They weren't aware at the time, but a Massachusetts family found what was potentially a "live" Civil War-era cannonball on July 7th. The family, which resides in Mansfield, MA, was unsure of exactly what they had, so they did the smart thing and called the Mansfield Police department.

A suspicious spherical object was found by the unsuspecting family...

Troopers from the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad responded to the home on Charlene Drive in Mansfield shortly after 9 PM. The family had told the Mansfield Police Department that they found what they described as a "suspicious spherical object."

 

Mansfield Police Department
Mansfield Police Department
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(Above: the corroded Civil War-era cannonball as found by a Mansfield family)

X-rays reveal details constant with the design of a cannonball...

The ball, which was about 4 inches around and very corroded looking was first visually examined and then eventually x-rayed to find out what they were dealing with. In doing so, the bomb squad members determined that the sphere was likely a Civil War-era cannonball. According to the post on the Massachusetts State Police Facebook page, cannonballs have an interior void space that is generally filled with explosive material.

 

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The bomb squad determined that it was possible that the cannonball could actually still be a "live" device. At least, it wasn't worth taking a chance that it could still blow up. That being the case, the Mansfield Police Department and the Mansfield Fire Department found a safe disposal site in Mansfield where they could countercharge the cannonball.

It was a live cannonball!

According to the troopers from the bomb squad, the way that the cannonball exploded when it was countercharged told them that it was indeed live and most certainly could have posed a serious threat to the family that had found it. Fortunately, the smart steps were taken and no one ended up getting injured.

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