Orphaned camera returned to rightful traveler by 56,000 Facebook users

Orphaned camera returned to rightful traveler by 56,000 Facebook users

A delightful Dutch altruist proves a lost camera is not a lost cause on Facebook
"Do you know this man?" So asked 56,000 Facebook walls.

For the past two days, users of Facebook and Reddit have been on a manhunt for an unfortunate traveler whose misplaced camera wound up in the obliging hands of one Roland Van Gogh, a social-media-savvy Dutchman determined to find the camera's owner.

Van Gogh, whose father-in-law found the camera containing almost 3,000 photos at a train station in Amsterdam, uploaded a photo of the unnamed ginger-haired, bearded owner on his Facebook page on Monday.

The post on his Facebook wall read: "My father in law found a red Nikon Coolpix camera on 2012-06-20 in the train at the station Amsterdam Amstel in the Netherlands. His photos show a trip throughout Europe from about 2012-05-07. Since 2012-06-15 he stayed in Amsterdam. We would like to give him back the camera and the photos. Please Like, Share and spread this photo around so we can give him back his camera! Thanks!"

With the speed characteristic to Facebook wall updates, several other social media websites made common cause with Van Gogh and circulated the now quasi-famous viral photo.

"This could use more drama. Threaten to erase a picture every 10 minutes until the owner is found," commented Reddit user redhousebythebog.

But it didn't take such drastic measures -- two days and more than 56,000 shares later, Van Gogh posted the good news, saying "Looks like we found him!" and "It's a guy from Canada who is on a trip through Europe."

The owner -- at this juncture still as anonymous as it is possible to be in the age of social media -- is reported to be overjoyed at the prospect of being reunited with his long-lost Nikon.

Owners of lost cameras who now have a flicker of hope after reading this: websites like www.camerafound.com or www.ifoundyourcamera.net offer services to reunite lost cameras with their owners.

More on CNNGo: James Durston: Photography has ruined travel

Max Kim writes for CNNGo. He is sedentary if he can help it. 

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