'I was blown away': Twist after man loses wallet more than 50 years ago

Nadine Carroll
·2-min read

A man who lost his wallet 53 years ago while working in Antarctica has had it returned to him.

Two wallets were found during the demolition of the McMurdo Navel weather Station in the southernmost point on Earth, with them found behind wall lockers in the collapsed building.

One wallet belonged to San Diego man Paul Grisham who had served as a meteorologist for the US Navy in 1967, and the other belonged to a man named Paul Howard.

contents of a wallet missing for 53 years
The contents of the second wallet found. Source: Facebook/Indiana Spirit of '45

After some researchers in Antarctica came across the wallets, they were able to track down Mr Grisham through the help of an organisation called ‘Indiana Spirit of 45’.

Mr Grisham didn’t recall losing his wallet all those years ago but its contents reveals a lot about his time in Antarctica.

It contained his Navy ID, his drivers licence, a tax statement, a recipe for homemade Kahlua, a beer ration punch card, receipts for money orders sent to his wife and a pocket reference card for what to do in the case of different disasters.

“I was just blown away … There was a long series of people involved who tracked me down and ran me to ground,” Mr Grisham told the San Diego Union Tribune.

Paul Grisham (left) with his wife Carole Salazar (right) and the wallet he lost 53 years ago
Paul Grisham (left) with his wife Carole Salazar (right) didn't remember losing his wallet 53 years ago. Source: AP

Tracking down the owner of the second wallet proved a little more difficult as records showed Mr Howard had passed away in 2016, so Indiana Spirit of 45 posted the wallet on Facebook to see if social media could help track down his family instead.

The organisation updated the post with the news they had been able to return the wallet to Mr Howard’s daughter Rachel in Ohio.

“She is amazed it was found and so happy to know it is coming to her ... a wonderful reminder of her dad’s service to our nation,” a spokesperson for the organisation wrote.

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