updated 1/8/2007 2:49:57 AM ET 2007-01-08T07:49:57

A western Pennsylvania man is trying to solve a mystery that recently landed in his mailbox: a letter mailed more than 50 years ago and addressed to a Frederick Zane Yost.

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The letter, with a 3-cent stamp and postmarked Oct. 26, 1954, was encased in a large Postal Service window envelope. There is a return address — in nearby Richland Township — but no sender’s name.

Brian McAteer said that the letter appears to be sealed and has not been damaged, and that he will not open it. However, he hasn’t had any luck finding Yost. Among his efforts have been to contact Yosts in the area, speak with longtime residents and search on the Internet.

“I haven’t given up trying to find him,” McAteer, a road foreman, told the Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown.

The newspaper reported that its archives show Yost’s parents, both of whom are dead, lived in Ferndale in 1954. His father was a sports editor at the newspaper, which reported that the younger Yost had moved to Florida.

Tad Kelley, a spokesman for the Postal Service in Pittsburgh, said he could not comment specifically on the letter without investigating.

“Sometimes pieces of mail do get lost behind equipment or transporting equipment. ... It is infrequent, but every once in a blue moon, it does happen,” Kelley said. “No matter how old it is, we will deliver it.”

Ferndale is about 65 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

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