For the last 24 hours, Alison Webb has been getting emails from people around the world offering crazy conspiracy theories about her love life.
“That’s the weirdest part about all this,” said Webb, who lives in Sanger. “I tell them ‘I’m fine – I’m just sitting on my couch eating Cheerios.’ ”
The whirlwind started April 16, after a diver in the Bahamas posted pictures of a mysterious locket with a photo of two people inside and coordinates leading to a rural Fresno County intersection on Facebook. The post was shared more than 200 times.
The Bee first reported the mystery two days later after talking to the diver, Alec Packington. He had found it around 2 p.m. on April 16 while performing a security check on a cruise ship anchored in Nassau Harbor.
Packington and his friends had several theories: Were they lovers married at those coordinates? Did one of them die in an accident at that spot? Did they meet there?
By about 7 p.m. April 18, the story had made its way to Webb’s friend, who flooded her phone with text messages and calls. When she saw Packington’s post, she realized he had found the locket she had given to her boyfriend before he deployed from Lemoore Naval Air Base. She declined to identify him.
Just because two people love each other – that doesn’t mean you can be together.
Alison Webb, whose picture was in the mystery locket
“He and I were always a goofy couple,” Webb said. “I immediately imagined him as Rose from ‘Titanic’ throwing his necklace off the boat.”
She continued: “We watched a lot of old movies, and I could just see him doing his Heart of the Ocean thing.”
Webb said the two started as online friends before becoming a couple in late November. Both of the 20-year-olds were going through a divorce at the time, and Webb remembers them just sort of falling in together while he was stationed at Lemoore and she attended cosmetology school.
She gave him the locket around Christmas, when the couple knew he would be deployed the following month. When he left in late January, she began to send him care packages and talked to him periodically through text messages and email. As he got farther away, the communication died down. Eventually, the couple drifted apart.
“Just because two people love each other – that doesn’t mean you can be together,” Webb said.
However, Packington’s theories weren’t that far off the mark. The coordinates do correspond to a traffic accident – and to the couple’s first meeting.
“He and I had talked for a long time before we decided to meet for the first time,” Webb said. “He calls me and says ‘don’t be mad – I got into a car accident.’ ”
Webb drove to the intersection of Highway 41 and Elkhorn Avenue – where the locket’s coordinates lead – to pick him up. She said she fell in love with the tall, red-haired guy wandering around the road that day.
Although the two have gone their separate ways, Webb reached out to the airman and several others on his carrier to let him know about the buzz surrounding the buried locket.
“I told him maybe next time you should use a trash can instead of the bottom of the ocean.”