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​Mysterious Titanic Message From Young Passenger Leaves Experts Puzzled

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​Mysterious Titanic Message From Young Passenger Leaves Experts Puzzled

A team of experts are trying to make sense of a mysterious letter that washed up on a beach in Canada - the message believed to be from a young passenger on board the Titanic in 1912.

Researchers at the University of Quebec at Rimouski (UQAR) say a family in New Brunswick found a message in a bottle on Hopewell Rocks beach, in the Bay of Fundy, back in 2017.

They then gave it to the university to examine it, with a recent press release saying a 'multidisciplinary team' are currently working on finding answers.

The letter is dated 13 April 1912 - the day before the Titanic sank - and is signed by a 13-year-old girl called Mathilde Lefebvre.

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Credit: UQAR
Credit: UQAR

Translated from French, it says: "I am throwing this bottle into the sea in the middle of the Atlantic. We are due to arrive in New York in a few days. If anyone finds it, tell the Lefebvre family in Liévin."

According to UQAR, the bottle was still sealed when it was found by a family from Dieppe, with Professor Maxime Gohier saying: "The bottle could be the first Titanic artifact found on the American coast.

"But the story of its discovery and the enthusiasm it arouses is also an interesting subject of study.

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"The discoverers were met by members of the team to document the location and circumstances of the find, as well as members of the Lefebvre family residing in Aix-en-Provence."

The university explains that young Mathilde had been a third-class passenger on the famous ship with her mother, Marie Daumont, and three of her siblings.

She was going to join her father Franck Lefebvre, who left France in 1910 with four of their children to try his luck in America.

Studies into the letter are 'still in progress' with UQAR saying it plans to 'call on other specialists' to look into specific aspects in greater depths.

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Credit: UQAR
Credit: UQAR

Experts have examined the composition of the bottle, the cork, the paper and the ink, also looking at the currents and erosion processes that would have led to the bottle being run aground and buried.

They concluded that the bottle and letter inside were 'not incompatible' with the date, but still had some lingering question marks to resolve - such as why the writing differs from the style taught to French schoolchildren at the time.

Professor Manon Savard said: "We can already confirm that materially, the bottle and its contents are not incompatible with the date written on the letter."

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Professor Daniel Bourgault added: "The simulations of the sea currents also showed how a floating object could, despite a very low probability, have drifted from the point where the Titanic was on April 13, 1912 as far as the Bay of Fundy."

Featured Image Credit: UQAR

Topics: World News, News, History, titanic

Jess Hardiman
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