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First Metal Detecting Finds (4/10)

First Finds

Wallett 1950.

The actual detector search began. The find density was rather low. In such an area you can search for 15 minutes without getting a signal so I regularly checked the detector by swinging it over my boots to see whether the metal parts are detected. Some small finds were made like this lost purse from the 1950s.





The money cache

Rock with Small Money Cache.

The tiny bright spot at the base of the Rock is the display of the detector.

Speaking of money, another insignificant but cute find was a group of small denomination coins from the late 19. and early 20. century. Wrapped in tin foil, these coins were apparently hidden by a child some 100 years ago in a rock crack 30 cm above the ground. I dug deeper and deeper and deeper before I realised the target was not in the ground but in the rock. The coins were in such bad condition that a picture did not make sense. They had no financial value whatsoever.

While I tried to remove the coins from the rock I heard people approaching on mountain bikes. Ignoring them I kept trying to get to the coins. But they stopped when they saw me so I had to turn around.

“What are you doing there?”
“I found something with my metal detector.”
“And what did you find?”
“Money.”
“MONEY?”

In the next 15 minutes I explained my hobby to them and also mentioned that the recovered coins had no financial value at all. They were curious about the hobby and asked many questions. It was a nice talk. Often people show friendly interest for this hobby.




Incendiary bomb

British Incendiary Bomb Fragments.

Another find was a burned out British World War 2 incendiary bomb. In that state they are harmless. Most of these bombs are relative harmless even as duds. There were three versions of them. The most common one only contained thermite. This mixture of aluminium and iron oxyde does not explode but burns extremely hot (2000 degrees), sparks pieces of white hot molten iron and is very difficult to extinguish. In the old days this mixture was used during railway construction to fuse railway rails together. The rails ends were put into a brick mould filled with thermite. The thermite burned so hot the rail’s end became soft and became one piece.
In other words, the stuff is ideal to set anything even remotely burnable on fire. On the left you can see that even the bomb’s concrete jacket melted so a slot appeared. The item on the right is the former bottom consisting of a magnesium alloy which also burns very well and must not be extinguished with water. Instead, the Germans had buckets of sand at home to be prepared.
A second version contained a very small amount of explosives, like a firework cracker. It was only meant to scare away people who tried to extinguish the fire. The third and only dangerous version had a steel bottom to penetrate roofs and contained enough explosives to do serious harm.
The bombs had a hexagonal cross section so as many as possible could be stored in the bomber’s container without wasting space. There was no air between them.
Most likely the found bomb originated from a World War 2 bombing raid on a factory several kilometers away.


(C) Thorsten Straub www.metal-detecting.de 2006-2011.

Area below fortress (3/10) Older Finds (5/10)