Jacksonville man’s dog finds decades-old unexploded military weapon after digging in backyard

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A local neighborhood is wondering how this decades-old military weapon ended up in someone’s backyard.


Mathew Sims says when he picked up the military munition, he quickly realized what it was that he was holding in his hands and slowly put it back where it was.

Homeowner Mathew Sims said, “Okay is this live? You panic, then you drop.”

That’s what was going through Sims’s mind when he found this, an unexploded military weapon in his backyard Wednesday located at 15th Street E. Sims told us he didn’t want to be on camera but says he was in his backyard when he saw something sticking out the ground.

Sims said, “You couldn’t tell what it was until you started pulling it up. Once I got it halfway out, I was like oh, I know what this is, let me gently put this backdown.”

According to the police department, Sims’s dog was digging in the backyard and helped discover it, but found more than a bone.

Mathew Sims was in his backyard playing with “Baby”. He wanted to make sure she wasn’t picking up anything that she wasn’t supposed to. He whined up in this area when he found a rusted object. He pulled it up and quickly realized it was a military ordinance.

Ordnance is a military term for ammunition and weapons. Sims says it was about a foot long and believed it weighed around 10 pounds.

The object has been buried for some time based on the decay, according to the police report.

The neighbor said, “It was like buried at least six inches deep. Half of it or two inches of it was up.”

Here’s a video of the bomb squad heading towards the house. Authorities began evacuating residents from the area before removing the munition.

Neighbor Carla Smith wasn’t concerned

Neighbor Carla Smith, said “We just watched. I wasn’t scared because I’ve been around people who have found artifacts in the land. To me, it was interesting to watch. They did their thing and they were out of here in minutes.”

Sims said he’s glad he and his dog Baby were able to locate this object and have it disposed of.

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