'Mythbusters' stunt goes wrong, cannonball damages suburb property

By on December 7, 2011, 3:30 PM

A cannonball fired during the taping of the television show “Mythbusters” at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department bomb disposal range missed its target and ended up some 700 yards east in the neighborhood of Tassajara Creek.

The crew was filming an episode of the hit Discovery channel show around 4:15 p.m. when the misfire occurred. According to reports, the cannonball was to strike a few water-filled barrels and a concrete wall but instead, the cantaloupe-sized projectile flew over the barrels and went through the wall before taking an unfavorable bounce that sent the ball careening off a hillside towards the neighborhood.

The cannonball touched down in front of a home on Cassata Place, blasted through the front door and up the stairs, through a bedroom where three people were sleeping and exited through the wall. From here, the projectile crossed Tassajara Road, taking out several tiles from the roof of a home on Bellevue Circle before coming to rest on the floorboard of a Toyota Sienna minivan in a driveway on Springvale Drive.

The owner of the van, Jasbir Gill, had just pulled into the driveway 10 minutes earlier with his 13-year-old son. Nobody, including the three occupants in the bedroom that the cannonball blasted through, was injured.

The television crew had used the bomb disposal range during the taping of more than 50 episodes in the past several years without incident. Katherine Nelson, a publicist for the company that produces “Mythbusters” issued a statement Tuesday night saying that the production company is assessing the situation and working with those whose property was damaged.

Photo courtesy of Michael Short.




User Comments: 35

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captainawesome captainawesome said:

Man those law suits are gonna be ugly

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That show has turned majorly stupid the last 2-3 seasons. All they do now is "well, that didn't work - so let's pile a quarter-ton TNT on top of it to see what it looks like blown to smithereens."

And as a result they're sending cannonballs through people's homes. captainawesome is right - they're going to need a VERY BIG check to compensate for that. Imagine what would have happened if they had injured or killed someone?

mados123 said:

"The cannonball touched down in front of a home on Cassata Place, blasted through the front door and up the stairs, through a bedroom where three people were sleeping and exited through the wall. From here, the projectile crossed Tassajara Road, taking out several tiles from the roof of a home on Bellevue Circle before coming to rest on the floorboard of a Toyota Sienna minivan in a driveway on Springvale Drive."

I can't tell if this is a joke or not.

paynetrain007 said:

What did they shoot out of the cannon? A giant Bouncy Ball?

RzmmDX said:

I am more interested with the actual myth that involved firing a cannonball at water barrels and a concrete wall.

And let's face it. Tree cannon was awesome.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Imagine what would have happened if they had injured or killed someone?

Then I guess the stars of the show would get to test whether the prison shower meme is myth or reality.

/guessing the outcome holds no fear for them either way

tehbanz tehbanz said:

mados123 said:

I can't tell if this is a joke or not.

I know right? it was like a giant pinball machine! it seems ridiculous that it would bounce that much.

mados123 said:

I know right? it was like a giant pinball machine! it seems ridiculous that it would bounce that much.

Video here shows path. It's pretty crazy. Looks like it must of had a trajectory and height of at least the height of the top floor where it exited. The ball is smaller that what I thought, at least by the size of the hole in the sheet rock. For some reason I was thinking it followed the staircase with a turn in it but essentially it looks like it went from the front of the house to the back with a bounce off of the ground before it entered.

[link]

Guest said:

I used to bust myths ....until I took a cannonball to the knee.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

As i understand it, the cannonball then made a sudden left turn, and struck Governor Connally in the wrist.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Oliver Stone screenplay will probably show the possibility of a second cannoneer. This grainy still from the actual episode would tend to support the theory

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Oliver Stone screenplay will probably show the possibility of a second cannoneer. This grainy still from the actual episode would tend to support the theory

Oh for christ sake Chef! that old theory holds no water. The witnesses all stated that the blast came from the perfectly manicured grassy area.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

There are unfavorable bounces that mean that a runner will be safe on base, or that a team will get a bad starting position. Then there are unfavorable bounces that result in a cannon ball going through your bedroom window.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

There are unfavorable bounces that mean that a runner will be safe on base, or that a team will get a bad starting position. Then there are unfavorable bounces that result in a cannon ball going through your bedroom window.

Well thats a rather fine line you drawing there.

I am waiting for Jose Conseco to take credit for this line drive.

Guest said:

red1776

on December 7, 2011

4:23 PM As i understand it, the cannonball then made a sudden left turn, and struck Governor Connally in the wrist.

haha you sir made my day, this was a reference to the boyfriend episode in seinfeld when keith hernandez supposedly spit on newman.

now back to the cannonball, that ball must have had some spring mechanism inside, something that heavy is not supposed to bounce so much

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

red1776

on December 7, 2011

4:23 PM As i understand it, the cannonball then made a sudden left turn, and struck Governor Connally in the wrist.

haha you sir made my day, this was a reference to the boyfriend episode in seinfeld when keith hernandez supposedly spit on newman.

now back to the cannonball, that ball must have had some spring mechanism inside, something that heavy is not supposed to bounce so much

What I cannot figure is how much ...ahem...powder they had behind a 8" cannonball for it to go 700 yards. They are lucky the cannon didn't explode on them...or through them.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

red1776

on December 7, 2011

4:23 PM As i understand it, the cannonball then made a sudden left turn, and struck Governor Connally in the wrist.

haha you sir made my day, this was a reference to the boyfriend episode in seinfeld when keith hernandez supposedly spit on newman.

Which one's Kramer ?

now back to the cannonball, that ball must have had some spring mechanism inside, something that heavy is not supposed to bounce so much

Might be why they were testing the theory perhaps? The cannonball apparently weighed 6 pounds. Just as well they couldn't get their hands on something bigger (picture taken shortly before the ill-fated "Human Cannonball" sustained irreparable brain damage from being loaded head first for his final show)

Guest said:

This news story, myth or fact?

fearraza fearraza said:

that was insane, luckily none was hurt

matrix86 matrix86 said:

For those beating up on the mythbusters, here's something to remember: they can't do ANYTHING without approval from the producers and without approval from the state and county AND it has to be supervised. Remember, they come up with the ideas, everyone else allows them to do it if they think it to be safe (and there have been a few episodes where they were told they couldn't do something because it wasn't safe enough).

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Here's hoping they're more observant using explosives than they are with paper towels

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Also, it's for things like this for why they pay a TON for their personal and incidental property insurance. Since no one actually got hurt I don't think it'll go much farther than a lawsuit or two just to be showy unless there was some gross negligence far and beyond the norm. Ultimately, structural and property damage will be paid off for repairs/replacement, they'll get some Mythbuster's memorabilia, and then they'll wash their hands of the issue.

At least that's my guess.

Guest said:

a cannon ball bounces, it sure takes an ***** to try it in urban areas.

Guest said:

dang, i liked that show.

SilverCider said:

Myth - Can you really make flubber?

Emexrulsier said:

can tell many ppl here are American, something bad happens first thing you think is "cool we can sue"

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

can tell many ppl here are American, something bad happens first thing you think is "cool we can sue"

1) perhaps you can point out for use where here in this thread "cool we can sue" has been stated?

2) The only mention of a lawsuit was made by a member from South Africa.

3) A lawsuit stemming from ones home coming under cannon fire probably won't go down in the annals of history along side the guy who spilled a cup of McDonalds coffee in his own lap.

nazartp said:

paynetrain007 said:

What did they shoot out of the cannon? A giant Bouncy Ball?

Well, strangely enough, that's how old cannons operated. Against infantry a cannoneer would try and target it to hit the ground right in front of the enemy ranks. Depending on the surface, the ball would either shatter, sending shards through the ranks, or plough through the ranks on the bounce. Not sure why it was done that way. I guess aiming higher ran a risk of overshooting the target.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Haven't the Mythbusters already fired cannon balls at water filled barrels, also tried using "other" projectiles which takes place in the 2nd Pirate Special. Guess they must be revisiting a myth somewhere in there. As for the accident? Well thats why insurance exists and from what I can tell from watching the episodes its the insurance company that tells them things are too dangerous. If they were given the okay for whatever they were testing then their insurance company will cover the damages.

Guest said:

"through a bedroom where three people were sleeping". Three people? yeah right they weren't sleeping..

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Well, strangely enough, that's how old cannons operated. Against infantry a cannoneer would try and target it to hit the ground right in front of the enemy ranks. Depending on the surface, the ball would either shatter, sending shards through the ranks, or plough through the ranks on the bounce. Not sure why it was done that way. I guess aiming higher ran a risk of overshooting the target.

True. The same applies to coastal defence guns before the modern era. Mounted close to near the shore, they could skip a cannonball into a ship near it's waterline (the same method was used in World War II). On a land battlefield, the reasoning is a little more pragmatic - it ensured the greatest amount of damage (before the advent of fused and timed explosive), and a large amount of casualties. A wounded soldier continues to eat up your enemies resources (medical, food, water, transport, economic) whereas a dead soldier does not.

Guest said:

ha ha

this is a laugh riot !

Guest said:

what is this a MAGIC cannon ball ???

the u.s army should really look into to this new weapons tech a cannon ball the knows how to enter a house through the door climb up the stairs jump out the window onto a couple of rooftops

finally hitting its target a toyota van ,,, what will they come up next

mados123 said:

dividebyzero said:

Well, strangely enough, that's how old cannons operated. Against infantry a cannoneer would try and target it to hit the ground right in front of the enemy ranks. Depending on the surface, the ball would either shatter, sending shards through the ranks, or plough through the ranks on the bounce. Not sure why it was done that way. I guess aiming higher ran a risk of overshooting the target.

True. The same applies to coastal defence guns before the modern era. Mounted close to near the shore, they could skip a cannonball into a ship near it's waterline (the same method was used in World War II). On a land battlefield, the reasoning is a little more pragmatic - it ensured the greatest amount of damage (before the advent of fused and timed explosive), and a large amount of casualties. A wounded soldier continues to eat up your enemies resources (medical, food, water, transport, economic) whereas a dead soldier does not.

Good info here with both of these posts!

caravel said:

That show has turned majorly stupid the last 2-3 seasons.

I'm afraid it's actually Discovery which turned "majorly stupid" in the last decade. Instead of concentrating on educational, science and fact based programming, they opted for the "wow! factor" and nowadays screen sensationalist "reality" crap.

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