Boy Finds WWII Bomb: Metal Detector Christmas Gift Finds UK War Time Explosive

By Danny Choy on December 31, 2012 10:49 AM EST

German warhead
An old WWII German warhead found in a field. Photo taken alongside bicycle for scale reference (Photo: Creative Commons)

A Kings Lynn, Norfolk, UK, boy was playing with his brand new metal detector that he had just received for Christmas and stumbled upon a frightening surprise when he went exploring in nearby fields -- 7-year-old Sonny Cater's £30 National Geographic metal detector discovered a WWII bomb.

15-minutes into the family's little adventure, Sonny Cater's metal detector picked up on a strong signal that caused it to start buzzing.

Sonny Cater's mother Tracey spoke with The Telegraph to recall the day's drama: "When the it started buzzing we all thought it would be some two pence pieces or something like that – I never thought it would be anything this serious.

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"It was all very exciting, the kids and Jem started digging and then our crazy dog started digging too."

The family unearthed a mud-caked capsule but couldn't make out exactly what it was. Unable to identify the dirty object, the family decided to bring it home for a better look. Never in their wildest imaginations would the family think that a Christmas toy would lead them to something potentially deadly. Tracey said, "It was a big muddy lump when it came to the surface so we stupidly thought lets take it home."

Washing it under the tap, father Jem Cater started becoming suspicious with what he was dealing with and called his father-in-law, Steve Wood, who served as an RAF amourer.

Upon hearing the description, Wood warned the family that it might be a German phosphorous bomb. If live, it would ignite if dry. The family quickly called the bomb squad for assistance and filled a cold bucket of water and lowered the bomb in.

Thankfully, experts quickly took the bomb away for disposal at their facilities. The capsule was identified as a 10lb. British practice bomb from WWII. While the bomb head still contained internal wiring, it did not contain any explosive material.

Training pilots used practice bombs to practice war craft without causing damages. During the war, training exercises often used 10 lb. practice bombs that were cheaper to use than the live bombs used in military attack.

After the eventful Boxing Day, mother Tracey Cater said, "We feel a bit silly now we know it could have potentially been dangerous but its not often we go exploring and end up with a bomb in a bucket of water at the end of the garden.

"I should imagine there was a few curtains twitching on our road on Boxing day.

"There was the police and bomb disposal outside our house the neighbours must have thought we were mad."

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