January 21, 2006

It's Da Bomb, Can You Dig It?

A Somerset man with an interest in treasure hunting took his metal detector to the fields of nearby Warren and came home with something a little more dangerous than coins and trinkets.

Following their detector readings, they dug six inches into the soil of the Warren field and unearthed a 4-inch diameter bomblet from a cluster bomb. They judged it to be some sort of a cannonball, but with some pretty strange markings that to me would generally scream out: “don’t touch me if you find me buried 6 inches deep in a strange field.”

These fellows brought it back to Somerset and stored it for a while in one of their basements. Eventually, they posted pictures of the thing on a metal detectors forum, whereupon someone told them not to handle it any further, that there was a good chance that it was still live. It was. The guy’s girlfriend was of the opinion that they ought to handle it long enough to get it out of the house, and so it ended up across the street. (See Map)

Officials came and evacuated 25 houses in the area. The nearby Wilbur Elementary School was not evacuated, and high school students returning home by bus were held there while the bomb squad worked.

They blowed it up, but good.

Nobody was hurt, and the neighbors seemed to have retained their sense of humor about their bumbling local treasure hunter. At least they didn’t try to cook and eat the thing.

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(P.S. Even though I refer to them as “bumbling” for handling this strange object more than they should have, it could have gone a lot worse if they had decided not to contact the authorities at all. In my not-so-humble opinion, they should have notified the authorities when they dug it up and they ought not to have removed the thing from the field it was in. Maybe treasure hunters should get to know what dangerous treasure looks like, or at least adopt a healthy fear of certain kinds of treasure.)

Posted by James at January 21, 2006 10:12 AM
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I think someone ought to ask what a cluster bomb was doing there in the first place.

Posted by: briwei at January 23, 2006 5:59 PM

They're investigating, of course.

But if this is the only bomblet they found (assuming they were using halfway decent equipment) I wonder if they are going to find anything more jsut by looking around.

Unless someone speaks up. But who would confess to burying live submunitions?

Posted by: James at January 23, 2006 6:26 PM

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