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Thanks to the 1964 Bond movie, "Goldfinger" generations have taken it on trust that if a plane window is broken at high altitude then even a large, fat man can be sucked through the resulting hole by the sudden decompression. 

Now it appears that this notion is extremely doubtful, following a tragic midair incident involving a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700, flying between New York and Dallas. 

While at 32,000 feet, one of the plane's two engines exploded, sending debris towards the fuselage of the plane. This broke one of the windows next to passenger Jennifer Riordan, who, in images released subsequently, appears to be a moderately slim woman, and certainly much lighter than the character of Goldfinger in the Bond movie, who, despite his generous girth, is entirely sucked out of a plane window during a fight with Bond. 

In Riordan's case the result was quite different. As reported by NBC, she only got halfway sucked out of the window before stopping:

"Passengers described hearing a loud explosion from the left engine — one of two onboard — before debris peppered the fuselage and shattered that window.

"The plane dropped immediately,” said Matt Tranchin, who was sitting three rows behind the broken window. "Plane smelled like smoke. Ash was all around us."

The woman, identified as Jennifer Riordan of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was pulled out of the plane up to her waist — her blood splattering other windows, passengers said.

"You hear the pop and she was sucked out from the waist up," one passenger told NBC Nightly News. "There was blood on the windows…her arms were actually out of the airplane and her head was out of the airplane."
As sudden decompression can often lead to the disintegration of aircraft, it could be argued that Mrs. Riordan's body, by blocking the window, effectively saved the plane and the lives of those on board it.

However, her death has also ruined the enjoyment of millions of people who can no longer believe in the credibility of classic Bond movies from the 1960s and 70s

How much more of what we were told in those movies is now scientifically inaccurate? Is it really possible to build a space station inside a live Japanese volcano ("You Only Live Twice")? Could an oil tanker really be converted into a nuclear sub swallowing killer ship ("The Spy Who Loved Me")? And does anyone really have three nipples and a dwarf man servant ("The Man with the Golden Gun")? It looks like the Bond franchise may have been producing fake news for decades.

No longer believable.

1 comment

kudzu bob said...

I don't know about that three nipples business, but in college I once had drunken sex with a twelve-toed coed.

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