In 2017, a family in New Brunswick, Canada, found a note packed in a glass bottle on a beach of the Bay of Fundy. The note was apparently written by Mathilde Lefèbvre, a 12-year-old French schoolgirl, who died during the tragic sinking of the Titanic. The note is now released by The Université du Québec à Rimouski, a public university in Canada, to the public and the academicians are appealing to people who can help them prove or disprove its authenticity.
Lefèbvre, who was born in 1899, was travelling with her mother Marie to her family in New York with the purpose to visit her father and siblings. She died with her mother on April 15, 1912, when her ship -the RMS Titanic -hit an iceberg and sank into the North Atlantic Ocean, killing more than 1500 people of 2224 onboard passengers. The largest afloat ship at the time, the Titanic sank on its first journey, four days after it left Southampton in England for the New York City.
The note that was written in French and dated April 13, 1912, reads, “I am throwing this bottle into the sea in the middle of the Atlantic. We are due to arrive in New York in a few days. If anyone finds her, tell the Lefebvre family in Lievin,” CBC reported.
The letter appears, according to historians, consistent with the period of the sinking of the Titanic, but there is disagreement about if it was actually written by Lefèbvre or is a hoax planted during the wide coverage of the Titanic disaster by the newspapers. At the time, because the newspapers were covering stories of last words said or written by victims, there was a possibility of someone falsely producing the letter. According to Maxime Gohier, a history professor at the university, the letter could be 'the first Titanic artefact found on the American coast.'
“It could be a hoax written shortly after the tragedy or it could be a recent hoax.” told Nicolas Beaudry to CBC, "So far, we have not caught a smoking gun of a forgery." According to Beaudry, the possibilities are equally interesting.