Unusual Use for UXO? You Be the Judge!

Atherstone, Warwickshire, United Kingdom Over the years we have heard of many bizarre uses for old munition items - a door stop, mantle ornaments, and many more, but this one may be the strangest yet. A British woman reportedly used an old ordnance item she dug up as a vase for over 30 years.

The item, identified as a 75mm shrapnel projectile, was kept filled by the woman with flowers. Thirty years passed before she discovered the dangers inherent in "vase" which she dug up with friends when she was just 15-years-old.


Bomb Forces Evacuation of German Museum

Berlin, Germany The Deutsches Museum in Munich was evacuated after construction workers found a WWII-era bomb in a museum courtyard. According to officials, the 550-pound munition was found near the entrance to the 90-year-old building, which houses the famous science and technology museum.

Bomb disposal experts safely extracted the fuzed bomb and plan to dispose of it in a controlled detonation at a remote site.

Boy Pulls Up Grenade From River

London, United Kingdom An-eight-year-old boy treasure hunting with a magnet on a string from a small boat in the Grand Union Canal made a scary discovery - an exploded hand grenade. The boy, his twin brother, friend and nanny were reportedly enjoying the day, pulling out a variety of items from the river including old wrenches and empty beer cans before finding the grenade.


A Long Ride to Honor Those Who Take the "Long Walk"

Virginia Beach, Virginia Anyone associated with EOD has certainly heard about the "long walk," a reference to the technician's walk from command post to the incident site. To support those men and women who risk life and limb in the interest of public safety from the threats of UXO, retired Virginia State Police Bomb Technician Bobby Klepper will set out on November 1 to ride cross-country on a motorcycle wearing a bomb suit. His will make the trek in an effort to draw national attention to these EOD heroes and raise money for the EOD Warrior Foundation.

Klepper, a bomb technician himself for 34 years, came up with the plan while discussing his desire to help the EOD cause with friends. This self-described "bar napkin" idea has taken several years and numerous sponsors to bring to fruition. The three-week ride will begin in Virginia Beach, VA and end in San Diego, California and will include media stops and opportunities for other riders to join his journey along the way. It will be a southern route as a stop will be made at the EOD Memorial in Elgin, Florida for a memorial service and wreath laying in the initial stages of the ride.

Klepper will be raising funds for the EOD WARRIOR FOUNDATION , a nonprofit organization that serves the EOD Community providing assistance to active-duty wounded, injured or ill warriors, wounded veterans and their families, and families of fallen warriors. The organization also maintains the EOD Memorial Wall in honor of fallen EOD warriors. The Foundation believes the EOD family is for life and many will host events for the public along the way.


Senator Demands Answers For UXO In Scrap Yard

Washington, D.C. Senator McCain (R-AZ) submitted a letter to the Secretary of Defense demanding answers following the accidental death of a scrap metal worker in his home state from UXO. The worker, Daniel Wright, 46, died in the explosion where he worked at the Tucson Iron and Metal yard.

In the letter, Senator McCain asks for an explanation as to how a 500-pound MK 82 bomb wound up in a scrap yard and requested an explanation of what methods DoD has in place to educate the public about the risks of UXO.


Fun Times

Article by Guest Author: Jack Imber
Author of the book DEMINER available from Amazon

The following stories are true:


Suddenly the team leader pushed through the sweep line. Everyone froze. They wanted to see what the possible emergency could be. No sound was made by anyone. They were all alone among small patches of vegetation dotting the red Hawaiian dirt.

There it was straight ahead, a flat square object measuring approximately ½ meter by ½ meter. Snatching up the object the team leader could be heard to say "I know what this is. I'm taking it home with me." He turned it over to examine it more closely and the team members could see it was a discarded solar panel. As the sunlight struck the panels a charge zapped the team leader. He had been touching the wire terminals on the underside. Dropping the panel he jumped backwards from the jolt and cried out "What the....." Everyone was looking to see if their team leader was hurt or burned from the shock. He was ok. Then a few laughs could be heard. The entire team joined in and started laughing so hard that some could barely stand. Realizing what he had done he started laughing as he said "Hey if you didn't drop it, don't pick it up!"


On a cold Minnesota morning the team leader and one of the crew jumped into the gator (a miniature open pickup truck more like a convertible golf cart) and led the way towards the first grid. The rest of the team followed in the big crew cab pickup truck.

The driver of the pickup truck said, "Hey check this out. I put a battery operated fart sound maker between them in the gator." All of the people in the truck watched with interest as the driver raised a small remote control box that had only one orange button. When the button was depressed the occupants of the pickup watched for any reaction of the two men in the gator. The team leader's head turned towards the driver then looked straight ahead. The driver could also be seen to turn to look at the team leader. The guys in the truck roared with laughter. Luckily the windows were rolled up and they could not be heard. During the next two miles traveling through the forest, the remote control was passed around and everyone got a chance to push the orange button. Each time the men in the gator could be seen taking turns looking at the other after each push of the button. The men in the truck laughed so hard that at times became difficult to catch their breaths.


UXO Amid Remains of Missouri House Fire

Caruthersville, Missouri Firefighters encountered unusual debris in their investigation of a house fire they had put out. Cape Girardeau and Sikeston bomb squads and Army EOD unit from Fort Leonardwood responded to the scene where they verified the suspect military ordnance found by the fire crew was an M-29 practice rifle grenade from the Korean War era.

It is unclear how the inert grenade got into the home. The State Fire Marshall is still investigating the incident.

Worked Killed From UXO At Scrap Yard

Tucson, Arizona A worker at Tucson Iron and Metal was killed when the metal scrap pile he was cutting into exploded. Police were first notified of the accident when a South Tucson police officer was flagged down as he was driving a few blocks from the scrap yard around the time of the explosion.

Authorities determined that the man was cutting into military ordnance when the explosion occurred. The man reportedly died instantly and no one else was injured. Officials from nearby Davis-Monthan Air Force Base responded to perform a check of the area. No additional live munition items were found and they reported "no missing ordnance" from their inventory. However, the UXO was likely from a range area which explains why it was not listed as "missing" as once expended / fired, a munition is no longer tracked.


3.2 Inch Projectile (Circa 1890s - 1910s)

Images and information donated by Ward R. Stern.


UXO Guest Author - Ward Stern

"For over thirty years; all of my professional energies have remained focused toward the effective practice of the various facets of the art of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)." This has been my professional motto for some time.

Natural mechanical dexterity ability and an aptitude allowing rapid comprehension of complex technical material prompted me early in my military career to pursue and be accepted into the military Explosive Ordnance Disposal community.

Successive promotions and directing attention to the details allowed for a subsequent award of an additional Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and commensurate assignment duties as a US Army Ammunition Quality Assurance Inspector.

On departure from the US Army the traveling experiences from a decade of military assignments brought on a desire to continue traveling as I pursued civilian UXO remediation, materials reclamation and demining employment opportunities. Through my involvement in overseas employment contracts that required the knowledge and expertise of the high hazard abatement skills I had acquired while in the military, I was able to continue to visit various countries.


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