The watermelon-sized shell, known as a Livens projectile, has probably been in the ground since the 1920s or 30s, said Scott Bolton, site manager for the US Army transitions force. The shells were used to hold various compounds, ranging from smoke to a choking agent, he said.
“We don’t think we’ve got chemical weapons or anything like that,” Bolton said. “The protocol is that when find one of these items that’s not a conventional type of munitions, we have to bring in military explosive ordinance disposal people to come in and X-ray the item to determine (what’s in-side).”
The road will now be closed for an unknown length of time, he said.
“If we’re lucky, it will be X-rayed in the next day or so,” Bolton said. “If it’s empty, we’ll coordinate and get it taken care of in the early part of next week. If it has (agent inside), we’ll have to take next step (to dispose of it), and I don’t know the availability of re-sources we’ll have to bring in. We’re dealing with a pretty stretched-thin army. These explosive ordinance folks are in super high demand in war theaters.”
Bolton said he thought Livens projectiles have been found at McClellan twice before. Once, the shell held groundwater; another held smoke.
“We have not have had any (Livens projectiles) here with chemical agent in them,” Bolton said.
Keep checking Annisotnstar.com for more updates as they become available and get the full story in Saturday’s Star.