Death by human catapult...


July 15, 2003, 11:04 PM
Well, this is certainly shooting-related - but not gun-related...

From Reuters (;jsessionid=UUIRCBJRQECT0CRBAEKSFEY?type=topNews&storyID=3090457):

Two Charged After Human Catapult Death

Tue July 15, 2003 07:10 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - British police charged two men with manslaughter Tuesday following the death of an Oxford University student who was flung from a giant catapult.

Bulgarian Konstadin Yankov, 19, died last November when the stunt near the West Country town of Bridgewater went wrong.

"He had been thrown by a replica medieval catapult and failed to reach the landing net," said a police spokeswoman.

Yankov was on an outing with the Oxford Stunt Factory, an unofficial club at Oxford University where he was studying biochemistry. He had been the sixth person that day to be launched from the "trebuchet" catapult.

Organizers said at the time Yankov had been properly weighed and that the machine had been correctly calibrated before he was fired in a 30-yard arc. They did not know what had gone wrong.

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July 15, 2003, 11:07 PM
:rolleyes: :eek:

4v50 Gary
July 15, 2003, 11:13 PM
Isn't there some pesky concept called aerodynamics that affects the flight of a projectile? A flopping man in mid-air is less stable than a howitzer shell. Ahhh, college.

July 15, 2003, 11:14 PM
Wonder how much he missed by? Windage a factor?

July 15, 2003, 11:18 PM
They did not know what had gone wrong.

Uhmmmmm . . . . The guy died.

Standing Wolf
July 15, 2003, 11:23 PM
Lousy accuracy, but reasonably good expansion, I guess.

July 15, 2003, 11:25 PM
Oxford students are obviously no longer of the caliber [calibre?] they once were!

July 15, 2003, 11:37 PM
Medieval Kineval:what:

July 15, 2003, 11:39 PM

Gburner, that was priceless... you owe me a new keyboard - spilt my tea all over this one!

:D :D :D :D :D

July 16, 2003, 12:04 AM
Well, there's terminal velocity....

....and there's terminal stupidity.


July 16, 2003, 12:13 AM
Call it sad, stupid, whatever. I feel bad for his family. If I were to lampoon it in a paper the headline would be on the sports page and read:
Thrown for a huge loss!

July 16, 2003, 12:16 AM
Wonder how much he missed by? Windage a factor?

Well, ah dunno. If'n he was a poli sci student, that might have been a laaarge factor!


July 16, 2003, 12:17 AM
Dang, there went my cancelled Czech joke!

July 16, 2003, 01:56 AM


Mike Irwin
July 16, 2003, 01:58 AM

is your favorite color?


is the airspeed velocity of a Bulgarian?

July 16, 2003, 02:06 AM
They should have tested it out on a cow first.

July 16, 2003, 02:09 AM

is your favorite color?
Red, No Blue! :eek:

Mike Irwin
July 16, 2003, 02:22 AM
"They should have tested it out on a cow first."

Fechez le vache!

July 16, 2003, 02:43 AM
Darwin award candidate. :D

July 16, 2003, 05:52 AM
Well, the first five made it. Gives them about an 85% hit ratio. And then
there's a "flyer" in every group......:neener:

July 16, 2003, 09:18 AM
To quote Homer: "DOH"

To quote Clint: "A mans got to know his limitations"

Yea, Darwin award!

Henry Bowman
July 16, 2003, 10:43 AM
I saw a TV show a few weeks ago about a similar undertaking in the UK. A bunch of snob-geeks wearing tuxes were out in a field to launch the designer's GF into a target net. It was a direct hit, but the net threw her back into the air about 30 feet and she came down hard on the ground. She was not moving and had broken her back and many other bones (thank God for socialized medicine!). When the ambulance came, they got her strapped onto a back board and loaded up. Then the ambulance was stuck and all the snob-geeks in tuxes had to push it! The follow-up report was that she recovered but was no longer his GF.

Ol' Badger
July 16, 2003, 10:49 AM
Hey it worked on South Park!

AJ Dual
July 16, 2003, 10:49 AM
Actually, the woman who bounced out of the net in England was thrown by a trebuchet, not a catapult.

They're very similar, but instead of being placed in a basket or cup on the end of an arm, a trebuchet has a hook, and the payload is dragged backwards along the ground from underneath the trebuchet, then flipped over the top.

Thereoretically it has a bit more mechanical advantage because the trebuchet has a "wrist" action throughout the swing of it's throw. You can feel the principle in action if you throw a ball with a cupped hand and your wrist immobile, and then just throw it normally with a wrist snap at the end.

July 16, 2003, 11:09 AM
Last words: "Hey guys, watch this!"

July 16, 2003, 11:19 AM
If he was a redneck, it would have been, "Here, hold my beer"! :neener:


July 16, 2003, 01:45 PM
First shooting incident I've heard of where someone was accused of injuring the PROJECTILE...:what:

Just when you think humanity can't get any more stupid, we get this and Bambi-hunting...:rolleyes:

July 16, 2003, 02:16 PM

Ever mindful of the public safety and with a strong desire to clean his sullied reputation following his support of the US in Iraq, British PM Tony Blair initiated legislation outlawing the use of 'weapons of mass projection' by the British public at large. The sale of large timbers, hemp rope and weights will come under the scrutiny of the Home Office and possesion of such will be punishable by being forced to continually listen to Tom Jones records for a period of no less than a year.
The Home Office has established a 'Flying Squad' to roam the countryside,
inspecting renniasance fairs, Shakespeare festivals, medieval reenactments and college fraterities looking for trebuchet, catapaults and large Scottish men throwing telephone poles and boulders. Throwing a fit and projectile vomiting will carry stiff penalties. Also prohibited will be the concealed carry version of similar weapons, including rubber bands used to shoot wads of folded paper. Plase tune to CSPAN for the upcoming 'Question Time' where PM Blair will debate proposed restictions on running with scissors.


July 16, 2003, 02:28 PM
It may still be the same group. The catapult is later described in the article as a trebuchet, which is what the rocket scientists on TV were using when they bounced the woman.

Master Blaster
July 16, 2003, 02:47 PM
Never mind the cow, PASS THE HOLY HANDGRENADE.


July 16, 2003, 03:00 PM
Yes, of course! The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch! 'Tis one of the sacred relics Brother Maynard carries with him! Brother Maynard! Bring up the Holy Hand Grenade!

July 16, 2003, 03:03 PM

The CIA has detained an Iraqi national for suspected terrist group association. The CIA believes the man being held is a member of the Al-gebra oganization. When asked what prompted the CIA to act on this the official said "He was carrying a compas, a slide ruler and a book of Pethagorian Theorum. We were alerted that there was a man seen carrying weapons of math instruction."

Trebechet. Catapult. It really shouldn't matter since the end result is both tragic as well as stupid :)

Take care,


July 16, 2003, 11:07 PM
Was the projectile jacketed?

I know he was hollowpointed.

Left or hand twist?

Did any of the engineering staff consult with American punkin-chunkers?

True Darwin Candidate? Has all the requirements.

July 16, 2003, 11:24 PM
To what school did the Bulgarian belong...

...Facker (heavy & slow-flying)...

...or Marshall (light, small & FAST)?

Either way, expansion was impressive...:what:

August 2, 2003, 10:39 PM
possesion of such will be punishable by being forced to continually listen to Tom Jones records for a period of no less than a year.

Oooooohh! Now, THAT'S truly cruel and unusual punisment!!


man seen carrying weapons of math instruction.


August 2, 2003, 11:39 PM
Run away! Run away!

August 3, 2003, 05:52 AM
I think that the "High flyer" was standing ankle deep in the gene pool!


August 3, 2003, 06:45 AM
gburner, you don't owe me a keyboard. You owe my boss one! :D

August 3, 2003, 07:00 AM
Equipment checked.
Projectile weighed.
Equipment adjusted commensurate with projectile weight.

Kinda like bungee jumping.

Only for adrenalin junkies.


August 3, 2003, 02:02 PM
Probably thought it was Bulgarian Airlines.

August 3, 2003, 10:04 PM
perhaps they should have thrown a large wooden rabbit?

August 4, 2003, 01:48 PM
I knew I shouldn't have read this thread. Now I won't be able to sleep until I figure out how to say "trebuchet" with a southern accent.

August 4, 2003, 02:10 PM
my brother Daryl built him a Tray-BOO-schit outa the back end of a '69 chevy and a log skidder

(Man holding cat enters.)

Compère: That is Tiddles, I believe?

Man: Yes, this is, this is Tiddles.

Compère: Yes, and what does she do?

Man: She flies across the studio and lands in a bucket of water.

Compère: By herself?

Man: No, I fling her,

Compère: Well that's extremely interesting, Ladies and gentlemen - Mr Don Savage and Tiddles.

August 4, 2003, 02:17 PM
They should have stuck with WATERMELONS. Worked for the Gunny.

Obviously, a high common sense quotient is not required to get in to Oxford.

August 4, 2003, 02:43 PM
"Medieval Kineval"

Another BWAAHAHAHAHA over here. Good one.

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