Marty ‘fell’ into the Vltava on Sunday 12th December 2021. Then he became trapped in Troja. He moved to the other riverbank, then became stuck again. We sent an expedition into darkest Troja to find Marty.
For a video version, scroll to the end of this page.
For those new to this story, a Marty McFly figure and an Apple AirTag were stored inside a cannister in an experiment to see if it could be tracked all the way to Germany and beyond.
Previously, Marty was stuck near an inaccessible island controlled by the Povodí Vltavy státní podnik (Vltava River Basin State Company). They didn’t respond to our emails.
The river water rose as a result of melting snow and some rain – Marty escaped the island and appeared down river on the opposite side.
And there he stayed for a week – pinged by a nearby iPhone every other day.
We sent two intrepid reporters on a mission to find Marty.
They arrived at his last known location – an area of the river that is normally used for canoeing slalom competitions, but is closed due to some construction.
Marty’s cannister was pinged and spotted by one of our eagle-eyed reporters. Can you see Marty in this next picture?
How about if we zoom in?
We think that as Marty was happily continuing on his journey, he was caught in the back swell into the slalom course and became stuck as the water drained out.
Our reporter bravely climbed down to the river bed and retrieved Marty’s cannister.
The cannister was checked for water ingress and resealed.
Our team headed for the Trojská lávka footbridge.
And walked to the halfway point.
Where Marty fell back in the river to continue his journey. We thought we heard him say this classic line from Back to the Future:
“Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in”.
What’s that? The God who?
That was on the 16th January and we hoped he’d be found since the last ping from our iPhones.
No pings have been received since. This part of the river is more rural and so there are less iPhones to find Marty – it could be some time before we see him again.
Did we do the right thing by sending Marty on his journey? Or, should we have ended the experiment?
Where could Marty go?
The Vltava River is the longest river in the Czech Republic, merging with the Elbe at Mělník. The Elbe winds through Dresden, Meißen, then across the North German Plain, passing along the former western border of East Germany, touching Torgau, Wittenberg, Dessau, Magdeburg, Wittenberge, and Hamburg where it flows into the North Sea.
Go Marty !
Go ! Go ! Go !