Talk:JATO Rocket Car

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Sun Dec 23 2007[edit]

Guys - Actually about ten years ago I found a web site that claimed to likely be the origin of the story.

Look for this version - not sure if it's still online.

Some guys in the south west - including an undergraduate Engineering student, and a teenager who's family had a scrap yard business next to an Air Force base.

He Tells the Story as they did it; noting differences in what the actually did, and what the Darwin awards state.

They do not take credit for the Darwin award - Because they where much more technical about what they did, and nobody was dumb enough to sit in the car when they launched it down the tracks into a close mine entrance. But the evidence the left behind, very curiously matches the evidence of the Darwin award.


1 - The scrap yard got some junk from the air base, including several used JATO rockets. a couple where still live

2 - They actually spent several months on setting up the project, and the engineering student did a bunch of calcs that convinced him it was suicide.

3 - The model of old Junked Car they used is consistent with the Darwin award version

4 - They welded the Jato to the Car, and put the Car on RAILS on the Rail spur going to an Old mine not far of the Highway a few miles outside of town.

5 - After months of planing, building and set up, they had the JATO Rocket car, set up on Rails, on this rail spur, pointed down the mine.

6 - The rail Spur is Very old, and typically covered in sand / Dust.

7 - When they set it off, with no one in it (they were not suicidal)it Slammed very hard into the closed mine shaft, and made enough of a loud noise, explosion, etc, that the guys freaked out, jumped in their car, and sped away, peeling out when the hit the Highway - which would account for the tire tracks and tire mark on the desert and highway.


One would figure that Snopes would have picked up on that. It was likely real, but as every urban legend, that facts are far more reasonable and interesting than the Legend.


IMHO this article requires cleanup as these make me uncomfortable:

  • "convincingly debunked" (POV)
  • "easily achieved" (POV/weasel term?)
  • Lots of inline extlinks in the History section
  • "my mailbox" (what the?)
  • "well-known hacker group" (POV/peacock term)
    BTW I'm also annoyed at calling crackers hackers (but that's just my POV)
  • "Rube Goldberg engineering" (is that a widely-accepted phrase? Google gives only 124 matches)
  • "entertaining tone" (POV)
  • ext. link labelled "The "True" Story". (confuses the reader who might believe that's true or who might believe that's false because of the quotes, though we don't know if is true)

I'm not sure I can set right all of them, so I've added a cleanup tag. -- Paddu 03:45, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

This "article" needs removal. 76.121.112.195 (talk) 16:19, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Ok, I gave it a whack...[edit]

  • "convincingly debunked" seems reasonable to me. They typically test the hypothesis as well as the actually researching the facts of the reported incident.
  • I was unable to find "easily achieved" in the article. I suspect it was already cleaned up.
  • I did not c;eanup inline links. Still probably should be done.
  • "my mailbox" changed to something like "widely circulated via email"
  • "well known hacker group" changed to "high-profile", same language and their wiki entry (and as a side note, I agree with you on the hacker/cracker issue)
  • "Rube goldberg" is very well known. It is based on the cartoonist that did the Roadrunner cartoons, and there is even now an annual engineering contest. I'd be suprised if it didn't have a wiki entry.
  • "entertaining tone" section removed.
  • Changed "True" story link name. I'm still not satisfied with it, but not sure what to do with it.

I've left the "tone" tag in as I'm not sure I adequately addressed everything.

Wikibofh 04:31, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

inline links...[edit]

I looked at it and don't find the inline links that obtrusive, and it seems to flow well to me. I do think that something needs to be done to that first history paragraph, it's way too long IMO. That being said, I'm not sure what to do about it. I may work on it in the next week or so. Once that is done, I think "tone" can be removed.

Wikibofh 22:23, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Cleaned up that history paragraph. Removed tone. I think it's good enough, or someone else can come along and help out.  :) Wikibofh 16:05, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

cDc version[edit]

An archived version of the CDC account can be found here --Echosmoke (talk) 15:29, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

WikiSNOPES?[edit]

This "article" is yet another reason Wikipedia is not taken seriously: This is nothing more than "trivia" that would be more appropriate for Snopes, it certainly *is not* "encyclopedic". Indeed it has been "confirmed" to be an Urban Legend. Why is this "article" here? 76.121.112.195 (talk) 16:17, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Because Wikipedia is not a serious encyclopedic source. That simple. =//= Johnny Squeaky 03:44, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Quite true. Particularly amusing to me are the number of times people provide citations that completely fail to support what the story says. The only rational thing I can think of is that someone once added the citation to a sentence it actually supported but later as people edited the article, the original text was replaced with something completely different, but the citations that are no longer applicable remain. 2001:1890:1263:AFD:F81B:80A8:EDBD:853E (talk) 08:36, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

They Call Me Mister 500[edit]

In the mid 1990s, I posted excerpts on alt.folklore.urban from Andy Granatelli's book, 'They Call Me Mister 500' in which he described attaching jato units to a race car and testing it late at night on highways near Chicago. Later, they toured short track racing venues and would use the jato units to wildly accelerate the car for the amusement of the fans watching from the stands. So yes, if Andy Granatelli is to be believed, attaching jato units to a car and setting them off has been done with some scary moments, but without fatality.

Also, it is interesting how the story has changed over time. Every once in a while someone adds more detail the the tale that wasn't there before 2001:1890:1263:AFD:F81B:80A8:EDBD:853E (talk) 08:36, 17 November 2014 (UTC)