The 'M*A*S*H' cast buried a real time capsule after filming their last episode
'We'll put stuff in it and leave a note for whoever finds it. And we thought maybe fifty years later someone would find it.'
Imagine being a construction worker, just doing your job, and as you dig in the ground, you find a locked chest. Now, let's say you find out that the cast of M*A*S*H left behind this chest. Would you faint, cry, or realize that you just hit the jackpot?
We all know that the M*A*S*H finale, "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen," turned cities worldwide into ghost towns. However, the last episode filmed was "As Time Goes By."
In the episode, the crew buried a time capsule and paid tribute to characters who left the series before it ended. It was a very sentimental episode showing the beauty of friendship. Their connection and dedication to "hold on to memories forever" behind the scenes were intense.
In an interview with the Television Academy, Alan Alda revealed that the group buried a real capsule that they hoped would be untouched for decades or even a century.
"The last show that we shot was the last [episode] shown right before [the finale]. I think it was a show [about] burying a chest full of memorabilia," Alda began. "And the last scene of that show [we buried a] chest. And since that was the last week, we had the idea [to] bury a real chest ourselves."
Alda continued by saying the crew had a plan that they would all put something in the chest, even a note. "We'll put stuff in it and leave a note for whoever finds it. And we thought maybe fifty years later someone would find it."
The plan would've made headlines if the chest was found half a century later as they had hoped. Unfortunately, a construction worker found it in no time.
"We didn't realize that 20th Century Fox and its incredible greed was selling off everything they had," the actor said. "And they sold off half of their commissary. They had this kind of historic commissary where Shirley Temple used to eat lunch, and her picture was on the wall, and they cut it right in half and sold that off to a building."
A construction crew started digging in the same area within a few months after they buried the chest. "Some construction worker called me up and said, 'I got this thing. You want it?'. I said, 'No, I don't want it. It's for whoever found it.'"
The construction worker asked what he should do with the chest, and Alda said, "I don't know. It's yours." The actor and writer joked that it was probably sold on eBay and that he thought it would be fun, but the construction worker didn't seem to care.
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Any decent interviewer would've asked more about that curious detail (rabbit hole?) in itself. Like, what other pictures were trashed and so on. It would've made another good story.
" 𝗢𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝗲𝗽𝗶𝘀𝗼𝗱𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝘀𝗰𝗲𝗻𝗲 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗠*𝗔*𝗦*𝗛 "
about 3 minutes or so into the clip. Alan Alda said and with hand gestures made it clear the photo was cut in half.