MythBusters’ Cannonball Wreaks Havoc in Northern California City



Though unaware of the danger, residents of Dublin, California were subjected to cannon fire and a rampaging cannon ball which damaged two houses and a minivan before coming to a stop this Tuesday afternoon. The incident was actually an accident caused by MythBusters, a show aired on the Discovery Channel. According to the show’s hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, the experiment was supposed to show how fast a cannonball really travels through the air.

“This cannonball was supposed to go through several barrels of water and through a cinder block, and then ultimately into the side of the hill,” explained J.D. Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department.

Instead, the softball sized cannonball passed the foothills around Camp Parks Military Firing Reservation and flew towards Dublin with full momentum. It flew through the front door of a home on Cassata Place and bounced around the interior “like a pinball,” flying up to the second floor and out through the back wall of a bedroom. It then sped across a busy street and through another home, destroying roof tiles, before landing in a minivan.

Hyneman and Savage were not present when the mishap occurred. Three other members of the show were busy “calibrating” a home-made cannon of steel or cast iron, with the intention to test its strength and compare it to those of the historical cannonballs. They explained that the intention was to bring the ball to a more remote location and test its power against a replica castle wall.

“The myth was whether or not a stone cannonball could actually breach a castle’s walls,” Savage said. Hyneman added that the crew  was faced with “muzzle lift” and the cannonball arced in the direction of Dublin.

“When you start to look into the data of cannons can actually do, it’s actually quite shocking,” Savage said. “They’re very efficient projectile-hurling weapons. It’s a lot of power and the power got away from us.”

Thankfully, no one was hurt in the accident.


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