Alaska man discovers message in bottle from Russian Navy

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A man discovered a 50-year-old letter in a bottle from the Russian Navy on the shores of western Alaska.

Tyler Ivanoff found the handwritten Russian letter early this month while gathering firewood near Shishmaref about 966 kilometres northwest of Anchorage, television station KTUU reported. “I was just looking for firewood when I found the bottle,” Tyler Ivanoff said. “When I found the bottle, I had to use a screwdriver to get the message out.” Ivanoff shared his discovery on Facebook where Russian speakers translated the message to be a greeting from a Cold War Russian sailor dated June 20, 1969. The message included an address and a request for a response from the person who finds it.

Reporters from the state-owned Russian media network, Russia-1, tracked down the original writer, Captain Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko, KTUU reported.

He was skeptical he wrote the note until he saw his signature on the bottom. “There — exactly!” he exclaimed. The message was sent while the then 36-year-old was aboard the Sulak, Botsanenko said. Botsanenko also showed the reporter some souvenirs from his time on the ship, including the autograph of the wife of a famous Russian spy. Ivanoff’s discovery of the bottle was first reported by Nome radio station KNOM.

A bottle with a message that Tyler Ivanoff found on the shores of western Alaska. PHOTO: AP