Written by By Staff Writer

Images courtesy Mobile Fisherman

For decades, a rusting stolen backside of a lighthouse in the arctic fjords of Finland was a grim reminder of a perilous late 19th-century theft.

But recently a crew searching the rugged surroundings for what they believed was someone buried beneath the frozen tundra pulled up an unexpected surprise.

The Maine woman's ring

The ring belonged to Mary Forester , who lost it over 50 years ago when she was a 22-year-old woman working at the Rotterdam Lighthouse on Sept. 7, 1973.

Five months before she was lost, a long-since-deceased lighthouse keeper named Frederick Carson had lost the ring off his finger on May 18, 1973, according to the Mobile Fisherman , a Finnish fishing cooperative that sponsors these searches.

Anyone who finds a container of human remains or artifacts in the frozen tundra during these Arctic and far north exploration expeditions isn't taken back to their host nation. Instead, these people are returned to the United States, unless the artifacts are claimed by the owner's family.