Explosive Discovery: Landscaper Finds Two Antique Artillery Shells Buried in NJ Lawn

The munitions weren't the only strange find: The current homeowner, who purchased the house in October, said he also found a big porcelain urinal in the yard as well

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Startling discoveries in a New Jersey yard led to evacuations two days in a row, after old artillery shells possibly dating back to WWII were found buried in the lawn.

Landscaper Ed George and his crew were doing work at a Cape May home on Wednesday when they made the surprising find. The two unexploded munitions were longer than a football and George said they "look like big bullets."

NBC New York was at the scene of the discovery when the day took a potentially explosive turn: While talking about what they had found, George found another shell on Friday.

"I mean, jeeze, there might be more. I guess if there's one there," George said after unearthing the third one.

News 4 quickly alerted police, with officers arriving in minutes. And for the second straight day, the Jersey Shore neighborhood was once again evacuated.

"It's not scary, but it's unsettling for sure, said neighbor Charlie Cummings.

A historian and a military expert both told NBC New York the shells could date back to WWII. The former owner of the home where the finds were made died in 2020, and the fire chief said he was a collector of antiquities — and apparently a few other things.

"Not sure if he was collecting ordnances, but starting to lean in that direction," said Cape May Fire Chief Alex Coulter. "I mean, it's just a very historic town, so you never know what you're going to find in the ground here."

Explosives experts were summoned to the scene once more, and the latest shell to be found was removed and safely detonated.

"The previous owner did bury a lot of things back in the backyard, things that you couldn't throw away," said Kyle Anderson, who purchased the home in October. He said he also found a big porcelain urinal.

When asked what else he thinks might be found in the yard, Anderson said he didn't want to speculate. But after using special equipment to scan the lawn, police are confident there's nothing left that could possibly blow up.

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