WEST POINT, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Officials at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point opened a 195-year-old time capsule on Monday after it was found inside the base of a monument. The container was discovered in May during a statue restoration project.
The box didn’t meet expectations, however. Historians only found a layer of silt they think settled at the bottom because moisture entered the container. But officials said they aren’t done investigating the mystery.
“We don’t want to think they went through all this trouble to not put anything in it, so what we are gonna do is we will take the silt, put it through a fine mesh screen, and find any remains and determine what if anything was in here,” West Point archeologist Paul Hudson said. “Potentially, it was something small and organic that may have come apart over time, but we are just not certain.”
Officials said the time capsule was likely placed in the base of the Thaddeus Kosciuszko monument in 1828. Historians also found a stamp from the manufacturer on the lid and will be using that clue to track down why the box was placed in the monument.
The military academy said cadets plan to continue the tradition of placing a time capsule into the rebuilt base of the monument.
Kosciuszko, born Andrzej Tadeusz Bonaventura Kociuszko, was a Polish general and military engineer, who also fought in the American Revolution. Known for his bravery, the Twin Bridges that connect Saratoga and Albany Counties on the Northway also bears his name.
The full stream of officials opening the time capsule can be found below: