A time capsule hidden inside a Sydney home 22 years ago predicted the rise of Islam would spark a ‘holy war’ and China would grow into a world economic superpower. Tradesman Sasha Ilic found the typed letter sealed in protective plastic inside a wall cavity while renovating the bathroom of a Rozelle home in the city’s inner west. ‘Hello whoever you are. This letter was put into this stud wall on Easter Saturday, 15th April, 1995. It is pissing down and so a good day to be renovating’ the letter read. Written by Greg Wilkinson, who was aged 49 in 95′, the time capsule claimed Islam would prove to be the ‘next ideological problem’ and boasted that multicultural Australia would remain the ‘envy of the world, whatever happens’.
The 3 page letter was typed up on Word for Windows V5,0 using a ‘top of the scale’ 486 laptop with a whopping 8 megabytes of RAM and 240MB hard drive. In comparison, standard computer in 2017 typically features 8GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive, equivalent to over 1500 times the size and speed of Mr Wilkinson’s machine. His time capsule letter was written 6 years before the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, which would spark a 15 year United States military campaign in Afghanistan and lead to regular terrorist attacks in the West. ‘Islam will become the next ideological problem sparking an equal and opposite reaction plunging large parts of the globe in a ridiculous ‘holy war’. Factions within either doctrine will also suffer this holier than thou attitude and this war will go on for a very long time’ he wrote. He also predicted China would become ‘a world economic superpower’ with the United States as its largest trading partner, both of which stand true today.
Not all of his predictions were bang on money though. ‘Paul Keating is Prime Minister. He is pushing hard for Australia to become a Republic by the year 2000. He is a real go-getter, seen as arrogant but street wise. He is a strong leader with very little opposition at all and I think he will be in for a long time’ the letter says. Little did he know that popular Labor leader would serve for 5 years, only to be ousted by John Howard who would hold the position for the next 9 years. Sharing other insights into everyday life in the 20th century, he revealed that a case of ‘really popular’ Carlton Cold beer cost $24,95 (compared to a $50 case of Carlton Draught today), while one litre of fuel would set you back just $0,68. ‘The big deal at the moment is the Internet. This is just exploding and every man and his dog wants to ‘surf’ the internet. Please tell me this expression has now died’ Mr Wilkinson wrote in the letter.
The letter was posted on Facebook and before long Mr Wilkinson was found using power of social media. ‘Who would have thought back then that (Facebook) was how it would be exposed’ Mr Wilkinson, now aged 61, wrote online. ‘At first when I saw the letter up on Facebook I felt a little violated. Then having thought about it and with the predictions it really highlighted the progress of the internet in 22 years and, without it, how would they ever have found me? I received a Facebook messenger request and a very nice guy asked if I was the right guy and pointed me to it and there it was. It almost brought me to tears’ he said.