Unexploded Vietnam War Bomb Found In A Rice Field in Laos.
Above Photo: An unusual harvest – unexploded ordnance (UXO) dropped on Laos during the Vietnam War.
The above rice farmer lives along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in a remote village in Attapeu Province, Laos. A few years ago, the villagers had cleared the jungle, so they could plant rice.
During this exercise, they had discovered a large, unexploded bomb dropped by US aircraft during the Vietnam War, but they wisely decided not to try to defuse it themselves and sell it for scrap (a practice that still kills and maims many in the region every year).
Instead, they decided to just plant their rice around the bomb, and to carefully mark its location, so that when the rice paddy flooded, they always knew where it was, and they didn’t accidentally step on it. Eventually a team from UXO Lao arrived in the area, and when the existence of the bomb came to their attention, they examined it before safely defusing it.
The existence of UXO in the tri-border area and all along the old Ho Chi Minh Trail still prevents the rural population of Laos from fully exploiting the land for agriculture, and poses threats to people venturing into the jungle.
As such it features in my backpacker novel BACK, where modern-day trekkers encounter dangers arising from the Vietnam War on a deadly trek into the tri-border jungle, looking for something left behind from the War.
With an estimated EIGHTY MILLION unexploded cluster bomblets (or bombies) alone still lurking in the jungles of Laos, UXO will pose problems for many years to come.
See the trailer for our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. Set in the jungles of Laos and Vietnam, the film deals with the possible fate of US servicemen left behind after the US pulled out of the Vietnam War.
And for POWs left behind in Laos:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
BACK Parts 1 and 2
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