January 21, 2009

Man finds box of valuables on beach

A contractor in Galveston County, Texas, said he discovered a box full of valuables while clearing hurricane debris from a state park.

Michael Pate, 43, said he was working Jan. 7 at Galveston Island State Park when he discovered a green steel U.S. Army ammunition canister on a beach about 100 to 150 feet from the water, The (Galveston County) Daily News reported Wednesday.

It was heavy, and I said, 'This thing is full of sand,' Pate said. I shook the sand off and opened it up. It was unreal!

Pate said that among the valuable items in the box were two diamond rings, military medals believed to have been from World War II or Vietnam, a $50 Confederate note from 1863, silver bracelets, watches, an Art Donovan football card and a glass radiator cap for a Ford Model A.

He said the canister also contained a wallet that he traced to John Sidwell, 59, who is currently serving a two-year jail sentence for his conviction on intoxication assault charges.

Pate said he was able to contact a friend of Sidwell to get word to the owner that his box has been found.