GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

October 3, 2013

Recovered ring stirs Rafe's Chasm mysteries

By Sean Horgan
Staff Writer

---- — Who knows what happened?

Who knows how the gold ring found its way into the Atlantic Ocean, right off the cliffs of Rafe’s Chasm Park along the rocky shores of Magnolia.

Was it simply lost when it slipped off a swimmer’s finger or came off a fisherman’s digit while he wrestled his catch into the boat?

Did it go missing somewhere else and move with the tides until it finally found its resting place on Magnolia’s churning ocean floor?

Even better: What if it’s part of a more passionate play? Let your mind wander a bit and surely you can assemble a harlequin tale of love found and, as with the ring, ultimately lost. Did a jilted lover, in a flush of anger, try to throw the band to Greenland and just didn’t have the arm to carry the distance?

And how long was it down there? A day? A month? Years? Could it be decades? Could its owner no longer even be among us?

So many questions, so many possibilities.

This we know:

In late July, Vincent Noga of Charlestown, henceforth known as the Lord of the (Missing) Ring, was snorkeling in the area of Rafe’s Chasm, the idyllic and panoramic cliffside spot just down the coast from Hammond Castle.

Noga was spending a pleasant day in the water, trying to find spots where he could perhaps do some recreational lobster fishing.

Instead, he found the ring.

“I was swimming back to shore in a cove just west of Rafe’s Chasm Park and spotted it in about 5 feet of water, nestled in with the Irish moss seaweed along a section of flat stone,” Noga said.

He swam down and retrieved the ring and brought it back to shore for a closer look. While not overly ornate, the gold band, which he thinks is a man’s ring, struck him as unique enough for the owner to want it back.

“It’s a fairly plain band but has a very distinctive characteristic that only the owner would know,” Noga said. “I want to make sure that, if possible, it gets back to its rightful owner.”

He returned to Rafe’s Chasm and posted flyers near the parking area at the head of the trail that leads to the water from Hesperus Avenue, explaining that he found the ring and listing a telephone number where he can be reached by anyone who think the ring might be their lost keepsake.

He also posted the item on the lost-and-found section at craigslist.com.

The result? Noga hasn’t received one phone call.

He’s been careful not to offer too specific a description of the ring so that only the rightful owner can properly describe it and thereby authenticate his ownership.

The mystery endures.

So, if you know someone who lost a simple gold band in the ocean waters off Magnolia, have them call 603-325-5093 and ask for Vincent.

He just wants to help get the ring back to where it belongs.

Sean Horgan may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3464, or shorgan@gloucestertimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT