Brig. Gen. Shane Reeves, broadcasting to the world on a livestream Monday morning, rattled off a list of possibilities as to what could be inside the nearly 200-year-old time capsule that was sitting center stage before the crowd gathered in West Point's Thayer Hall.
West Point had been building anticipation for nearly two weeks over the planned opening of the time capsule, which was found on campus in May underneath a monument to a general who designed West Point's defenses during the American Revolution.
Reeves wondered aloud about the contents. Could the gray lead box hold the original recipe for West Point's corn chowder? A clue to a National Treasure-style caper that leads to the mythical South American city of El Dorado?
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Or would it be something less exciting? In one scenario thrown out by Reeves as the auditorium crowd waited for the reveal, “we open it, we reach our hand in and there's just dust, very much like Indiana Jones and ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,'” he said.
In the end, when the time capsule was finally opened, it contained … silt. Not even close to the sand-filled, face-melting power of the Ark of the Covenant in the movie.
“So, the box didn't quite meet expectations,” Paul Hudson, West Point's archaeologist, told the crowd after he and another handler peeled back the opening at the top of the box. They then pulled out what…