"One of the major story-lines in [the book] is a treasure hunt that starts at a restaurant on a bluff... There are no bottles, but there is a treasure hunt. It’s a major theme. We believe there’s magic out there. There’s magic in the marsh.” Jeff Pearson, WTOC Interview on June 17, 2019, on the unlikely meeting between the book and the message in a bottle.
Read more about this story below. What fun!
UPDATE (March 29, 2020): Almost exactly a year later, the same boys found a shipwreck. It will give you chill bumps if you've read the book. You can read about it on Facebook here.
Three young boys go "treasure hunting" (collecting trash) at Marker 107, a restaurant on a bluff by the marsh. The boys find a bottle stuck in the bank behind rocks and surrounded by the roots of a tree. "It's a light bulb!" one boy says. After digging the light bulb out, they see that it is actually an old bottle with a treasure map inside.
"It's a treasure map! It's a treasure map," one boy tells his mom.
"Wow," she says. "It's not a treasure map, but you found a message in a bottle."
"What's a message in a bottle?" the boys ask. Then mom explains.
The message appears to have been written by a child, Chad, who once lived in LaGrange, Georgia.
Later, the boys' dad, Jeff (who happens to have written a book about treasure hunting in the marsh) asks readers of the book to find Chad. Supersleuth reader Sarah finds Chad in 45 minutes using Facebook. It turns out the message is over 30 years old!
At first, Chad is reluctant to engage with strangers who contacted him out of the blue on the internet. Smart. Then Jeff sends Chad the message. Chad says, "After seeing a better view of the note itself, there is no doubt in my mind that the handwriting is mine." Very cool.
It turns out that both Jeff and Chad were young boys when Chad sent the message over 30 years ago.
Excited to have found the sender, Jeff says to Chad, "Nice to meet you, Chad!"
Chad responds, "I communicate in bottle messages only. I'll get back to you in around 30 years."
The families hope to meet up in Savannah before then.
An unsolved mystery: No one has been able to identify or date the bottle in the pictures above. Maybe you can!
Another very cool fact: One boy, age 6, described the bottle as being surrounded by hands when they found it. The "hands" were the roots of a tree, probably about the same age as the bottle.