Time capsule in New Hampshire opened 50 years later, found empty

U.S. & World

DERRY, New Hampshire (CNN) — When the Derry library director started five years ago, the town’s time capsule, which was sealed in 1969, sat safely on a shelf.

“Nobody touched it until last spring,” said library director Cara Potter.

On the 50th anniversary, Potter opened it with the help of town staff.

“I was considering running a library program around opening it and so I wanted to open it to make sure we could actually physically do that,” she said.

The combination for the safe was conveniently posted on the back of the capsule.

“It took us several tries to get it open,” Potter said. “Because we had the combination and it’s an older safe. So by the time we actually got it open, there were a number of staff people standing around watching.”

And to everyone’s surprise, it was empty.

“We were a little horrified to find that there was nothing in it,” Potter said.

Derry historians and town officials were notified — turns out no one has a list of what was originally put inside.

The capsule was supposed to be displayed at the Old Home Day Celebration in Londonderry this past weekend.

Officials said they have no idea who could have opened it and taken the items inside.

“It could have happened at any point,” Potter said. “They’re even speculated that nothing actually got put in there in the first place. We just don’t know.”

A number of town keepsakes that will now always be remembered as a mystery.

“Because it was 50 years ago, we were speculating that there could have been some Alan Shepard items in there, because that was around 50 years ago,” Potter said. “It was just the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, so we just won’t know what happened to them.”

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