The Darwin Awards

1999 At-Risk Survivor

At-Risk Survivors have misadventures that stop short of the ultimate sacrifice. Nevertheless we salute the spirit of their colossal blunders with an Honorable Mention. Better luck next time!

Scoutmaster Snare
1999 At-Risk Survivor
Confirmed True by Darwin<

(31 July 1999, Florida) A Boy Scout leader in search of a new adventure was found after being lost and lonely for 36 hours. Clark, 42, was reported missing by his wife after he failed to return from a bicycle trip. More than 40 deputies searched on foot, by horseback, and with helicopters, until the Scout leader's cries for help led to his discovery -- hanging naked upside-down from a tree. A videocamera was positioned to capture Clark's adventures on tape, which undoubtedly did not turn out at all like he had planned.

Investigators speculate that the man, who wore only his shoes and was suspended twelve feet off the ground by a rope tied around his ankles, was attempting to film "an autoerotic situation."

After completing his solo ritual, Clark was too tired to pull himself back up and untie his feet, so he hung upside-down until rescued. Lack of circulation led to such severe injuries to his feet that the left extremity had to be amputated. Rev. Dave Williamson of Orlando's Conway Methodist Church has asked people to pray for the stricken man and his family. Lake Country Sheriff's Department Sgt. Nick Pallitto observed sagely, "Some things are better confined to your own home."

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Submitted by: Robert Hewitt, Dan A. Hill, Jeanne Shaw, Eric A. Rosen)

Reference: Associated Press,,, Valerie Kalfrin of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, © 1994 - 2004

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