Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Who was IM

It is not often one can find what a complete stranger was doing on a certain place, date and time 13 years, five months and one day ago.

I received a wonderful book about Eleanor of Aquitaine for my birthday, one of the most entertaining ones, I've ever read. At page 132 I discovered the ACCESS slip for a Continental Airlines (merged with United since 2012).

I was intrigued.  As a person who loves history and not just the big events but the social and cultural mores of other times, this was a tiny bit of history.

What I know is that an Iain Murray should have and probably did board a plane on 14 March 2004 around 7 p.m. for a 7:35. Murray would have walked thru gate 14 (no photos available on Google images)  of Gate 14 of Washington-Reagan Airport.

The plane landed at Houston-Bush airport at or around 9:50 p.m. after covering 1,208 miles. I could find nothing about that flight being delayed, crashed etc.

It is a safe assumption that Murray had the book with him either to read on the plane or to give to someone. The book is not typical flight reading that is more the best seller or business advice genres. Either he or the potential recipient of the book had to have been history buffs.

I wondered if I could locate Murray. It is a common name.

Wikipedia has three
None seemed possible.

Yandex (I don't use Goggle, only search engines that do not report to the NSA. duckduckgo is another)

An Iain Murray, a Scot and at a University, would have been much too young to be on a flight in 2004.

There were pastors, businessmen, scientists and ordinary people who popped up on Yandex and Facebook but none close enough for me to follow up. Twitter produced a Labour MP who seems to like history, but nothing to indicate that he might have been in the US in March 2004. Certainly not enough to ask him.

I guess I will never find my Iain Murray, although he isn't really mine. He might not even be alive.
If he is I would like to thank him for a morning of pleasure doing research (and offering an excuse not to make the bed, unload the dishwasher, review some French and work on my book.)

No comments: