The Air Force lost a box of grenades. It wants them back.
You see, one of its Humvees was chugging along a patch of choppy road in North Dakota when it presumably hit a bump, popping open the back hatch of the vehicle and knocking out a box full of ammunition for a grenade launcher. The Air Force would very much like to find it, and is offering a $5,000 reward for any information that gets the grenades back where they belong.
“The Air Force does not consider this a criminal matter at this time,” a spokesperson for the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations told VICE News in an email. “It is seeking the public’s help to ensure the safe return of the ammunition.”
But the Air Force base that lost the grenades wasn't initially as forthcoming — it kept mum about the loss until the local sheriff’s office in Mountrail County, North Dakota, put out its own statement, saying that the Air Force’s failure to inform the public of the missing explosives was causing concern for the safety of the people in the area.
A team operating out of the Minot Air Base, in Minot, North Dakota, lost the box of grenades on May 1; the sheriff’s office reportedly wasn’t looped in until May 4. The Air Force did get in touch with some of the locals, including a few oil refineries in the area, and 10 days after they first lost the grenades, the base sent 100 men out on foot to search the area where they believe the box dropped — but had no luck, according to the sheriff’s office.
It’s a big green metal box. If you spot it, don’t open it. The grenades are very explosive.
And don’t even think of using it, because it’ll probably blow up in your face if you try. The ammo in the box can’t be used with anything other than a MK 19 grenade-launcher. “This munition is specific to that launcher and will not operate in any other launching device without catastrophic failure,” the sheriff’s office warned.
The sheriff’s office says the box is likely located somewhere along a six-mile stretch of road outside of Minot. As of press time, the box of grenades still hadn’t been found.
Cover image: A squadron of United States Air Force A-10 Warthogs fly over the track during the national anthem prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series KC Masterpiece 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 12, 2018 in Kansas City, Kansas. Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images.