Lost and finally found

By By Ana Breton

By Ana Breton

A seven-month treasure hunt ended last week when Union board members found the time capsule they had been searching for since May.

On Wednesday, two radar technicians from a local chemical testing center located the sought-after time capsule inside the outdoor fireplace behind the Union.

The historical chest was found with a machine that measured the density within the fireplace walls. A spot on the left side of the fireplace revealed a large air hole amid the large, red bricks.

A rusty corner of the copper chest could be seen after one of the technicians drilled a one-foot hole.

The time capsule was first placed by former U President Ray Olpin to commemorate the opening of the Union nearly 50 years ago.

Julie Mayhew, director of development in the Union, said she had an idea of why it was placed there.

“I think Olpin put it there because it would have already been surrounded by large stones, so they weren’t forced to construct another structure,” she said. “Or maybe he put it there because it’s a nice-looking spot.”

Board members were misguided during their first search after following rumors that the capsule was placed inside the Brave Ute statue in the Union Plaza.

Nothing was found, however, after the statue was X-rayed.

And although Union board members are excited to find the missing capsule, they will not remove it until Dec 1, when bricks will be drilled out of the fireplace.

Since it hasn’t been removed, board members are not sure how big or small it is or even if the capsule is the one originally placed in 1957.

In a journal entry from that year, Olpin said the capsule would be opened a decade after it was first placed. Thus far, no evidence has been found confirming that it was.

Even when the bricks are removed, the capsule will not be opened until the Union’s 50th birthday on Jan 17.

Union Director Whit Hollis said he wants it to remain a surprise for everyone, not just for the students.

Until then, Hollis said, they’ll have to keep guessing about what’s inside.

“I hope people back then were playful, so we don’t just find paper turned into ash,” he said. “But I think anything we find in there is going to be exciting.”

During the celebration in January a new time capsule will also be created. It was originally going to be hidden where the first one was placed.

“But maybe we should put it somewhere else, because people already know where it’s going to be and we don’t want them to take it,” Mayhew said.

Nola Burns, a senior in sociology, has her own idea of what she wants to put in the new capsule.

“Everyone’s iPods,” she said. “Because they’re all annoying and dumb.”

Kim Peterson

Ernie Walthers, a non-destructive testing technician, uses ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to measure density in an attempt to locate the time capsule inside the fireplace outside the Union on Wednesday.