Add one more to the number of passengers saved by Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger.
His name is Flat Stanley and he's a real doll.
More specifically Flat Stanley is a paper cutout, designed by a third grade teacher in 1995 as a way to get his class interested in journal writing. Students are supposed to make a Stanley and begin a journal for the little cutout and then send him on trips.
Stanley has visited a lot of places, including the White House, the Great Wall of China and NASA, and even inspired a line of books. But one little girl's Flat Stanley had an unusually exciting journey.
Gina Kemp sent her Stanley on a voyage with Eric Stevenson, a family friend who was traveling from Paris to New York and back. Stevenson, who planned to snap some photos with Stanley while in Times Square, was among the 153 people who survived the harrowing Hudson River landing of Flight 1549.
Many people didn't have time to grab their luggage from that plane but Stevenson was able to grab his briefcase with Flat Stanley inside. And, though it took a while, Gina Kemp didn't get her doll back just yet, but Flat Stanley sent her quite a story.
"Hello Gina,It's taken me a long time to write … sorry I've been out of touch for so long. I've been really busy traveling. After several days in Paris, I went to New York! Here are a couple photos when I visited Times Square. It's full of lights and big billboards. Then I saw the Empire State Building. Amazing! After that, I was on a plane that landed in the river near New York. At the time I was in Eric's briefcase. Luckily he carried me off the plane! Here's a photo he took after we were safely on a rescue boat. What an adventure! I'm safe and dry now … and no need for you to worry. What have you been up to lately? I'm back in Paris and hoping it will get warm soon. Spring is on its way. All the best from Paris, your friend, Flat Stanley"
Stevenson even wrote a little story about his trip for an NBC affiliate in Cincinnati, complete with a picture gallery.
Gina's Stanley should be back with her soon, Stevenson said. Then he can be sent on even more adventures, but none will be as exciting as his trip to New York City.