Since meeting Ian Baillie in 2011, I have experienced an emergence from the Waves, many waves... the Dark Ocean, the Emotions, "Who am I" and the Still Waters.
The Dark Ocean has to be the waters of the Atlantic. I have emerged from what is now 150 Years since the USS Monitor fell to the bottom, taking 16 sailors with it. The astonishing story of an order to tow an estuary shallow water Gunboat round an Ocean Cape in a storm... and so many were rescued.
My story, my name then, it may not be possible to "prove..." because the names of those lost are recorded on the Muster List and some of their portraits.
So, I may not have been one of the 16, but the Storm must have stayed deep in my Memory Bank.
Ian searched the photos, e-mailed me his recognition photo, before I had even seen them. It sure felt like me, and when I was in my 20's I had a wispy beard, not full face though.
The picture shows a sailor. His face is mine. His brow is mine. His nose is mine. His eyes are mine, the stoop is mine... I am short in my lower legs so 5 foot 8 inches height - he is the same build. Enough...
Some weeks passed and I looked again at some Monitor archive photos...
One I had not seen before almost leaped out of the screen at me and I exclaimed "It's M******."
I had done just what Ian is so easily able to do, as I recognized an old friend. In that picture, the man I recognized was an Officer.
I cant expand that incident further... it will be known at the moment only to me, as my friend deserves his anonymity. I have no wish to go further. I just can not forget that instant recognition moment.
For me it just cements the knowledge that we were US Navy Sailors on the Monitor-He had a long distinguished career.
The gap between that sinking of the Monitor 31st December 1862 and my birth this time January 1950 gave some time for other lives too!
Ian and Myself both feel there is not a desire anymore to search for "proof" as everybody on this Planet has a Story... Most just aren't yet aware of their past meetings,circumstances,and reasons for the events.
Remember... Painted portraits.usually only the rich.
Photography... Fox Talbot brought Black and White.
Colour came before the Second World War. That's Film, and Digital Imaging has completed the "Everyone on the Planet" possible Imaging.
Since Fox-Talbot's experiments in photography our Ancestors are there for us to see, if we can only find the prints or negatives. They are to be discovered by a growing band of Ancestry interested people, ordinary people that have,somewhere,a story to be discovered.