To understand this entry you will need to watch the following video:
As you now know, Tulsa buried a car in 1957 with plans to unearth it in 2007, exactly 50 years to the day and time of burial. That day and time is tomorrow, Friday June 14, 2007 at noon. The car is to be given away tomorrow evening at a huge event at the Tulsa Convention Center where it will be unveiled in front of everyone. The winner of the car is the person who, in 1957, most closely guessed the population of the city of Tulsa in 2007.
Leading up to this event, the City of Tulsa as well as a few private sponsors have spent tons of money on promotions. This managed to create enough buzz that in addition to the 50,000 people who are to witness the raising of the car at noon and the unveiling of the car in the evening, 11 countries will be represented with media who are following the story. The promotions have been under way for around 8 months.
On Wednesday a HazMat team was sent in to check for dangerous chemicals or gasses that might be an issue when the crypt in which the car currently resides is uncovered on Friday. (Some gasoline and oil were stored with the vehicle in case these items were not available in 2007)
Well, rather than drilling a hole in the top of the concrete crypt and dropping a probe in to test air quality, they cut half the top off the lid and lifted the damn thing off. This exposed the vehicle to the public who were standing around as well as media who had caught wind of the HazMat activity.
Beneath the lid was the covered 1957 Belvedere with rust everywhere. There were rust marks on the inside of the crypt indicating that the box had been completely full of water at one point. There is still hope, rich-ass Tulsan and sponsor of the event Sharon King-Davis says… She reminds us in interviews that the car is wrapped in a rust-proof “tarp” and could be pristine when uncovered. Apparently the ultra rich think the rest of us are stupid – that’s another blog entry though. That thing is rusted all to hell and we all know it.
Long story short, the City of Tulsa had a gem of a tourist attraction for the first time ever and did not take the extra steps to ensure the public would not know until Friday what condition the vehicle was actually in. Rust or no rust, I think the draw to this was actually to see if the vehicle had endured all those years and if its contents (a bunch of stuff from ’57) were in decent condition still. I believe either way it would have been worth the suspense for visitors interested in the fate of the Belvedere.
Whoever dropped the ball when planning this and did not coordinate some sort of physical cover-up should be fired. The guy in the following video at the 1:56 mark should also be fired. These people have zero understanding how something like this can affect the city. They make us look stupid, lazy and otherwise undereducated.
The other side of this debacle is the media attention. KOTV, Channel 6 out of Tulsa is a very large sponsor of the event and is handling all the live coverage of the opening of the crypt set for noon Friday and the unveiling of the car that night. Advertising has been sold and prime network airtime bought.
Channels 2, 5(23) and 8 are all covering the Belvedere story intensely and channel 6 is not mentioning anything about it at all. I guess a little nah nah nah boo boo is in progress in the media arena. The above video was of a report by the #2 station in town. Channel 6 (KOTV) is #1.
I don’t really have an opinion other than there should be some heads rolling over this. I am not that interested in the Belvedere but probably would record the unveiling show and give it a watch some day but that’s about the extent of it.
The blatant disregard for securing the area to ensure onlookers could not see the inner workings of the preparations of an event like this is simply embarrassing.
On a lighter note – I saw a restored Belvedere on a trailer yesterday. Perhaps they made a switch last night and there will be a nice shiny one pulled out of the ground tomorrow at noon…
I wouldn’t put it past them.