Jersey Magnet Fishermen Reel in Rusty UXO

Bloomfield, New Jersey Friends Kevin Obiedzinski and Patrick Brown have been finding a variety of interesting items in waters of Essex County with their magnet fishing hobby. They have reeled in numerous metal items from guns and gym weights to an ATM machine, but recently they recovered an unexploded military shell from the Passaic River.

In a statement Nutley police said, "The shell, believed to be live, was then secured and removed to a safe location to be detonated."

Obiedzinski reportedly had no idea what the rusty, 25-to 30-pound object was or that it was potentially explosive. "I moved it with my hands. I carried it and the magnet stuck to it," he said. "Who knew? It was covered with rust, so you couldn't tell what it was, but it had the cylindrical shape of the shell."

Police from Nutley, Lyndhurst and Belleville responded to the scene along with a bomb squad and firefighters. "After we processed the thought of what it was, we moved away from it," Obiedzinski said. "We had no clue what it was before then. Did we feel in danger initially? No. But afterwards when all the police cars and fire trucks started coming, when they confirmed that it was an artillery shell, that's when our hearts started racing a little bit," he said.

There is no word as to where the device came from or how long it had been in the river, but Obiedzinski believes it may have come from nearby army base Camp Nutley, an anti-aircraft artillery base that was operational in Nutley between 1952 and 1957.

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