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Portola Valley geophysicist, explorer Sheldon Breiner dies at 82

Original post made on Nov 4, 2019

Sheldon Breiner, the Portola Valley resident and open space advocate who used magnetism to find sunken ships and lost cities, died on Oct. 9 at the age of 82 after a long illness, according to his wife Mimi Breiner.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, November 4, 2019, 11:58 AM

Comments (8)

9 people like this
Posted by Danna
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Nov 4, 2019 at 12:48 pm

I thought he was invincible! that’s why this loss is crushing. Shelly’s energy, enthusiasm, pure fun, love of life will be sorely missed for our whole town.


6 people like this
Posted by Friend
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Nov 4, 2019 at 2:31 pm

Shelly was one of a kind---the enthusiasm and energy he brought to everything he did made even the most boring or innocuous activities exciting. A man of so many interests and accomplishments, and a fabulous friend and neighbor. We love you, Shelly. Hope you are entertaining a large, captive audience in Heaven!


4 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 4, 2019 at 3:53 pm

Sheldon was also a member of The Explorers Club, a group based in NYC whose membership includes Sir Edmund Hillary, Dian Fossey and Buzz Aldrin. He didn’t make a big deal of it when talking about himself, but it was a big deal.

He had projects going on in recent years that he could not talk about due to their government classification.

His was a many splendored life.


5 people like this
Posted by Birdnscrap
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Nov 4, 2019 at 7:43 pm

Birdnscrap is a registered user.

I remember him taking my son's class at Corte Madera School on an earthquake hike. He had them stand with on foot on the North American plate and one foot on the Pacific plate. The kids and parents were amazed. His enthusiasm was contagious, and he was willing to take the time to share it with everyone in the community. Portola Valley lost a great treasure.


2 people like this
Posted by Doug Crice
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2019 at 5:02 am

Sheldon's life got a nice write-up in the New York Times

Web Link

Copy and paste in your browser if the link doesn't work.


2 people like this
Posted by Geoff Baldwin
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Nov 5, 2019 at 10:34 am

I recall about 10 or so years ago Shelly was leading a group of us neighbors on a hike along the fault trace. He had us quietly sneaking into some private property to check out a fault offset across a brick staircase. One of the more perceptive of the local matrons remarked, "His mother must have found him a real handful."


Like this comment
Posted by Michael Von der Porten
a resident of another community
on Nov 10, 2019 at 6:00 pm

Sheldon was a key member of the team working on the Manila
galleon wreck off Baja California.

The identification of San Felipe was changed when further
information on the fate of the San Felipe was found in
archives.

The identification of the wreck is now San Juanillo of
1578.

There is a book out about the wreck and explorations which
include quite a bit about Sheldon: Ghost Galleon.


Like this comment
Posted by Michael Von der Porten
a resident of another community
on Nov 10, 2019 at 6:04 pm

Sheldon was a key member of the team working on the Manila galleon wreck off Baja California. The identification of San Felipe was changed when further
information on the fate of the San Felipe was found in archives. The identification of the wreck is now San Juanillo of 1578. There is a book out about the wreck and explorations which include quite a bit about Sheldon: Ghost Galleon.


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