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Old 25 November 2010, 08:46 PM
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snopes snopes is offline
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,642
Airplane Golf ball destruction of the Benin Air Force

Comment: Google for "Benin air force golf ball" (no quotes), and you'll
see a small number of stories, all basically the same. Is it
(substantially) true?



In the wildest shot ever in the history of golf, Mathieu Boya single-
handedly destroyed a nation's entire air force! According to International
news reports here's what happened. His devastating, wayward slice grounded
the West African republic of Benin-and for that, Boya was thrown in jail.
Benin has no golf course but carrying a few clubs and some old range
balls, he sauntered over to a nearby field adjacent to Benin Air Base and
started swinging away. Boya was by no means a good golfer but dreamt of
being in the sports pages one day. He got his wish but not something he'll
want to remember. Boya's shot was a monumental slice which angled over the
wire fence of the air-base and rocketed high into the air where, it
slammed into a bird. Knocked out of the sky, the crippled bird plunged
earthward toward the runway. Meanwhile, on the runway directly below the
falling bird, a trainer jet with its canopy open was taxiing into position
for takeoff. Just as the pilot was about to close the canopy, the stricken
bird crashed into his helmet. The impact so shocked the pilot that he lost
control of his craft. The jet veered off the runway and as luck would have
it, plowed right into the pride of Benin Air Force-a row of four shiny
Mirage jets. One by one the planes exploded in a thunderous fireball. The
pilot escaped serious injury. The police immediately arrested Boya, threw
him in jail, and charged him with hooliganism. Prosecutors were willing to
work out a plea bargain. They would agree to drop the charges if Boya made
restitution. Being on a meagre salary it would've taken him 145,000 years
to pay it off. Boya chose to stay in jail, with a promise when he got out
he wouldn't play golf again.
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Old 25 November 2010, 08:56 PM
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Dropbear Dropbear is offline
Join Date: 03 June 2005
Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Posts: 7,237

The police immediately arrested Boya? So how, precisely did they make the immediate connection between the bird and Boya's golf ball? Is it usual for police to investigate an aviation accident on a military base?

I note wiki says:
Air Force
After achieving independence from France in 1960 the Benin Airforce was transport equipped with seven French-supplied Douglas C-47s, four MH.1521M Broussands and two Agusta-Bell 47Gs. Two F-27s were entered service in 1978 for transport duties before being transferred to Air Benin. Also during the same era two AN-26s were acquired. In late 1985 two Dornier Do-28s entered service to replace the C-47s. A single DHC-6 Twin Otter was acquired in 1989.

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Old 25 November 2010, 09:01 PM
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Wolf333 Wolf333 is offline
Join Date: 12 August 2006
Location: Oxford, OH
Posts: 3,205

Ooooh, someone glurgified it!

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Old 25 November 2010, 09:11 PM
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damian damian is offline
Join Date: 14 April 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 6,491

The story might be more believable if the golf ball hit the pilot instead of a bird.
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Old 25 November 2010, 11:21 PM
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Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,642

The news made a few papers in Africa and France in 1987 and was repeated in "Golf Digest" magazine in 1988. Beninese diplomat Cormeille Mehissou told us "nothing like that ever happened." Benin has military planes, he said, it's just that they're all broken.,361360
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