Old Military Camp Munition Found
August 22, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
MACON, Ga., Aug. 22 (UPI) — Live World War II-era explosives were found in a wooded area of Georgia where there had been an Army training camp, officials say.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the munitions were found on the border between Bibb and Twiggs counties where Camp Wheeler once stood, the Macon Telegraph reported Monday.
A recent $3.2 million ground survey did not cover residential areas within the 10,000-acre camp’s footprint. Corps officials said the agency does not believe any live munitions were used in those areas, but the primary owner of one tract that is being developed would not allow contractors on the property to check, the newspaper said.
Corps contractor EOD Technology is expected to provide a full report on the results in the next two months.
Some live munitions were found and disposed of in the unpopulated wooded area, while people in the neighborhoods of Apple Valley and Wheeler’s Landing found several non-lethal practice mortars this year.
“Everything we’ve found so far leads us to believe that area was just a practice mortar range, which would’ve had nothing [explosive],” Chip Whitton, a project manager for the corps’ Savannah district, said. “We didn’t do any transects on that property because it’s already grubbed and graded, so the likelihood we’d find anything would be next to nil. We’re more concerned about areas that are undeveloped.”
The adjacent woods are being developed by Bonnie Frith and her company, J.D. Construction, which wouldn’t allow a search, Whitton said.
“That’s definitely an area we’ve been wanting to take a look at and have been actively trying to pursue that right of entry,” Whitton said. “And unfortunately we just have not been able to reach an agreement with Mrs. Frith.”
Frith denies that, saying she gave permission several times over the years and as recently a month ago. She says what she won’t agree to is to allow the corps to drive heavy equipment on the land and conduct removal operations with no legal liability for any damages.
“I’m not giving anybody carte blanche to go into an established development and do whatever they want and leave!” she said. “They’ve been rude, obnoxious and liars.”