Aug. 14 (UPI) -- A mysterious metal object off the coast of Rhode Island has captured the imaginations of locals and they are now planning to pull it out of the water.
Peter Brockmann, president of the East Beach Association, said he has been studying the metal object for about six weeks, but there have been reports indicating it may have been first sighted last summer by someone who later couldn't identify its location.
The 4-foot-wide object, located about 10 feet offshore in Westerly when the tide is low, is composed of what appears to be a stainless steel circle with spokes branching off in different directions.
"It's a man-made object," Brockmann told WJAR-TV. "It looks to be stainless steel and some parts look like they're encased in concrete."
He said he has shown photos of the object to experts, but all they have been able to conclusively determine is that it doesn't appear to be an explosive or in-use navigational device.
University of Rhode Island oceanography professors suggested the object might be a seafloor mount for an acoustic Doppler current profiler, which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers uses to monitor currents and sediment flow during dredging projects.
"So, this could be a derelict acoustic Doppler current profiler seafloor mount but how did it get to the very shallow surf zone on East Beach, and when?" Brockmann told The Westerly Sun.
He said experts confirmed there have not been any recent dredging projects in the area.
The East Beach Association is now teaming with Rocky Harkness of Rocky's Tree Service to use some heavy equipment to bring the object to dry land for further study.
Harkness said the plan is to attempt to remove the object Tuesday evening.
"We have about a five-ton winch," Harkness said. "We're hoping that we wrap it up and it comes out easy."
"Hopefully, on Tuesday night, we come in, we wrap chains around it and we're praying that it comes right out," said Harkness' son, Ronnie.