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Cold Casing: The Mystery Of The Long-Lost Winchester Rifle


Here's a lost and found story. What we assume was lost more than a hundred years ago was a rifle. Archaeologist Eva Jensen found it during a survey in Nevada's Great Basin National Park. She was looking for Native American artifacts.

EVA JENSEN: Truthfully that's kind of what I was hoping to see in that rocky outcrop, but I guess I'll take a Winchester rifle.

SIEGEL: It was made in 1882, but who left it there and when remains a mystery. It had been there so long, its black barrel looked like a part of the juniper tree it was leaning against. Jensen says spotting it was a stroke of luck.

JENSEN: It just was the right time, the right light. Sometimes that makes the difference.

SIEGEL: The rifle will spend some time with the curators of the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum in Wyoming so it can be preserved. Afterwards, it will return to the park where it will be on public display through the National Park Service Centennial in 2016. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Robert Siegel
Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.