Was all that 7.62 brass reloadable?
That would be my first thought.
I once got overflown by an inverted F4 when I was on the Mt Whitney summit....back in the early 1980s. A flight of 2 or 3 of them came screaming down the Kerr River valley from the north, and then headed easterly up the western flank of the peak. They flew pretty close to the top of the peak, and then dove down the east face into the valley below and went tearing off into the distance. The aircraft were low enough (relative to us) that I could clearly see small details like the rivets. One of the pilots inverted his aircraft just before arcing over the peak, and I very clearly remember him grinning and waving to us as he flashed by. It was awesome. Scary, but awesome .... for most of us ....
There was a couple of climbers, a married couple, who were doing a free climb ascent of the east buttress of the peak. For those who don’t know, the peak is 14,595 ft high, and the eastern face of the summit is a 2300 foot vertical wall (I came up by a different route). That couple summitted the peak not too long after the jets had passed - maybe a half hour or so. The husband told me that they were clinging to the cliff face near the top when those jets went over, and it scared the bejabbers out of both of them right at a critical moment. He was not a happy camper about the overflight, but I was giddy as a school girl about it.
I’m sure the pilot violated every rule in the book, but he obviously didn’t care. No idea if he got in hot water for it or not. He was the last one over the peak, so maybe the other pilots never saw it. I know I sure did. It was awesome.
The only place I’ve ever seen brass and links on the ground was in the 1960s, in the desert outside of Barstow, California. I was on a paleontology trip, but apparently the area we were on had been used as an aerial gunnery range of some kind at some point in the past. We found a crashed aerial target full of holes nearby too. It kind of resembled a giant paper airplane, but made out of a lightweight foil-coated honeycomb material. I don’t remember in great detail what size it was, but I recall it being maybe 10-12 ft long, or something like that. Evidently, these things used to be towed behind another aircraft, and then someone would light them up during gun runs. I have no idea if these were relics from WW2/Korea, or if this kind of technique as in use during the Vietnam war, which was still raging at that time. Out of curiosity, I just now went and googled “towed aerial targets” for images, and I found exactly what it was:
I found a description of it, which said that they were used for ground troops to shoot at aerial targets. The one we found had been shot up pretty badly, and there was a lot of spent brass and links on the ground not too far away. But it was kind of scattered around, rather than all in one spot. So I just assumed for decades until just now that it was aerial gunnery, not antiaircraft gunnery.
More info on those targets here: http://www.ordtech-industries.com/2prod ... TDU10.html