Hero Boiled Alive
July 20, 1981 - It was on this day that David Allen Kirwan visited the thermal pools at Yellowstone National Park. He was accompanied by his friend Ronald Ratliff and Ratliff's pet dog, Moosie.
As they took a closer look at one of the park's famous hot springs, the Celestine Pool, Moosie took a flying leap into the steaming water. Quickly it was clear that Moosie was in trouble. As the dog yelped in agony, Kirwan ran toward the water's edge. Other tourists warned him not to dive in, but he told them, "Like hell I won't!" With that he dove headfirst into the boiling water.
Kirwan made it to Moosie but was unable to retrieve the dog. He disappeared underwater then resurfaced close to the edge of the thermal pond. His friend was able to pull him out, but Kirwan was doomed. His flesh was literally cooked and was starting to peel away from his body. Witnesses say he muttered, "That was stupid. How bad am I? What a stupid thing I did."
With third-degree burns over 100% of his body, Kirwan died the next day in a Salt Lake City hospital. Moosie never made it out of the pool. The oils from the dog's body actually caused small eruptions in the hot springs.
Temperatures in Celstine Pool have been recorded at over 200°.