Customs agents at Vienna, Austria’s airport are often asked, “can I bring this on the plane, or do I have to ship it through?” The thing one vacationing American plopped out of her bag onto the duty counter definitely was not typical. Duty inspectors are used to seeing some pretty unusual things but this time, hysteria immediately ensued. Every flight coming and going was suddenly canceled and travelers were evacuated in panic.
The arrival gates and baggage claim at Vienna International Airport were totally shut down while the bomb squad removed an unexploded 3-inch artillery shell, originally from a World War II-era tank. The unidentified 24-year-old tourist may have been totally clueless about her dangerous souvenir but at least she wasn’t trying to smuggle it.
The only defense this young woman can raise is the fact she’s a victim of common core education. American schools don’t teach history. Any knowledge related to the effects of explosives or the actual facts of WWII have been politically censored right out of the liberally-correct curriculum.
Younger Americans simply aren’t learning to think for themselves. ‘Critical thinking’ just means learning to demonize American and European colonization.
The free memento she picked up while hiking in Austria’s Dachstein mountains ended up costing the woman $4,694 in American dollars. That was the fine they slapped on her for “public endangerment through negligence.” Hopefully, that will make it a lesson to remember.
Not once did the woman think the shell might explode. She even cleaned the mud off in her hotel before she packed, so it wouldn’t get her clothes dirty.
Unexploded ordinance dating back to the time of Napoleon litters the European landscape. World War II produced much of what turns up frequently by farmers and construction workers.
The general public finds quite a bit too, which makes experts nervous. One BBC report noted, “the munitions are becoming less stable and more dangerous.”
In just the past two weeks, there have been a number of noteworthy ordinance scares and a couple of them happened right here in the United States.
On Independence Day weekend, residents of Long Island, New York who live near Camp Hero were notified by letter that “available information indicates military munitions may be present on or near your property.”
During WWII, anti-aircraft artillery units practiced in the area and dud shells of bombs, rockets and practice grenades have started turning up, especially along the beach.
Seventy-nine-year-old local resident Josephine Albano got one of the letters but isn’t worried about it. She has been living there for decades and never noticed a thing.
If she does, she knows how to handle it because she was provided a proper education.
“The fact that they have to tell people not to touch a bomb, that tells me something about people these days.” Albano rolled her eyes as she added, “It’s silly.”
The Army Corps of Engineers unit that wrote the letter is simply asking the locals to “recognize, retreat and report if they come across anything unusual.”
The Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Team joined the coast guard to block the public off for 500 yards during the deactivation, which happened over a month after the bomb was discovered by local scuba divers.
Rob Sercombe and Karl Monk were underwater prospectings with metal detectors when they found the object. It was totally buried and they had to dig down 8 inches to find what their detectors picked up.
A crowd gathered to watch as a geyser shot tens of feet into the air as the approximately 5 by a 2-foot bomb was professionally exploded.
Four thousand people were evacuated last week from Wolfsburg, Germany after a WWII bomb was found on the property of the Volkswagen factory. A major rail line was closed, along with a nearby canal as the ordinance was defused.
The crew did the right thing when they found it while clearing out shrubs. They didn’t know if it was real but called for help. When police got there, it was determined to be the real thing. The area was evacuated and the device removed safely.
The area is a popular ski resort in the winter and the park service uses the devices to trigger avalanches before they can become a danger to skiers. Once in a while, there is a dud. Hikers use the same area in the summer and could come across one snuggled in the rocks and not even see it.
Authorities detonated the one they just found, which was considered the safest way to get rid of it despite the fire restrictions the state had in force at the same time.
“The sound may be similar to explosives used in avalanche work during the winter months, so don’t be alarmed if you hear big booms,” the sheriff’s office warned.
“In the interest of public safety, this is the best course of action as it could be highly dangerous to move the found explosive or have it found by another backcountry user.
This is a good time to remind backcountry users that explosives can be found on occasion and any suspicious items should be left and immediately reported to the Sheriff’s Office.” Not carried to the airport.