You all know about the Darwin Awards - It's an annual honor given to the person who did the gene pool the biggest service by killing themselves in the most extraordinarily stupid way. 1994's winner was the fellow who was killed by a Coke machine which toppled over on top of him as he was attempting to tip a free soda out of it.
was first published in 1995, as a result of numerous emails making their
way around the Internet
if you would like to peruse our
JATO pack? - 1995 Winner! (actually an urban legend, but a great story)
THOMPSON, MANITOBA, CANADA.
Telephone relay company night watchman Edward Baker, 31, was killed early Christmas morning by excessive microwave radiation exposure. He was apparently attempting to keep warm next to a telecommunications feed-horn.
Baker had been suspended on a safety violation once last year, according to Northern Manitoba Signal Relay spokesperson Tanya Cooke. She noted that Baker's earlier infraction was for defeating a safety shut-off switch and entering a restricted maintenance catwalk in order to stand in front of the microwave dish. He had told coworker's that it was the only way he could stay warm during his twelve-hour shift at the station, where winter temperatures often dip to forty below zero.
Microwaves can heat water molecules within human tissue in the same way that they heat food in microwave ovens. For his Christmas shift, Baker reportedly brought a twelve pack of beer and a plastic lawn chair, which he positioned directly in line with the strongest microwave beam. Baker had not been told about a tenfold boost in microwave power planned that night to handle the anticipated increase in holiday long-distance calling traffic.
Baker's body was discovered
by the daytime watchman, John Burns, who was greeted by an odor he mistook
for a Christmas roast he thought Baker must have prepared as a surprise.
Burns also reported to NMSR company officials that Baker's unfinished
beers had exploded.
The Arizona Highway Patrol came upon a pile of smoldering metal embedded into the side of a cliff rising above the road at the apex of a curve. The wreckage resembled the site of an airplane crash, but it was a car. The type of car was unidentifiable at the scene. The lab finally figured out what it was and what had happened. It seems that a guy had somehow gotten hold of a JATO unit (Jet Assisted Take Off - actually a solid fuel rocket) that is used to give heavy military transport planes an extra "push" for taking off from short airfields. He had driven his Chevy Impala out into the desert and found a long, straight stretch of road. Then he attached the JATO unit to his car, jumped in, got up some speed and fired off the JATO!
The facts as best as could be determined are that the operator of the 1967 Impala hit JATO ignition at a distance of approximately 3.0 miles from the crash site. This was established by the prominent scorched and melted asphalt at that location. The JATO, if operating properly, would have reached maximum thrust within 5 seconds, causing the Chevy to reach speeds well in excess of 350 mph and continuing at full power for an additional 20-25 seconds. The driver, soon to be pilot, most likely would have experienced G-forces usually reserved for dog-fighting F-14 jocks under full afterburners, basically causing him to become insignificant for the remainder of the event. However, the automobile remained on the straight highway for about 2.5 miles (15-20)seconds before the driver applied and completely melted the brakes, blowing the tires and leaving thick rubber marks on the road surface, then becoming airborne for an additional 1.4 miles and impacting the cliff face at a height of 125 feet leaving a blackened crater 3 feet deep in the rock.
Most of the
driver's remains were not recoverable; however, small fragments of bone,
teeth and hair were extracted from the crater and fingernail and bone
shards were removed from a piece of debris believed to be a portion of
the steering wheel.
This guy buys a brand new Grand Cherokee for 30 some thousand dollars and has $400+ dollar monthly payments. He immediately gets hold of his friend and they go off to do some male bonding. They go duck hunting and of course all the lakes are frozen.
These 2 Atomic Brains go to the lake with the guns, the dog, the beer and of course the new vehicle. They drive out onto the lake ice and get ready. Now, they want to make some kind of a natural landing area for the ducks, something for the decoys to float on. Remember, it's all ice and in order to make a hole large enough to look like something a wandering duck wants to fly down and land on, it is going to take a little more effort than an ice hole drill.
Out of the back of the new Grand Cherokee comes a stick of dynamite with a short, 40 second fuse.
Now these 2 Rocket Scientists do take into consideration that if they place the stick of dynamite on the ice at a location far from where they are standing (and the new Grand Cherokee), they take the risk of slipping on the ice when they run from the burning fuse and possibly going up in smoke with the resulting blast. So, they decide to light this 40 second fuse and throw the dynamite which is what they end up doing.
Remember a couple of paragraphs back when I mentioned the vehicle, the beer, the guns AND THE DOG ????
Yes, the dog. A highly trained Black Lab used for retrieving, especially things thrown by the owner.
You guessed it, the dog takes off at a high rate of doggy speed on the ice and gets the stick of dynamite with the burning 40 second fuse about the time it hits the ice all to the woes of the 2 idiots yelling, stomping, waving arms and wondering what to do now.
The dog, well it is happy and heads back from where it came from moments before, with the stick of dynamite, only to the mounting woes of the 2 bozo's now really waving their arms, yelling even louder and jumping to new heights than ever before.
Now one of the guys decides to think, something that he has never done before this moment, grabs a shotgun and shoots the dog. The shotgun is loaded with #8 duck shot, hardly big enough to stop a Black Lab on its appointed rounds. Dog stops for a moment, slightly confused and continues on. Another shot and this time the dog, still standing, becomes really confused & of course scared, thinking these 2 Nobel Prize winners have gone insane and takes off to find cover, with the now really short fuse burning on this stick of dynamite.
The cover the dogs finds? Underneath the brand new Grand Cherokee 30 some thousand dollar $400+ monthly payment vehicle sitting on the lake ice.
Dog dies and it and the brand new Grand Cherokee 30 some thousand dollar $400+ monthly payment vehicle sink to the bottom of the lake leaving the 2 candidates for Co-leaders of the Known Universe standing there with this "I can't believe this happened" look on their faces.
owner of the vehicle calls his insurance company which tells him that
sinking a vehicle in a lake by illegal use of explosives is not covered.
He had yet to make the first of those $400+ a month payments.
What Flight Plan?
This story was clipped from the recent Darwin awards, which people receive for doing something incredibly stupid.
Larry Walters is among the relatively few who have actually turned their dreams into reality. His story is true, as hard as you may find it to believe . . .
Larry was a truck driver, but his lifelong dream was to fly. When he graduated from high school, he joined the Air Force in hopes of becoming a pilot. Unfortunately, poor eyesight disqualified him. So when he finally left the service, he had to satisfy himself with watching others fly the fighter jets that crisscrossed the skies over his backyard. As he sat there in his lawn chair, he dreamed about the magic of flying.
Then one day, Larry had an idea. He went down to the local Army-Navy surplus store and bought forty-five weather balloons, and several tanks of helium. These were not your brightly colored party balloons, these were heavy-duty spheres measuring more than four feet across when fully inflated. Back in his yard, Larry used straps to attach the balloons to his lawn chair, the kind you might have in your back yard. He anchored the chair to the bumper of his jeep, and inflated the balloons with helium.
Then he packed a few sandwiches and drinks, and a loaded BB gun, figuring he could pop a few balloons when it was time to return to earth.
His preparations complete, Larry sat in his chair and cut the anchoring cord. His plan was to lazily float into the sky, and eventually back to terra firma.
But things didn't quite work out that way. When Larry cut the cord, he didn't float lazily up; he shot up as if fired from a cannon! Nor did he go up a couple hundred feet. He climbed and climbed until he finally leveled off at eleven thousand feet! At that height, he could hardly risk deflating any of the balloons, lest he unbalance the load and really experience flying. So he stayed up there, sailing around for fourteen hours, totally at a loss about how to get down.
Eventually, Larry drifted into the approach corridor for Los Angeles International Airport. A Pan Am pilot radioed the tower about passing a guy in a lawn chair at eleven thousand feet, with a gun in his lap LAX is right on the ocean, and you may know that at nightfall, the winds on the coast begin to change. So, as dusk fell, Larry began drifting out to sea.
At that point, the Navy dispatched a helicopter to rescue him, but the rescue team had a hard time getting to him because the draft from their propeller kept pushing his home-made contraption farther and farther away. Eventually, they were able to hover above him and drop a rescue line, with which they gradually hauled him back to safety.
As soon as Larry hit the ground, he was arrested. But as he was led away in handcuffs, a television reporter called out, "Sir, why'd you do it?"
eyed the man, then replied nonchalantly, "A man can't just sit around!"
The wrong way to get into a Metallica concert
Police in George, WA issued a report on the events leading up to the deaths of Robert Uhlenake (24) and his friend, Ormond D. Young (27) at the Metallica concert last Friday. Uhlenake and Young were found dead at the Gorge Amphitheater after the show. Uhlenake was in pickup that was on top of Young at the bottom of a 20 ft drop. Young was found with severe lacerations, numerous fractures, contusions, and a branch in his anal cavity. He also had been stabbed and his pants were in a tree above him, some 15 ft off the ground; adding to the mystery of the heretofore unexplained scene.
According to Commissioner-In-Charge Inoye Appleton, Uhlenake and Young had tried to get tickets for the sold-out concert. When they were unable to get any tickets, the two decided to stay in the lot and drink. Once the show began, and after the two had consumed 18 beers between the two of them, they hit upon the idea of scaling the 7 foot wooden security fence around the perimeter of the site and sneak in. They apparently moved the truck up to the edge of the fence and decided that Young would go over first and assist Uhlenake later.
They had not counted on the fact that while it was a 7 foot fence on the parking lot side, there was a 23 foot drop on the other side. Young, who weighed 255 lbs and was quite inebriated, had jumped up and over the fence and promptly fell about half the 23 foot distance before a large tree branch broke his fall AND his left forearm; unfortunately, he also managed to get his shorts caught on the branch.
Since he was now in a lot of pain and with no way to extricate himself and his shorts from the tree, he decided, seeing bushes down below, to cut his shorts off and fall to the ground. Upon cutting the last bit of fabric from himself, he suddenly plummeted to earth, losing grip of the knife. The "soft" bushes were actually holly bushes and landing in them caused a massive number of cuts. He also had the misfortune of landing squarely on a holly bush branch; effectively impaling himself. The knife, which he had accidentally released 15 ft up, now landed and stabbed him in his left thigh. Apparently, he was in a lot of pain.
Enter his friend Robert. Uhlenake had apparently observed the last bit of this and, despite his inebriated state, realized that Young was in trouble. He hit upon the idea of lowering a rope to his friend and pull him up and over the fence. This was complicated by the fact that Uhlenake was outweighed by his friend by a good 100 lbs. Again, despite his state he realized he could use their truck to pull Young out.
Unfortunately, because of his state, Uhlenake put the truck in reverse, rather than drive, broke through the fence, landed on Young (killing him), was thrown out of the truck and subsequently died of internal injuries.
that's how a dead 255 lb man with no pants on, with a truck on top of
him and a stick up his ass came to be" said Commissioner Appleton.
Russian Roulette the hard way...
Richardson, 28, was charged in April in Minneapolis with third-degree
murder in the death of his beloved cousin, Ken E. Richardson. According
to police, Derrick suggested a game of Russian roulette and put a semiautomatic
pistol to Ken's head instead of a revolver. (For the gun-unschooled: There
is much less mystery to the game if played with a semiautomatic, in which
the one bullet automatically goes to the firing chamber.)
The wrong way to fix your headlights
Arkansas Democrat Gazette, July 25, 1996:
Two Local Men Injured in Freak Truck Accident, Cotton Patch, Ark.
Two local men were seriously injured when their pick-up truck left the road and struck a tree near Cotton Patch on State Highway 38 early Monday morning. Woodruff County deputy Dovey Snyder reported the accident shortly after midnight Monday. Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc and Billy Ray Wallis, 38, of Little Rock are listed in serious condition at Baptist Medical Center.
The accident occurred as the two men were returning to Des Arc after a frog gigging trip. On an overcast Sunday night, Poole's pick-up truck headlights malfunctioned. The two men concluded that the headlight fuse on the older model truck had burned out.
As a replacement fuse was not available, Wallis noticed that the .22 caliber bullet from his pistol fit perfectly into the fuse box next to the steering wheel column. Upon inserting the bullet, the headlights again began to operate properly and the two men proceeded on east-bound toward the White River bridge.
After traveling approximately twenty miles and just before crossing the river, the bullet apparently overheated, discharged and struck Poole in the right testicle. The vehicle swerved sharply to the right exiting the pavement and striking a tree.
only minor cuts and abrasions from the accident, but will require surgery
to repair the other wound. Wallis sustained a broken clavicle and was
treated and released. "Thank God we weren't on that bridge when Thurston
shot his nuts off or we might both be dead" stated Wallis.
From The Calgary Sun Saturday, December 28, 1996: Low blow for gunman
VANCOUVER (CP) - A man arguing over a love triangle accidentally shot himself in the groin, taking off his testicles and part of his penis.
the man was waving a .357 Magnum revolver around during the shouting match
early yesterday. But when he stuffed it back in his pants the gun went
off. Police were called to the hospital after the man in his 20's was
brought in by friends. Charges are pending against the victim, who is
expected to survive.
No way to clean a gun
[The Indianapolis Star, Wed., Dec. 4, 1996]
Cigarette lighter may have triggered fatal explosion Dunkirk, Indiana.
A Jay County man using a cigarette lighter to check the barrel of a muzzleloader was killed Monday night when the weapon discharged in his face, sheriff's investigators said. Gregory David Pryor, 19, died in his parents' rural Dunkirk home about 11:30 p.m. Investigators said Pryor was cleaning a .54-caliber muzzleloader that had not been firing properly.
He was using
the lighter to look into the barrel when the gunpowder ignited.
Nobody ever said prison was safe...
[1/29/96 The News of the weird.] JOINT NOMINEE
Michael Anderson Godwin made News of the Weird posthumously in 1989. He had spent several years awaiting South Carolina's electric chair on a murder conviction before having his sentence reduced to life in prison. In March 1989, sitting on a metal toilet in his cell and attempting to fix his small TV set, he bit into a wire and was electrocuted.
Jan. 1, 1997, Laurence Baker, also a convicted murderer once on death
row, but later serving a life sentence at the state prison in Pittsburgh,
Pa., was electrocuted by his homemade earphones as he watched his small
TV while sitting on his metal toilet.
"Jumbo poop kills jealous zookeeper" Paderborn, Germany
Overzealous zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt fed his constipated elephant Stefan 22 doses of animal laxative and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes before the plugged up pachyderm finally let fly - and suffocated the keeper under 150kg of poop. Investigators say ill-fated Friedrich 46, was attempting to give the ailing elephant an olive-oil enema when the relieved beast unloaded on him like a dump truck full of mud. "The sheer force of the elephant's unexpected defecation knocked Mr Riesfieldt to the ground, where he struck his head on a rock and lay unconscious as the elephant continued to evacuate his bowels on top of him", said the police detective. "With no one there to help him, he lay under all that dung for at least an hour before a watchman came along" he said.
by Steve McGowan, Bangkok