A man lost his wallet while working in Antarctica. It was returned to him more than 50 years later.

A man lost his wallet while working in Antarctica. It was returned to him more than 50 years later.
Paul Grisham holds his 1968 Navy ID card at his home in San Diego, California on February 3, 2021.Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP
  • Paul Grisham's wallet was missing for so long at the bottom of the world he forgot all about it.
  • He joined the Navy in 1948 and sent to Antarctica to work as a meteorologist for 13 months.
  • The wallet was returned to him by a father-daughter duo and a veteran's tribute organization.

Paul Grisham returned home from his 13-month assignment in Antarctica in 1968, but his wallet didn't.

Grisham, 91, joined the Navy in 1948 and worked as a weather technician before being shipped to the frozen continent to work as a meteorologist.

After five decades, Grisham was reunited with his wallet - which he forgot all about.

"I was just blown away," Grisham told The San Diego Union-Tribune after the wallet was returned on March 31. "There was a long series of people involved who tracked me down and ran me to ground."

Inside the wallet were Grisham's navy ID, driving license, a beer ration punch card, a recipe, a tax withholding statement, and receipts for money orders sent to his wife.


The recovered billfold was found by Stephen Decato and his daughter Sarah Lindbergh, both of New Hampshire, and Bruce McKee of the Indiana Spirit of '45 nonprofit foundation, according to the Guardian.

Decato found the bracelet in a shop and bought it. With the help of his daughter, he found McKee's organization and saw an online post to help find the owner. Soon after, Grisham and his wallet were together again.

Grisham told the Union-Tribune that his time in Antarctica was "unusual and memorable." The temperature in the winter months would drop as low as -65 degrees.

"Let me just say this, if I took a can of soda pop and set it outside on the step, if I didn't retrieve it in 14 minutes it would pop open because it had frozen," Grisham told the outlet.