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World War II Ordnance Found, Detonated At Cape Cod National Seashore


An interesting shell was found on one of Cape Cod National Seashore's beaches the other day, but it was not your typical seashell. Rather, it was a 14-inch, World War II military shell.

A fisherman came upon the shell on Marconi Beach and alerted rangers to it, Cape Cod Superintendent George Price said Thursday. 

"The (Massachusetts state police) bomb squad was called, they examined it and X-rayed it and they decided the best way to dispose of it was to explode it on the beach, which they did last night," the superintenent said.

Before the national seashore came about in 1961, the area was part of Camp Wellfleet, an Army training camp, Superintendent Price said. From time to time down through the years ordnance -- both live and blanks -- turn up on the national seashore grounds, he said.

"The majority are blanks, used for practice. As dunes and cliffs are eroding, you’ll start to see exposed sandbags from where they had batteries along the cliffs," the superintendent added. "They practiced firing at drones out over the water in the ocean."

The state police actually brought the shell up to the parking lot of the seashore's headquarters so they could X-ray it. They then took it back down to the beach where they detonated it on a section of beach 1,000 feet away from the nearest vacationers.


The State Police are lucky the thing did not blow up in their faces while they were handling the weapon!

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