Photographer Trying to Unravel Old Photo Mystery

Who took these 'haunting' images and why?
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2015 9:42 AM CDT
Photographer Trying to Unravel Old Photo Mystery
One of the images found by Meagan Abell.   (

A photographer looking through a box of old photos in a Virginia thrift shop made an unexpected discovery: A set of striking images of two women at the ocean, somewhere. Meagan Abell, 24, then posted them on Facebook and launched a social media campaign—#FindTheGirlsOnTheNegatives—to learn everything she could about the transparency slides. She still doesn't have answers, but the response has been overwhelming. “They have this haunting quality to them where you just feel like you’re transported back because it really draws you in, and i think that’s why people love them so much,” she tells WRIC.

Her best guess is that the 15 images were shot in the late 1950s, and leads have been pouring in. "I think they may have been taken at Dockweiler in Playa del Rey in California," she tells the BBC. (Yes, the story is getting international coverage.) A tipster emailed her photos of the area, and "when I overlaid them with the images I found, they were a perfect match." Abell wants to identify not just the women in the images but the photographer who took them to give proper credit. And she's got some theories of her own: Her favorite is "that these two women were in love and wanted to create some beautiful portraits of each other," she tells Mashable. (Click to read about a physicist who found an intriguing detail about an iconic World War II photo.)

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