An innocent briefcase and its contents sustained serious damage when it was on the receiving end of a shot, as reported in The Canberra Times, on this day 39 years ago.
The shot occurred at the Russell Hill, Department of Defence headquarters, the report stated. The Army fired a direct hit which demolished a singlet, a pair of running shoes, a briefcase and a plateglass window.
Federal police guards at Building G, which was occupied by Army headquarters, saw what they considered to be a suspicious-looking briefcase near the desk.
Army security experts were called and, after external examination of the briefcase, ordered the evacuation of the area of the building likely to be affected by a possible explosion.
The briefcase was placed on a robot trolley and removed into a courtyard. A shotgun blast from the robot's remotely controlled gun then blasted the briefcase, which apparently had been inadvertently left near the police desk by a lunchtime jogger.
The briefcase, running gear and window were destroyed in the action.
Official Department of Defence sources would not comment on the incident, though one did say it was unfortunate the shotgun cartridge had been used just after cuts in military training had been declared as an economy measure.