Entries in Portugal (2)


Child’s Message in a Bottle Found -- One Year and 2,589 Miles Later

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(ADAMS BASIN, N.Y.) -- When fourth grade teacher Chris Albrecht had his students write letters and put them to sea in bottles last November, he didn’t really expect to get any letters back.

“I was blown away,” Albrecht told the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester of his reaction to an email last week from a 25-year-old in Terceira, a tiny fishing village on the Azores archipelago off Portugal more than 2,500 miles away.

“My brother and my father (woke) up earlier today and went to sea to catch a seafood very common here and found a bottle with a message from a boy Curtis Kipple,” Ana Ponte wrote in his email to the Hill School.

Kipple, who was 10, and his classmates at the Fred W. Hill School in Adams Basin, N.Y., stuffed their letters into bottles, sealed them and gave them to a fisherman who dropped them into the Atlantic Ocean off of North Carolina’s Outer Banks in March.

“It took the students a month to write the letters, and when the project was done, I didn’t think anything of it,” Albrecht told the paper of what he saw as simply an “innovative language arts project” for his students.

Kipple, now a fifth grader, said his letter contained information on his hobbies, playing video games and favorite sport, football.

The Ponte family in Portugal will learn more about Kipple’s hobbies, and those of his fellow classmates, since the school plans to continue communication with their newfound pen pals.

“The project exceeded my wildest expectations,” Albrecht said. “About 80 percent of my students have never seen the ocean. That Curtis’ bottle made it across the Atlantic Ocean is pretty amazing.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Fugitive Hijacker Caught After 40 Years

FBI(LISBON, Portugal) -- After more than 40 years on the run, a member of a group that forced FBI agents to deliver ransom money at a Miami airport in nothing but their swimsuits has been caught. George Wright, on the lam since 1970, was arrested by authorities Monday in Lisbon, Portugal.

Wright, 68, broke out of a New Jersey prison in 1970 while serving time for murdering a World War II hero, Walter Patterson, during a robbery in 1962.  He then joined up with the Black Liberation Army, hiding out for a couple years.  He allegedly returned to his criminal ways in Detroit in 1972, boarding Delta Airlines flight 841 bound for Miami with several other armed conspirators. Wright was dressed as a priest and allegedly carried a hollowed-out Bible with a gun hidden inside.

When the flight landed in Miami, the hijackers demanded $1 million in exchange for the passengers to be released safely, authorities said.  The ransom demand was one of the largest in its day and one of the most unusual. Suspect Wright and the other hijackers demanded that the FBI agents deliver the ransom in their swim trunks so the hijackers could be sure that the agents were not hiding any weapons as they approached the plane.

Once they had their money, the hijackers flew to Boston where the plane refueled before they flew to Algeria, where the team had requested asylum.  The hijackers were briefly detained but were released and they fled. The U.S. government eventually recovered the plane and the money. Wright’s associates were eventually arrested in France in 1976 but he remained a fugitive, according to authorities.

Wright was arrested Monday on a provisional arrest warrant in a joint operation with the FBI, the U.S. Marshals and the Portuguese Judiciary Police.

“The investigation into George Wright serves as an example of law enforcement strength and tenacity,” said Michael Ward, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Newark division.

“Even after 40 years, the commitment of law enforcement is unwavering and through the vast contributions of a multitude of people in New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Portugal, Wright was successfully taken into custody. This case should also serve notice that the FBI’s determination in pursuing subjects will not diminish over time or distance.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio