2nd grenade in two weeks found – in Holley

Members of the Eugene Metro Explosives Disposal Unit responded to a call Friday night and seized the empty husk of a hand grenade that had been found by a local boy who was panning for gold.

“I went down there to go gold panning,” said Blake Keeney, 11. “I went to go dig a hole at the top of a rocky hill down there.”

He dug down about a foot near a tributary of the Calapooia River located on the family farm off Old Holley Road.

He started shoving dirt into the screen, Keeney said. He broke apart a chunk with his hands, shook it and then saw the grenade.

“It looked like a pipe at first,” Blake said. “I grabbed it, and it was a grenade.”

The grenade was of the same design as a Mark II World War II-era, pineapple-style grenade found behind the high school baseball field a week earlier.

“I thought it was really cool,” Blake said. He drove it back up to the house. “I said, you’ll never guess what I found.”

His father, Chanz Keeney, left the grenade in the driveway area and called the police. The Eugene disposal unit responded.

Mel Thompson examined the grenade, which was clearly missing the fuse and lever. He found a small rootball in the neck of the grenade, but the interior was empty.

“It’s probably been lying out there for a long time,” Thompson said. The grenade was old enough to actually have been a World War II grenade, but it was impossible to know for certain.

The U.S. Army wasn’t too careful about training during World War II, Thompson said. The Army trained up and down the Willamette Valley during World War II, and there is live ammunition out there.

Technically, it is illegal to own grenades like this because it is owned by the U.S. military, Thompson said. The military owns munitions like this “cradle to grave,” and it’s the military’s responsibility.

When someone finds a hand grenade or similar item, Thompson said, don’t touch it. Don’t move it, but mark the way to the explosive. Then call 9-1-1.