I’ve never gone magnet fishing, but I imagine making a “catch” like this is sort of like landing a 30-inch brown trout while fishing a dry fly. On Sunday, May 16, Trevor Penny was plying the depths of a Castle Mill Stream in Oxford, England, with a magnet when he pulled in something unexpected—an unexploded bomb.
According to BBC South, police were called to the scene, and “bomb disposal experts” closed the area to the public. Penny originally thought he’d found tank ammunition, while a police officer believed it was an anti-aircraft round. The authorities safely removed the item.
Penny is part of a magnet fishing group known as “Thame Magnet Fishing.” Penny’s shocking find was first posted on the group’s Facebook page—before gathering interest from folks around the world. Magnet fishing is a niche hobby that involves dredging a large magnet through waterbodies to see what kind of metal paraphernalia turns up.
This is far from the first time a dangerous object has been collected by a magnet fisherman. In February of 2022, Field & Stream reported on a surprising incident in which a grandpa and his grandson found two sniper rifles in Florida. Then, last December, a man pulled a grenade out of a Kentucky river.
What will magnet fishers turn up next? I’m not sure I want to know…I’ll be fishing for trout.