Man Killed When 140-Year-Old Cannonball Explodes

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LEH

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Unexploded ordnance can be found nearly anywhere and cause injury or death if you're not careful.

Two of my classmates (brothers) from my days in the the Philippines found some unfired munitions while their father was stationed at Clark. They took it back to the states and one of them lost a hand when one of the items exploded while he was trying to 'open' it up for some friends.

A couple of years later, a caddy for a golfer who'd sent a ball into some high grass near a drainage ditch on the course found a Japanese aerial torpedo just off the first tee.

When I was stationed in England, ITV had a TV show about the WWII EOD techs. The show, called 'UXO' was highlighted each week in their version of TV Guide. After each story, British MOD UOD and police bomb squads got dozens of calls. Unsuspecting folks had seemingly innocent looking items in their houses that were in fact German bomblets of one type or another.

Should any of you be interested in the issue today. There is a movement, founded by a Vietnam Vet and supported by several musicians through concert appearances, for a 'landmine free world'. Areas like the Vietnam and the Balkans have millions of unexploded landmines and other ordnance.
 

bpckty1

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Nothing like grinding the rust and pits of unexploded ordnance to qualify for a Darwin Award.
 

LEH

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bpckty1 said:
Nothing like grinding the rust and pits of unexploded ordnance to qualify for a Darwin Award.
I've followed the Darwin Awards for years. They do point out the gross stupidity of some humans. And people do find interesting ways to exit the stage of life.

My only complaint on the award is this. First and foremost, you have to have removed yourself from the gene pool. That is valid. But there is nothing in the rules about not having polluted the gene pool prior to your exit.
 

Stick0413

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This is real old news. Guess because it was local I heard about it a few months ago (happened in February)
 

bpckty1

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Not everyone has to die to win a Darwin Award. Certain damages to certain parts of the anatomy will qualify a candidate who is still alive for one.
 

Zaratsu

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bpckty1 said:
Not everyone has to die to win a Darwin Award. Certain damages to certain parts of the anatomy will qualify a candidate who is still alive for one.

scientific advancements keep alive darwin award winners to live and breed another day. Is that progress?:D
 

randyf

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this story brings back memories of the time i went over to my father inlaws house to help him put " o " pipe and gravel around his house foundation we hired in a mini hoe to dig around the entire house , many old items that had been buried for many years was found ink wells broken dishes horse shoes ect... ect... including this intresting round pipe looking thing. my father inlaw scraped the muck off of it with a pick checked it out then threw it into a pile of dirt it layed there for a week till i went to back fill the trench in , after a good rain fall this " pipe " was now a little cleaner , i could see it was no pipe it was a large shell , i called the local police , they came over to look at it and calledthe bomb squad who as it turns out will not handle military explosives next thing military bomb squad shows up and collects this shell and takes it to a local gravel pit and blows it up they say it was from ww1 it had been next to the house for a long long time as i found out later there was two factorys making shells for the war effort locally i guess someone brought home a collectable the look on my father inlaws face when he found out what it was was priceless i still recall him hitting it with the pick we never did find out if it had a charge or not in it
 

Jay911

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I must confess there are some things I don't know about. One is cannonballs. I thought they were solid lead or some other kind of metal. How does such a thing explode?
 

Zaratsu

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Jay911 said:
I must confess there are some things I don't know about. One is cannonballs. I thought they were solid lead or some other kind of metal. How does such a thing explode?

Some were, but most were filled with black powder and were designed to go explody on impact. When you see them in museams and stuff, they are usually placed carefully so that you do not see the hole from when they were drilled-out to become inert.

not sure what type of fusing they had. Or if they had any for that matter
 

LEH

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DanTSX said:
Some were, but most were filled with black powder and were designed to go explody on impact. When you see them in museams and stuff, they are usually placed carefully so that you do not see the hole from when they were drilled-out to become inert.

not sure what type of fusing they had. Or if they had any for that matter
Civil war shells had a slow burn fuse that was cut the estimated burn time for the shell's flight. Needless to say accuracy was iffy at best.

Air bursts were then, like today, preferred to inflict maximum devastation from the shrapnel.
 

jrholm

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kb2vxa said:
"Now who put the bullet in the furnace?"
Bill Cosby, Why Is There Air?

Haaaaa......I had almost forgotten that line. Somewhere I have the LP. But I think we're showing our age.........
 
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