It was 1983, the close of the International Design Conference in Aspen, Colo. A time capsule, officially known as the Aspen Time Tube was buried. Attendees contributed various items, name tags, a Moody Blues recording, even a six pack of Ballentine’s Beer. However, since Steve Jobs donated the Lisa mouse he’d used during his presentation at the conference, the time capsule became known as the ‘Steve Jobs Time Capsule’.
The idea was to dig it up in 2000, but fate got in the way. Essentially, it was lost. Though organizers recalled approximately where the tube was buried, they didn’t know the exact spot, in part because of a significant re-landscaping of the area where it was hidden. And so for 30 years, the Steve Jobs Time Capsule was hidden underground, unavailable to the many historians eager to see what was inside.
The time capsule has finally been recovered, thanks to he National Geographic Channel show “Diggers.” The show’s crew, aided in their quest by a local Aspen excavation crew, found the time capsule and dug it up. In the second giant hole they dug. The first hole came up dry.
“We just freaked out,” George Wyant, one of the two “Diggers” co-hosts, said about finding the tube. “We went crazy. Because I’d had a pit in my stomach all day, so it was like instant relief.”
“They had the foresight to put a bunch of stuff in plastic bags,” Wyant’s co-host Tim Saylor said. “I could see at least a dozen plastic bags and other trinkets and items. But I know for sure there’s got to be photographs in there. People had hand-written things on the back of the photographs, so there will be some really interesting things inside.”
Most of the details about what were in the time capsule are being withheld. While they have basically admitted that Steve Jobs’ Lisa mouse was in the capsule, they haven’t published any photos of the device. It is believed the crew will hold back the details of the most interesting objects until the “Diggers” episode airs some time in early 2014.
For now, the television crew and the Aspen Historical Society plan to go through the time capsule and catalog each item, hopefully preserving them for a potential public display.
No word on the condition of the beer in the six pack. Although from personal experience, they might expect it to be a little flat if they open it.