Phone Lost in Oklahoma Is Found in Japan

Farmer's iPhone traveled to Hokkaido and back

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 9, 2014 2:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – When Oklahoma farmer Kevin Whitney's phone slipped out of his pocket into a silo containing 290,000 bushels of grain, he figured it was gone for good—but it was just beginning a journey around the world. Some eight months later, he was reunited with the iPhone, and some precious family photos, after it was discovered by a worker at a feed mill in Hokkaido, Japan, the AP reports. It had traveled to another grain facility in Oklahoma, down the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers to a depot in Louisiana, and across the Pacific mixed in with 2 million bushels of grain.

The Japanese worker mailed the phone back to Louisiana, where a manager at the grain depot charged it and was able to get in touch with Whitney. The farmer got his phone back in pristine condition, complete with pictures from his daughter's wedding. "It's crazy, I can't believe it," he tells KFOR. "What really shocked me about it all was what a small world it is. There are a lot of meaningful pictures on it so we are real glad to get the phone back," he says. "I knew if that was my phone, I'd probably want it back," says the grain depot manager. He says a surprising number of phones end up in grain shipments and he deals with about one a month.

Kevin Whitney's iPhone was lost in October, 2013 when it slipped out of his shirt pocket into a grain elevator.
Kevin Whitney's iPhone was lost in October, 2013 when it slipped out of his shirt pocket into a grain elevator.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Kevin Whitney)
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