A meteorologist in the US Navy was pleasantly surprised to recover a wallet he had lost—53 years ago in Antarctica.
Paul Grisham, 91, did not even remember losing the billfold when friendly strangers contacted him to return it via mail, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported this week.
The lucky discovery was made during the 2014 demolition of the scientific base on Ross Island, where Grisham had been stationed as a weather forecaster from October 1967 to November 1968.
The sailor's wallet was hidden behind a locker and contained, among other things: his Navy identity card, his driver's license, a reference card for what to do in case of a biological or chemical weapons attack… and a ration card for beer.
Grisham said he was "blown away" that so many people had gone to great lengths to reunite the wallet with its owner.
It took a long line of Good Samaritans to return the wallet to him.
The head of a research group in Antarctica contacted one of his former employees, who previously had successfully reunited a Navy ID bracelet — spotted for sale in a store — with its rightful owner.
Along with his daughter, they appealed to a foundation for veterans, who in turn contacted the Naval Weather Service Association, of which Grisham had been a member.
The wallet finally arrived last Saturday in good condition at Grisham's home in San Carlos, northern California.