'Torpedo' found at Philadelphia construction site

KENSINGTON - August 27, 2010

A transportation department archaeological team found someone sitting on the finned tube Friday morning.

"When construction workers arrived there was a white male with a scruffy beard, sitting on top of it saying he had dragged it over there. I can assure you he did not," said Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan of the counter-terrorism unit.

Sullivan's assurances stem from the fact that three bomb disposal technicians couldn't turn it over due to its massive size.

Upon discovery, authorities approached with extreme caution and called the bomb squad.

It wasn't until later that an x-ray determined the shell was a sham.

The fake torpedo was hoisted it onto a Conrail truck to be taken to a scrap yard and destroyed.

"There was no charge, no mechanisms inside," Sullivan said. "Hollow end to end."

Now, there's the question of where it came from. Police say it appears it was initially dumped in the woods by a larger vehicle, and was later dragged into the site, likely by someone hoping to sell it for scrap.

However, that person was apparently unsuccessful when the weight of the pretend projectile tore off their bumper.

Witness Junior Rivera told Action News he watched as a vehicle with a boat hitch unloaded this curious cargo.

"I seen three guys come here and drop the bomb off. I didn't know it was a bomb, I thought it was a body," Rivera said. "I looked and it was too long to be a body."

Police say no charges are expected.

Still, if you know who left the replica torpedo behind, call the Bomb Disposal Unit at 215-685-8013.

Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.