Moved> Spudder or Urban Legend?

Tell stories about your spud cannon adventures!

Postby Navigator7 » Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:54 pm

(It just seemed appropriate to paste this here. I was looking for any mention of spudgun activity in the DarwinAwards website and lo and behold I found this:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(1998) In rural Carbon County, Pennsylvania, a group of men were drinking beer and discharging firearms from the rear deck of a home owned by Irving Michaels, age 27. The men were firing at a raccoon that was wandering by, but the beer apparently impaired their aim. Despite an estimated 35 shots fired by the group, the animal escaped into a 3' diameter drainage pipe 100 feet away from Mr. Michaels' deck.

Determined to terminate the animal, Mr. Michaels retrieved a can of gasoline and poured some down the pipe, intending to smoke the animal out. After several unsuccessful attempts to ignite the fuel, Michaels emptied the entire five-gallon fuel can down the pipe and tried to light it again, to no avail.

Not one to admit defeat by wildlife, the determined Mr. Michaels proceeded to slide feet-first approximately 15 feet down the sloping pipe to toss the match. The subsequent rapidly-expanding fireball propelled Mr. Michaels back the way he had come, though at a much higher rate of speed. He exited the angled pipe "like a Polaris missile leaves a submarine," according to witness Joseph McFadden, 31.

Mr. Michaels was launched directly over his own home, right over the heads of his astonished friends, onto his front lawn. In all, he traveled over 200 feet through the air. "There was a Doppler Effect to his scream as he flew over us," McFadden reported, "followed by a loud thud." Amazingly, he suffered only minor injuries.

"It was actually pretty cool," Michaels said, "Like when they shoot someone out of a cannon at the circus. I'd do it again if I was sure I wouldn't get hurt."
Submitted by: Peter Putrimas



DarwinAwards.com © 1994 - 2004
Peter Putrimas, who submitted the story, searched the New York Times' electronic morgue, but could find no reference to "Irving Michaels." It is almost certainly an Urban Legend... or is it? We recently receive the following email, sent through an anonymous remailer:

2 April 2000
You can give this anonymous message whatever value you care to. I just wanted to say, without attaching my name to it, that this "Irving Michaels and a raccoon" story is true. I know, because I was there.

It happened pretty much as described. In fact, the role of beer and the number of shots fired are almost certainly understated :-) The person in question was indeed the victim of a self-inflicted directed-pressure explosion. You probably assume this is an UL because no newspaper covered it. That's true, because Mike wasn't seriously hurt, so there was no need to involve emergency medical services, which would have been sufficient to generate an official report.

The fact that he was not seriously injured is hard to get over for the people who saw the event. I was sure he would be dead when we got to him. Happily, the reports of his non-demise are quite correct.

The subject's name, "Irving Michaels" was juxtaposed by the original poster. Mike Irving is the name of the gentleman who did the Superman imitation. It was posted to rib Mike, more than anything else. I think we're all just as happy, and Mike for sure, to have this listed as an UL.

I just wanted to let you know that just because a story wasn't in the papers doesn't mean it never happened.
Navigator7
 
Posts: 2635
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: USA
 

Postby Jspellman » Mon Aug 02, 2004 10:00 pm

Yea, its a neat story, but Im pretty sure they tried to prove that it was untrue on mythbusters a while ago.
Jspellman
 
Posts: 751
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 8:19 pm
Location: USA
 

Postby Navigator7 » Mon Aug 02, 2004 10:11 pm

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="tahoma,verdana,arial" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by Jspellman
[br]Yea, its a neat story, but Im pretty sure they tried to prove that it was untrue on mythbusters a while ago.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
I sat down to watch that show a few years ago and something happened.
Tell me....was the guy with the chevy / JATO bottle attached who impacted 100' up a cliff at 350 mph an urban legand or fact?
I first heard the story on Art Bell and laugh a lung out.
Navigator7
 
Posts: 2635
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: USA
 

Postby bob-e » Mon Aug 02, 2004 11:26 pm

only a ledgend, i havent seen that episode in a while but i think they only got it up in the mid 200's, and it was controlled the entire time.
bob-e
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 8:58 pm
Location: USA
 

Sponsored

Sponsor
 
 

Postby plasticex009 » Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:32 am

I know that a man would not be launched 200 feet through the air out of a tube using gasoline as a propellent. But, the story doesn't give enough information for me to prove it couldn't happen. By keeping the stories vague, it is nearly impossible to tell if the event actualy took place.:x

Besides, I find a lot of the stories on darwin awards to be too elaborate/stupid to believe.
plasticex009
 
Posts: 2865
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2003 1:31 am
Location: USA
 

Postby Pneumatic_King » Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:35 am

Mythbusters did a sweet job demonstrating this one. I can see how some people would be sucked into this one, but after a few shots with not-so-tight potatos failing miserably, I could never believe it.
Pneumatic_King
 
Posts: 386
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 11:31 pm
Location: Canada
 

Postby aturner » Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:41 am

Come on nav, you've been here on the forum talking about launching water, and you know the challenges. So you should be the first to know this report is a myth.

If you consider the human body is more than 90% water, and a typical adult male weighs something in the range of 180lbs, how is gasoline going to laungh such a mass of loose fitting "water" out of a 3' pipe?!

If you have the desire for more info, search snopes.com for this incident. If it's a widespread myth, chances are snopes has looked into it. I'm not even going to bother, b/c this is a ridiculous story.

But it is funny to imagine! :D:D:D
aturner
 
Posts: 1470
Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 1:50 pm
Location: USA
 

Postby ghost of DR » Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:57 am

ghost of DR
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 8:55 am
 

Postby Freefall » Tue Aug 03, 2004 12:11 pm

I saw the mythbusters about this one. They used a dummy in a drainage pipe, but they loaded the pipe with black powder instead of gasoline, and as we all know, black powder packs alot more power than gasoline.

I wouldn't want to try it myself, but I don't doubt that it could happen given the right conditions. I've seen people survive some nasty impacts, especially when in a drunken state of muscular relaxation, but what surprises me most is that he wasn't severely burned.
Freefall
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2003 4:46 pm
Location: USA
 

Postby Navigator7 » Tue Aug 03, 2004 3:34 pm

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="tahoma,verdana,arial" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by aturner
[br]Come on nav, you've been here on the forum talking about launching water, and you know the challenges. So you should be the first to know this report is a myth.

If you consider the human body is more than 90% water, and a typical adult male weighs something in the range of 180lbs, how is gasoline going to laungh such a mass of loose fitting "water" out of a 3' pipe?!
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

LOL
Come to think of it...you are right on!
Thanks for the wake up slap in the face
;-)
Navigator7
 
Posts: 2635
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: USA
 
 
Next

Return to Stories

cron