A 14-year-old boy made quite a discovery Monday while weeding his yard in Lebanon County -- a mortar round dating back to World War II.
Tyler Varvel lives on the 200-block of Moonshine Road in Union Township, adjacent to Fort Indiantown Gap. He said he discovered the relic on the edge of his property, near the road.
"My dad must have nicked it with the lawn-mower or something because it was shiny," Varvel said. "It was all rusted, but that one end part was shiny."
He said at first he wasn't sure what it was, but when he kicked it out from under the dirt, he knew it was something serious. He told his parents, who called state police. The bomb squad then shut down part of the road for more than a hour so they could x-ray it.
Fort Indiantown Gap spokesman Staff Sgt. Matt Jones said it was later found to be an inactive training round.
"When this post was used by the active duty military, things were quite different," Jones said. "And it's certainly possible to find things like this in the area surrounding Fort Indiantown Gap."
Jones said it's unclear how the bomb landed on private property, saying years ago it could have ricocheted during a training or been accidentally dropped from a military vehicle. He said it is possible, however, that rounds this old can still be active.
"If this is sitting there, and it didn't go off for whatever reason -- maybe it hit a tree top and didn't impact the right way and didn't go -- it could certainly sit there undisturbed for several decades," he said.
Jones said if you find an old artillery shell on your property, do not touch it or even photograph it. Instead, call 911 and let the experts determine if it's active or not.