(Photo courtesy of the ATF)

If there’s anything that you expect the military to keep a pretty close eye on, it’s explosives. However, even then, things work through the cracks and not everything can be accounted for. Maybe it was listed as used in training, or maybe it was just considered lost. Who knows?

What we do know is that a sizeable cache of explosives was recently found in Northern Arizona, and when I say “sizeable cache,” I’m not using that in the mainstream media sense of the term where I’m talking about a couple of M-80’s and an old stick of dynamite. No, this is the real deal.

Authorities say military explosives were buried for two decades before being found by construction workers in Northern Arizona.

The ATF says the military explosives were found by a construction crew in a rural area of Pine, Arizona on October 25, 2017.

The military explosives found at the scene include:

  • 80 M112 blocks of military C4 explosive
  • Nine M18A1 Claymore antipersonnel mines with firing devices
  • One roll of military detonating cord

A $10,000 reward is being offered by the ATF for any information on just where these came from.

I’ll be honest, the C4 is less troubling to me than the Claymores. I can think of a lot of reasons why someone would want C4 that have nothing to do with hurting folks. It’s an explosive, but there are legitimate uses for explosives. For example, farmer’s trying to remove large tree stumps. While C4 isn’t something typically used for that, I could see some enterprising young soldier thinking about his family farm and squirreling some C4 away for farm life after the Army.

But Claymores are different. While they do contain explosives, their power rests in the shrapnel they project outward, much like a shotgun. While they might be used for innocent purposes, that’s clearly not their intended use. It’s also not something I’d risk my career and freedom over unless it was exactly what I wanted.

It’s interesting that authorities believed this was buried 20 years ago. Recall that this was the height of tensions between the government and many American citizens, often referred to as the militia movement.

In 1992, you had the Ruby Ridge standoff. A year later, the Waco siege. Two years later, in 1995, we had the Oklahoma City bombing?

To say times were tense then would be a bit of an understatement. Were these hidden by someone who believed he’d need them to fend off an oppressive Clinton regime?

Who knows?

What we do know is that this is a lot of “boom” to be buried in the Arizona dirt. A lot. More than enough to make me nervous, even if it was 20 years ago.

If you know anything about this, I urge you to contact the ATF at 1-888-ATF-TIPS. I can’t help but figure whoever buried this had bad intentions in mind when they buried it. It’s entirely possible the person who put it there has long since passed away, but again, who knows?

What I do know is that this is stuff you and I can’t pick up at the local gun store.