A time capsule sealed in 1969 that was set to reveal its secrets this year has mysteriously—albeit hilariously—wound up containing absolutely nothing, a puzzle that has stumped the township of Derry, New Hampshire.
Employees with the Derry Public Library discovered the capsule—an old safe—contained exactly nothing when checking a few weeks ahead of its scheduled reveal at the 300th Nutfield Anniversary Old Home Day event in neighboring Londonderry, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported. There is evidently no record for what was supposed to be in the safe, though there’s some speculation on its previous contents—assuming there ever were any at all.
Speaking with ABC affiliate WMUR, Derry library director Cara Potter said it’s possible that the safe contained items related to astronaut Alan Shepard, who was born in Derry. However, Derry historian Paul Lindemann told the Union Leader that the safe was said to include a film reel depicting a driving tour of Derry as well as interviews with the town’s officials.
To be fair, if the latter is the case, a safe whose items have mysteriously vanished seems considerably more exciting that its rumored contents.
In any event, it appears any number of individuals may have been able to access it in the 50 years since it was sealed. WMUR cited Potter as being told that the safe was stored at a city municipal building before it was torn down and that it’s been stored at the library ever since. Lindemann, however, told the Union Leader that old news coverage stated that the safe had been buried in Derry’s MacGregor Park, but that it has more recently been stored in library’s research room, which is reportedly locked.
“He suspects the capsule might have been disinterred during library construction in 1989-1990,” the Union Leader reported. “However, given the condition of the safe, it’s unclear if it was ever buried.”
Regardless, it wouldn’t take a genius to access whatever treasures may or may not have been inside. According to the reports, the safe’s combination was clearly labeled on the back of it, meaning just about anyone with access to it could have been able to make away with its contents.
“It could have happened at any point,” Potter told WMUR. “We’ve even speculated that nothing even got put in there in the first place. We just don’t know.”