FRANKFURT, Germany — It probably didn’t go according to plan.
In 1996, airmen with the 626th Air Mobility Support Squadron decided to stuff some mementos into a time capsule and bury it on Rhein-Main Air Base, probably hoping it would be opened 50 years later.
Instead, the air base closed in 2005 and the property was turned over to the Frankfurt Airport Authority, which had plans for a new passenger terminal and some other facilities. So, on July 28 — only 13 years later — construction workers discovered the strange box.
After it was determined the box contained U.S. military items, it was turned over to U.S. Forces Customs-Europe.
Sgt. Deon Washington, a senior customs agent, retrieved the capsule and kept it in his office, until curiosity got the better of one of his fellow soldiers.
A variety of photos, military ranks and stickers along with other military paraphernalia dominated the capsule’s contents. Some more interesting items were: a Meals, Ready to Eat; a Dinty Moore boxed lunch; American dollars; a large chain; an American flag; a Stars and Stripes newspaper; a U.S. Army Europe driving permit and even a marriage certificate.
The box was transported to Ramstein Air Base this week, where Air Force officials will decide what to do with the "artifacts."
Washington said he wishes the capsule, which sat in his office for almost 20 days, would have been discovered in 2050, not 13 years after it was buried.