When experts opened a West Point time capsule, they found nothing. The box turned out to hold hidden treasure after all.

09:44 31.08.2023

In a surprising turn of events, a West Point time capsule that had been buried for nearly 200 years revealed hidden treasure when it was opened during a live-streamed ceremony on Monday. Initially, the capsule appeared to contain only dust, leaving spectators disappointed. However, upon closer examination by West Point archeologist Paul Hudson, it was discovered that the sediment held six silver American coins dating from 1795 to 1828 and a commemorative medal from 1826.

The coins included a 1795 5-cent coin, an 1800 Liberty dollar, an 1818 25-cent coin, 10-cent and 1-cent coins from 1827, and an 1828 50-cent coin. Experts estimate that the coins could be valued anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to well over $1,000, depending on their condition. Hudson expressed his initial excitement, stating, "When I first found these, I thought, man, you know, it would have been great to have found these on stage."

Prior to the discovery, the live opening of the time capsule had been underwhelming, drawing comparisons to Geraldo Rivera's infamous unsealing of a Chicago hotel vault in 1986, which yielded nothing but dirt. The crowd at the U.S. Military Academy had hoped to see military relics or historical documents when the box was opened. However, laughter filled the room as it became evident that the box was nearly empty, with only a silty material at the bottom.

Despite the initial disappointment, the hidden coins and medal provided a glimmer of excitement for the archeologists and spectators. Hudson took the box back to his lab and carefully sifted through the sediment, revealing the hidden treasures. He believes that it was probably better to extract the coins and medal in a controlled setting. Hudson plans to continue analyzing the sediment for further clues about what else may have been inside the time capsule.

Academy officials theorize that the time capsule was left by cadets in 1828 or 1829, coinciding with the completion of the monument honoring Revolutionary War hero Thaddeus Kosciuszko. The Polish general and military engineer, who fought in the American Revolutionary War and an uprising in his home country, died in 1817. The monument, which also features a statue of Kosciuszko, holds significant historical value.

Brig. Gen. Shane Reeves, the U.S. Military Academy's Dean of the Academic Board, expressed his awe at the discovery, stating, "This is an incredible story that involves so many of West Point's heroes and many of them are the Army's and our nation's heroes." He emphasized the importance of reflecting on history and the responsibility to continue the legacy that Kosciuszko started.

The preservation and analysis of the time capsule will continue, providing further insights into West Point's history and the country's history as a whole. As the monument is rebuilt, a new time capsule will be placed inside, to be opened at a later date, ensuring that the tradition of preserving history for future generations continues.

/ Thursday, August 31, 2023, 9:44 AM /

themes:  Chicago  Military  War  Illinois

All rights to the materials belong to the sources indicated under the heading of each news and their authors.