Lost and found: $200,000 in gold bars

Someone left a package of gold bars worth $190,000 on a Swiss Federal Railways train on its from St Gallen to Lucerne. Authorities have spent nine months trying to find the rightful owner to no avail. Now, the public prosecutors office is seeking the public's help in finding the absent-minded individual who left them behind. From CNN:

In a bulletin dated June 2, officials said the owner has five years to make a claim for the treasure.

A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office told CNN that several inquiries had been made about the gold and were being checked. Not details about the nature of the checks were given.

image: Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (CC0) Read the rest

Virginia family found $1 million cash in the middle of the road

Last weekend, the Schantz family was on a drive in Caroline County, Virgina when the car in front of them swerved to avoid a bag in the middle of the road. The Schantzes stopped to pick up the bag and noticed another in a nearby ditch. Assuming the bags were garbage, they tossed them in the back of their truck to throw away later. They eventually discovered that the bags contained nearly $1 million in cash. From CNN:

Within the two larger bags were smaller ones, each containing some information on where the money should have been deposited.

"Inside of the bag, there were plastic baggies and they were addressed with something that said 'cash vault,'" Emily Schantz told CNN affiliate WTVR.

The Sheriff's department conducted its own investigation before turning it over the United States Postal Service, which is now looking into the matter [...]

"It's really a credit to just the character and fiber of the family," [Caroline County Sheriff's Department Maj. Scott] Moser said. "I'm sure it'd be difficult to make that decision. It's almost $1 million in cash. But they did the right thing."

image: Caroline County Sheriff's Department Read the rest

How to find a book without knowing the actual title

Have you ever wanted to find a book, but you don't know the title? This video and article from Make Use Of has some ideas that could help. Suggestions include using Google Book Search, BookFinderWorldCat, The Library of Congress, and Ask a Librarian.

Image: Jumpstory/CC0 Read the rest

If you lose your keys, phone, or wallet in Japan, you will probably get it back. Here's why

When I was in Tokyo in 2017, I left my daypack in a taxi. I asked the person who was running a cooking class I was attending if there was anything I could do about it. He made a phone call and within an hour the backpack was returned. This article in Mental Floss explains why it's so easy to recover lost items in Japan. The reason is that large cities like Tokyo have lots of tiny police stations, called kōban (交番) in every neighborhood. People who find purses, wallets, etc., take them to the nearest kōban. Here's how it works, according to Mental Floss:

In 2018, 4.1 million missing items were turned in to police, and the chances of reuniting them with their owners is pretty good. That same year, 130,000 of 156,000 lost phones (83 percent) were returned and 240,000 wallets (65 percent) went home.

Missing items are typically held at the local koban for one month in case the owner retraces their steps and comes back. After that, they’re sent to a Lost and Found Center at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, where the item is cataloged, searched for information relating to its owner, and then put into an online database that the public can check. Belongings are held for three months. After that, they might be handed over to the person who found it. If not, they become the property of the local government, where they might eventually trickle down to secondhand thrift sales.

Image by Suikotei - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 Read the rest

Woman spots her dog, lost in Idaho, on a Florida brewery's "adoptable dogs" beer can

Last week, Bradenton, Florida brewery Motorworks Brewing made headlines with their idea to put local animal shelter dogs' photos on their beer cans to help with pet adoption. Monica Mathis saw the story and recognized her dog Day Day who went missing three years ago from her Idaho home. So she called. From WFTS:

(Manatee County Animal Services's Hans) Wohlgefahrt said they checked and Day Day did have a microchip with Monica's first name, but her last name had changed and the information on it was outdated. (She had since moved to Minnesota.)

Mathis was able to provide paperwork to prove to Manatee County Animal Services that Day Day was actually her dog, Hazel.

"Once I got the confirmation I just couldn’t believe that this was actually my dog," said Mathis.

How Hazel got from Iowa to Florida is unknown.

(Thanks to our Florida bureau chief, Charles Pescovitz!) Read the rest

Man in Japan finds acorn, receives marriage proposal from owner

Kiyo Yamauchi retweeted a tweet written in Japanese, which has a photo of an acorn. He said, "The tweeter found an acorn at a shopping mall and he brought it to the lost and found just in case a child has dropped it. At the lost and found there was the mother and the daughter who were there looking for it."

He followed up with this: "The story takes a huge turn as the mother had a Twitter account and found his tweet. She sent a DM to him saying that the daughter can't stop talking about him and wants to be his wife one day. The original tweeter says it was his first time he got a marriage proposal." Read the rest

Recycling center recovers $23,000 in cash that man accidentally tossed

An Ashland, Oregon man dropped an old shoebox into his recycling bin, somehow forgetting that he had stashed $23,000 in the box. He contacted the Recology recycling center in California where the haul had been sent for processing. The facility wasn't optimistic but promised to alert staff to look out for it. Then on Friday, en eagle-eyed employee spotted the box before it reached the baler. Only $320 was missing.

(UPI) Read the rest

Woman demands that plane turn back mid-flight when she realizes she forgot her baby at the airport

A woman flying from Saudi Arabia to Malaysia over the weekend insisted the plane turn back mid-flight when she realized she had forgotten something important at the airport: her baby.

Following protocol, the pilot had to first get permission from an air traffic controller before making an about-face.

According to IBT, in an audio recording you can hear the pilot say, “May God be with us. Can we come back or what?”

Then you can hear someone on the air-traffic control side saying to a co-worker, “This flight is requesting to come back...a passenger forgot her baby in the waiting area, the poor thing.”

Air traffic control then asks the pilot to confirm what he saying.

“We told you, a passenger left her baby in the terminal and refuses to continue the flight.”

And so the plane returned to King Abdul Aziz International Airport where the mother was able to retrieve her child.

Sure, leaving things behind at airports is common. News.com.au claims that Brisbane Airport finds up to 1,000 items a month, including passports, glasses, belts, phones, laptops, hearing aids, and even, strangely enough, "body parts" such as dentures and prosthetic legs. But babies? This has got to be a first.

Here's an audio recording between the pilot and air traffic controller. A bit of English is tossed in at around :35.

Image: Shadman Samee/Flickr Read the rest

Boy lost in woods for three days says a bear looked after him

Casey Hathaway, age 3, was lost for three days in the woods of Craven County, North Carolina before police found him alive and well. He had survived pouring rain and near-freezing temperatures. According to Hathaway, a bear looked after him in the forest.

"He made a comment about having a friend while he was in the woods -- his friend was a bear," Maj. David McFadyen of the Craven County Sheriff's Office told CNN. "In the emergency room he started talking about what happened in the woods and he said he had a friend that was a bear with him while he was in the woods."

It is true that there are bears in those woods. Read the rest

Case of the missing moon rocks

After the Apollo 11 moon landing nearly 50 years ago, the White House gifted tiny samples of moon rocks to all the 50 states and 135 countries. They were encased in acrylic and mounted on a wooden plaque. In 2002, Joseph Gutheinz, then a NASA investigator, realized that nearly all of them had vanished. Thanks to his persistence since then, there are only two missing lunar souvenirs of the 50 distributed in the US. From the AP:

NASA did not track their whereabouts after giving them to the Nixon administration for distribution, said chief historian Bill Barry, but added the space agency would be happy to see them located.

Gutheinz began his career as an investigator for NASA, where he found illicit sellers asking millions for rocks on the black market. Authentic moon rocks are considered national treasures and cannot legally be sold in the U.S., he said.

Many of the Apollo 11 rocks have turned up in unexpected places: with ex-governors in West Virginia and Colorado, in a military-artifact storage building in Minnesota and with a former crab boat captain from TV’s “Deadliest Catch” in Alaska.

In New York, officials who oversee the state museum have no record of that state’s Apollo 11 rock. In Delaware, the sample was stolen from its state museum on Sept. 22, 1977. Police were contacted, but it was never found.

"Moon rock hunter closes in on tracking down missing stones" (AP, thanks Bob Pescovitz!) Read the rest

And it feels so good: Dog reunited with owner after 3 years

All the feels on this one. There's not much info on this video but it seems this dog was separated from its human companion for three long years. Once they were brought together, you'll see that the dog was shy to engage at first but once it got a whiff and a look, it was a joyful reunion!

(Digg) Read the rest

Woman loses engagement ring, finds it 13 years later wrapped around a carrot

A woman from Alberta lost her diamond engagement ring while gardening 13 years ago, but her grandaughter found it in the middle of a carrot growing on the family farm.

When days of searching proved fruitless, she decided not to tell her husband. “I didn’t tell him, even, because I thought for sure he’d give me heck or something,” she said. “Then I finally went to the jeweller and bought a cheap ring. I only told my son, I didn’t tell nobody else.”

Her husband – who died five years ago, shortly after the couple’s 60th wedding anniversary – never noticed the swap, said Grams.

The missing ring remained a secret until earlier this week, when her granddaughter brought over a freshly-picked carrot that had an ornate ring encircling it. “I recognised it right away,” said Grams. “They found it yesterday when my daughter-in-law was digging carrots for supper.”

Colleen Daley said she hadn’t noticed the ring around the carrot when she picked it. She had briefly contemplated feeding the malformed carrot to her dog, but decided against it, only to later notice the ring as she was washing the carrot. “It was pretty weird-looking,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”

Read the rest

Woman's $400k wedding ring found in 8 tons of garbage

By the time Carla Squitieri of Chesterfield, Missouri realized she had accidentally dropped her $400,000 wedding ring in the trash, the garbage collectors had already come and gone. She and her husband convinced the trash company to diver the truck from its intended destination -- a radioactive (!?) dump -- to another dump where they could sort through the heap from 900 houses.

After just thirty minutes, Meridian Waste Services operations manager Joe Evans, who volunteered to help with the search, found the 12.5 karat ring in a garbage bag from Squitieri's home.

"That’s the lotto for me,” Squitieri told KMOV. Read the rest

Man missing for 30 years realizes that he's someone else

This is Edgar Latulip of southwestern Ontario. The developmentally disabled man has been missing since 1986 but was just found about 120 kilometers from his hometown. Or rather, he found himself. Latulip had lost his memory due to a head injury after he disappeared and had created a new identity. Last month, he realized he wasn't who he thought he was. From CBC:

On Jan. 7, Latulip met with a social worker and told her he thought he was somebody else, Gavin said. The social worker found his missing persons case file and police were then called in. Latulip volunteered to have a DNA test done and on Monday, the results came back indicating he was Latulip.

Gavin said it is an unusual, but happy resolution to the case.

"When someone goes missing for an extended period of time, they don't want to be found and they're off the grid and we don't find them," Gavin said. "Or the other option, sadly, is sometimes people are deceased. I've never heard of something like this where someone's memory has come back and their identity is recovered.

"It is absolutely a good news story," Gavin added. "I try not to only think about his mother's side, but also Mr. Latulip's side where for 30 years you've learned a certain way and someone tells you and confirms to you that's not who you are. That's a lot to take in, personally, right, so there's interesting pieces for him as well."

"Ontario man missing 30 years suddenly remembers own identity" (CBC) Read the rest