Biggest Screeching Halt
May 16, 1958 - On this day, Captain Eli Beeding was riding a rocket sled as part of an Air Force test to determine the effects of g-forces on the human body. After reaching about 35 miles an hour the sled made an incredibly hard stop in less than a tenth of a second.
Beeding's body experienced a mind-boggling jolt of 83 gs. Beeding described the impact as follows:
When I hit the water brake, it felt like Ted Williams had hit me on the back, about lumbar five, with a baseball bat.
Dizzy and disoriented, Beeding experienced tunnel vision before he passed out. He spent the next 3 days in the hospital with a severely bruised back.
At first the engineers and scientists doubted the readings on the accelerometer, but later tests on some hapless bears confirmed the massive deceleration that Beeding had endured.
It stands as the greatest deceleration ever survived in a test.