(Early 2002, Kansas) Just outside of Wichita, a 21-year old farm boy was driving a grain harvester across his winter wheat field to collect the crop. This particular piece of farm equipment has huge rotating blades that cut down the wheat stalks. At some point during the harvesting, the driver's cowboy hat was blown off by the wind and hurtled some distance in front of the blades.
Thinking that the tractor was not moving fast enough to warrant stopping -- or perhaps just not thinking at all -- he jumped down and ran in front of the tractor to collect his hat. It was still being blown around by the wind, and after chasing it for a bit, he finally caught up with it. Meanwhile, the harvester had caught up with him, and his body was found scattered across the wheat field.
Local authorities were contacted by a neighbor who noticed the tractor crossing Highway 96 with no driver.
DarwinAwards.com © 1994 - 2012
Submitted by: Jeff
Reference: Wichita Eagle, Argonia Farm Chronicles
Darwin says, "This was originally classified as an Unconfirmed
Darwin Award, but I suspected that it might be an attempt to pass off a
creative writing effort as a true Darwin Award. But the story and its
documentation were too well done to resist, and I was hoping that
additional confirmation would appear. Sadly, only the disheartening
remarks shown below were brought to bear on the subject. It was sadly
relegated to Urban Legend status on 13 October 2003."
says, "This sounds too familiar. I saw a movie a long time ago that
had that exact scenario: teenage boy collecting the crops, his hat blows
off, he jumps down to get it and his shirt gets caught in the blades. It
seems to me that someone is trying to pass it off as a Darwin award
says, "Unless combines have undergone drastic design changes since I worked
on a farm 12 years ago, they don't use 'huge rotating blades.' They all
use a sickle bar cutter that is anywhere from 8 to 12 feet wide, with 2 to
3 inch wide blades that slide back and forth horizontally. The 'huge
rotating' part of a combine is actually just a set of paddles that sweep
the heads of the grain down and back into the collecting bin."
Doug Duncan says, "I emailed the EMS office in Argonia, Kansas, in
Sumner County. Anderson Lowe, the director of Emergency Services, told me
there is no such publication as the Argonia Farm Chronicles, and that
according to his records no such event occurred this year or any year since
Anderson Lowe says, "The story is not true. I am the Director of
Emergency services for the area mentioned and no call like this was ever
made this year or any in the past since 1969 according to records. The
referance to the paper Argonia Farm Chronicles is inaccurate as this paper
doesnt even exist. I have gotten several emails from your readers aslking
if this was true."
Jerrald W. Boden says, "As
a lifetime resident of Kansas in the greater Wichita area, I am familiar
with the wheat harvest and I can assure you that at the very least the time
frame for this story is way off. "Winter wheat" is planted in late fall,
grows through the winter, and ripens in June. Wheat harvest begins in the
summer, not 'early in the year'. Wheat is harvested with a combine, not a
tractor, the vast majority of which have enclosed (and air conditioned)
cabs. I can assure you that no farmer would leave the cab of a piece of
machinery costing hundreds of thousands of dollars while that machine was
still in motion. I certainly don't recall seeing anything in the
newspaper, or on television, regarding such a sensational fatal farm
accident -- an occurance which would surely be considered as news worthy
here. Sorry but this story is as bogus as it can be."
Jim says, "How would
we know he got off to get his hat, unless someone saw it? And no one did,
because it was not until a neighbour saw the unattended harvester that
anyone knew. The hat would either be as munched as the rest of him, or it
would have blown away."
Hollie Gaze says, "This
was a scene from a movie which 'Lauren' mentions above. The movie was
called 'Man in the Moon' and it is very likely this is a rip off from it.
Never did like that movie, now I have another reason why. "