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US vet recovers wallet lost 53 years ago in Antarctica

A former US Navy officer did not even remember losing his wallet while stationed in Anarctica in 1967 -- until some friendly strangers returned it to him in 2021 - Johan ORDONEZ / ©AFP


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.

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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.

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