February 12, 2009
The following incident was first reported on the internet’s “Darwin Awards which are bestowed posthumously to that individual who, through single-minded self-sacrifice, has done the most to remove undesirable elements from the human gene pool.”
Police found metal wreckage at the bottom of a cliff but were unable to determine its origin. Lab reports later verified that the metal was from a Camaro. There were also some human bone fragments in the wreckage, but not enough to make an identification. DNA samples remain on file.
Although most of the wreckage was found on the ground, the impact seemed to have occurred some 150 feet above the roadway where investigators found a crater in the wall of a cliff.
The state police, county sheriff and the U.S. Air Force pooled their investigative abilities to solve this strange event. Here’s what they believe happened:
The Camaro driver had somehow obtained a JATO package. JATO stands for “Jet Assisted Take-Off.” That’s a rocket used to help heavy transport planes take-off when runways are too short. It gives lots of extra boost needed for take-off.
Anyhow, the Camaro driver somehow came into possession of a JATO package and clamped it onto his car. Out in the Southwestern desert, on a long, straight stretch of road, he drove his Camaro until it achieved speeds in the seventies. It was then that the driver ignited his JATO package.
The Air Force knew exactly where the JATO ignited because of the scorched place on the roadway. Within a few seconds the Camaro must have been running in excess of 200 miles per hour, an investigator said. During the next few seconds the tires and the brake linings melted and the Camaro became airborne.
“At lift-off the Camaro was probably moving at greater than 325 miles-per-hour,” authorities said, “but it continued to gain speed until the JATO became exhausted during the next 30 seconds of flight. We are reasonably certain the Camaro achieved an altitude of 150 feet, based on the point of impact on the side of the cliff. The Camaro’s speed at the point of impact with the cliff was estimated to be in excess of 400 miles per hour.”
None of the fragments contained the vehicle’s VIN (vehicle identification number), therefore the owner or driver of the Camaro remains unknown. “All we know about him,” said the sheriff, “is that he was a world-class, dedicated speed-freak.”
Posted by Bob Ford at 2/12/2009