This Week in Time Capsules: Best Capsule Ever Leaves the Solar SystemS

This week we have a message in a bottle which could be the oldest ever found, 1970s microfilm that was hidden inside a missile in Kansas, and the single coolest (and furthest traveled) time capsule ever assembled.

Coolest Time Capsule Ever Has Left The Solar System

Arguably one of the coolest time capsules ever created was in the news this week. NASA finally determined that Voyager 1 officially left the solar system around August 25th of last year. Voyager 1 includes the Golden Record, perhaps best described by President Jimmy Carter: "This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours." Float on, little buddy. And may the aliens that find you have a bitchin' hi-fi system.

Microfilm Hidden Inside Missile in 1973 Opened At Kansas State Fair

Kansas governor Sam Brownback opened a rather peculiar time capsule last weekend — boxes of microfilm hidden inside a 34-foot tall missile. The governor rode a mechanical lift to retrieve the 1973 capsule and, despite some minor mechanical problems with the lift, was ultimately able to pull the large steel box from its 40-year hiding place. Some people showed up to the uncapsuling ceremony in the sweltering heat (it was 101 degrees in Kansas last weekend) with memories of when it was sealed. The microfilm purportedly has information about life in Kansas in the 1970s but unsurprisingly, nobody had a portable microfilm reader on hand to check out their time traveling bounty. [HutchNews]

107-Year-Old Message in a Bottle Found, But Finder Refuses To Open It

A man in British Columbia recently found a 107-year-old message in a bottle which could turn out to be oldest ever found. The twist? Steve Thurber, the man who found it, refuses to open this fascinating time capsule.

Just by peering into the glass, you can tell that it was assembled on September 29, 1906 and was signed by one Earl Willard. Willard was supposedly sailing from San Francisco to Bellingham, Washington and was just 76 hours into his voyage when he tossed it overboard.

Before Thurber's discovery, the oldest known message in a bottle was just a measly 98 years old and found by Scottish fisherman in April of 2012. There's no word on whether anyone is trying to convince Mr. Thurber to come to his senses and open the damn thing. But I guess you have to respect the bizarre decision to not open it. I don't know. Would you open it? [GlobalNews.ca]

1914 Time Capsule in Minnesota Leaves More Questions Than Answers

Folks in Morris, Minnesota recently cracked open a cornerstone time capsule from 1914 but have been left with more questions than answers. The local historical society did a little research and discovered newspaper accounts from 1914 about what was supposed to be inside the capsule.

Unfortunately, it appears that one of its signature items — an essay written by D.T. Wheaton, who was an educator from the community — is nowhere to be found. A lone photograph was found of a building, but again there's some mystery surrounding the image — there's no description and nobody has any idea what building it is. Part of me wonders if those Morris-tonians of the year 1914 were playing a cruel little joke on people of the future. [Morris Sun Tribune]

Food Bank Buries Packaged Food (For The Hungry People of 2043?)

A food bank in Calgary recently buried a time capsule filled with newspaper articles, some photos, and yes... some packaged food. The charity included some Campbell's soup and a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese (known colloquially in Canada as Kraft Dinner) for the people of 2043. If it were anyone else, I'd say that including packaged food is a neat idea. But when it's a charity with the mission of feeding people, there's something that just feels a bit off about putting the food others have donated into the ground. If anything, I'm probably being overly sensitive and it's as good a reminder as any to donate to your local food bank. [660 News]

Have a good weekend, folks! Stay safe out there!

Images: The Golden Record and an artist's illustration of Voyager 1 entering interstellar space both from JPL