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Rafts carry skeletons to Pacific atolls

SHARE Rafts carry skeletons to Pacific atolls

SYDNEY, Australia — Mysterious bamboo rafts carrying sun-bleached skeletons have washed up on the shores of Pacific atolls, prompting the Federated States of Micronesia to ask the United States for help finding out where they came from.

Five skeletons, including one of a child, have been found on the 13 giant rafts that first began to appear last September, Pius Chotailug, police chief of the Pacific nation, said.

"Where they came from we don't know," Chotailug said from Pohnpei.

"We have an archaeologist . . . who helped with the investigation of the bones and found they've been dead for up to one month or two months."

An identity card found on one of the rafts belonged to an Indonesian man from Bitung in Sulawesi, 1,050 miles away.

But the Federated States of Micronesia does not have any forensics specialists to establish some facts in the case, and has asked the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to help. So far, the FBI has not replied.

"They've been pretty busy, we know," Chotailug said.