Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Three years missing, lost camera returned


March 12, 2020 | View PDF

A camera made its way back to its rightful owner this week, more than three years after it was left behind at a California nature reserve.

Photographing the limestone formations at Mono Lake in October 2016, Jane Pascoe put aside her Panasonic Lumix camera to use a larger one, then left the area believing the smaller camera was among her gear.

She returned to look for it, but as she’d gone off trail, finding it was a needle in a haystack, she said this week.

In December of 2016 an SD card lost on the same trip was found in the mud by a research professor from Reno, Nev., who reviewed the photos and spotted an envelope bearing the newspaper’s post office box number. He mailed the SD card to the address with a note saying “you might know someone who this belongs to”. Pascoe, the newspaper’s bookkeeper, opened the mail, reviewed the photos and recognized it as hers.

Pascoe had given up on the camera until it surfaced at Juneau-Douglas High School this week, where photos on it of a high school graduation were identified by a graduate’s mom, a friend of Pascoe’s who works as a paraeducator at the high school.

Paula Kaufman, travel writer from Charleston, W. Va., came across the camera hanging from a bush the same fall Pascoe lost it, while touring national parks. The only location-specific photo on the camera showed a sign for the high school, so Kaufman sent it there.

This week, Kaufman apologized for the delayed return. “I’m a very unorganized person,” Kaufman wrote to Pascoe. “And despite my greatest intentions, (I) lost your camera for two years in my stuff in my house before becoming organized enough to get the camera to you.”

Pascoe said she was just glad to get it back. “Never in a million years did I expect to see that camera again. And to get the SD card and the camera back is truly remarkable. The universe works in mysterious ways.”


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