Saturday Catchup: 2010-06-19

Saturday Catchup is traveling, but to tide you over til next week here's an uplifting story from the Miami Herald involving a blurry undersea video that looks like crime footage, a feisty sea creature not mired in oil, and a Coast Guard sleuth named Paul Schultz:
There were photos of two men preparing to scuba dive and a towheaded family nestled together on a couch. There was a mysterious relic settled deep into the sea floor. And even a puzzling video clip of splashing water that appeared to have been taken as the camera thrashed around under the control of something that wasn’t human.

“There was nothing on the pictures that said this camera belongs to so and so,” Shultz said.

After looking through the pictures, Shultz adopted the screen name of “Aquahound” and took his hunt online.

He uploaded the images on, hoping some diving aficionados could help identify where they were taken. Within days, the Internet sleuths had parsed the pictures and found some clues all pointing to Aruba, a Dutch island off Venezuela’s coast that’s 1,100 miles from Key West.

There was a plane’s tail number – and a computer search showed the aircraft was in Aruba the day the photo was taken. There was a blue-roofed building that searchers pinpointed to the island using Google Earth. And there was a school poster written in Dutch.

But could the camera make such a trip? Villy Kourafalou, an associate professor of physical oceanography at the University of Miami, said such an odyssey is possible. The buoyancy of the plastic case combined with various currents could have taken the camera to Key West, she told The Associated Press in an e-mail.

With Shultz’s search narrowed, the resolution came quickly. He posted the pictures on the travel websites Cruisecritic and, and within two days was contacted by an Aruban woman who said she recognized the children in some of the photos as classmates of her son.

She contacted the family, the de Bruins, and all the pieces came together.

“I have a smile on my face … I can’t stop laughing about it,” Dick de Bruin said in a phone interview from Aruba. “It’s really big news (on the island) and in Europe.”

Of course, by now the turtle has probably washed up on a beach somewhere, but it's for sure he or she went down fighting.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails