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(ESPN)   That time in 1948 when MIT pranked the Harvard-Yale game with enough explosives to kill everyone on the field. The fratboys in question were expelled for the rest of the term, with no criminal charges   (espn.com) divider line
    More: Vintage, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard-Yale football game, part of a group of MIT students, Cambridge, Massachusetts, culture of hacks, Harvard Stadium, dozen late-night scouting trips, members of the fraternity  
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3781 clicks; posted to Main » and Sports » on 22 Sep 2022 at 5:05 PM (9 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



26 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-09-22 4:44:54 PM  
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I remember that. I was a freshman at Northeastern at the time. The campus police car on the great dome was a much more impressive hack.
 
2022-09-22 4:47:20 PM  
It was in the'40s, right after WW2, and one of the "frat boys" had learned demolition in the war. It was definitely "a different time".

As an aside, I think det cord would have been fine for spelling out MIT, but I'm surprised he didn't have a detonator and was trying to use batteries. 450vdc is pretty common for a detonator, but with alkaline batteries having a basic voltage of 1.5V, that's 300 batteries. When the cops nabbed him they asked why so many batteries, and he answered "all MIT men carry batteries for emergencies."
 
2022-09-22 5:18:27 PM  

Private_Citizen: It was in the'40s, right after WW2, and one of the "frat boys" had learned demolition in the war. It was definitely "a different time".

As an aside, I think det cord would have been fine for spelling out MIT, but I'm surprised he didn't have a detonator and was trying to use batteries. 450vdc is pretty common for a detonator, but with alkaline batteries having a basic voltage of 1.5V, that's 300 batteries. When the cops nabbed him they asked why so many batteries, and he answered "all MIT men carry batteries for emergencies."


If this had been in Philadelphia the cops would've counted to make sure he had enough batteries to defend himself against the opposing team and sent him on his way.
 
2022-09-22 5:23:05 PM  
What was Glenn Miller doing in 1948?
 
2022-09-22 5:25:40 PM  

Sleeper_agent: What was Glenn Miller doing in 1948?


Composing.
 
2022-09-22 5:26:36 PM  

Billy Bathsalt: Sleeper_agent: What was Glenn Miller doing in 1948?

Composing.


Decomposing, more like it.
 
2022-09-22 5:28:25 PM  

Billy Bathsalt: Sleeper_agent: What was Glenn Miller doing in 1948?

ComposTing.

/Fixed for accuracy
 
2022-09-22 5:35:49 PM  

Metastatic Capricorn: [Fark user image 607x594]I remember that. I was a freshman at Northeastern at the time. The campus police car on the great dome was a much more impressive hack.


I remember the 1982 hack, that is.
 
2022-09-22 5:38:23 PM  

Metastatic Capricorn: Metastatic Capricorn: [Fark user image 607x594]I remember that. I was a freshman at Northeastern at the time. The campus police car on the great dome was a much more impressive hack.

I remember the 1982 hack, that is.


I was wondering.
If you were in college (I'm guessing at least 19) for the explosive prank, you'd be 93. Not saying it's not possible, but I'd be impressed you're posting on Fark!!
 
2022-09-22 5:39:19 PM  
Great read, thanks Subby.
 
2022-09-22 5:42:23 PM  
Oh, the good old days of privilege not much is changed.
 
2022-09-22 5:43:06 PM  
It says they used primer cord and blasting caps. I'm not sure that constitutes enough explosives to kill everyone on the field, subby. Maybe if there were a large number of blasting caps and everyone put the blasting caps in their pants?
 
2022-09-22 5:44:31 PM  
Subby's sense of proportionate sentencing ignores intent.
 
2022-09-22 5:45:36 PM  

patrick767: It says they used primer cord and blasting caps. I'm not sure that constitutes enough explosives to kill everyone on the field, subby. Maybe if there were a large number of blasting caps and everyone put the blasting caps in their pants?

No Paige! That is NOT a suppository!!!
 
2022-09-22 5:46:08 PM  
There is a gallery of MIT hacks for anyone interested.

http://hacks.mit.edu/
 
2022-09-22 7:13:46 PM  
 The article is sadly correct in that anyone inflating a balloon at a college game today would face prison time.
Everyone blames Bin Laden, but he was just a catalyst. All he did was blow up a building. He didn't author all those hundreds of pages of the "Patriot" Act that magically appeared overnight that had just been waiting for an excuse for a vote, and he didn't dedicate entire media outlets to fostering paranoia and fear.
Those people are entirely homegrown, and they have weakening the fabric of our society and waiting for the right times to strike for a long, long time now.
 
2022-09-22 7:14:44 PM  

buravirgil: Subby's sense of proportionate sentencing ignores intent.


The intent was clearly to blow up the playing field.   Maybe MIT students were just dumber back then and didn't realize that the insane amount they used would do a lot of damage.
 
2022-09-22 7:19:34 PM  
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2022-09-22 7:25:59 PM  
I must say that the display screens at Harvard, and Yale have the best security.
 
2022-09-22 7:33:21 PM  

Private_Citizen: It was in the'40s, right after WW2, and one of the "frat boys" had learned demolition in the war. It was definitely "a different time".


FTFA:

the time in 1948 when he and seven others -- a few years after they returned from World War II -

Drawing on demolition skills used during the war,
 
2022-09-22 7:39:04 PM  
caltech-prod.s3.amazonaws.comView Full Size

This was probably the most impressive prank given 1: the amount of effort required to re-engineer the cards and 2: the number of times they had to break in without getting caught
 
2022-09-22 8:19:51 PM  

UNC_Samurai: [caltech-prod.s3.amazonaws.com image 475x300]
This was probably the most impressive prank given 1: the amount of effort required to re-engineer the cards and 2: the number of times they had to break in without getting caught


That was probably the best prank ever and not likely to be equaled anytime soon.
 
2022-09-22 8:24:24 PM  
The way the device was designed, it would have been nearly impossible for anyone but them to activate it because it required a double male extension cord.

And as we all know, if anything is going to stop something in college, it's teh gay.
 
2022-09-22 10:03:39 PM  
That was a fun read. Thanks, subby
 
2022-09-22 11:18:39 PM  

Stud Gerbil: buravirgil: Subby's sense of proportionate sentencing ignores intent.

The intent was clearly to blow up the playing field.   Maybe MIT students were just dumber back then and didn't realize that the insane amount they used would do a lot of damage.


I think their intentions were mostly harmless but they got tunnel vision and failed to consider that wrecking the field would have canceled the big game, and pissed off hundreds of thousands of people.  It would have been seen as an attack.   There would then have been the retaliatory "pranks" and at ever increasing scale.  The situation would have gotten out of hand, resulting in a second war between the states.
 
2022-09-23 12:03:59 AM  

patrick767: It says they used primer cord and blasting caps. I'm not sure that constitutes enough explosives to kill everyone on the field, subby. Maybe if there were a large number of blasting caps and everyone put the blasting caps in their pants?


Yeah, with decent care it shouldn't have harmed anyone.  Explosives don't have a big danger range unless they can throw things, all they needed to do is make sure nobody was near the device when they fired it.

The article only says it could make a crater--but that's assuming the charge is all in one place.  The objective was making letters with det cord, it wasn't in a pile.

Stud Gerbil: The intent was clearly to blow up the playing field. Maybe MIT students were just dumber back then and didn't realize that the insane amount they used would do a lot of damage.


The article doesn't talk about an insane amount.

UNC_Samurai: View Full Size

This was probably the most impressive prank given 1: the amount of effort required to re-engineer the cards and 2: the number of times they had to break in without getting caught


Yeah, this is #1 in pranks in my book.
 
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