Tag Archives: UXO

Lost Magazines on the Beach, and We aren’t talking Cosmo

The National Park Service’s Gulf Island National Seashore– which includes a number of coastal defense positions and Third Period forts (Barrancas and Pickens) around Pensacola, Florida as well as Fort Massachusetts on Ship Island off Gulfport– has closed a section of Perdido Key.

The reason? Almost 200 19th century shells, some still live.

Via NPS: 

Following Hurricane Ida, military munitions were discovered near the far end of the seashore’s Perdido Key Area. This event has resulted in a temporary closure of the area, with an abundance of caution should there be additional undiscovered munitions still buried.

The area where the munitions were found is closed and marked with signs. Visitors walking or boating in this area are prohibited from entering. Staff will be monitoring and patrolling the area regularly.

“The park continues to monitor the area for newly discovered munitions and will secure the site(s) should any be found in the future,” said Darrell Echols, GUIS Superintendent. “Our goal is to ensure that the area is safe for the visitors and staff, and that cultural resources are protected.”

More than 190 cannonballs were detonated in September within park boundaries with help from other federal agencies. No more unexploded ordnances have been identified. Munitions found within national park boundaries are considered cultural artifacts and are protected by law. It is illegal for the public to harm, deface, damage, or remove these items.

It’s a shame that some of the shells weren’t saved, as surely not all were live, but I guess the NPS has enough on hand for their exhibits. Plus, if they would have said some weren’t dangerous, you can bet the would-be collectors would be sifting Perdido Key until all the Sea Oats were gone and the key itself washed away.

However, as someone who has grown up in the shadow of Vicksburg, Port Gibson, and the Battle of Mobile Bay battlefields, I can vouch that there are hundreds of old shells on mantles across the Gulf South– many still with fuzes.

Not saying it’s the safest thing in the world, and I wouldn’t recommend it, just making a statement that they are more common than you think.

Mine closure

Yup, seems to be a MKB training mine that was left unswept after an excercise 13 years ago that caused the hubub around Seattle this week.

From U.S. Navy Region Northwest:

The Navy conducted additional analysis on Tuesday’s incident involving an unknown mine in the Puget Sound and subsequent detonation at 8 p.m.

It was determined the mine was from an exercise Naval Undersea Warfare Command, Keyport conducted in 2005. This exercise was an opportunity for academia to demonstrate various Unmanned Underwater Vehicles and their capability to detect underwater objects and avoid submerged obstacles.

During this exercise, inert training mines were placed in areas between Brownsville, Keyport, and Bainbridge Island. Only a small number of the training mines were positively buoyant. Not all training mines were recovered.

It has been confirmed the device destroyed Tuesday was a positively buoyant, inert training mine used during the 2005 exercise.

In order to avoid similar incidents in the future, the Navy will survey the exercise areas and recover any remaining positively buoyant mines.

By request of the State of Washington in the interest of public safety, Navy Explosive Ordnance personnel safely disposed of the device that appeared to be a dated military mine in waters between Keyport and Bainbridge Island, Washington.

The device was detonated at 8:04 p.m. (Tuesday).

The detonation did not create a secondary explosion which indicated the device was inert.

The Navy thanks the following partner agencies for their support in the response: The U.S. Coast Guard, the Suquamish Tribe, State of Washington, Kitsap County, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

In Alaska, if you find some piece of weathered metal, dont pick it up

 

716th EOD

“If you don’t know what it is and it gives you any concern or suspicion, take a picture of it, leave it and call police,” Pratt said. “If you don’t have a camera, don’t go get one and go back.”

Not all residents heed this warning. Military officials have found people using heavy artillery from World War II as doorstops, displaying it on mantels and storing it in attics.

In June 2013, someone called authorities after having second thoughts about a purchase at a Wasilla estate sale — two white rusted mortar rounds, said 1st Lt. Steve Latulipe with the ordnance company. The Kodiak Daily Mirror reported in 2010 that a 600-pound bomb was on display outside of Jim’s Diamond Bar in Kodiak for years with “U da bomb” inscribed on its casing.

In both incidents, military professionals destroyed the explosives.

Pratt said he has never heard of anyone going to court for possessing an old war weapon.

“Generally, there’s a whole lot of amnesty,” he said. “We’re just trying to get it off the streets.”

As the dirt wears away, explosives begin to surface. Last summer, a couple walked the beach at Point MacKenzie and found a foot-long, 75- millimeter-wide artillery round. Pratt and two other soldiers responded, stopped air traffic for 15 minutes and blew up the artillery piece, sending a smoke plume more than 70 feet into the air.

“To the untrained eye it would just look like a rusty piece of pipe,” he said.

Read more about the work of the 716th EOD Company at JBase Elmendorf-Richardson here