A Suffolk County Emergency Services unit investigates a "Navy-type military...

A Suffolk County Emergency Services unit investigates a "Navy-type military ordnance" found on Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bays. (June 30, 2010) Credit: Doug Kuntz

A strange morning at Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bays got even stranger Wednesday - 20 minutes after beachgoers found skeletal remains that had washed ashore.

Lifeguards then found "Navy-type military ordnance" - a military shell - on the beach, Southampton Town police said. The Suffolk County Emergency Services Unit was called to the scene, on the eastern portion of the beach. The unit detonated the shell. But not before that section of beach was closed until about 4:40 p.m., police said.

The find was reported at 10:55 a.m. - and police immediately cordoned off the site.

Police did not release details on what kind of ordnance the shell was or provide an explanation about how it might have been left on the beach.

The incident occurred about 20 minutes after police had been called to a spot on Ponquogue Beach after skeletal remains were found by a beachgoer. It was not immediately clear if those remains were human.

Police said they were of "an unknown origin" and were turned over to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner's Office for further analysis.

Police are asking anyone who might have information on the incident to contact the department at 631-728-3400 or the town crime tips hotline at 631-728-3454. All calls will remain confidential, police said.

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