Mysterious object from Greenham control tower identified as a naval deminer
The mystery behind a strange object discovered on Greenham Common last month has been partly solved.
The large bomb-shaped object has been identified as a type of paravane, a float towed behind marine vessels to help clear underwater mines.
Although the purpose of the object is now identified, its origins and how it ended up hidden under the undergrowth of Greenham still remain a mystery.
Jeremy Willis, ambassador at the Greenham control tower where the paravane is on display, said: “Since we asked for help identifying this object, we have been contacted by many [Newbury Weekly News] readers who emailed us with their suggestions.
“It was described as being a rocket, a bomb, a missile or an underwing fuel tank for a bomber.
“We also had many visitors to the visitor center to see the object for themselves and those who were in the navy found the correct identification.”
One reader, a retired navy commander, recognized the object as an Algerian size 0 float and sent the control tower drawings and photos of an identical object to aid in identification.
These types of paravanes were used by the Navy until the late 1990s.
However, identifying the object as this specific type of paravane raised further questions.
Mr Willis said: ‘What surprised us a bit was the addition of a third fin, but on close inspection it was marked as having been welded by a company in Newbury, who did not no longer exists.
“Exactly why, we don’t know.
An enigma still surrounds the strange naval weapon, but it can still be seen in the control tower compound supporting the present exhibition on the International Air Tattoo, the Greenham years, which runs until March 13.
Mr Willis said: “We are a volunteer-run charity.
“We are actively looking for administrators and volunteers who are willing to help as guides or at the cafe.”
Details of volunteering for Greenham Control Tower can be found at www.greenhamtower.org.uk