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Thread: What were some of your scariest moments?

  1. #1
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    Default What were some of your scariest moments?

    I've a couple I'll never forget.

    One was with a friend in our high school years. We drove down to Manasquan to spend time on the beach. We walked out on the end of a jetty, and noticed a huge wave coming. Got my friend wedged in between the rocks, and we grabbed each others hands has hard as we could.

    Wave came over and tore me out of our grip. I held my breath for what seemed like forever, but was probably only 30 seconds or so, and I was set down, sitting, on the beach, with many minor, but bleeding, wounds. My friend was okay and looking all over for me. He finally heard me yelling for him. I truly thought for a few seconds my life was ending.

    The other was sailing the Tofa, my friend's sloop through the East River from Long Island Sound to New York Harbor. 6 hp Johnson had failed, and we were sailing to windward. Not much wind, and what wind there was came from the current that was with us.

    I was at the helm at the time, and we were approaching the Manhattan side of the river and I was trying to go about, but a tug was coming on our port side and I had to buy time till it passed.

    It left me must one option; to jibe between piers, as there was no way go get sufficient momentum to go about. With an audience of concerned onlookers I turned into the space between piers. The boat quickly turned and headed back out onto the river, with the dink clearing the pilings by just a few feet.

    Those are the two incidents that remain in my mind.
    "alternative facts (lies)" are a cancer eating through a democracy, and will kill it. 1st amendment is not absolute.

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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    While body surfing I got caught outside with dumpers breaking on a shallow rock bottom. I had to swim along the coast and find a bull kelp bed so I could come ashore. I was quite calm at the time, too busy to panic. The other was fighting a bushfire. The fire was 200yds away but you could not face the fire without a full face mask and I was up a narrow steep track with a vehicle and a crew….all volunteers. I was very concerned I could not get the crew back to safety.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Sitting in my car waiting for roadworks lights at the bottom of a steep hill. The road was icy. An oncoming HGV artic started jack knifing coming down the hill.
    Stopped just in time....

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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    While on my honeymoon, I was looking down from a cliff when a huge gust of wind actually picked me up off the ground. I thought I was going over the edge... I think I peed a little bit.
    Last edited by pkrone; 06-27-2022 at 06:52 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    During a rainy training ride on my racing bike I fell down and I slid under the front part of the bus that was driving behind me. The front wheels just missed me and I came to stop just in front of the busstop on the other side of the road, which was filled with elderly people. I attracted their attention right away. The bus driver was less cheerful, he was convinced that he killed me. The bike was written off.

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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    There may be others, but the first that comes to mind was a hundred miles off the coast of Northern California on the three masted barque Monte Cristo. First time the boat was offshore after being built and we were under ballasted. As the breeze and seas grew in the night we were heeled way too far. Another crew and I were sent aloft to furl the main royal. In those days we didn’t use harnesses, we free climbed. So we were out on the royal yards on the jack lines, over water because of the heel, dark and blowing like stink. Once the royals were in, she stood back up a bit and we continued into San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf where we added a couple tons of boiler punchings for ballast.

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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Jan 6, 2021
    June 22, 2022
    Jack
    Nicotine free since 1 October 2009

  8. #8
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    Default

    As kids we used to climb these sand cliffs in a sand mine, some 200-250 feet high. Very steep, near vertical. Slipping and sliding down 20 feet for every 50 feet of ascent was part of the game.

    One night, about half way up, I started sliding and my foot hit a well packed section and instead of sliding, I started cartwheeling down the cliff. Could not stop it.

    I got to the bottom and was bruised and banged up, but nothing broke. But, the 10 seconds or whatever of tumbling was terrifying.

    Kevin


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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    A takeoff in a B727 at maximum gross weight from Salt Lake City on a hot summer afternoon. We cleared the far end by a dozen feet or so. As the flight engineer, I had done all the calculations myself (charts in those days) so I was sort of expecting it. Nevertheless, I felt my bowels loosen just a bit and for a second I had my doubts as to the outcome.
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Bungee jumping over a rock quarry.

    Having my daughter born at home, in an unexpected snowstorm, and the midwife's car wouldn't start to get to our rural house outside of Woodstock NY. Fortunately she made it in time.
    Gerard>
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Stupidly, at age 18, climbed a 100 foot smokestack to leave a prank sign on top. Less than halfway down my hands and feet started to cramp up. Exhaustion, nerves, and fear of falling. Stupid kid.
    I can still see that smokestack when I drive I-5 to Olympia. Almost 60 years later it still shivers me timbers!
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    I think the fear happens more when contemplating a dangerous undertaking, and less when we're in the thick of it and too busy to feel afraid.

    But since we're talking about fear and not actual danger, for me that would be public speaking

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    I agree with Jack; the fear comes afterwards as your system dumps a whole lot of adrenaline into your blood, which literally “runs cold” for a moment.

    I was riding a Honda 250 along a narrow country lane in West Suffolk towards Audley End Station, to get the train to work. I was of course slightly late. I knew the road well and as I came to a sharp right hand bend I cut the corner. I probably wasn’t going at any great speed; maybe 35 mph. As I leaned into the turn I saw the flat maroon front of a cattle truck. I threw the bike the other way, cleared the ditch, went through the hedge and came to a sticky halt in a ploughed field, There was surprisingly little damage. Blackthorn makes quite a good sacrificial barrier.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    My climbing partner and I got lost on a route and darkness was coming on quickly. So we had to rappel down in the dark. On one pitch he went first and I watched the piton we'd driven flex under his moving weight. Then I had to go... I slid down that rope as smoothly as I possibly could. All the while imagining that piton flexing and pinging free.

    We were both very grateful to reach the bottom and never got caught like that again.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Tossup between a cargo fire out of Denver just after leveling at 33000’ and a horizontal stabilizer moving on its own despite all power to the trim motors being cut.

    And and my girlfriend’s parents coming home hours early and having to go out a 2nd story window and across the garage roof to make a stealthy exit.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Sitting in a medical centre room waiting while a specialist went through the images from the MRI I'd been in a few minutes before.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Isla Grande, off the coast near Rio, late 90's.

    The island was a prison, until it was blown up and the prisoners who only had a few years of their term left were set free. Some chose to live in the gardiens houses right on the beach... It had been closed a year when I went there. Machine cog dumbbells in the sand, the feeling of eyes on you while on the beach. I went swimming after the trek over the hill which took 4 hours. This dude appeared from around a rock with a machete coming right towards me, no debate nor confusion what he wanted. I backed off and ran straight back into the jungle...took me 8 hours on TOTAL darkness through the hills to find my way back to the village on the other side of the island. I was scarred and bleeding when I got there at 0400.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Early 80’s. Practicing short field take off’s at night in an older 172 on a 3000’ strip. About 150 or 200 agl the pin on the seat rails failed and I shot backwards out of reach of the controls. Just barely managed to undo my seatbelt and shove the controls forward at the brink of a stall. I love trees, but when your wheels are hitting the tops of them…… not so much.
    Stay calm, be brave....wait for the signs. Possibly precariously prevaricating.
    .

  19. #19
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Late 80’s. Driving down from Bridgewater towards Lahave NS along the river in my van. A dark and foggy night. Came around a s curve meeting a car with its hi beams on and suddenly spotted two kids walking side by side on my side of the road, back to me. I cut hard left into the oncoming car to avoid hitting the kids. By some grace of God there was no terrible crash, and I managed to stay on the road. I am guessing that the oncoming cars driver saw what was happening and made the correct decision to floor it. No contact was made, but I’m sure there were mere fractions of an inch from being a disaster. After I stopped shaking I did go back and had a little chat with the kids about what side of the road to walk on.
    Stay calm, be brave....wait for the signs. Possibly precariously prevaricating.
    .

  20. #20
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Reading the above reminded me of three.

    First - Riding my big Kawasaki triple with a mob. Speeding like banshees. Picked up a sheriff. So we split up, and ran like hell. I hit a patch of gravel at speed in a slight corner, slid into a raised divider and launched the bike and me into the air. Immediate panic. Then immediate calm, and things slowed WAY down. Not the first time I've experienced that thing, but the most pronounced. I had time to push away from the bike, so it wouldn't land on me. And to figure how to push it so it landed well. The only damage was scuffed peg and bar ends. I landed and rolled. Sat up and considered things. Knew if the cop was behind me he'd be on me before I could get gone. But he wasn't. So I dug a spliff out of the bag and celebrated being alive.

    Second - High School slumber party at my girlfriend's barn/loft. The girls invited the boyfriends to visit quietly. Dad came to check on things, packing his shotgun. We scattered. I went out a second story loading door and landed on a sleeping sow. Not impressed, she chased me to the fence and ripped a hunk out of my pants leg as I cleared the top rung. I was silently in terror until I hit the ground on the other side and looked at my foot. I was expecting to see some of it missing. Huge relief when it was just my jeans.

    Third - At the beach, when the surf wasn't breaking, I'd do some free-climbing. One day I was maybe 50-60 feet up and my toe-hold collapsed. There was nothing but jagged rocks below... except for one tiny finger of sand. Almost within reach. I pushed off as hard as I could in that direction, and just knew I wasn't gonna make it. Total terror. Pictured myself a cripple, but never thought I might die. Then I could tell I was gonna make the sand, and relaxed and concentrated on squaring up for a nice roll.
    David G
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  21. #21
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    Thumbs down Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Sitting in jail, falsely accused of 7 felony's.
    Keep calm, persistence beats resistance.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Domesticated_Mr. Know It All View Post
    Sitting in jail, falsely accused of 7 felony's.
    Yikes... that's a Whole Nother Level!!
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  23. #23
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    Default What were some of your scariest moments?

    Late 80s, on the 144 heading south from Timmins, Ontario towards Sudbury. Middle of nowhere, late November. Brilliant sunny day, and cold, about 15 F.

    Traffic's running maybe 70 mph. On a pretty icy road. Moron passes me doing 85 or so. . . . and somebody pulls out of a side road into the oncoming traffic lane before the moron could get over. Moron hits his brakes, loses it on the ice right next to me, and starts to spin out. Figured I was a goner, collateral damage in the head-on that was about to happen.

    He clipped my front and rear both before he went off the road. I managed to stay on the road, but when he whacked me, it broke the alloy clips that mounted the bumpers to the vehicle, and took the bumpers off.

    Stopped the car, made sure the moron was all right. Somebody stopped and went to call the O.P.P.

    While we waited (did I mention it was quite cold?) in the middle of nowhere, and because I carry emergency kit when traveling in the winter in the back country, I set up the stove, and brewed up tea and soup.

    I think it was about an hour before the OPP arrived.

    Finished my trip back home to Ann Arbor with both bumpers stowed in the back of the car.

    Got pulled over on the 401 for my equipment violation (no bumpers). The bumpers in the back, and my tale of woe got me out of a ticket (the police report probably helped, too).
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  24. #24
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Loudon View Post
    I think the fear happens more when contemplating a dangerous undertaking, and less when we're in the thick of it and too busy to feel afraid.

    But since we're talking about fear and not actual danger, for me that would be public speaking
    That’s what I was thinking. My youngest daughter was born by emergency C section. Probably not scary for those who were doing it but for me totally scary.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    I was commercial salmon fishing my 22 foot dory, i had a wire with a flasher tied off the stern like a hand line, i caught a lot of fish in the prop wash, go figure, anyway a shark took the salmon, got caught in the wire, raced forward and landed on a trolling pole, it was at a angle and the 10 foot shark started rolling into my dory, i braced myself to the counsel and pushed with my feet to keep it from coming in while it was trying to bite me, almost like the movie perfect storm.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Was working on an assembly plant major changeover back in the late 80's. Climbed a ladder with my partner to a third floor mezzanine that the demo guys had cut the access ladder down ahead of schedule. The unit We had to decommission was a brake fluid processor. While decommissioning happened to look down at a contractor refuelling a bobcat skidder. Hot unit, it caught fire, contractor jumped in the fuel bowser tugger and drove off at high speed. Bowser knocked our ladder to the floor. Was like in the movies, fuel nozzle on the floor, leaking a trail behind, flame trailing at a slightly slower speed... My giant partner promptly started screaming like a banshee, had to settle him down , assuring him that unless the fire sucked all the air out of the building we would be okay . Still remember the looks we got from the fire crew after they put out the fire and we asked them if they could put our ladder up again!

  27. #27
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Racing an International 14 on a breezy day and we gybed with the spinnaker up,which led to a capsize.I found myself dragged under the boat,which inverted, by a round turn of the spinnaker sheet wrapped round my ankle.Not that I knew at the time,but while underwater I fumbled around to find what was limiting my freedom to move.After what seemed like a long time I unwrapped it and swam out to begin the process of righting the boat and somehow the race had become less important.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Okay probably not much in this day and age. Having an off duty and very drunk cop pull a gun on me. The barrel looked HUGE!

  29. #29
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Okay probably not much in this day and age. Having a drunk, off duty cop pull a gun on me. The barrel looked HUGE!<br><br>

  30. #30
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    3 of them so far --

    First , June 10, 1957, Dad gets new outboard motor and wants to test it - launching from the beach near Miller ( Gary ), Indiana ( 12 foot boat / 10 horse outboard. He missed seeing the storm flags flying. He motors out from the beach, reconsiders, and turns the boat and flips it into a riptide. Fortunately, an old woman is watching the lake thru binoculars, and contacts the harbormaster in Michigan City, Indiana, who convinces a small boat owner to come and get us. That boat runs out of gas during the rescue, and another boat comes and collects all of us ( I spent 1.5 hours fighting to stay afloat in an old kapok jacket ) -- this was pre-911 days

    Second, I was riding a small Suzuki motorcycle to class at University of Illinois - Chicago Circle campus. Southbound on Ashland Avenue in the curb lane , I hit a big patch of oil, after the street sweeper wet it down. I slid through the intersection and wound up in the northbound curb lane, having slid untouched across eight lanes of 40 MPH traffic. I was on my way to take final exams, and wrote a '34' on a 'Trigonometry by Vector Methods' exam - I was that shook-up, and had left some skin from my elbow, wrist and knee on the road

    Third, I was heading home from Rochester to my house in Chatfield, after working a late shift. I saw what looked like a semi-trailer down the road, and indicating a right turn, THEN, I realized that it was a grain truck with dusty taillights, and it was RIGHT THERE. I locked up the brakes, and did a hot-rubber slide, ending up ten feet back from the trailer. ( I had been briskly driving at about 65 MPH )


    The rest of them are subject to my personal 'Official Secrets Act' and will not be discussed.




    Rick
    Charter Member - - Professional Procrastinators Association of America - - putting things off since 1965 " I'll get around to it tomorrow, .... maybe "

  31. #31
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye54 View Post
    ....The rest of them are subject to my personal 'Official Secrets Act' and will not be discussed.




    Rick
    yuh. i have...a couple...of those.

    but i agree with some above, that the real scare sometimes comes after, sometimes years after. when you mature in your ability to assess risk. and then the nightmares begin...

  32. #32
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    I remembered a couple more since starting the thread. I was may 8 or 10 and we were coming out of the East River into New York Harbor and we saw a dark grey wall; fog coming.

    Dad decided we'd head to Staten Island. Between us and Staten Island were three anchored tankers. Fog got to us before we got to the tankers. I sat on the foredeck as we went SLOWLY into the fog. Suddenly there's a big anchor chain coming out of the water. I yell. Dad turns. Momentarily we were slightly past arm's reach of the side of the tanker that chain was attached to. Once we passed the stern of the tanker, we turned to starboard. We ran for 5 minutes or so, and I let out 15-20 feet of anchor rode. When the anchor hit, we stopped and spent the night there.

    Another was riding my bike. Hand brake fell lose and got caught in the spokes. I took quite the tumble, and was sure I had broken something, but I didn't. Pulled the hand brake handle out of the spokes and carefully rode home.
    "alternative facts (lies)" are a cancer eating through a democracy, and will kill it. 1st amendment is not absolute.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Prolly 2005 or so. Inside a +/- 3000 sf new house with a reported possible chimney fire, SS chimney enclosed in drywall. Looking for heat with a thermal imaging camera and not finding much. The radio stated blaring “evacuate, evacuate, evacuate” and the air horns of the fire trucks started blasting, also a signal to evacuate. In the moments it took us to get down the stairs and outside the house was fully involved. Modern energy efficient construction, 2*6 walls sheathed in 2” of styrofoam and vinyl siding. Guys outside said they saw a whiff of smoke coming out of the eves and in seconds fire leapt out of the eves and started to wrap around the house. That place was to the ground in minutes, almost like it was coated in gasoline. It certainly convinced me that wrapping a house in 2” of styrofoam is not a good idea.
    Stay calm, be brave....wait for the signs. Possibly precariously prevaricating.
    .

  34. #34
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Reading David’s post about the Kawi triple. 19 years old or so I bought a used Kawi 400 triple death machine. Coming around a corner on a dip in the road at way too fast of a speed hit a bit of a bump and got into a tank slapper high speed wobble. I had heard about this tendency on these bikes from a more experienced rider who had told me to accelerate out of it if it happened and definitely not to touch the brakes. I knocked it down a gear and cranked the throttle and recovered. Sold the bike the next day. None of my Hondas, Triumphs, Or BSAs ever spooked me like that…..except the 750 Interceptor, it just scared the crap out of me when I looked at the speedometer and realized how fast I was going and it felt good. Sold it shortly after that also.
    Stay calm, be brave....wait for the signs. Possibly precariously prevaricating.
    .

  35. #35
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    Default Re: What were some of your scariest moments?

    Waking up in a hospital. Not knowing I had been hit by a car. And being alive because some strangers had called for help.
    Life is complex.

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