How did this Nazi artillery shell find its way to an Idaho shed?
People find all sorts of strange things when cleaning out spaces that have been sitting for some time. But this one takes the cake. A live artillery shell from around the time of World War II was found in a shed in Meridian, Idaho.
And no one knows how it got there!
The Idaho Statesman reports Diana Landa’s parents have lived on the property for about 25 years, but they haven’t ventured into the aluminum shed very often. That is, until last week, when Diana was helping them clean it out.
That’s when they stumbled across the 37 mm artillery shell. And even more surprising, it was stamped with the year 1938 and Nazi insignia. Having no experience with weapons, Diana took the shell home and placed it in her own shed.
It wasn’t until she mentioned the strange find to some co-workers that one of them made her realize the potential dangers of an 80-year-old explosive device.
“I was just paranoid, thinking about my neighbors,” Landa told the Idaho Statesman. “I didn’t want to be responsible for an accident.”
So, she contacted a historic society, who then directed her to call police. And sure enough, when police arrived, they called in a military explosives team from Mountain Home.
A subsequent X-ray of the shell showed it was still live. The team removed the shell and then destroyed it.
“Yeah I don’t get to keep it. Lol Turns out it is highly explosive and they had to come remove it from our property. It’s from WWII, have no idea how it got to Idaho and still loaded, but it’s pretty crazy. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience,” Landa wrote on Facebook.
Perhaps the biggest mystery, however, is how the shell got into the shed or how long it had been there.
As surprising as it may sound, World War II-era explosives do turn up around the U.S. from time to time. A live grenade was dropped in with Goodwill donations in Washington two years ago.
Similarly, a M122 photoflash bomb was found and subsequently detonated on a Florida beach in 2015.
And earlier this year, an old man’s inert hand grenades caused a brief evacuation of a nursing home in New York.
In the case of this artillery shell, the bomb squad told Landa it’s better to be safe than sorry. Seems like good advice when dealing with this kind of military antique!