Anti-tank missiles are what a Leesburg, Virginia woman found in her garden shed Saturday afternoon, much to her surprise.
The woman, doing some house cleaning before going on a long vacation, decided to see what junk had been discarded and forgotten about in the garden shed out back.
Turned out it wasn’t just an old wheelbarrow and rusty nails like a typical average garden shed might have — the woman, instead, found two Desert Storm-era anti-tank missiles, laying on the shed’s floor, collecting dust.
Alarmed, the woman immediately alerted her finding to the local police. Louden County Police officers were quick to arrive on the scene to investigate the unusual call.
As a part of standard procedure, reports the Leesburg Today, law enforcement treat the discovery of any undetonated military ordinance as live and potentially dangerous.
As a safety precaution, a large 400 yard perimeter was established around the woman’s house and almost 100 residents within the established zone were evacuated. Residents had the option to stay at local police headquarters but most turned to family and friends.
The Louden County Bomb Squad, as well as experts from the US Army, were summoned to the Leesburg neighborhood.
Examining the devices, experts determined that the munitions likely dated from the 1991 conflict with Iraq, referred to as the Gulf War or its military designation, Operation Desert Storm.
By 11 pm Saturday night US Army experts successfully deactivated the anti-tank missiles’ fuses and removed them from the neighborhood. As local radio station WTOP reported, local law enforcement officials allowed residents to return near midnight.
However, the discovery of the anti-tank missiles remain a mystery to both the homeowner who found them and law enforcement and US Army officials who are puzzled over how the weapons remained unaccounted for and unnoticed for so many years.