Tom Watson has kept a crumbling leather wallet tucked away in his office for almost three years.
A Washington Closure Hanford worker found the wallet in 2010 in the area that includes Hanford’s N Reactor and turned it in.
It had no money in it and the section for photos was empty. It did have the identification documents and receipts carried by its owner, John Arthur Logan, born Dec. 5, 1905.
Watson, the curation services lead for the Department of Energy’s Mission Support Alliance, has called everyone in the local phone book who might be related and has chased leads as far away as Hawaii.
He’s had no luck, he said.
Logan and his wallet likely parted ways about a half-century ago.
The wallet holds a U.S. government motor vehicle identification card issued Aug. 29, 1960, and expiring three years later. It identified him as a sheet metal worker.
He was carrying a money order receipt dated March 6, 1963.
That would put him at the Hanford N Reactor complex about the time that reactor was being built.
Construction started in 1958 and the reactor began operating in 1963 to produce plutonium for the nation’s nuclear weapons program. President John F. Kennedy visited Hanford in September of that year to commemorate the start of plutonium production at the reactor and for the groundbreaking of a nuclear power production addition.
The federal motor vehicle identification card describes Logan as having brown hair and blue eyes, standing 5-foot-8 and weighing 190 pounds.
His Washington driver’s license gave his address at 2121 Canal Drive, and said his hair was gray.
Watson also knows that Logan was a customer at Farmer’s Exchange in Kennewick. The wallet had a claim check that listed the business’s telephone number as JUstice 2-3101.
Logan also was carrying his Social Security card when the wallet went missing.
It’s an interesting find, but the wallet is not DOE property, Watson said. It rightfully belongs to Logan, and so won’t go into the Hanford collection.
Watson would like to get it back into the hands of the owner, or more likely his survivors. “It might be a treasure to them,” he said.
He and Tom Marceau, a Mission Support Alliance archaeologist, also have been searching for three men who left a time capsule hidden within the walls of a Hanford building near D Reactor in September 1955.
Their handwritten names on a memo in the capsule appear to be K. Edward Thomas, Monte D. Dickinson and Henry L. Matear.
No one has come forward since the Herald published a story about the time capsule in April.
“We really cherish the remnants that come to us in serendipitous ways,” Colleen French said.
Hanford officials hope to hear from someone who knew Logan or from the men who left the time capsule.