It’s not often discussed in America, but military bases and testing sites are all around us. Depending on where you live, you might be only a few miles away from some seriously spooky stuff and not even realize it. Such is the case for a few perplexed and concerned homeowners in Satellite Beach, Florida this week after they discovered a strange, unidentified metal object in their backyard. Metal debris from our nation’s past is everywhere, but what makes this case curious is the home’s proximity to Patrick Air Force Base.
Patrick AFB is the current home of the 45th Space Wing which manages all of the unmanned launches at the Eastern Range, consisting of Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral. That means this wing oversees most launches of satellites for the military, National Reconnaissance Office, and National Security Agency. Prior to that, the base served as a base for anti-submarine operations during World War Two. With such a history, there’s no telling what might lay under the ground surrounding the base.
Which is why homeowners are so concerned about what might lie underneath their house. Residents of Satellite Beach, Florida have for years been telling urban legends the area, and this mysterious discovery might have proven some of them true. Satellite Shores resident Sandra Sullivan discovered an unidentified metal object in her yard with a metal detector and is now concerned that the object might be leaching harmful chemicals into the ground around her home – or worse. Upon discovering the object, Sullivan got in touch with federal investigators who confirmed that the ground upon which her home sits was in fact used as a military dump.
The only concrete information coming from experts who have examined the object is that it’s not a bomb and it’s not a chemical drum. That leaves, well, just about everything else. Fuel rods? Depleted uranium shells? De-engineered alien warp drives? Who knows?
Despite the alarm, Satellite Beach City Manager Courtney Barker says that while the presence of old military hardware is alarming, noone has been harmed by any discarded materials – yet:
I’ve heard rumors all my life because I’ve grown up here. We checked with Brevard County and our records here at the city and we’ve never received any complaints ever about anybody digging up anything in their yards.
Barker says Satellite Beach city council members are consulting with state and federal safety experts to develop a new set of guidelines for potential dangers stemming from the area’s past as a landfill for the military’s space launches.
While this unidentified object is in all likelihood a piece of inert scrap metal, it really makes you wonder what else might have fallen into the seas or deep underground during the last several decades of rocket launches, experimental aircraft tests, and who knows what else. The real losers in war are always civilians – even if only due to the toxic aftereffects of research, development, and testing here on good ol’ American soil. We should have listened to Eisenhower.