Decades-old military object washes up on Massachusetts beach

WELLFLEET, Mass. (WPRI) — A historical discovery was made on a beach in Massachusetts last week.

Officials with the Cape Cod National Seashore shared an image of an object that washed ashore on Marconi Beach in Cape Cod, identifying the device as the fuselage of a Remote Control Aerial Target (RCAT) — a type of drone plane used in the 1940s and 1950s.

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According to park historian Bill Burke, these RCATs were launched from aircraft based out of Wellfleet, Massachusetts, and then "controlled remotely" by personnel on the ground.

They were mainly used for training or target practice by military members in a former training camp in Wellfleet, Burke said.

The NPS also shared an image of the RCAT as it appeared during training.

Courtesy of NPS/Hohman, NPS ArchivesCourtesy of NPS/Hohman, NPS ArchivesCourtesy of NPS/Hohman, NPS Archives

Military artifacts found near the former site of Camp Wellfleet have previously been donated to the Cape Cod National Seashore, according to an unofficial site dedicated to the history of the training facility. Engine parts and ammunition are also among the discoveries made near the camp, the site says.

The operators of the website also warn visitors to never touch any military objects they find in the area.

"If you think you may have found something historically significant mark its location and notify a [representative] of the Park Service," the site urges.

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