More than 131 years later, the world’s oldest information is washed up on the beaches of western Australia in a bottle.
The bottle was found by Tonya Illman and Grace Ricciardo in a dune near Wedge Island in January.
A few weeks of research and letters have produced a Sherlock holmes online trail, dating back to the 19th century in Germany.
The survival of the document is considered a miracle because after heavy rains and strong winds were found about 112 miles north of Perth, bottles were found wedged into the sand without a lid.
Mrs. Iliman and her husband, kam, placed a note in the oven to dry, then untied it, showing a set of coordinates and the date of June 12, 1886.
Mr Ilman’s German is not good enough, except for the “aula” in the name field, which he speculates might mean that the ship is called a bora rather than extrapolating more text.
From there the real investigation, three days later, the couple from the western Australian museum curators confirmed a maritime archaeology, a ship named Paula was included in the Lloyd’s register in 1883, and have a home port of Marseilles.
It was a 320-ton German sailing ship that was later found to be flying from Cardiff to what is now Indonesia.
But the French port listed in the register seems to contradict the port on the note, which begins with “E”.
It was suggested that the ship could be sold to a new owner after 1883 and moved to a new home, a theory that has been given the advantage by the German maritime historian Christine Boer.
She suggested that irmansmann, in the German journal of Marine meteorology in 1887, found that one of her contacts had mentioned Paula with a captain, “O Diekmann.”
In 1886 Veritas, a registrar, found another reference to Paula, listing “Haverkamp” as the captain and confirming that it was in Germany’s Elsfleth.
Further evidence was provided by the German maritime and hydrographic bureau, which confirmed that the wording and printing were the same as those in the 1886 archives.
As the Australian museum decided that the note was “consistent with the cheap paper of the 19th century”, German institutions thought it was true.
Fortunately, the note came from the agency itself, which was known as Deutsche Seewarte in 1886.
The bottle, originally thought to be gin, was thrown along with many others during a decades-long research project to produce a drift.
According to the agency archive, the last known problem was discovered in Denmark in January 1934 – matching a format found on the Australian coast.
“It was the most remarkable event of my life,” said Mrs. Ehrman.
“It is believed that the bottle has not been touched in the last 132 years and is in perfect condition, despite the elements and the belief of the beggar.”
Her husband added: “the first week will definitely cost me.
“It’s like solving a huge problem – now it’s proven to be legal, and I can’t wait to share our excitement with others.”
Once confirmed by guinness world records, it will be in the world’s oldest information record for more than 23 years.