to The Moscow Times, Ivanoff said that he found the bottle as he was searching for firewood. It’s not known how long the bottle was in a position to be found.
When his children asked him about the Russian writing, Ivanoff spoke the language to them: “I talked a little, like counting to 10 in Russian, and said a small poem that I learned in Russian from when I was in high school.”
After that, he posted the photos to Facebook, asking for a translation, and the adventure began.
According to Ren, the ship from which the bottle was dropped was called Sulak, a fishing vessel “built in Yokohama in Japan in 1966,” and decommissioned in 1992 after decades of use.
The Daily Wire reached out to Tyler Ivanoff for comment, but as of publication, he has not replied.