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Missile found - what is it?


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Hi all, hiking in New Mexico I have found a LOT of ordnance over the years.  But this one has me stumped.  While I wanted to retrieve it, I decided to leave it alone until I know what it is.  The exposed part was about belly-high.  The rear was about 5" in diameter.  The question really is, does it have a warhead on it, or anything dangerous?  Fuse, smokers included.  Thanks.  



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It looks like a movie prop haha. It’s perfectly clean and doesn’t appear to have a single scratch or blemish on it…pretty sure someone stuck in the ground there maybe to hold a sign for hikers? 

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My old boss liked to tell the story of his days working at Morton-Thoikol. Some of the folks there used to build and fire homemade rockets using moonlight requisitioned leftover odd bits. That is until Security got an angry call from someone demanding they come and collect the 6-foot rocket they found embedded in their back yard. Just a few feet away from their house. 


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First, I commend you for resisting the urge to mess with it.  Good judgment IMO.


With all due respect to the incredibly knowledgeable membership here, I would not take found ordnance advice from an Internet forum.  


The material composition on the body tube and nozzle looks pretty high-end to me.


I suspect that others may jump on me, which is fine, but I what I would honestly do is report it.


Am I too much of a nervous nelly?  Yes.  But applying a derivative of "Pascal's Wager", I would rather treat it as something and have it be nothing.  


I know guys on bomb squads, and they relish these types of calls.  At minimum, it's good practice for trained professionals.


That's my two cents (after fees and taxes).

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Maybe it’s all the UXO training the Air Force has forced me through but i’d call it in and definitely not touch it. The world is filled with too many people missing appendages due to curiosity and i’d hate for you to join their number. They like to say that the last casualties of the the Civil War, World War I, Vietnam, etc have not been born yet for this exact reason. Blacksmith is right. Call the experts.



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Just my opinion and agree with Blacksmith, leave it,

this is the front portion of missile.. that would have contained the guidance system.. the warhead and propellant sections(assuming military ordnance) are gone/seperated… 

looks to have been there long enough to have some plant growth around the base and no soil disturbed around it


could be a test bed rocket or someone’s idea of a joke 

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That looks weird.


Shouldn't there be a crater or some sort of disturbance in the soil around it?


If it’s been there a while in the desert shouldn’t it be weathered?


It looks like someone planted it.

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Burning Hazard
1 hour ago, manayunkman said:

That looks weird.


Shouldn't there be a crater or some sort of disturbance in the soil around it?


If it’s been there a while in the desert shouldn’t it be weathered?


It looks like someone planted it.


That was my first thought, there is no crater or dirt trails from impact.


Quick google search shows ground disturbance when rocket hits the ground.




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Salvage Sailor

+1 It's a high powered rocket, not a missile


I'd say you've discovered a civilian carbon fiber high power rocket that had a drogue chute failure


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I wouldnt be able to help myself. I would loop a rope around it, find some cover, and give the rope a hard yank. Drag it out of the earth and bang it around using the rope. Wait awhile, then handle it. The others saying call it in probably have a family. I just pay taxes so I’m more inclined for calculated risks. 

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Yeah, not trying to debate, I'm just risk averse in general; and doubly-so when potential explosions are in play.


As referred-to above, even 'marker' charges for practice rounds can be really dangerous.  


If I am not 100% certain of a found item's identity and disposition, I'm not performing any Wile E. Coyote field tests.


Pure hypothetical, but a string-flappin' drag test may not cause a problem - if there's one to be had - but something on the ride home may.


Or, as happened with a buddy that I played Little League baseball with:  It could sit on a shelf for 40 years, to be found by a couple of kids adventuring / snooping around the shed.  That was two live WWII Japanese hand grenades BTW.   


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In the guard, on the forts on the training ranges, un exploded munitions we would find all the time.

At Fort Irwin, some officers brought back to the barracks some rusty duds they found out in the desert. They wanted to bring them home.......

In the plane, in their bags.

That did not happen. Wiser minds intervened.

I saw plenty of the stuff over the years, mortar rounds artillery rounds and tank rounds. All live, it just didnt go off.....and my main goal in those situations was to never touch the stuff. Mark it, call it in to range control, and dont touch it.

But some people for some reason like playing around with the stuff. I have no idea why?


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43 minutes ago, manayunkman said:

The whole thing looks suspicious to me.


Everything is too clean including the undisturbed dirt.


Is this Government land or near it?



Should he be wearing a tin foil hat?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

is it part of a bionic juicer?


all kidding aside, this day and age, do not fool with it

i have seen ordinary things altered for evilness

too many disturbed minds on the loose out there

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