Metal Canisters Found at Fort Totten Identified as WWI Chemical Weapons

Fort Totten Park, Washington, D.C. A National Park Service employee found two metal canisters in a mound of soil at Fort Totten Park, sparking a large emergency response and multiple road closures in the area. After several days of investigations, the items have been identified as WWI-era chemical weapons, similar to those found in the Spring Valley neighborhood several decades ago.

According to USACE spokesperson Cynthia Mitchell it is unclear whether or not the canisters were empty. They are currently being analyzed at Marine Corps Base Quantico. In a written statement she said, "We expect preliminary, unofficial results on contents this week, and final confirmation next week."

This is not the first time a WWI-era weapon was discovered in Fort Totten. In 2020, the National Park Service discovered another WWI-era metal canister on the ground in a different area of the park. The Park Service said the Defense Department determined that munition to be an "unfused and unused, empty canister" which had been modified for use as a chemical weapon.


Metal Detector Group's Find Sparks School Closures and EOD Response

Invergordon, Scotland A group of metal detectorists set off a series of emergency responses after finding a UXO near a school. The discovery was made at a former air raid shelter and led to homes being evacuated and three schools in Invergordon in the Highlands being closed as a precaution.

Ryan Junor and his son Shay were part of a group searching for old artifacts when they made the shocking discovery. "We certainly weren't looking for bombs," he said.


Youngster Finds Mills Bomb on Irish Beach

Cultra Beach, Ireland A young boy contacted the Police Service of Northern Ireland after he found an unexploded grenade on a County Down beach. An Army technical officer responded to the scene and confirmed it was a live WWI "Mills Bomb" hand grenade.


WWI Grenade Disposal

Saling, United Kingdom A British EOD unit from Colchester performed a controlled explosion after a member of the public found an unexploded WWI hand grenade. Braintree Police assisted in the operation by providing security and establishing an exclusion zone.

Artillery Shell Exposed By Heavy Rains In Park

Washington, D.C. A National Park Service crew working on a trail in a section of Fort Totten Park in Northeast D.C. discovered munitions debris from a 75 mm World War I-era shell that was revealed by recent heavy rains.

The section of the park, east of the Fort Totten Metro station and west of South Dakota Avenue Northeast, and bounded to the north and south by Galloway and Gallatin streets, was currently closed.

The Army is evaluating the ordnance and is expected to excavate it and destroy it at the Marine base in Quantico, Virginia. The park was originally part of D.C.'s defenses during the Civil War.

Maryland Couple Uncovers WWI Projectile in Garden

Bel Air, Maryland A couple in Bel Air found a WWI-era UXO while gardening. They notified the Harford County Sheriff's Office who then called in local bomb technicians and ATF agents. Bomb technicians conducted an emergency disposal on-site to safely dispose of the round.



WWI Ordnance Found During Pipeline Project

Denbighshire, United Kingdom Workers upgrading the water lines on the grounds of Bodelwyddan Castle uncovered artifacts dating back to WWI including evidence of munitions. An archeological team was called with support from a civilian UXO contractor to investigate the finds which included spent 303 rifle cartridges, barbed wire, and reportedly fragments of mills hand-grenades as shown below.



Cleanup Leads to UXO Find in NY Yard

Watertown, New York When Brad Castor hit something unexpectedly hard while tearing down a retaining wall on his property, the Army vet was surprised to discover it was an old military ordnance. He notified authorities who responded to evacuate the area.



Hand Grenade Found In French Potato Shipment

Hong Kong A hand grenade was found among a shipment of French potatoes when they were unloaded at a food processing factory. Workers called the police who responded to the Calbee snacks factory with a bomb disposal team to dispose of the UXO.



UXO Discovery Temporarily Closes Airport

Lincolnshire, United Kingdom Flights at RAF Cranwell were temporarily suspended after a WWI bomb was discovered during construction near a runway.



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