Like a scene out of a movie, one lake area resident recently stumbled upon a something they had never seen before. Many have heard of finding messages in a bottle, but most have never found one themselves.
16-year-old Cory Adamson can now say that he has indeed found a message in a bottle.
While walking along Lake of the Ozarks near Bagnell Dam, Adamson saw something that caught his eye.
"I saw a little glass jar on the ground," he recalled.
The jar had washed up into an area filled with rocks.
"I was pretty curious so I tried to open it," he added. In order to see what was inside, he had to break the jar.
The letter was hard to read since some of the ink had faded. One thing was easy to read: The date — October 17, 1972.
The paper is now brown and very frail. The sun has faded the first few lines, but it is clear that the words Shasta and Siskiyou County California are in a sentence a few lines down from the top. The end of the letter reads, "If anyone finds this, please drop me a letter letting me know where you found it also date and name of person."
The letter was signed by Vondel Lockhart from Dunsmuir California.
Adamson took the letter home in his pocket. When his father, Mark, found out, he immediately put the letter in a plastic bag for protection.
"I thought it was pretty cool," Mark Adamson said. So cool that in fact, he started researching the mysterious Vondel Lockhart. He wanted to find out who she was and if there were any living relatives around so that the Adamsons could honor her request and write back.
After researching Lockhart, Adamson found that she passed away on July 2, 1999 at 95-years-old in Weed, Calif. She and husband Collier Lockhart are both buried in the Southside Cemetary in Dunsmuir, Calif.
The pair were married in Shasta County, Calif. on Oct. 2, 1923.
The writer of the letter, Vondel Lockhart, was born and raised in California. She was born in Conant, Calif. on Dec. 17, 1903 to George Franklin Smith of Missouri and Caley Johnson of Arkansas.
On her death certificate, her occupation was listed as a homemaker. She was a member of the Dunsmuir Eagle Lodge. She passed away at age 95 at Sunridge Care and Rehabilitation Center. Her nephew, Fred Goings, was in charge of her estate at the time of her death. Collier Lockhart passed away years before Vondel. He died at age 64 in 1969.
After thorough research, a distant surviving relative was found but was uninterested in receiving a letter in return, thus leaving this letter as yet another message in a bottle.