It seems that the Lebanese army is starting to inspect and neutralize all of the unexploded artillery and other ordnance that Shamnesty is so worried about. This photograph is rather odd, though. It's extremely grainy, due to high levels of jpeg compression, but it purports to be two members of the Lebanese Army inspecting an unexploded missile. What's odd is that the object they're studying doesn't readily appear to be a missile to meâCould it be an external fuel tank? Some other piece of artillery? Humpback whale? Beats me. As usual, if you have exceptional eyesight and vast stores of military knowledge, be sure to chime in and let me know what you think.
UPDATE 15:38 EST: Commenter Mean Gene Dr. Love writes, "As an F-16 crew chief in the USAF photo #1 looks like it is quite possibly the aft section of a centerline external fuel tank. Photo #3 looks like what we call a travel pod (used to be napalm canisters until Viet Nam), possibly used to distribute leaflets. I have removed and installed hundreds of both of these items in my career. The pilot can jettison them when they are no longer needed. If anyone has access to the uncompressed photos and can pass them on to me, I could give more definite answers.
Photo #2 looks like a home-made piece of crap. I have never seen any (unemprovised) munitions that look like that.
Photo #4: If that is indeed a UXO, the man is a fool and lucky they are all still alive.
Photo #5: Looks like an external fuel tank for a smaller (than an F-16) aircraft like say, an A-4 Skyhawk, which the Israelis do have. See this photo courtesy of the USMC. Those cigar shaped things under the wings are fuel tanks. In combat, they are "punched off" when empty."
InfoJunkie adds, "I have 5 years experience loading bombs and 8 years experience watching them fall on a bombing range.
#1 looks like a stuffed marlin with the head cut off.
#2 looks like nothing I have ever seen.
#3 looks like a 1000 lb bomb (with a looter... is this New Orleans?)
#4 looks like an artillary round (what a moron!)
#5 looks like a 500 lb bomb (with another moron!)"
Our own local commenter brian (no relation!) notes, "That -thing- among the sewer pipes.... wtf? LOL!! I mean... seriously... who built that? Hezbollah H.S. metalshop class? The shipping charges must've been a bitch!! Am I to beleive that this thing was dropped from an aircraft going 500+knots at 8-30k feet? Sucker is tough!! Not a scratch on it!!"
My sincerest thanks to all of you for this fascinating info!
UPDATE 21:57 EST: Reader captainfish writes, "That last photo, photo#5,.... isn't that the site of the bridge that was said to exist in two different places, the site on the border with the guard station, blasted out bridge with an antenna and an upside down truck some thought was "moved around". The antenna and the vegetation in the background in this picture sure looks like that scene."
This is a very astute observation! It appears that Powerline had the dirty on the bridge, and from the looks of things, we may be dealing with the same scene. See the full article for details.
UPDATE 24-AUG-2006 08:58 EST: The Associated Press has posted a slightly higher-quality copy of our original image. There's less jpeg compression in this image, but it's still not entirely clear what we're looking at. There's a possibility that the object the soldier is standing on is in front of the missile, though I don't see anything clearly missile-like in the background.
UPDATE 24-AUG-2006 12:48 EST: Reader SBW notes that the item in Photo #2 is a known weapon in use by the IDFâthe Carpet Mine Breaching System. After reviewing the websites he links, I concur. There is, it seems, still a question of what a canister which has been fired would look like:âwhether it would have scorch marks, scuff marks, or anything else to indicate that it had actually been used. The technology seems to involve a fuel-air explosive, so it would seem that this is, indeed, a failed canister, though it certainly doesn't appear to be anywhere near a minefield. Does anyone know if "dud" fuel-air weapons are as dangerous as "unexploded missiles?"
UPDATE 25-AUG-2006 09:40 EST: Reader captainfish informs us that the photograph he was refering to was this one. I'll update the comparison, but it definitely could be a closer match than the one I referenced earlier!For the record, here are some of the other "unexploded ordnance" photographs from the wires: