The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

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Unexploded excitement

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 me—Could 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 IDF—the 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:—whether 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:

Part of an ordnance is seen on a hill overlooking the southern border town of Wazzani, Lebanon Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2006. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called the situation in Lebanon 'explosive' and pressed the international community to work quickly to deploy peacekeeping troops as the shaky cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah was further tested Wednesday. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)


Surely, Nasser wouldn't have us believe that this is an Israeli shell. It looks more like a propane tank with fins!

A Lebanese family walks past an unexploded Israeli missile in the border town of Khiam, located just seven kilometres (four miles) from the Israeli border. Hezbollah's representative in Iran has ruled out the disarmament of the Shiite Lebanese militia and said the group will buy new weapons if necessary.(AFP/Oussama Ayoub)


(Notice the television... It kinda makes me wonder how many of the families over there who are purportedly "recovering personal belongings" are actually looting...)

A woman chats with a Lebanese army sapper removing an unexploded Israeli ordnance from her home. Israel warned that disarming Hezbollah remained key to keeping a fragile truce in Lebanon, vowing to keep up raids to prevent the Shiite militia from getting weapons from abroad.(AFP/Ali Diya)


(And this photograph seems like more of a staged photo op, with the smiling soldier carrying the Evil Zionist(tm) bomb, helping the little old lady, and all...)

A Lebanese youth stands next to an unexploded Israeli forces' bomb, dropped during the month-long offensive, in the southern village of Srifa, Lebanon, Thursday Aug. 17, 2006. The tens of thousands of refugees returning to their homes in the war battered south are vulnerable, with lots of unexploded ordnance including small bomblets buried beneath rubble, interspersed with the debris that litters the ruined villages. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)


(And here's word from our buddy, the award-winning LEFTeris Pitarakis!)

UPDATE 21:57 EST: Here are the full-sized graphics for captainfish's observation:




The tower does seem to match the base in the picture, but I'm not sure if the background scenery matches. Anyone have sharper eyes than I do?

UPDATE 24-AUG: Reuters has sent a somewhat higher-quality copy of the first image across. The jpeg compression in this one isn't so lossy, but it still isn't clear to me exactly what it is we're looking at.

A Lebanese soldier inspects an unexploded missile in a house in al-Khiam village in south Lebanon in this August 19, 2006 file photo. Three Lebanese soldiers were killed on Wednesday while clearing unexploded Israeli shells in southern Lebanon, underscoring the dangers of a region awaiting the deployment of thousands of U.N. peacekeepers. (Karamallah Daher/Reuters)


UPDATE 25-AUG: Captainfish corrects us—this is the image he says might match our random "youth". It might be a better match, but I actually think the previous one I found is a closer match on the background (notice that there aren't any tall trees near where our "youth" is standing).



UPDATE 21:45 EST: More photos from the wire:

Lebanese soldiers load an unexploded shell into a truck in the southern Lebanese town of Khiam, 23 August 2006. The United States probed Israel's use of US-made cluster bombs in its blitz on southern Lebanon, after warnings that the devices, which sow mini-minefields, were still killing civilians.(AFP/File/Ali Dia)


Hey all you Ordnance Experts out there... Do y'all normally load unexploded shells in the back of a truck like that? I mean, even if they're neutralized, they're still considered explosive, right? Is the Lebanese army participating in some kind of recycling program here?

Lebanese men walk on the road near an unexploded Israeli forces' ordnance, dropped during the month-long offensive, in the southern town of Bint Jbeil, Lebanon, Friday, Aug. 25, 2006. The tens of thousands of refugees returning to their homes in the war battered south are vulnerable, with lots of unexploded ordnance including small bomblets buried beneath rubble, interspersed with the debris that litters the ruined villages. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

 Tags: ali diya fauxtography karamallah daher lefteris pitarakis nasser nasser oussama ayoub sergey pomonarev AFP REUTERS Israel/Lebanon War 2006


Comments:

#1 Tom1969ca 23-Aug-2006
Just a thought: if there all this UXO across southern Lebanon, how did so much damage get done?!? To look at the pictures coming out of the region now, you'd think that a good percentage of Israeli weapons failed to explode...
#2 brian 23-Aug-2006
That top one doesn't look like... anything... from a military plane. It's got a huge, flat end, and tapered to the other. The only thing aviation related that it even resembles is a teeny tiny jet engine! No missile or bomb that I have ever seen is shaped like this.

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!! :D

Aww lookit the boy scout helping the old lady.. Expended (Iranian or Syrian) shell picked up off the street. I'm sure they are to be found wherever Acch-maad had a artillery position.

The bottom one might be legit. Meaning it could be or used to be an actual weapon. It's shaped kind of like a MK-8x Small size hits me as a MK-82. When & how it was placed there is another matter. It's stripped clean- even the hangers are gone. Why? It just looks.... old. It's just so small (compared to haji) to be a drop tank...
#3 captainfish 23-Aug-2006
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.
#4 Brian 23-Aug-2006
Very excellent find! I'm not sure if it's the same, but it definitely *could* be!
#5 JohnM 24-Aug-2006
Just a thought or two...

The thing amongst the sewer pipes must have landed miraculously - no impact crater, no skid marks, didn't disturb anything nearby at all - you'd think someone just put it down there gently so as not to destroy it... I'll bet we see this same device show up in future images. Any unique markings visible to sharper eyes?

There are two squarish loops on the side of the cylinder being pointed at by the feller with the TV on his shoulder. These loops remind me of the kinds of hooks used in bomb racks that I saw in the early 1970's. Are these still current technology? Or are these from some old warehouse, dragged out for picture-taking in context-less areas where we can't see what the larger scenario is?

Hmm...
#6 sbw 24-Aug-2006
For Photo #2, look at:

Carpet
Mine Breaching System at:
http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/mines/carpet/Carpet.html

and
Carpet at:
http://www.defense-update.com/news/6702carpet.htm

Nothing to get too excited about.
#7 captainfish 24-Aug-2006
Hi Brian,
Actually, I was referring to the farthest antenna that lies next to the clump of vegetation on the other side of the bridge. But, I think I will take my comment back, as in other photos on powerline, shows a much taller concrete base to the antenna than is in your "hi mom, look what I found" photo.

Also, LGF (http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=22246_About_Those_Israeli_Chemical_Weapons...&only)has a video showing and explaining what that funky bomb next to the concrete sewer pipes is. And, SBW is correct, it is used for clearing mines (according to the video). If so, I would imagine it is just as dangerous. As it has highly volatile fuel inside under pressure with a built-in igniter.
#8 captainfish 24-Aug-2006
Hi Brian,
Here's the link to the photo from powerline that I was thinking of:
http://powerlineblog.com/archives/Hajj1245.jpg
#9 Brian 25-Aug-2006
Cap'n:

I updated the article before I saw your retraction. It still might be a match—I don't know if that's a concrete base, or a wall of some sort. It's not entirely clear. The vegetation in the background doesn't seem to be a match, though.

Regards,
Brian
#10 captainfish 25-Aug-2006
I agree... it is a tough one. But, for me, I don't think the "youth's" antenna matches the antenna in the pic you referenced as your antenna is larger.
As you can see, your antenna is built to support electronic communication equipment and has an outward taper toward its base. Course, that could be an artifact of the wide-angle lense used for that shot. And, your reference photo and the "youth photo" could be taken 180 degrees apart. Example, reference photo could be shot looking east, while the "youth photo" could be looking west - with the busted bridge behind the camera. I will need to look at powerline's broadview shot of the busted bridge to see if the "youth's" antenna is visible on the left side of the bridge (road side).

Well, yahoo has removed all of Adnan's photos from its site and the link on powerline's bridge article is not working. It was the one that showed the overview of the bombed out bridge.

Well, either way, the "ordinance" found was not a bomb as it had holes in it. And what is odd, is that the "bomb" looked in great condition for having BURIED itself into concrete.
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