07/30/2015 04:05 pm ET Updated Aug 07, 2015

One Woman's Stunning Found Photos Launch A Hashtag Mystery


It's hard to resist a real, bonafide Internet mystery. Particular when said mystery involves a hashtag like #‎FindTheGirlsOnTheNegatives‬. 

We have Richmond, Virginia-based photographer Meagan Abell to thank for this latest effort in crowd-sourced sleuthing. According to a Facebook post submitted to the World Wide Web on Wednesday night, Abell is searching for the identities of the two women who appear in the found vintage snapshots featured here.

Abell came across these photos at a thrift shop on Hull Street in Richmond a few weeks ago, nestled happily in a box full of plastic sleeved images. She guesses that the retro photos date back to the 1940s or '50s, but she has no idea who the mysterious women might be. 

"NOW this is where I need the Internet's help," she wrote on Facebook. "I would absolutely love to find the women in these photographs/the photographer who took them." She describes the photos as medium format, and no, the owner of the thrift store has no idea where they came from either.

"I'm posting the best/clearest scans of the images, so if y'all could share this around, HOPEFULLY we can make it go viral and find the original photographer/subjects!!!!" she added.

And viral they may go. Jezebel writer Jia Tolentino wrote about the curious women, one dressed in a light blue dress, the other in red. Both are either peering into the ocean or eerily walking into the water, clothes and all.

"The most beautiful thing about this photo set isn’t the women," Tolentino wrote, "it’s where they are, what is saturating them, the alchemical earthbound psychedelia of where the light and water meet. These photos were taken at a moment when day and night were slipping into each other, but this moment, simultaneously heavy and weightless, seems paralyzingly total ... "

So, do you recognize these women? Though their faces remain obscured in most of the picturesque shots, Abell remains hopefuly that someone, somewhere, will be able to identify these two anonymous ladies. Why not help her out? Spread the word, and don't forget the hashtag. 



Just a little updated #FindTheGirlsOnTheNegatives FAQ for everyone!1. Yes, the transparencies are real2. Yes, I found...

Posted by Meagan 'Irene' Abell on Tuesday, August 4, 2015

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