Mike Colbach and his wife, Jennifer went for their regular hike in Forest Park in northwest Portland, Oregon, Oct. 16 when they saw something mysterious.
An aerial view of Forest Park in northwest Portland, Oregon, where Mike and Jennifer Colbach discovered a trip wire during their regular hike (Image source: Google Maps)
When the couple approached the trail with their dog, Rhoda, Jennifer noticed part of a parachute cord stretched across the path. As they continued along the trail, they saw two men who "were definitely not hikers."
"They stuck out like a sore thumb," Mike said.
While both Mike and Jennifer stepped over the mysterious cord, their dog Rhoda stepped on it. That's when Jennifer saw something move in the forest.
The two continued on their way home but Mike decided to return and check it out the following Saturday. He found that the parachute cord was attached to a pipe that was open on one end but closed on the other. There was a firing pin on the closed end that happened to be in the direct path of a beer bottle. When the cord was tripped, the bottle would swing down and hit the firing pin, triggering a gun shot.
Mike called one of his friends who works for the Metropolitan Explosives Disposal Unit. The bomb squad concluded the contraption was a loaded improvised firearm attached to a tripwire that failed to go off when the dog stepped on it because of a malfunction with the gun.
Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said it's "very unusual" to find something like this.
"These kind of devices are more likely to be found in a rural area where someone is trying to protect something," he said.
While no other devices have been found in the area, Mike won't be visiting Forest Park anytime soon: "I don't want to trip the next one,'' Mike said.
The Portland Police Bureau Gun Task Force is investigating the matter. Crime Stoppers of Oregon is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for any information that could lead to an arrest.
Watch this video to see the exact spot where the suspicious device was set up:
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