Twitterati succeed in their mission to find the ‘unnamed’ woman among 38 scientists in a 1971 photohttps://indianexpress.com/article/trending/trending-globally/internet-users-come-together-to-identify-the-unnamed-woman-in-a-1971-photo-of-38-scientists-5106953/

Twitterati succeed in their mission to find the ‘unnamed’ woman among 38 scientists in a 1971 photo

Candace Jean Andersen observed and also pointed out that the photo taken at a 1971 International Conference on Biology of Whales had the details of the 37 men but not that of the only African-American woman in the picture.

only woman in 38 scientists, twitter finds out the identity of woman from an old photo, Candace Jean Andersen Twitter, Candace searches for only woman in photo Twitter, Twitter viral, Twitter Trending, Indian Express, Indian Express News
The African-American woman was the only person in the picture who was captioned “not identified”, a woman pointed out on Twitter. (Source: Candace Jean Andersen/Twitter)

A black and white photo dated 1971, comprising of 38 scientists and researchers, is doing the rounds of the Internet lately. Candace Jean Andersen, an illustrator, who is working on a picture book on the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, stumbled upon the picture that was dated 50 years back. She observed, and also pointed out that the photo taken at an International Conference on Biology of Whales had the details of the 37 men – mostly Caucasian.

However, the African-American woman, whose face was partially hidden in the photograph was not named. She was the only woman and the only person in the picture who was captioned “not identified”, tweeted Andersen, as she embarked, together with others on a mission to find out who is the “mystery woman”.

Guess what? She found out who she was and even got to talk to her! “Here is a close-up of Mystery Woman, unfortunately mostly blocked from the camera. The conference was in June (1971) in Virginia, with participants from 10 countries. Why is *the only* woman listed as “not identified?” Arg!” she later tweeted on March 10.

Although, she came to a dead end during her “mission”, another woman was able to trace the identity of the woman as Sheila Jones, with the maiden name Minor. She got in touch with Don Wilson, the emeritus curator of mammals at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, who remembered Jones as “an excellent technician.” “She worked as a Collections Technician in mammals with FWS,” wrote Andersen, who later even got in touch with Jones, now 71 years of age, with five grandchildren.

Unlike what the man who took the photograph back then must have thought, Jones was not “just an admin” or “support staff”. “She was a Biological Research Technician for Smithsonian Institution,” wrote Andersen.

According to a report by the New York Times, Jones revealed her actual name as Sheila Minor Huff. She lives in Virginia, and is retired after an illustrious career of 35 years, belly dances and volunteers at the church. At 58, when she called it a day for good at work, she was a GS-14 federal employee – known to be the highest designations at the Department of the Interior.

“It’s kind of like, no big deal. When I try to do good, when I try and add back to this wonderful earth that we have, when I try to protect it, does it matter that anybody knows my name?” she had said, on how she was not bothered on not having been identified in the photograph.

Advertising

Andersen, who called Jones “one of the most humble, kindhearted people I’ve ever spoken to” after her hour-long conversation with her, was also appreciated by writer Margot Lee Shetterly (who authored Hidden Figures) and called her a “hero”!

Amazing, isn’t it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.