Home / National News / Texas Man Claims 1978 Time Capsule He Left in California Home


(AUSTIN, Texas) — A Texas man has come forward to say he was the 12-year-old boy who left behind a time capsule in 1978 in the walls of his family’s then-home.

Robert Wright, now 49, was a seventh-grader in 1978 when he took the opportunity of the remodeling of his family’s home in Fontana, California, to leave behind a time capsule capturing the era.

“Hello to whoever finds this. My name is Robert Wright. Today my dad is putting up paneling. Today is November 18th, 1978, 15 till 12:00 noon. I’m 12 years old and a student at Fontana JR. High, 7th grade. I am 5’3, blond hair, hazel eyes. Here is proof of the date. Robert Wright,” the note read.

Accompanying the note were some coins, newspaper clippings and a McDonald’s scratch-off game ticket.

Fast forward 30 years later and it was another remodeling project at the same home that led to the discovery of the time capsule. This time around, the son of the home’s owners was Greg Sandoval, whose parents were renovating and found the hidden gem inside the walls.

“They showed it to me and I initially did a Google search and searched on social media but didn’t find anyone that matched,” Sandoval told ABC News Monday.

“As time went by I didn’t want to throw it away,” Sandoval said. “After six years went by I decided to do something about it and called my local ABC station here in Los Angeles.”

The station, KABC, interviewed Sandoval at his home for a story that aired on Sunday’s evening news about the time capsule.

“When they posted the story it went crazy, we were blown away,” Sandoval said.

Less than 24 hours later, after seeing the story broadcast on another local ABC station, Robert Wright, now of Austin, Texas, came forward to say he was the 12-year-old boy who left the time capsule behind.

“I got up this morning and there were all these Facebook messages, mainly from my cousin and his wife in Houston with messages like, ‘This is you. This is you,'” Wright told ABC News Monday. “I watched the video link and was like, ‘Oh my gosh. This is me. I am that Robert Wright.’”

“It was just a fluke that my cousin was watching the news at that moment and caught the story,” he said.

Making the story even more coincidental is that Wright and his father, Wayne Wright, had just discussed the time capsule within the last few months, after neither of them bringing it up for years and years.

“I don’t remember what sparked that conversation but I remember I said, ‘Do you remember that bag? I wonder if anyone ever found it,'” Wright recalled.

Wright says his memory of the time capsule is that it was a spur-of-the-moment decision perhaps inspired by his dad’s tradition of writing his name on a wall or leaving some kind of memento to mark his work throughout his construction career.

“I wrote the note and it wasn’t enough and I needed proof of the date so I tore off a newspaper. I don’t have any recollection of the McDonald’s ticket,” Wright said. “My guess is I just ran off into my room and grabbed whatever I could find with the date on it and just stuck it in the baggy and threw it in the wall and that was it, not ever truly believing it would be found while I was alive, much less get back to me that it was found.”

Wright, who lived in the home from the ages of 6 to 14, says he plans to call Sandoval and is eager to hear directly from him on the time capsule’s contents and where exactly it was found.

“I’m dying to see what’s in there because my memory is not perfect from being 12 years old,” Wright said.

Wright, now a father of two who works in the medical field, says that moment in 1978 was the only time in his life he left behind a time capsule but that this story, and another case of good remodeling timing, has him thinking about a new time capsule.

“Now that this happened I want to do something like this with my kids, who are 8 and 9,” Wright said. “We’re going to do a full kitchen remodel in our house next year so I’m thinking we need to do something similar and maybe I’ll include a copy of the note that I wrote when I was 12.”

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