Family’s DIY Project Leads To Alarming Backyard Discovery
Dom Lowe and his son Jon had been looking forward to working together to build a fence in the backyard of their home near Bristol, England. They had no idea that this lovely sunny day would take a frightening turn. It all began when they noticed a very strange object stuck deep in the ground as they were digging in the dirt. Something told them to keep digging, but before long, they were forced to bring in police to deal with the situation. Read here to find out how this father and son’s simple home DIY project turned into something much more interesting.
1. Just Your Average Sunny Day
It was a sunny morning in April 2018 when Dom Lowe, originally from Los Angeles, decided it would be the perfect opportunity to do some DIY work in the backyard of his home in Pensford, England, seven miles south of Bristol.
He moved to Bristol to work as the managing director of a local brewery, but since he retired, he often enjoys keeping himself busy in the garden when the weather permits. He had planned to do some work to spruce up the yard, but little did he know his plan for the day would turn into something much more astounding.
2. No Ordinary Garden Project
Lowe has always loved to work in the outdoors, taking great pride in how he maintains the yard. He also loves to grow his own herbs and vegetables in the fertile ground. However, this time he had more plans in mind than just gardening.
For that reason, he enlisted the help of his son Jon to tackle a little area in the yard with a mini-construction project. It seemed easy enough to them, but that’s because they still weren’t aware of what lay beneath the surface.
3. Let’s Build a Fence
The father and son duo started clearing out some neglected parts of the garden so they could build a fence out of old railway ties, which once supported train tracks. The plan of action was to dig out the ground in order to install the fence.
Dom and Jon carried out their building tools and got to work immediately. They toiled and tore up the ground to prepare the surface for the fence, but while they were digging up the layers of earth they uncovered something strange.
4. A Strange Opening
After shuffling around some of the soil, the Lowes looked down at the results of their handiwork and found there was a strange opening under the ground, which Dom would later describe as some kind of “cesspit” when speaking to the Bristol Post.
The odd space beneath the ground housed several objects. Seeing that it was a nice day and they had all the time in the world, the Lowes decided to investigate the pit further. Luckily they did, as they were about to make quite a remarkable discovery.
5. Strange Paraphernalia
The Lowes started digging deep and began retrieving all kinds of rusted debris from the ground. Someone had clearly buried the objects there on purpose because there was no way the objects could have just landed up there on their own.
The array of items looked like they had been neglected and forgotten underground for a long time, possibly even for several decades, which made everything just that more cryptic. The big question was what did these seemingly-random objects mean? Who had discarded them here?
6. Sherlock and Watson
Dom and Jon started feeling the adrenaline. They were so curious that they had to dig up the soil even further. They had a feeling they were onto something big and chose to keep digging. This mystery was becoming even more interesting than the original project.
They kept digging and uncovering more layers of soil, and as the day went on, the things they found becoming progressively more intriguing. The objects they unearthed next would end up teaching them quite a lesson. What exactly did they find?
7. Objects of a Time Gone By
On first inspection, Jon pulled up some old household objects, ranging from glass bottles to a colander to an OXO gravy can to an old-fashioned metal iron. Each item definitely had a story behind it, but nothing seemed especially significant at first.
It was clear to the men that these objects were buried underground for decades, but it was still unclear how they got there in the first place and why. It turns out that they had to keep digging a little further to get answers.
8. Keep Digging
As Dom and Jon kept digging, they kept finding more and more stuff. It was funny to them to think that the only reason they were digging out all the strange debris and objects was so they could start with the installation of a fence.
Of course they planned on giving a closer look to their discoveries later, but they wanted to finish the work they set out to do in the first place. However, there was still more to dig out from this mysterious void.
9. Dating Back to the ’40s
While they got to work on the fence, Dom started realizing that the items must have hailed from the 1940s judging by the packaging of the gravy tin and the design of the colander and iron. Moreover, they were extremely rusty which meant they were under the moist soil a long time.
It’s always exciting finding a piece of history. It also fascinated the father and son to think how so many people were in the area before them and survived incredible circumstances. Soon they would uncover something that would give a glimpse into the ordeals the prior residents dealt with.
10. Now, What Do We Have Here?!
Just after the Lowes thought they had found everything, Jon pulled out an oxidized piece of metal buried along with the rest of the objects. They were both unsure about what it was, but it did look like it could be from a bomb.
When Dom looked at the object, a light went on in his head. The area in which he lived had been heavily bombarded during World War II but could the object really be something more than just a rusty piece of metal?
11. Looks Can Be Deceiving
Jon Lowe had no inkling of an idea as to what he was gripping in his hand, but he kept digging so they could get absolutely everything out of the ground. Dom didn’t want to speak too soon about his suspicions.
They didn’t want to delay their project any further, so Jon gave one last assessment of the area and stuck his head deep in this mysterious void in the back of his father’s yard. Then just a moment later, he pulled up something really alarming.
12. The Bigger Picture
Along with what looked like the fin of the tail-end of a bomb, Dom and Jon soon recovered another long and corroded piece of metal from the hole. Still, the pair weren’t certain that the foreign object could be anything more than a broken piece of metal.
He thought it would be best to show his father this strange discovery buried in the soil. At the time, he still had no idea just how interesting this minor gardening project was about to become and what repercussions it would have.
13. A Closer Glimpse
Jon handed over the other object to his father, and Dom couldn’t quite believe what he was holding. Was he thinking straight? It couldn’t be! There was no way he could have discovered what he thought this was, all at the back of his little yard.
After taking a closer look at the peculiar objects his son recovered from underground, it didn’t take too long before Dom was able to put two and two together. So, what exactly had this father and son duo just found on their property?
Dom thought about what had once been in this area. He thought of Bristol’s history throughout the years to try and understand how these objects found their way to his backyard. He had to put his thinking cap on to draw some kind of logical conclusion.
Jon wasn’t quite sure what was going on, nor did he have an idea of what his father was thinking at that moment. He noticed a bewildered look on his father’s face and knew that this was no ordinary backyard discovery.
“Jon didn’t know what it was. But then I said, ‘That looks like part of a bomb to me,'” Dom told the Bristol Post. “He handed it over straight away.” It looked like a bomb, and Dom felt sure of it when he placed the separate objects together.
The object was intact and had clearly not exploded until now! It could still potentially pose a threat. So, if the Lowes had indeed discovered an intact and undetonated incendiary bomb, how on Earth did it get there? Well, Dom was sure he could answer that question!
16. Playing the Historian
Dom was sure it was from around 70 years ago, specifically World War II, as Bristol was one of Britain’s most bombed cities during the war. In fact, Bristol was the fifth most bombed area by the German Luftwaffe pilots who flew via the moonlight cast on the River Avon.
The question was, how had it remained intact and did it pose a serious threat to them after unearthing such a device so many years later?! “To be honest, there was no panic,” Dom told Bristol Post. Well, at least not at first.
17. Call the Cops?
Dom was quite taken aback by the discovery he had just made with his son, Jon. He couldn’t believe that a banal home DIY project could morph into such an exhilarating and startling discovery hearkening back to a dark corner of the past.
To give himself a moment to take it all in, Dom placed the bomb precariously on parts of the fence he and his son had originally set out to erect. He set it down in order to think about who to call, and if it was even necessary to alert the cops and authorities. Then, just as he was thinking, the bomb rolled off the fence and fell onto the ground!
18. Dive for Cover!
After Dom and Jon saw the bomb roll onto the floor, they instinctively jumped and dived for cover. They were terrified the impact would trigger some kind of mechanism in the explosive device even after all those years of lying dormant.
There have also been several incidents over the years where bomb squads have been called in because undetonated explosives from World War II were discovered. In fact, Bristol is said to have hundreds of explosive devices from the war just lying around undiscovered.
Well, lucky for the Lowes, the bomb didn’t go off. “It rolled off, and then we ran for cover; nothing happened though,” Dom told Bristol Post. He went on to say that they couldn’t take a chance with an object buried underground for so long.
After the object fell on the floor, Dom and Jon didn’t want to take matters into their own hands. It lay sinisterly silent on the ground, but he didn’t want to touch it after that in case something else happened.
20. About to Detonate?
They wanted professionals to come in to determine and confirm what this object was and if it posed any danger. Dom didn’t feel like jumping to conclusions or making assumptions. He wanted to leave such a discovery in the hands of the authorities.
Jon called the police station to relay the story and to enlist some help. Help would arrive soon, but that didn’t mean they were out of the clear yet. Obviously, construction of the fence had to be put on hold for the rest of the day.
21. Help Arrives
Just a while later, two officers from the Avon and Somerset Police force came to check out the scene Jon had described in the backyard. They didn’t seem alarmed, but they had to take it seriously so as to not endanger anyone’s life.
The police officers found Dom and Jon in their backyard, peering into the hole. They were cautious about getting too close, and advised the Lowes to steer clear of the area until the bomb disposal squad arrived on the scene.
22. Bomb Squad On the Scene
After waiting around with the police for a while, a member of the Royal Logistic Corps bomb disposal unit arrived with all the equipment necessary to investigate the potentially-explosive device and check to see if there were any more on the property.
He did the rounds and checked everything in the area to make sure there weren’t other buried parts of bombs lying in the vicinity. After all, if there was one, there were likely to be more. Soon after, he would make some interesting conclusions.
23. A Real “Blast” from the Past
Once the professional inspected the objects, he confirmed that they were indeed part of a bomb hailing all the way back to World War II. Turns out the Lowes had unearthed a genuine Luftwaffe incendiary bomb that had been hidden underground for over 70 years later.
Dom was correct in his assumptions, given the history of Bristol, but the bomb squad officer’s work wasn’t done just yet. He still had to determine whether the explosive could still go off on at any given time if activated in a certain manner.
24. A Full Inspection
The Royal Logistic Corps member performed a full X-ray scan on the bomb to check if it was harmful. He wasn’t about to take any chances no matter how many decades had passed since the Germans dropped the bomb in the area.
Besides, it wasn’t really anything out of the ordinary for these kinds of objects to be found in an area once heavily bombarded by an enemy force during a conflict. So, was the object still a threat to the Lowes and everyone around?
25. A Historic Discovery
The X-ray showed up clear, meaning the bomb was harmless. Thankfully, it wasn’t capable of exploding. Still, it was quite frightening for the Lowes given how deadly the explosives had proven to be in the past, and how much destruction they had wrought on the city.
Dom and Jon still wanted to understand how an undetonated bomb landed up in their yard. Why had their area been targeted? Luckily for them, the bomb squad official provided a logical and historically-accurate reason as to why it was buried there.
26. Trick Bomb
The Royal Logistic Corps member explained that the Germans would often drop empty shells among the lives ones. This was done in order to hinder the cleanup process after the air raids took place, not to mention add stress to an already-difficult situation.
The bomb squad officer went on to explain that the explosive the Lowes found buried in their backyard was probably dropped during a Bristol raid to lighten the cargo load from the German aircraft for when the pilot made his trip back home.
27. You Can Keep It
Once it was confirmed that the bomb posed no harm, the officers allowed to the Lowes to keep the parts of the bomb as a memento of their astonishing find. It would undeniably serve as a reminder of the horrors the area had once experienced.
This piece of wartime history didn’t put anyone in danger, but it served as a stark reminder as to what actually happens during conflict and war, and it’s not such a pretty picture. In fact, the city of Bristol endured serious devastation as a result.
28. Bristol under Fire
Bristol was no stranger to enemy bombing, having been the fifth-most bombed city in the country after Portsmouth, Southampton, Plymouth, and Exeter. Between November 1940 and April 1941, Bristol experienced six big bombing raids and another 77 on a smaller scale.
These bomb attacks claimed the lives of 1,299 people and injured another 1,303. Moreover, 697 people had to be pulled out of the rubble and debris caused by the raids. It was one of the darkest periods the city had ever seen.
29. Dropping “Satan”
Bristol’s first air raid took place on November 24, 1940 when German planes dropped a total of 12,000 bombs on the area. This resulted in 207 fatalities, as the Luftwaffe attacked old places of worship in the city. Alderman Thomas Underwood, the Lord Mayor of Bristol during the raid, said that “The City of Churches had in one night become the city of ruins.”
However, the longest air raid took place for 12 hours in January 1941. That’s when the Germans dropped “Satan,” a nickname for its biggest incendiary bomb. Luckily for the local populace, the bomb didn’t work properly and it was disposed of in 1943.
30. More Heavy Air Raids
The larger-scale air raids would continue until April 1941, however, smaller attacks still went on. In fact, the last of these bombardments occurred three years later at the end of May 1944, just a year before World War II ended.
During the war, over 89,000 buildings were damaged and had to be demolished in Bristol. Furthermore, over 81,000 homes in the city were totally destroyed. It’s no wonder that a bomb was found in the Lowes garden in Pensford. Fortunately, it could not cause any harm.
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