Grenade found in Calhoun County garden - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Grenade found in Calhoun County garden

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(Photo: Harlan Dougherty) (Photo: Harlan Dougherty)
Harlan Dougherty points to the spot in his garden where he found a grenade. Harlan Dougherty points to the spot in his garden where he found a grenade.
(Photo: Harlan Dougherty) (Photo: Harlan Dougherty)
SAKS, Ala. - A bombshell discovery in a Calhoun County garden.

Harlan Dougherty found a grenade right next to one of his corn stalks.

"I looked and I saw something that looked real strange, so I got a little bit closer and, not knowing, I went over and picked up a hand grenade," Dougherty said.

His hobby's horrifying harvest came as quite the surprise.  He said he started gardening outside his Saks home around 1980.

"I've tilled over it just numerous times, both with a small rotary tiller and then I've got a big tiller that goes on the back of the tractor,"

"Either one or both could have hit it during the process of tilling the garden."

He said the field floods frequently, and it rained right before Dougherty discovered the device.  He wonders if the rushing waters recently deposited the grenade, or if it finally turned up after years of digging.

Dougherty called Anniston Police, who in turn contacted the Department of Public Safety.  Two state troopers came to the house to retrieve the grenade.

"They told me it was built between 1916 and 1918 and it was just about destroyed, I guess from all the years of wear and tear," he said.

"I had taken it and scrubbed it off a little bit and washed it off, which I should have never done, but not knowing, it didn't have the blast cap, didn't have a little handle on it."

He said he hopes he never sees a grenade again, but if he does, he will leave it alone and let the proper authorities take care of it.

"I just don't have any idea how many times it could have been hit and how many times it could have exploded on me while I was in the process of working on the garden," Dougherty said.

"It would have killed me.  More than likely."
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