BY DANNY LANNEN
A PNG porter from a trek group led by Mick O'Malley [pictured below] discovered a skull and thigh bone while fishing in a stream at a village known as 1900, near Menari.
Mr O'Malley said ammunition was also at the site, pointing to World War II battles between Australian and Japanese forces.
"It was a little bit of a shock really to be honest," the veteran of 15 Kokoda treks said. "It certainly puts the war into perspective. They're not just stories or fables, it's real life.
"When you see Bomana War Cemetery at the end of the track you get the sense this is actually real and this was the same feeling. This actually did happen."
He was unsure if the bones were those of a Digger or a Japanese soldier.
Mr O'Malley runs Australian Kokoda Tours and was leading a group from North Ballarat Football Club on a trek which finished last week.
The porter revealed his find privately to avoid causing alarm, the bones were stored at a village and Mr O'Malley alerted authorities on his return to Australia.
He believes the bones might have washed down the stream after torrential rain during previous days.
Grenades, ammunition and trenches are readily found in many remote locations beside the Kokoda Track, sites of intense jungle warfare as threadbare and vastly outnumbered Australian forces withstood and defeated invading Japanese forces.
Australian Defence Force experts have mounted an operation this month to find and neutralise unexploded and dangerous World War II munitions in areas on the Kokoda Track, including bombs from an American B-25 Mitchell bomber, mortars and grenades.
Source: Geelong Advertiser, 22 November Spotter: Richard Jones