Camera contents solve mystery

  1. Wow its so good to hear that there are still honest people in the world.....this guy certainly put in a lot of effort to find the owner good on him!,25197,23125820-12377,00.html

    By Chloe Lake, Technology Editor | January 29, 2008

    A MISSING camera was returned to its owner in Sydney after an enterprising student on the other side of the world used its contents to figure out how it had been lost.

    Brian Ascher, 26, received the digital camera from his fiancee after she found it in a New York cab.

    After fruitless enquiries with the taxi company and on Craigslist, Mr Ascher, a law student at New York University, analysed the 350 digital images and two videos that were on the Canon camera.

    He deduced that the tourist photos were taken by Irish visitors based on the locations and their nametags in one image.

    Mr Ascher called Canon Ireland and left messages on Irish websites but still couldn't find the camera's owner.

    Then Mr Ascher's mother, Nancy, and his sister, Emily Rann, joined the hunt. They analysed images, followed leads, contacted Irish tourists – with no luck.

    Mr Ascher went back to the images to check for more details. He discovered the name of a bar that he had not contacted. Two phone calls later he found out that New Yorker Sarah Casey had visited that bar whilst hosting her Irish friends and relatives.

    One of them, Alan Murphy, had accidentally left his camera in a taxi on New Year's Eve.

    His story matched up – Mr Murphy had stayed at the hotel Mrs Ascher recognised in the photos and the image timestamps on the camera stopped at December 30th.

    Mr Murphy, who is based in Sydney, was overjoyed to hear that his camera had been found when he was contacted on January 10th – his birthday.

    "It's good to know there are some honest people left in the world," he said to Mr Ascher.

    Mr Murphy was lucky – most online attempts to return lost property seem to go unresolved.

    Photo-hosting site Flickr contains plenty of lost and found images but there are few solved cases.

    The loss of a digital camera can be an embarrassing experience as well as a costly one, depending on how intimate the pictures on it are.

    In 2004 a New York blogger who lost his digital camera wrote an open letter to the finder offering an explanation of the disturbing images that were contained within.
  2. Great detective work, too cool the man got his camera back.