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Who are they? Man aims to return lost photos to mystery couple
Thom Hamilton knows how one image can spark a memory, or tell an entire story.
That’s why the Vancouver man is harnessing the power of social media to return 1,200 memories to the mystery couple who lost them.
Hamilton, a hobby photographer himself, was snapping some pictures in Stanley Park Wednesday.
As he packed up his gear, Hamilton noticed a micro SD card lying on the ground.
“I was actually kind of excited about the photo I had just taken, so I didn’t really give it much thought,” he said. But curiosity got the better of Hamilton and he plugged the card into his computer to take a peek.
“As I started seeing images, I kind of saw a really big story developing in front of my eyes,” he recalled. “It started painting a picture that it was a retirement couple who are on the trip of a lifetime, possibly.”
Hamilton said he’s not entirely sure that they’re married, but that’s what it looks like in the photos. “The adventure they were on, they were going to every little town and experiencing every taste and every show and every little piece of culture they could.”
The pair can be seen living it up in overseas destinations like Singapore, Amsterdam and France – and then, according to the photos’ timestamps, they made their way over to Canada.
First it was Toronto, then Prince Edward Island – before finally making their way to Vancouver in late September. The last photo taken by the pair is near the Tea House in Stanley Park on September 27 – meaning the memory card endured two weeks of soggy Vancouver weather before Hamilton came across it.
Now, Hamilton is hoping Facebook will reveal a connection between him and the travellers, so he can return their lost memories.
“You can just see the love in the family and the love and connections they have throughout the world,” he said. “You realize that these memories aren’t with the couple anymore, they’re now in my computer and on my Facebook. They’re not where they belong.”
Commenters have instantly offered their guesses as to who the couple is and where they’re from, as Hamilton’s campaign to find them gains steam.
Among the few clues: A bearded man who appears in most of the pictures, and a license plate number appearing in one of the photos from PEI. Hamilton has also determined the photos were taken on a Nikon Coolpix.
“We’ve cracked some clues with the help of some friends on the internet,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time to see if those are belonging to a family or friends, or if we’re allowed to get that information.”
Hamilton has made a selection of the couple’s images public in a Facebook album, which you can view here.
Something that would have been considered impossible decades ago is now as easy as clicking “share,” a fact the photographer hopes to take advantage of.
“The big thing is the world is so connected now, and it moves so fast with digital and social media. But these two slowed it down and actually went around the world,” he said. “I would love it if they’re still on their vacation somewhere and they’re tracked down while they’re still moving, but if not, I’d just really love to see the images get back to where they belong.”
Update: Thom Hamilton has found the owners of the memory card. Read about it here.