Michigan Boat Captain Identifies Man Who Wrote Message in a Bottle Nearly 100 Years Ago

Jen Dowker found a message in a bottle near Cheboygan, Mi.
Jen Dowker (Handout)

"It feels totally serendipitous," Dowker told Inside Edition Digital in a phone interview.

Captain Jennifer Dowker was scuba-diving last week like she does most mornings in Cheybogan, a coastal Michigan city.

But Dowker was blown away when she found an old bottle buried beneath the river's sands –– with a message inside.

"Will the person who finds this bottle, return this paper to George Morrow Cheboygan, Michigan and tell where it was found?" the letter dated November 1926 said.

After unearthing the green glass bottle from the rubbles, Dowker and her first-mate and onboard historian examined the paper.

They decided to post about it online on the Facebook page for her company, Nautical North Family Adventures. Dowker said she woke up the next day to find her post had gone viral.

"Things had gone sideways," Dowker told Inside Edition Digital in a phone interview. "I couldn't believe my eyes,"

Dozens of messages and tips had flooded her inbox and her post was shared over 100,000 times.

There were nearly 6,000 comments, many of which were merely aimless tips. But by the time Father's Day evening rolled in, a woman named Michele Primeau had reached out. 

She informed Dowker that she was the anonymous George Morrow's daughter.

"Michele found me Sunday," Dowker recalled. "She has her father's diary from way back when and we were confident that it was his handwriting."


Michele tells Dowker that her father was "very sentimental" and would "often put bottles in the water and hide papers around the home."

Pomeau believes her father wrote the letter on what would have been his 18th birthday.

"His birthday was in November, so that would have made him 18," Dowker explained.

"It feels totally serendipitous," Dowker told Inside Edition Digital in a phone interview.

Dowker calls the discovery a "blessing" and is excited to keep Michele's father's memory living on. She will keep the letter framed in a shadowbox on her boat for guests to see.

"For me, it's like winning the lottery."

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