Unexploded Ordnance sign along the Gunbarrel Highway - why?

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 11:48
ThreadID: 139508 Views:12598 Replies:4 FollowUps:10
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On 14 August, 2019, I was traveling along the Gunbarrel Highway. Late morning that day, I visited the following tree with a Len Beadell blaze and plaque:

Len blaze and plaque on tree

This is the first Len Beadell blaze/plaque you encounter traveling west from the Heather Highway junction.

From that tree, I continued west. Within a kilometer or so, I came across the sign in the pics below. It was on the right (north) side of the road, along a vehicle track that headed generally north.

Anyone know what military activity out there would have left UXO (unexploded ordnance) around?

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Reply By: equinox - Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 13:07

Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 13:07
Hi Candace,

This is a classic case of replacing a missing sign with whatever signs are available to try and deter people from using the track. (did it work?)

There is no UXO in the area ( I did check the register just in case)

Here is a picture of the original sign:


Here is a picture of the sign at the other end of the track (don't ask where as refusal may offend):


Cheers
Alan

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.



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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 14:24

Sunday, Jan 05, 2020 at 14:24
That's actually a bit clever, LOL. Whatever works, I guess!

That little track wasn't on my itinerary, so no I didn't go up there, sign or no sign. :)
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Reply By: Phil B (WA) - Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 09:59

Monday, Jan 06, 2020 at 09:59
It may also be a white fella ‘practical joke‘ there are mischievous people about.

In saying this I do concur with Equinox as the most likely reason.

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‘Human Being’ and ‘Being Human’.





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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2020 at 16:48

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2020 at 16:48
I have no doubt about Equinox’s explanation but..... quite a few years ago there was a group of intrepid explorers camped up at one of the Wells on the CSR when suddenly, in the middle of the night, several US Army vehicles and crew burst out of the scrub and asked for directions to wherever they were going.

After receiving some answers they kept on going.

So who knows what’s been happening out there.
I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
- Augustus McCrae (Lonesome Dove)

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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2020 at 17:34

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2020 at 17:34
Pics or it didn't happen! :)
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2020 at 17:53

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2020 at 17:53
Maybe the RAAF or USAAF lost a bomb out there?

Don't laugh - the U.S. & Russian military forces have lost 50 atom bombs! - and most have never been recovered! [:-O

The Cold Wars missing A-bombs

Broken Arrows - the worlds lost Nuclear weapons

Cheers, Ron.


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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2020 at 18:49

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2020 at 18:49
And don’t forget that Japanese sect experimenting with bombs on that outback sheep station.

They were the ones that let off the sarin gas in Tokyo.
I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2020 at 07:58

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2020 at 07:58
"...U.S. & Russian military forces have lost 50 atom bombs! - and most have never been recovered!"

Are you sure you read the article? That's not what it says.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2020 at 09:00

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2020 at 09:00
.

Maybe the U.S. can locate them, bring them home and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

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Allan

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2020 at 10:28

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2020 at 10:28
Candace - The U.S. has admitted to losing 6 nuclear weapons completely, and the Russians refuse to divulge how many they have lost.

Even at that, I wonder what we haven't been told! Govts of any persuasion are not particularly good at revealing the truth for many decades - if at all.

It is possible there could be unexploded ordnance out there - after all, much of Central Australia has been used for especially secretive armaments testing, since the early 1950's, when all that area was regarded as being "uninhabited wasteland" suitable for rocket and bomb testing.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2020 at 10:56

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2020 at 10:56
.
All of that area was once proclaimed as part of the Woomera Prohibited Area, now reduced to a smaller zone extending from the Woomera Rangehead. In the "rocket test days" the trials did not reach that far from the launchers, other than Blue Streak which was not armed. Since those rocket days in the 50's and 60's the military have used the WPA for all sorts of activities usually confined to the current WPA zone and various parts of the Northern Territory and Queensland but it is possible that they "played around" in the area of Candace's description. Who knows what our Brothers in Arms get up to?

Besides, Candace's sign is marked as authorised by the "Dept. of Environment and Conservation" rather than by a military authority so maybe it was only a Ranger who mislaid a bullet somewhere.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020 at 14:34

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020 at 14:34
"Who knows what our Brothers in Arms get up to?"

Who knows indeed! For example, in the early 60's, the US Dept of Defense was interested in performing joint chemical and biological weapons testing in Australia. I had never heard of this before. I stumbled across this document today while searching for info about the Emu site.

Document in the Nat'l Archives of Australia

Apparently the tests never came to pass, though...Defence denial
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020 at 15:48

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020 at 15:48
.
"Indeed"to be sure Candace. Thank goodness that the Chemical tests did not eventuate although Operation Blowdown did.

Interesting that the USA document referenced "Maralinga", albeit with a query to "Qld."
There is no "Iron Range" in S.A. And very little "tropical jungle" for that matter. lol
Perhaps someone just had Maralinga on their mind as a great place fore 'big bangs'?

For anyone interested, here are further links to this event....

Wikipedia

Dinnen Media Report

Incidentally Candace, I have just finished reading yet another book on Maralinga.... "Britain, Australia and the Bomb", Arnold and Smith.. Somewhat more explicit and perhaps impartial than the others and certainly excellent as a reference work.




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Allan

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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2020 at 21:44

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2020 at 21:44
.

I think it has been "liberated" and relocated.

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Allan

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