"Mythbusters" hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman. Image: thebadastronnmer/Flickr/CC BY-SA

“Never try this at home” is the “Mythbusters” mantra, repeated often on the weekly program. But maybe some stunts they shouldn’t even try. Tuesday, Dec. 6, the hosts and crew of the popular science program sent a cannonball hurtling into a Dublin, Calif., neighborhood, causing a multitude of damage. Fortunately, there were no injuries caused by the incident.

Runaway cannonball

It was a close call. A cannon built by the show’s cast was fired at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department bomb range. The cannonball’s intended target was several water-filled barrels. But the ball bounced off a berm, missed its target and punched through a concrete wall surrounding the range.

The cannonball whizzed through a nearby home, flying over the bed of sleeping occupants and out the far wall. The cannonball then bounced off another home and ended up smashing a parked minivan.

Jasper Gill, the owner of the minivan, told the Contra Costa Times:

“It’s scary. I was in the van five minutes before this happened.”

Gill also told the newspaper that he wants the show’s producers to pay for his minivan.

Cannon a seasoned veteran of the show

Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy J.D. Nelson, a consultant on the show, said that the cannon had been fired more than 50 times before without incident. This time, however, he said the cannonball “took an unforeseen bounce from a safety berm.”

‘Confirmed’ or ‘Busted’

“Mythbusters” is a popular program on The Discovery Channel on which hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage use scientific methods to “bust” or “confirm” myths, urban legends, popularly held beliefs and movie scenes. This particular stunt was to determine whether other objects fired from a cannon were just as effective as cannonballs. The incident occurred when a real cannonball was fired as a control to judge the other objects against.

Tweet delete

Prior to the incident, one of the show’s cast members, Grant Imahara, tweeted: “Today we’re working with heavy artillery.” The tweet was deleted shortly after the cannonball incident.

Producers and authorities assess damage

Nobody was injured in the incident, though much property damage was incurred. Beyond Productions, the show’s production company, said it is “currently assessing the situation and working with those whose property was affected.”

The bomb range and the program have been shut down, pending an investigation by authorities.


Daily Mail:
New York Times:

Video: Local ABC coverage of ‘Mythbusters’ incident

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