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Magnet fishermen find WWII-era artillery shell in Michigan river

A group of magnet fishermen pulling up metal from a Michigan river made a surprising discovery — a World War II-era artillery shell.

Ryan McCollum, of the Rustic Treasure Hunters, said he was magnet fishing in Grand Rapids with his son, Lochlan, 8, and his cousin, Chris Hample, when Hample pulled a 2-foot-long metal object out of the Grand River.

“I’m like, ‘What is that? There’s no way,'” McCollum told WOOD-TV. “And then as I got closer, I saw it was an artillery shell, so that was very surprising for what you can find in the river.”

The fishermen alerted the authorities and police cleared the Sixth Street Bridge, where the men had been casting their lines, while the captain of the bomb squad examined the find.

“It was a 75-millimeter armor piercing artillery shell. The bomb squad confirmed this, too,” McCollum said. “It was actually used in Sherman tanks in WWII.”

The bomb squad determined the shell was safe to transport and it was taken away for further investigation and disposal.

McCollum said the bomb squad captain was unsure of how the shell ended up in the river. The captain hypothesized the object may have been brought home as a souvenir of the war and was disposed of in the river at some point.