Around Town | February 17, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 17, 2012

Around Town

LOST AND FOUND ... It took a nationwide manhunt, media exposure and the pluck of a conscientious Long Island teacher, but the story of the man who lost his camera during the Super Bowl is now set for a picture-perfect ending. Mary Ellen McFaul, a New York resident, accidentally took possession of the camera after its owner asked her to take a photo of him at the Feb. 5 Super Bowl in Indianapolis. She snapped several pictures with both his camera and his phone, and in the post-game stadium craziness, the two were separated. After noticing she still had his camera, and no way to contact him, McFaul examined the photos on his camera for clues to his identity. One picture appeared to be a Palo Alto historic plaque, so she reached out to the Palo Alto Weekly in hopes of locating the camera's owner. She also created a YouTube video and set up a special email address in her effort to find the owner. McFaul also pitched a story to ABC's news affiliate in Chicago. There, the owner's son, Chris, saw the show and contacted McFaul to identify the camera's owner, his father, Tom (whose last name McFaul declined to provide out of concern for his privacy). She said she plans to meet Tom's brother, who lives in New York, to return the camera. "I spoke with Tom earlier, and he said he had just about given up hope and was very thankful that I pushed the story," McFaul wrote in a Feb. 15 email to Palo Alto Weekly. The Palo Alto plaque, it turned out, was in front of the famous HP Garage on Addison Avenue. Tom, who is not a Palo Altan after all, had simply taken a "geek tour" of Silicon Valley landmarks while visiting the area.

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