Tip for the day, don't search for meteorites in an old bombing range

Tip for the day, don't search for meteorites in an old bombing range

Joined: October 28th, 2014, 1:06 am

September 25th, 2017, 8:43 pm #1

I was out hiking in the desert yesterday, and was keeping my eyes out for and out-of-place dark rocks that might be meteorites. But I happen to be walking over what must have been an old bombing range. It was littered with little bits of ragged iron chunks. The false positive discoveries were through the roof.

Oh, sorry for anyone that thought this post was going to include an explosion.

As it turned out, I DID find some old, live, munitions, but they're not that big. Still, the first time I've found WWII 50 Cal ammunition.



Large areas of the California desert were used for training during WWII. Almost everything is long gone, but apparently the valley I chose to hike through is remote enough that some things still remain.

I also ran across an odd, extremely well formed piece of sheet metal. It may be a car part. Does anyone recognize this item below. I'm guessing it may have been used as a target. It almost certainly would date to before 1945. If you know what it is, please let me know. That's a railroad tie it's bolted to.

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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 25th, 2017, 9:06 pm #2

That's almost certainly a Ford Model T cowl, the portion between the hood and the windshield.



That's actually in very good condition, and would be relatively valuable if you hiked it out. ($100-$200 at a swap meet.)

Doc.
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Joined: October 28th, 2014, 1:06 am

September 25th, 2017, 9:22 pm #3

I think you're right Doc. Also, that was fast.

It's about 2 miles from the road, and I think this is a "limited use" area, meaning on road driving only. Not that anyone would likely catch me if I drove out to it, but I like to follow the rules, and that's why things like this are still out there to find.

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Joined: January 10th, 2017, 6:53 pm

September 26th, 2017, 2:49 am #4

I was out hiking in the desert yesterday, and was keeping my eyes out for and out-of-place dark rocks that might be meteorites. But I happen to be walking over what must have been an old bombing range. It was littered with little bits of ragged iron chunks. The false positive discoveries were through the roof.

Oh, sorry for anyone that thought this post was going to include an explosion.

As it turned out, I DID find some old, live, munitions, but they're not that big. Still, the first time I've found WWII 50 Cal ammunition.



Large areas of the California desert were used for training during WWII. Almost everything is long gone, but apparently the valley I chose to hike through is remote enough that some things still remain.

I also ran across an odd, extremely well formed piece of sheet metal. It may be a car part. Does anyone recognize this item below. I'm guessing it may have been used as a target. It almost certainly would date to before 1945. If you know what it is, please let me know. That's a railroad tie it's bolted to.

I had a marine biology professor that told us of the time he assisted with the cleanup of a coastal estuary somewhere near Morro Bay, CA. The area had been used for coastal target practice for years and had been off limits since around the Korean War.

He had assisted in the cleanup of old munitions for some time before the area was declared safe. Shortly after that he led a group of elementary school kids on a tour of the estuary. As part of this, he described what had been done and what had been removed to make the place safe.

Then a kid asked,"Like this?" While she pulled a live mortar shell out of the sand.

My professor said he didn't change his tone, just said "Yes! Just like that. Now just set it down and let's head back to the busses"

He commented that the area was swept a few more times before it was reppened.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 26th, 2017, 6:23 am #5

I think you're right Doc. Also, that was fast.

It's about 2 miles from the road, and I think this is a "limited use" area, meaning on road driving only. Not that anyone would likely catch me if I drove out to it, but I like to follow the rules, and that's why things like this are still out there to find.
I wasn't genuinely suggesting you go haul it out.

It might be worth doing if it were a rare item- a part from an early Bugatti, or some other valuable, obscure marque- but a T is ubiquitous enough it's really not worth stealing what's pretty much an artifact at this point.

Doc.
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Joined: September 29th, 2016, 1:55 am

September 27th, 2017, 10:38 pm #6

I was out hiking in the desert yesterday, and was keeping my eyes out for and out-of-place dark rocks that might be meteorites. But I happen to be walking over what must have been an old bombing range. It was littered with little bits of ragged iron chunks. The false positive discoveries were through the roof.

Oh, sorry for anyone that thought this post was going to include an explosion.

As it turned out, I DID find some old, live, munitions, but they're not that big. Still, the first time I've found WWII 50 Cal ammunition.



Large areas of the California desert were used for training during WWII. Almost everything is long gone, but apparently the valley I chose to hike through is remote enough that some things still remain.

I also ran across an odd, extremely well formed piece of sheet metal. It may be a car part. Does anyone recognize this item below. I'm guessing it may have been used as a target. It almost certainly would date to before 1945. If you know what it is, please let me know. That's a railroad tie it's bolted to.

...on a dude ranch with a metal detector as part of an organized trip. After a few false positives, the detector went nuts. We spent 15 minutes digging up a large steel plate with what looked like bullet dents in it (too thick to let bullets go through). Turned out the ranch had hosted a number of movie shoots back in the 40s and 50s, and what we found was a 'gong plate'; if they needed a bullet sound effect, they would set up a mic nearby and blast the metal plate. The ranch took the plate and was going to use it as a sign for their cantina.
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