MythBusters cannonball rips through house, van

2011-12-07 19:00
Dublin - A stunt for the TV show MythBusters sent an errant cannonball through a California family's house and into a parked minivan nearby.

Producers for the Discovery Channel show fired the cannonball on Tuesday at the Alameda County sheriff's department bomb range behind the Santa Rita Jail when it misfired.

Sheriff's spokesperson JD Nelson told the Contra Costa Times that no one was injured and the home's residents didn't even wake up until the dust was settled - literally on top of them.

Nelson, who is also a consultant for the show, said producers have used the cannon that they built at the range more than 50 times without incident.

The cannonball was supposed to go through a few water-filled barrels and a concrete wall. Instead, it passed over the barrels, through the wall, and then took a "very unfortunate bounce that sent the ball skyward", Nelson said.

About 200m away, it bounced in front of the home, then tore through the front door and out a wall on the back of the house. The projectile then bounced at least once more and crossed the road before smashing the window and dashboard of the minivan, where it came to rest.

"We had some tremendous bad luck and some tremendous good luck," in that no one was hurt, Nelson said.

Jasbir Gill, who owns the minivan, said he and his children had just gotten home.

"It's scary," Gill said. "I was in the van five minutes before this happened."

Nelson said he did not know the exact size, speed or weight of the cannonball.

The show, according to the Discovery Channel website, mixes "scientific method with gleeful curiosity and plain old-fashioned ingenuity to create [its] own signature style of explosive experimentation".


  • Hennie - 2011-12-07 19:24

    LOL I might start watching tv again if they show this episode. No wait. I still don't need a tv. Youtube here I come. :D

  • Morne - 2011-12-07 19:57


      Allen - 2011-12-07 21:03

      Plausibly Busted!

      Zelda - 2011-12-08 09:57

      As we would say in a old fashioned way..... OH SH_T!!!!

  • greg.groenewald - 2011-12-07 20:50

    That must have been good for ratings!

  • Spyker - 2011-12-07 21:07

    "...plain old-fashioned ingenuity..."..? Sounds more like plain old-fashioned IDIOCY... Certainly this aspect of human nature is no myth...

  • Heidi - 2011-12-07 23:08

    sheez someone up there loves this family! twice lucky! they must be serioulsy reviewing their outlooks on life right now...:) still love mythbusters, ope they dont get too much slack for this one! Be more careful next time guys hahah

  • Pierre - 2011-12-08 03:16

    Ha-ha and there I stopped watching their show for being ridiculous over cautious at times and irritating with safety procedures; e.g. they were getting Poison Ive in full body suits and masks, and after applying this “life threatening poison” most in their group did not even show a reaction. Now the safety precautions will even be worse… I can also imagine all the bankers that are going to moan about how dangerous and irresponsible the show are. (My take on safety precautions is obviously good, but only up to a point, then it starts to dull common sence.)

      Andries - 2011-12-08 17:31

      In which way was safety precautions dull here,Pierre? Your comment does not make sense tome in this article's context.

  • brionyl.french - 2011-12-08 06:01

    Oh i cant wait to see this

  • Zion - 2011-12-08 06:24

    At least the cannon ball entered the house in a civilised way: Through the door. In SA it would have been through the window.

  • Jason - 2011-12-08 07:50

    The myth that a misfired cannonball can crash through a house and into a mini van without injuring anyone and without making anyone up. Myth confirmed.

  • Ben - 2011-12-08 08:15

    "Don't try this at home?"

  • jpcronje - 2011-12-08 08:16

    Myth... Confirmed

  • IFLY123 - 2011-12-08 08:20

    I want a canon like this.

  • clem.human - 2011-12-08 10:24

    oooopsie; they are becoming a myth themselves

  • Tyrone Gavin Fester - 2011-12-08 11:46

    You go boys.....

  • Wilma - 2011-12-08 12:54

    *laugh* I love mythbusters... in this case I think it was 'BUSTED'

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