TED OBERG INVESTIGATES: When a tip leads something buried underneath Texas Medical Center

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- All the good tips come to great investigative reporters in really epic ways.

Watergate hero Bob Woodward, memorialized by Robert Redford, met his source "Deep Throat" in a dimly lit parking lot.

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward are flanked by Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford as they attend the premiere of "All the President's Men," in Washington, D.C., on April 5, 1976.

(AP Photo)

In the movie "The Post," the Pentagon Papers showed up out of order, in a brown box, without page numbers and led Washington Post reporters to the Supreme Court.

Tom Hanks plays editor Ben Bradlee in the 20th Century Fox film "The Post"

20th Century Fox

Some tips to us here at ABC13 are not quite as epic.

One recent tip came in an envelope with an Abilene return address, an Austin zip code, and a north Houston postmark.

And just about the time I start to take myself a little too seriously, I pull out the remnant of an old Subway sandwich wrapper fed through an old-fashioned typewriter.

"There is a nuclear medical waste site under a public sidewalk in the medical center," it reads.

We get the address, GPS coordinates and one more instruction, "Look for steel cap."

A little sleuthing takes us right to it and right where the tipster warned us it would be: that steel cap.

A little more sleuthing reveals it's no secret. It is a state-regulated, well reported medical nuclear waste site. The TCEQ knows all about it and so does MD Anderson.

MD Anderson actually says it goes all the way back between 1957 and 1961. That was back in the black and white days when docs wore short hair and skinny ties, and medical machinery was straight out of science fiction.

MD Anderson confirms it buried nuclear waste in a concrete clad steel canister. The state and hospital say it is no risk to the city that's grown up around it.

Don't ever think a tip to the ABC13 investigates office isn't taken seriously.

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Have a tip for Ted Oberg? A problem to solve? Get in touch with us on our tip page, or send a tip below. (On mobile? You can open our form by tapping here.)
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