Message in a bottle

PICTURE: Justine FG/www.freeimages.com. Not the actual bottle.

Almost 2,500 kilometres from where it was tossed into the sea, a message in a bottle has reportedly been returned to the daughter of the man who wrote it, 50 years later. Discovered half buried in the sand in the Caribbean island nation of Turks and Caicos, the bottle had been thrown into the sea half a century before by a family in New Hampshire in the US. Only partially legible, the finder – Clint Buffington, a musician and teacher from Utah and serial finder of messages in a bottle - was only able to make out the words ‘return’ and ‘Beachcomber’. But it was enough for him to track down Paula Pierce, daughter of the man who had originally written the message, after discovering the Beachcomber Motel in Hampton, New Hampshire. Oh, and the original message? “Return to 419 Ocean Boulevard and receive a reward of $US150 from Tina, owner of the Beachcomber". Ms Pierce, whose parents have both passed on, reportedly honored the message, presenting Mr Buffington with the $US150 reward.

Has the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle - a 1.2 million square kilometre area of ocean located between Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico - finally been solved? US researchers say in a new Science Channel documentary that an unusual type of hexagonal-shaped cloud found in the region could explain a number of the mysterious incidents in which ships and planes have apparently disappeared. The clouds, according to meterologist Dr Randy Cerveny, of Arizona State University, can cause what are known as ‘microbursts’ – blasts of air which create what can be massive waves when they hit the ocean. Not everyone is in agreement with the ‘air bomb’ theory, however, and others continue to point out that given the number of planes and ships which pass through the area, the number which have disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle – a term first coined in the 1960s – are relatively insignificant in statistical terms.

An ill-conceived statue restoration in Canada – which saw the head of baby Jesus replaced with a bizarre-looking alternative, provoking howls of protest around the world – has been reportedly been reversed, thanks to the return of  the original head. The statue depicting Mary and baby Jesus, which can be found in the community of Sudbury in Ontario, made world headlines when, after the head of Jesus was stolen in what was said to be an act of vandalism, it was replaced with an incongruous red terracotta head created by a local artist - apparently only temporarily. Thankfully, all is well again with the original head now returned.