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Interesting "finds" in Waterloo, Iowa...


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Just read this story from the newspaper in Waterloo, Iowa. It would appear that some rather "interesting" items avoided inventory when the plant in question closed down a few years ago... I'll try and attach their pics too.

 

MW

 

Waterloo police guard bomb at Chamberlain site

 

By JEFF REINITZ, jeff.reinitz@wcfcourier.com | Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:30 am

 

WATERLOO --- Waterloo police are standing guard until a military crew can reach Iowa to inspect a bomb that was discovered in a former munitions plant.

 

Workers with Active Thermal Concepts, which is involved in the demolition of the former Chamberlain Manufacturing compound on East Fourth Street, found what has been described as a bomb while working Wednesday afternoon.

 

"It's hard to believe they would leave something that big behind," said Chris Western, a planner with the City of Waterloo, who was allowed to view the weapon.

 

Western, who provided photos of the bomb, said he was told it was an M-3. Markings on the reddish device read "M3 WARHEAD YCC-1-11- APR-1957."

 

Police said it isn't clear if the device is live or inert.

 

Waterloo police said they have contacted officials with the military to dismantle the bomb. Photos have been sent to the U.S. Army, and a team from Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri is expect to arrive Thursday, police said.

 

Police patrol officers guarded the site during the night.

 

The device was found in the open on what appeared to be a water heater in the northern section of the plant not far from Louise Street, Western said. He said workers moved it an area by a door so they could see it better.

 

Chamberlain closed in 1994, and the compound currently is being torn down, and this isn't the first time old military hardware has been discovered in the buildings.

 

In 2008, during the asbestos removal stage of the demolition, workers found an old 57 mm recoilless rifle --- a weapon that was popular during the Korean War era --- in a vault room.

 

Western said the current phase of the demolition --- taking the buildings down to the concrete pad --- is expected to be finished in September.

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UPDATE - The rest of the story!

 

Waterloo police say 1950s bomb is not dangerous

 

By JEFF REINITZ, jeff.reinitz@wcfcourier.com | Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2010 10:00 pm |

 

WATERLOO --- A missile warhead found during the demolition of a local munitions plant is safe, according to Waterloo police.

 

An explosive ordnance disposal team from Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri X-rayed the device Thursday and determined there were no explosives inside, said Investigator Rob Camarata with the Waterloo Police Department.

 

"It's empty," said Camarata, who is on the department's bomb squad and worked with the Army team. "It's inert, it's hollow."

 

He said the red device is a warhead for a Nike-Hercules missile.

 

That confirmed the suspicions of a former marketing manger for Chamberlain Manufacturing.

 

"That damn thing is empty," Stan Smith said hours before the official determination. "We didn't load any high explosive at Chamberlain."

 

The Army team - part of the 763rd EOD Company - will take the inert warhead back to the base at Fort Leonard Wood, said Capt. Ian Jarvis.

 

The team remained at the scene to continue to search the building for other munitions.

 

Smith identified the device as a Cold War-era warhead that was loaded onto Nike-Ajax surface to air missiles. The missiles targeted enemy bombers.

 

Chamberlain made developed the item and made them from 1954 until 1957, Smith said. The site only made the metal workings. The explosives were loaded into it at an Army base, Smith said.

 

If any warhead found at the side had something inside, it would be Borax laundry soap, which Chamberlain workers sometimes placed inside to simulate the weight of a loaded warhead, Smith said.

 

Smith said the device discovered Wednesday - by a demolition crew tearing down buildings at the site - was likely turned down by the Army because it didn't meet specifications.

 

"What you have there is a reject," Smith said. He said some of the rejects were kept for demonstration purposes.

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I sent this to my son whos EOD. He stated old news. Part of his unit reponded to the call. They contacted him and sent pictures. At first the thought it was warhead for a Hawk Missle. Since he is an old Hawk man they checked with him and he confirmed it wasn't . He has all the fun but didn't tell about it until I sent him the post. Robert

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El Bibliotecario

It is not a warhead for a Nike Hercules missile--a weapons system with which I have hands-on experience. It might be a warhead for a Nike Ajax, which was in service until the 1960s, and had three enlongated warheads.

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"That damn thing is empty," Stan Smith said hours before the official determination. "We didn't load any high explosive at Chamberlain."

 

Well then, maybe they could have marked "That damn thing" as inert or reject before they abandoned it in the factory.

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