Woman’s Photo Went Viral Due To Something Hidden In The Background

Unless you’re a celebrity or have a massive social media following for some other reason, you don’t typically expect photos of your personal life to go viral. But that’s just what happened when one mother posted photos of herself and her friend vacationing in Canada. The images seemed ordinary enough– just some friends posing in front of a valley at the top of a trail. It wasn’t until she looked much closer that the woman realized what was hidden in the background. Read on to discover what made an ordinary hiking photo seem so extraordinary.

The Popular Hiking Spot

The woman and her friend had gone to Dundas Peak, a popular hiking spot in Hamilton, Canada. The park is in the greater region of Ontario and overlooks colorful trees and hillsides, especially in autumn.

A woman sits on the edge of a rock overlooking a valley of trees.
SlicedUpBeef/Reddit
SlicedUpBeef/Reddit

The park not only offers rocks that the daring can sit on for a breathtaking view, but it also is where the Tew’s Falls waterfall can be found. The waterfall is the tallest in its city, making it all the more attractive to tourists and locals alike.

A Great View For Photographers

Given all of the incredible views you can capture at this park, it’s no surprise that thousands of people visit it each year. The cliffhanging rocks offer a place to capture incredible photographs over a sea of colorful trees.

beautiful hiking view
stunkndroned/Reddit
stunkndroned/Reddit

This stunning perspective makes it a great spot for photographers and models. And regular visitors enjoy feeling like models while they show off their bravery and pose on the cliffs. The thrill of sitting on the edge of a cliff is an attractive quality of the park to some.

A Woman Looking To Get Away

The mystery of the photograph all started when a woman named Kim decided to visit the park with her friend. She felt she needed a break from her everyday life as a mom to go and do something adventurous.

A woman sits on the cliff.
Dundas Peak/Facebook
Dundas Peak/Facebook

Kim and her friend had decided on the park for its sweeping views and daring reputation. They first got the idea from the friend’s cousin, who had shown them a picture of himself on the famous cliffs.

Arriving At The Peak

Kim and her friend braced themselves for the moderate 2.4-mile hike. Though it wouldn’t be terribly long, they would be going uphill to reach the peak with the gorgeous views.

Peak sit on the edge of a cliff and look out at the view.
Dundas Peak/Facebook
Dundas Peak/Facebook

The women made it to the site where other hikers were also taking photographs.

Each Took Turns In Front And Behind The Camera

They decided to take turns snapping photos of one another so that one could play photographer while the other played model.

posing on cliff man in red shirt
Photo Credit: SlicedUpBeef / Reddit
Photo Credit: SlicedUpBeef / Reddit

They had a very specific image in mind of how they wanted to pose for the photo.

Her Cousin’s Photo Gave Them The Inspiration They Needed

Kim and her friend agreed that they would try to recreate the photo that had initially inspired them to go on the hike.

dundas peak fall colors
Photo Credit: SammyKaye71 / Reddit
Photo Credit: SammyKaye71 / Reddit

The friend’s cousin had posed on the edge of the peak while his friend took a photo from the side.

They Hoped Someone Would Walk By

Unlike the popular pose where the model is looking straight ahead, the angle they were going for would show their faces.

A woman poses on a cliff with her hand in the air.
Dundas Peak/Facebook
Dundas Peak/Facebook

They figured that if they were lucky, they might find someone who would take a picture of them both.

Something Stood Out

The women took turns so that one took the photo while the other posed. First up was Kim’s friend, so she headed up to sit on the rock the same way that her cousin had.

Train tracks run along Dundas Peak.
Mohamed Moiz Ahmed/Unsplash
Mohamed Moiz Ahmed/Unsplash

As she adjusted to find a comfortable position, she noticed something glimmer below.

It Was Just Out Of Reach…

She looked around to try to find what it was that had caught her eye.

hand reaching over water
Photo Credit: @polarmermaid / Unsplash
Photo Credit: @polarmermaid / Unsplash

Then she discovered that the item was dangling from a branch and reached down to grab it. Despite the rocky landscape and awkward angle leaning off a huge precipice, Kim was curious enough to risk it.

They Were Car Keys…But Were They Worth It?

The branch that the keys hung from was only three feet below, but when you’re hanging over a cliff the stakes are much higher. Kim joined her friend to see what was happening.

A person holds car keys in their hand.
Roland Denes/Unsplash
Roland Denes/Unsplash

The women looked at the keys then at one another.

One Holds On While The Other Dangles…

They knew that they could save someone a lot of trouble if they reached out for the keys.

man at the edge of a cliff
Photo Credit: Pat Whelen / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Pat Whelen / Unsplash

So Kim swung her arm out to grab them while her friend kept Kim stable.

Success! But Who Was The Owner?

Thankfully, they snagged the keys without any issue. After the friends retrieved the keys, they went on with their photoshoot.

dundas peak in the fog
Photo Credit: chouxlalaa / Reddit
Photo Credit: chouxlalaa / Reddit

Sure enough, they were able to find someone to grab a picture of them together before they went on their way back to the car. But something was weighing heavily on their minds. Who was the owner of the keys?

It Was Getting Dark

Before they knew it, dusk was approaching and the hiking trail started to feel a little less welcoming.

Hillsides are silhoutted at dusk.
Wes Hicks/Unsplash
Wes Hicks/Unsplash

They hurried back to the nearly empty parking lot hoping that they would find the car that the missing keys belonged to.

The Owner Of The Keys Was Nowhere To Be Found

Kim and her friend returned to the parking lot as the sun disappeared beyond the trees. They were able to easily discern which vehicle the missing keys belonged to since all of the cars were nearly gone.

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Dundas Peak/Facebook
Dundas Peak/Facebook

Though the car was still there, the owner was nowhere in sight. They didn’t want to stay out in the cold as the sky grew darker, so they decided to leave the keys on top of the car on the driver’s side.

What Could Have Possibly Happened?

It’s hard to say what would have caused someone to leave or misplace their keys in the forest and leave their care there. Were the keys even to the vehicle? Could someone still be out there looking for them?

abandoned car in the woods covered in weeds
Photo Credit: ALEXSIS-SENPAI / Reddit
Photo Credit: ALEXSIS-SENPAI / Reddit

Or was there a more complicated answer? Kim and her friend didn’t have to wait long for their questions to be answered since the story suddenly made it on the local news.

Someone Had Gone Missing

A week later, the women discovered who the owner of the car was after it appeared on the news. Apparently, someone had gone missing from the park. Though the authorities had recovered the car, it was still a mystery what had happened to the individual.

Colorful trees fill the valley of Dundas Peak.
White Rainforest/Unsplash
White Rainforest/Unsplash

The two wished the stranger and those investigating all the best, but before long the mystery faded from their minds. It wasn’t until another month had gone by that Dundas Peak resurfaced in their lives.

A Social Media User Pointed Something Out

One day, Kim logged onto her social media and discovered that the photograph of her friend’s cousin had gone viral due to a post on Reddit. The user had seen something in his photograph that would immediately make the hairs on the back of her neck stand up.

A woman types on her laptop.
Christina@wocintechchat.com/Unsplash
Christina@wocintechchat.com/Unsplash

As soon as news spread of what was hiding in the back of this photograph, the post went viral. Everyone was trying to figure out what it could be.

Nothing Seemed Unusual At First

At first glance, the image of that captured the cousin at Dundas Peak seemed perfectly normal. After all, it was this image that convinced Kim and her friend to go to the hiking trail in the first place!

A man poses on the cliff at Dundas Peak.
Sliced Up Beef/Reddit
Sliced Up Beef/Reddit

The cousin stands out since he’s in all black attire and the trees are mostly thin and barren. A quick scan of the photo wasn’t enough for Kim or her friend to see it. But then they looked closer.

A Closer Look

They zoomed into the photo as far as they could without lowering the quality so much that they couldn’t make anything out. Once the image was closer up, they could see what had made the photo go viral.

A woman appears to be standing on the hillside.
Sliced Up Beef/Reddit
Sliced Up Beef/Reddit

There Was A Figure!

In the middle of the image appeared to be a figure in a white top and dark bottoms standing on the cliffside.

red circle image someone standing forest
Photo Credit: SlicedUpBeef / Reddit
Photo Credit: SlicedUpBeef / Reddit

This shook Kim and her friend because they were sure there was no way to safely access that area. Could this person also be the owner of the lost keys?

The Image Wasn’t In Kim’s Photos

The first thing that Kim and her friend thought to do was to look back at their photographs. If it was a trick of light or something on the rock, they assumed that it would probably show up in their pictures, too.

A woman poses with her dog at Dundas Peak.
Dundas Peak/Facebook
Dundas Peak/Facebook

Oddly enough, the figure was not in any of their pictures. This was especially odd since the women had made sure to recreate the cousin’s photo by posing at the same spot and getting the right angle.

They Couldn’t Solve The Mystery

Kim and her friend tried to remain rational about the series of events. Still, they couldn’t help but feel a little uneasy about it. After all, they discovered a woman had gone missing from the park.

Woman pose together at Dundas Peak.
Dundas Peak/Facebook
Dundas Peak/Facebook

As they began to think about the series of events, they started to wonder if the figure could be the woman who had gone missing. The timing made it seem like it could be a possibility, but they didn’t want to get ahead of themselves.

She Reached Out To Her Followers

Since Kim and her friend couldn’t figure out the mystery, they decided to take to social media for some help. She made a post that explained the entire story, starting with her and her friend’s idea to recreate the cousin’s photo.

Social Cut/Unsplash
Social Cut/Unsplash

She then explained what appeared to be in the photograph. She stated that she was sure there was no way to access that part of the cliff. Then she figured out what she needed to piece the mystery together.

She Wanted To Compare More Photos

Kim figured that between her, her friend, and her friend’s cousin. they didn’t have a ton of material to go on. It was still possible that what was in the photo wasn’t a person at all.

A woman takes a picture of a man while they both are at Dundas Peak.
Dundas Peak/Facebook
Dundas Peak/Facebook

In order to feel more reassured, Kim wanted to look at more photos to see if any other ones had a similar effect. She decided to add to the end of her social media post a request for her followers.

She Asked Her Followers For Help

Kim asked them if they would send her any photos that they have of the same location. She hoped that her followers would also share her post so that more people would send in their photos.

The Dundas Peak waterfall runs.
Jessica Lam/Unsplash
Jessica Lam/Unsplash

Since the photo had already gone viral, she was sure there would be plenty of people out there who would be interested in the story and willing to contribute to the picture collection. Kim sent off her post and awaited the responses.

People Had Different Theories

People starting contributing their theories about what the figure could be. Some thought that it was the ghost of one of the missing hikers of the past. Others believed it had to have been a technological problem or something with the light.

A woman and her dog sit on a rock on a cliff.
Dundas Peak/Facebook
Dundas Peak/Facebook

Still others claimed that there is a trail that leads to the area the figure was seen. They were sure that the figure wasn’t an optical illusion or a ghost, but merely another hiker.

Someone Claimed To Be The Figure

The search for the truth came to a tentative end when one Reddit user claimed that it was them who was captured in the photo. They said that they had been at Dundas Peak the same day that the mysterious photo was taken.

A person dangles their feet over the cliff at Dundas Peak.
Nadine Shaabana
Nadine Shaabana

Furthermore, they remembered wearing a light grey sweater and dark jeans. It seemed that all of the hype was overexaggerated. Still, it’s possible that the person was only saying it was them to put an end to the discussion. Perhaps we’ll never know the truth but it’s fun to think about!

Mikey Lythcott Shared His World Travels With Friends On Facebook

Mikey Lythcott has made plenty of friends from his travels all over the world. The 36-year-old globetrotter lived as an ex-pat in Lisbon, Portugal, but kept in touch with his international buddies through social media.

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mikelythcott/Instagram
mikelythcott/Instagram

Lythcott would often post pictures of exotic beaches and marketplaces, keeping friends up to date on every new country he checked off his bucket list.

Lythcott Made Plans With A Friend To Meet Up In Bali

Lythcott was an avid world traveler who had been to 54 different countries. On a visit to Thailand in February 2018, he met Stacey Eno, who lives in Gwangju, South Korea, where she is an English teacher. Lythcott and Eno made plans to link up again in Bali the following August.

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Michael Lythcott/Facebook
Michael Lythcott/Facebook

It was a spontaneous opportunity to check off his 55th country, but little did Lythcott know he’d be fighting for his life just hours after he arrived.

Lythcott And Eno Decided To Explore Bali By Scooter

When Lythcott and Eno arrived in the town of Ubud on the island of Bali on August 22, 2018. They weren’t wrong in thinking that a neat way to explore Bali’s upland region was via scooter. So they rented one out, put on their helmets, and they were off.

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Rio Helmi/LightRocket via Getty Images
Rio Helmi/LightRocket via Getty Images

At that point, they’d only spent a total of seven hours in Indonesia before things would literally take a turn for the worst.

A Van Passed Them As They Were Traveling Uphill

The pair’s scooter excursion took them up a hill. They must have been riding cautiously, albeit a little slower, because within that time a van passed them.

emergency-facebook-saved-lives-in-bali-4-44164
Rio Helmi/LightRocket via Getty Images
Rio Helmi/LightRocket via Getty Images

“After it passed, I could see a turn coming up. So I hit the brakes as normal, but the brakes didn’t slow the bike leaving us very little time to make a move and not enough time to negotiate a turn,” Lythcott would later recall to CNN.

Lythcott Didn’t Know Where He Was And Couldn’t See A Thing

With not enough time to turn, Lythcott and Eno rode right off the hill and into a ravine. When he eventually regained consciousness, Lythcott didn’t know where he was. He told CNNthat all he could see was the sky through the trees.

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Muhammad Fauzy/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Muhammad Fauzy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

They were somewhere in a Bali forest, so it was incredibly dark. As he tried to orient himself, Lythcott realized that he had lost his helmet and his eyeglasses. He also couldn’t use his left wrist.

Lythcott Realized He Was Injured And About To Fall

As Lythcott came to after the scooter accident, he realized just how seriously injured he was. “My back felt half broken. I couldn’t move and barely could pull myself up when I found a thick vine in the dark. Every move, I kept slipping,” he told CNN.

emergency-facebook-saved-lives-in-bali-6-52448
Education Images/UIG via Getty Images
Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

Lythcott said that he felt like he was on some sort of incline. But because he couldn’t see where he was, he didn’t know to where he might be slipping.

Eno Was Alive But In The Same Helpless Position As Lythcott

Lythcott called out to Eno, who responded that she couldn’t move and that she felt like she was seriously injured as well. They were both immobile, lost, and helpless. Lythcott heard running water nearby and worried that the incline they were on would fall into a body of water.

emergency-facebook-saved-lives-in-bali-7-90249
Education Images/UIG via Getty Images
Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

If it was too deep, their injuries would probably prevent them from swimming out and they might drown. But if it was too shallow, they might just plummet to their death.

Lythcott Knew No One Saw Their Accident

Having lost his helmet, Lythcott likely suffered a serious head injury as well. “I then did think ‘I’m gonna die here,’ because no one knew we were here or went over and we were both hurt and for a minute I couldn’t even remember how we got there,” he recalled to CNN.

emergency-facebook-saved-lives-in-bali-8-14613
Rio Helmi/LightRocket via Getty Images
Rio Helmi/LightRocket via Getty Images

Unable to move somewhere in the dense forestry, they had no way of physically going back out to the road to signal passersby.

He Couldn’t Call Local Authorities, But He Found A Surprise In His Pocket

As he struggled to remember how he even got in the accident, Lythcott was at least conscious enough to attempt to do something. He had a cellular phone with a local SIM, but realized that he lost it in the crash.

emergency-facebook-saved-lives-in-bali-9-69747
James Looker/Digital Camera Magazine via Getty Images
James Looker/Digital Camera Magazine via Getty Images

Surprisingly though, he felt his American phone in his jacket pocket. Able to access it, he turned on its international roaming. He barely had a signal, but it was enough for him to do what he did next.

Lythcott Decided To Send Out An SOS On Facebook

“I got it and turned on international roaming and just barely got signal,” Lythcott told CNN. He decided to put out an SOS on Facebook. He put out a simple post that read, “Help. In danger. Call police.” After that, all he could do was wait.

emergency-facebook-saved-lives-in-bali-10-67025
Michael Lythcott/Facebook
Michael Lythcott/Facebook

Thankfully, he wouldn’t have to wait long. In this day and age, depending on how active you are on social media, your friends will notice if something is off.

Friend Aimee Sparks Noticed The SOS Right Away

Aimee Sparks met Lythcott in Seattle back in 2004. The friends even traveled together to Nepal in 2014. She was one of the first people to see Lytchott’s SOS. “I saw Mikey’s post just a minute or two after it went up. I work remotely and tend to have Facebook open while I work. I saw it and of course was startled and a bit surprised,” she told CNN.

emergency-facebook-saved-lives-in-bali-11-51948
Ken Cedeno/Corbis via Getty Images
Ken Cedeno/Corbis via Getty Images

Sparks was certainly alarmed, but something seemed off.

Sparks Was Worried That Something Was Wrong

Sparks at first wasn’t quite sure what to do. “I worried that he had been drugged or kidnapped or something,” she told CNN.

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Robert Alexander/Getty Images
Robert Alexander/Getty Images

“I went on his FB page and was going to send him a message when I realized that there is a call option now, so I called him. I think I was the first person to actually talk to him.” Sparks confirmed that Lythcott was very much in grave danger.

Many Of His Friends Believed It Was A Scam

As more people saw Lythcott’s SOS, they too believed that something was up. “It was great that I talked to him because some people were worried that his phone had been stolen or that his account had been hacked. And I was able to say, I know his voice and I know it is him, that he is very badly injured and needs help,” Sparks told CNN.

emergency-facebook-saved-lives-in-bali-13-35332
Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images
Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Soon, those friends realized that the SOS was very real.

Lythcott Had Little Time To Communicate With The Outside World

For Lythcott to be able to post an SOS to Facebook and be able to talk to Sparks was incredibly lucky. Because of the situation he was in, communicating with the outside world was actually a struggle.

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Ian Waldie/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Ian Waldie/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Since he couldn’t move his left wrist, he could only use his right hand to type on his phone. Worse yet, international roaming was beginning to take its toll on the phone and the battery was beginning to die.

Lythcott Dropped A Pin To Share His Approximate Location

With what little time he had, Lythcott was at least able to share his location with Sparks. “He said he didn’t know where he was, that he woke up in the woods. He was very disoriented. I asked him if he could send me a pin drop, which he did,” Sparks told CNN.

emergency-facebook-saved-lives-in-bali-15-39630
Facebook
Facebook

Thanks to Facebook’s location features, Lythcott was able to share his approximate location with Sparks because even he couldn’t say for sure where he was in Bali.

Lythcott’s Facebook Friends Banded Together To Rescue Him

With knowledge of Lythcott’s approximate location in Bali, Sparks was able to get more of his friends to help save him. A Vancouver friend had contacts in Indonesia to get the ball rolling on Lythcott’s rescue, while another friend in the Netherlands contacted the local Bali police.

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Michael Lythcott/Facebook
Michael Lythcott/Facebook

Based on the location that Lythcott shared, one of his friends in Los Angeles was able to use online maps to see that he was indeed next to a waterfall.

Lythcott And Eno’s Rescue Became An International Effort

Thanks to a friend in Prague, they accessed the phone numbers of the Indonesian consulate. “A bunch of Mikey’s friends were posting phone numbers to call, and I got in touch with a woman named Christine at the consulate, I think.”

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Michael Lythcott/Facebook
Michael Lythcott/Facebook

“She gave me her email and I sent her screenshots of Mikey’s location. I don’t want to think about what would have happened if he didn’t have his phone, or if his battery was dead,” Sparks told CNN.”

Lythcott Was Told That Help Was On The Way

All of Lythcott’s Facebook friends’ efforts really paid off. Just before his phone gave out, Lythcott was able to speak to Indonesian authorities.

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Michael Lythcott/Facebook
Michael Lythcott/Facebook

“I got a call from a guy named Joe from the [consulate] who said help was coming but to help him find me. I told him there was a hotel near my GPS pin, that I’d be just before that hotel, then my battery died,” Lythcott recalled to CNN.

They Kept Slipping, So Lythcott Was Sure They Were Going To Die

A huge international rescue effort was going on. Meanwhile, Lythcott and Eno were still holding on for dear life. All they could do was have faith that the rescue mission was real, but they were steadily slipping into the ravine. Even worse, after his phone died, Lythcott began losing consciousness.

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Ben Davies/LightRocket via Getty Images
Ben Davies/LightRocket via Getty Images

Despite that, he kept assuring Eno that help was on its way. “I really thought we would die so I wanted to comfort her,” Lythcott told CNN.

Help Arrived By The Next Morning After What Felt Like Hours

Lythcott recalled that it must have been three or four hours before help finally arrived. When they heard people on the road, they mustered up what little energy they had left to call out for help. The rescue party had arrived and successfully pulled Lythcott and Eno out of the ravine.

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FAIZ ABDILLAH/AFP/Getty Images
FAIZ ABDILLAH/AFP/Getty Images

They must have been down there for a long time because it was morning when they finally made it out. In the full light of day, they could finally assess the damage.

Lythcott And Eno Fell Pretty Far And Were Near Death

After they were pulled out of the ravine, Lythcott told CNN, “It was the first time seeing how far we went down. It was far.” Lythcott and Eno were seriously in bad shape. The rescue party put them on the back of a flatbed truck and took them to a local hospital.

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Intelligence staff at Gianyar Regency
Intelligence staff at Gianyar Regency

X-rays indicated that their condition was far worse than the hospital could handle. So they were transferred to a facility with more advanced equipment.

Lythcott Had Surgery To Mend A Skull Fracture And Broken Wrist

Lythcott and Eno were transferred to the BIMC Hospital in the Bali resort town of Kuta, where they underwent life-saving surgeries. Lythcott suffered a skull fracture, a broken wrist, cracked ribs and spine, as well as internal damage and perforated bowels.

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GoFundMe
GoFundMe

He had to have surgery on his skull, wrist, and abdomen and even had to have chest tubes inserted to inflate his lungs. He had to stay in the hospital until September 3, 2018.

Eno Broke Her Wrist Too, But Seriously Injured Her Face

As for Eno, she seriously fractured her cheekbones, nose, and her left wrist. Something apparently also split her tongue during the accident. Because her injuries weren’t as grave as Lythcott’s she was released from the hospital earlier and was able to return to her home in Korea.

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Stacey Eno/Facebook
Stacey Eno/Facebook

Lythcott’s sister flew out to see him and after he was released from the hospital, they stayed at a nearby hotel until he was well enough to return to her home outside of Atlanta.

Eno Says The “Wild Ride” Won’t Stop Her From Traveling

Eno looks back on her trip to Bali as a “wild ride.” She told CNN that the accident won’t keep her from exploring the world. “This guy’s trip to Indonesia to meet me spontaneously meant his 55th country! He truly inspires me. I know travel is scary and risky sometimes, but there is no way either of us will stop.” she said.

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Stacey Eno/Facebook
Stacey Eno/Facebook

Some people would be scared of traveling for quite some time, but not Eno and Lythcott.

They Are Both Still Dealing With The Shock

Lythcott and Eno are likely to suffer shock for quite some time after surviving a near-death experience. “I was talking with Mike on Wednesday. That was our two-week anniversary [of the crash], and we were both so in shock from it all, like it actually happened.”

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GoFundMe
GoFundMe

“We’re both still shaken, that we would have died without technology. Both of us are thinking there’s reason we’re both alive,” Eno told Inc. on September 10, 2018.

They’re Very Aware That Facebook Is The Real Hero

Lythcott also told Inc., “Facebook didn’t ‘kind of’ save our lives. It’s directly responsible. I knew if I put out a scary message, [my friends] would help find me. And I was scared. I honestly thought we were going to die.”

emergency-facebook-saved-lives-in-bali-26-77276
GoFundMe
GoFundMe

Lythcott is grateful for his 2,600-plus Facebook friends. He knew that there would be at least one person in the mix that would take him seriously. Miraculously, dozens of them came out of the woodwork.

Friends Made During Travel Turned Out To Be Blessings

Eno realized the value of the friendships they made during their travels. “When traveling you meet so many people with interesting and outstanding things to share. This tragic accident has shown us and reminded how many people we have touched along the way,” Eno told CNN.

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Michael Lythcott/Facebook
Michael Lythcott/Facebook

It was a blessing that Lythcott had so many Facebook friends who were online at the time. If this had happened to someone who doesn’t have much of a following on social media, they might not have been so lucky.

Technology Saved The Day, Otherwise They Might Have Died

“Without technology and friends we would have not survived. Without the people we met along our adventures we would be much deeper in trouble and less of this magic you give,” Eno also told CNN.

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GoFundMe
GoFundMe

Had this happened in a past era, it would have taken a true miracle for Lythcott and Eno to find help. It’s a miracle in itself that Lythcott’s American phone was in his pocket and he was able to use it!

Eno And Lythcott Now Have A New Challenge To Face

From Korea, Eno tells reporters that it would take several months for her injuries to heal up. She also said that she planned on returning to her home in Michigan once her English teaching contract is up. This is because she faces the new challenge of having to pay for some incredibly expensive medical bills.

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GoFundMe
GoFundMe

As a result, her family has started a Go Fund Me page, where they’ve raised more than $13,000 as of September 13, 2018.

The Medical Expenses Added Up Quickly

Eno’s medical expenses amounted to $30,000, while Lythcott’s was twice that. The surgery on his wrist alone reportedly cost $9,000 up front, not to mention the fact that he also had to pay $550 for every night he stayed in the hospital.

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GoFundMe
GoFundMe

Thankfully, Lythcott had already proven that he had an amazing group of friends, so it’s no surprise that he was able to raise over half of the $60,000 goal to cover his medical bills.

This Woman Never Expected To Find Something Shocking Inside A $2 Thrift Store Ornament

This is Priscilla Bailey, a woman who was living in Plymouth, Massachusetts when she found an ornament that caught her eye at a local thrift store. She noticed that the ornament was being sold for the low, low price of two American dollars. Priscilla thought that was a pretty good deal, so she decided to buy the ornament right there and then.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

It wasn’t until she got it home that she noticed that there was something unusual about it.

Something Strange Inside

Priscilla had been shopping at that thrift store before. She liked thrift shopping because she would almost always find unique, beautiful items for a fraction of the price that they would be in a normal retail store. She would often pop into thrift stores in her area whenever she was out and about running errands.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

Even though Priscilla was a veteran thrift shopper, she had no idea that she had stumbled across something really special.

How She Found Her Ornament

The ornament that Priscilla bought was just sitting on a thrift store shelf alongside other blown glass items that were for sale. Priscilla really likes glass ornaments and this particular ornament was in her favorite color— blue.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

When Priscilla picked up the item, she noticed the price tag stuck to the bottom of it that indicated that the ornament would only cost her $2. Priscilla jumped at the chance to own the gorgeous ornament for such a low price.

Was The Price Too Low?

Thrift stores are known to have very good prices, but $2 for a blown glass ornament seems like a very low price even for a thrift store. What was the catch? Priscilla inspected the ornament to see if there was anything wrong with it, but as far as she could tell, it seemed perfectly fine.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

It also had quite a bit of weight to it, made with care and plenty of glass so it wasn’t brittle or extremely fragile.

Taking Her Treasure Home

When Priscilla got home with her new ornament, she unwrapped her found treasure and started to examine it more closely.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

Taking a closer look at the metalwork, Priscilla wondered if the design was angels or something else. There must be a story to this piece. All previously owned items come with such great stories. Priscilla held the item in hands, flipped it around, and admired the blue glass. it really was a beautiful and enchanting piece.

Heavier Than She Expected

While Priscilla was holding the ornament in her hands, she noticed that it was heavier than she expected it to be. She was no ornament expert, but she had held a fair amount of glass ornaments in her life. She could tell that this particular ornament had a bit more weight to it.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

Priscilla ignored the surprising heaviness of the ornament fo the time being and decided to display her find in her kitchen. It wasn’t until later, when her daughter came over, that she realized she had overlooked an important detail.

Her Daughter’s Discovery

This is a photo of Priscilla’s daughter, Kat. Kat also loved blown glass ornaments, so she was excited when her mother showed her the ornament she had found at the thrift store. Kat loved blown glass so much that she dreamed of opening her own blown glass store in Massachusetts.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

Priscilla didn’t mention the strange weight of the ornament to Kat, but even so, Kat noticed that there was something strange about this particular glass ornament.

What Was Different About It?

Kat thought that the heart-shaped ornament was absolutely beautiful. She gently took the ornament off the wall to take a closer look. She too, noticed that it was heavier than she expected. She mentioned this observation to her mother, who admitted that she also thought that the ornament was abnormally heavy.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

Kat had an idea. She went to find a flashlight so that she could see if there was anything inside the ornament. That light would soon reveal something incredible.

What Was Inside?

Priscilla thought that using a flashlight to look inside of the ornament was an excellent idea. When they first shone the flashlight through the ornament, they didn’t see anything unusual, but then, they saw that there was something inside the ornament that was moving around.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

Using the light, Priscilla and Kat discovered that there were actually two secret compartments inside the ornament. Something was moving in the smaller compartment. Priscilla desperately wanted to know what was inside.

Reaching Out For Help

Pricilla and Kat decided that they needed an expert to help them get to the bottom of this mystery. Priscilla decided to call the local authorities and let them inspect her item. Maybe whatever was inside was dangerous or illegal.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

Priscilla also called the Boston Globe and invited news reporters over to her house to see what they thought about the mysterious two-dollar thrift store ornament. Even though Priscilla didn’t know what was inside the ornament yet, she had a feeling it was going to be interesting.

Not An Ordinary Ornament

The news reporters showed up at Priscilla’s house first, and she told them everything that she knew about it. Sitting around her kitchen table, Priscilla told the reporters, “Right now, it’s hanging up there when I do my dishes. I sometimes stare at it.”

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

Not knowing what to expect, the reporters were just as intrigued as Priscilla when she handed over the ornament for them to inspect themselves. It was immediately clear that this held much more meaning than a simple Christmas tree ornament.

Something Powdery, Perhaps?

Then, Priscilla and Kat showed the reporters how they noticed that there were two hidden compartments inside of the glass ornament. As they had before, Priscilla held up the ornament while Kat shined a light on it, revealing the contents inside.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

Kat explained to the reporters what she thought it was. “I said to her, ‘it looks like it’s ashes, Mom.'” But even if it were, the mystery remains as to whose they were, and how they ended up at a thrift store.

What If It Was Ashes?

There was no doubt that the ornament was beautiful. And if they contained ashes inside, it would make sense why it was so carefully made with stunning detail. But the two women had also been shaking the ornament, not knowing it was ashes inside.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

They wondered if they were disrespecting the ashes, or even if she wanted this in her home if they were in fact ashes of someone’s relative.

What To Do

At first, she was weirded out by the concept that she had someone else’s ashes in her home, and that she had been handling the ornament that contained them so many times. That was a bit unsettling.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

But thinking about it further, she had empathy for the person whose ashes they were, and the family members that would want to hold onto such a precious item. How did it end up at the thrift store? Priscilla knew that she had to do something about it.

Giving It Back To Its Rightful Owner

Priscilla decided that she would do whatever she could in order to find the proper person to hand off the ornament to. She was hoping that the news media could help her find the relatives who mistakenly gave the item away to the thrift store. If not, she had to find another way.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

She told the reporters, “It’s beautiful. It must have a story. So that’s my goal: to find out where and who this belongs to.” She had also notified the police, but still, she didn’t feel like she was any closer to finding any answers.

Getting The Word Out

After the news media left her Plymouth home, Priscilla and Kat decided that they should hold onto the glass ornament until they figured out who to return it to. They hoped that the news story would pick up steam, and someone would know who to return it to.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

The women also had another idea: share the story on Facebook and see if they could reach anyone who might know something through social media.

Using Social Media

Along with a close-up photo of the blue glass ornament, Kat shared the story of how she and her mother ended up with it. She shared, “It breaks my heart that this was tossed away and just sitting on a shelf at Savers for $2.”

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

She asked for anyone who might know anything about it to get a hold of her so that the mother and daughter could properly return it in safe care.

Another Special Ornament

Priscilla had also contacted the store she purchased it from, Savers, and let them know of her find. The store’s manager said that the majority of their donations were from residents in the area, so there was a good chance whoever donated the ornament lived around Plymouth.

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YouTube/CBS News
YouTube/CBS News

That’s when a local woman named Connie Whiteman Slate commented on Kat’s post, “Please let me know what you find out as I have one also. Found mine at a thrift shop too! It’s heavy in weight.”

Could There Be Two?

The conversation on the Facebook post continued, as someone else commented that she had one too. A woman replied that she had found a similar ornament at a thrift store, but in the Pacific Northwest. She described it, “Mine was iridescent and heart-shaped like this one, but much less ornament and more suncatcher-like.”

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Facebook/Connie Whiteman Slatt
Facebook/Connie Whiteman Slatt

Then, she included some information about the contents of the ornament that the women hadn’t heard before. She said, “It was made from the ash of Mt. Saint Helen.”

Theories Started To Emerge

The woman who knew the origins of the ashes within her ornament replied back, “This could also explain what appears to be ashes enclosed within… could be a possibility.”

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Facebook/Connie Whiteman Slatt
Facebook/Connie Whiteman Slatt

All this time, Priscilla and Kat believed that the ornament held a person’s ashes like an urn. They hadn’t considered the possibility that the ashes originated from something else. The two women didn’t receive a confirmed answer, but with the Facebook post still going viral, there’s a chance the truth will reveal itself.