Parents do not typically expect a stocking stuffer, this one a metal detector from National Geographic, to make the headlines. This holiday present is worthy of attention for leading to the discovery of a WWII bomb buried in a field in Norfolk, England.
During his first jaunt with the detector, seven-year-old Sonny Cater was scanning a field near his home when he discovered the metal capsule. The boy, accompanied by his parents and brother, was alerted to the buried object when the metal detector began beeping.
According to an article by The Daily Mirror, the family had no idea what the mud covered object was until they brought it home for closer inspection. The boy’s mother, 39-year-old Tracey Wood, said the following:
“It was a big muddy lump when it came to the surface so we stupidly thought, ‘Let’s take it home’. We feel a bit silly now we know it could have potentially been dangerous but its not often you go exploring and end up with a bomb.”
Bringing the object to their home and washing the mud away, the boy’s father became concerned and placed a call to authorities. Bomb experts from RAF Wittering quickly converged on the family’s Kings Lynn residence.
The Telegraph reports that the device was identified as a “10lb British practice bomb from WWII” before it was taken away for safe disposal. Thought to have been used for British practice runs during the war, the bomb still contained internal wiring. Fortunately, the device was not found to hold any explosive material.
Flight Lieutenant Donald Earl, an RAF Wittering spokesman, urges the public to alert authorities to any such objects found rather than trying to move them. He points out that this particular finding is a bit unusual:
“We find a lot of bombs in Afghanistan with metal detectors but we don’t tend to find them in the UK.”