Have you ever witnessed an "action movie moment" in real life?

Were one to get their impressions of life from action/adventure/suspense movies, one would witness all sorts of exciting things. But in real life those sorts of things never seem to really happen.

So I ask you:

Have you ever seen a high speed car chase?

Ever see someone get wacked in public?

Ever stumble across a murder victim?

Ever see a big explosion?

Ever had a dying stranger tell you where to seek the treasure?

My only experience was decades ago. I saw a car going the wrong way down a one way street. A car going the right way had to veer away and crashed into a building. The driver got out and ran, and the passengers of the wrong-way car got out and pumped him full of bullets. Apparently they were plain-clothes cops and the guy they shot was a known car thief.

I once saw three police cars chasing a Mini Cooper down Cowley Road in Oxford…it looked like something straight out of The Italian Job. The ending to the chase wasn’t so Hollywood, though: the Cooper smacked side on into a beautiful vintage Aston Martin, totaling both cars. I didn’t see the crash, but I did see a man near the crash site nearly weeping…I assume he was the owner of the Aston Martin.

I once nabbed a shoplifter, and we escorted him to the back room to wait for the police. He decided to leave by leaping through a large plate glass window. I will never forget that visual.

He was arrested at the hospital, by the way. Bleeding profusely.

I’ve seen a big explosion.

Back in 97 my family living with my aunt and uncle while waiting for an apartment to open up nearby. We were out in the boonies, and there was no garbage service willing to come that far out for 1 house, so we burned the garbage.

Being a pyro, I volunteered for the job. We made sure things that could explode were not put into the fire pit. (Aerosal cans of various types, batteries, etc.) One day I was out there getting ready to light up a pile of trash, only to find my lighter was out of fluid. I went to a nearby van we were using for storage, and got out a can of butane lighter fluid, and filled up the lighter.

I got the brilliant idea to see what would happen to that can if I tossed it into the fire. I didn’t think it’d be big, what with the can being small and half empty.

A few minutes later it went up, and a fireball bigger than a car came wooshing at me. Had I not stumbled backwards and fell when it happened, I would’ve been engulfed in flames.

I’ve seen the body of a murder victim being pulled out of the Chicago River. He’d been in there a couple of days, and was not pretty. :eek:

A friend and I were waking down 14th Street once and saw a runaway horse and carriage coming toward us. Having read plenty of Victorian novels, we lifted our skirts a bit and screamed prettily, while a brave young man dashed after the carriage to jump in and rein the horse. Very exciting! I needed some smelling salts.

And, I walked by Sparks Steak House on December 16, 1985, just after Paul Castellano was gunned down.

Eons ago I was passed on the freeway by about 10 cop cars in a row going full tilt with their warning lights off. It was night & they came up and went by real quick. They dove off the next offramp & I never did find out where they were going. I was lucky not to get hit as they swerved around me.

I was at home in Las Vegas when the Pepcon rocket fuel plant exploded. I heard a mighty boom & watched my sliding glass patio door flex inward enough I was sure it was gonna burst in on me. It didn’t. I climbed up on the roof to find the source & saw the gigantic cloud already risen in the distance. It was about 10 miles away on the side of my house away from the patio door.

Heard the last words of a dying car accident victim. It was a bloody mess out in the country well before cell phones existed.

Military stuff shouldn’t count I don’t think, so I’ll skip those.

So put me down for three close-but-no-cigar events.



Yep. Well, I didn’t actually trip on the fellow (thank god) but I was on the sceen shortly after his body was dumped out of the car (like 45 seconds). The police arrived shortly there after.



I was sitting in the backseat of a friend’s car after school in high school. Another sax player (who always wore steel-toed boots to school) did a flying leap onto the back of the car. His boots shattered the rear windshield when his feet landed, and I got glass shards in the back of my pants. He wasn’t trying to do that! It’s hilarious in retrospect, because nobody got hurt. I just had to take my pants off and shake them out in the parking lot.

I once saw a bunch of helicopters fly by with a man hanging on to the landing strut of a Cobra several hundred feet in the air. It later turned out that the he was a pilot whose F-4 had crashed in Lebanon; the choppers had just extracted him under heavy fire.

I’ve seen quite a few explosions, the most vivid was when a car bomb took out the Mt. Lebanon hotel in Baghdad. I was a couple of blocks away on my bed in another hotel when my room just turned the most vivid color of orange, I rolled off the bed and a second later BOOM, the blast cracked my window, but didn’t shatter it.

Another time we had to evacuate one of our offices that had been attacked. We loaded up the cars in the walled compound and then opened the gates to get the hell out of town. I was driving the front car with an Iraqi guard pointing his gun out the window in the passenger side. He wanted to crank a tape in the car and I thought it would be my iconic rock and roll war moment like the scene in Apocalypse Now where they blast the Stones while waterskiing behind the PT boat. So the guard pops in his tape, they open the gates and I floor it. We hauled ass out of town blasting Britney Spears.

I’ve had a surprising number of action-movie moments for a largely sedentary tech geek, now that I think about it:

I’ve been the target of a (fortunately inept) drive-by shooting attempt. (It was a case of mistaken identity, I believe.)

I have suddenly appeared out of the shadows between a pair of knife-wielding thugs and their intended victim. (Unintentionally–I was lost and trying to cut back to a bigger street through an alley. It worked out, though.)

I have jumped into a flooding river to pull a couple of kids out of the rapids.
I’ve seen a few big explosions, but I don’t really count them. I was doing some contract work for a demolition company when I saw one of them. Others…well, they were less “action movie” and more “dumb buddy comedy”. :smiley:

I’ve mentioned this before…

One day I was on the bus on the way to work. We had just merged onto the freeway, and the driver was about to merge onto the express lanes when a police car passed the bus and blocked the transfer ramp. We stayed in the collectors. I looked at the empty express lanes.

Suddenly a motorcade rushed past. Limos and support vehicles, all bearing an unfamiliar maroon-and-white flag. Then it was gone, and the police vanished, and the next transfer to the express lanes was open, and the bus continued on the way to work.

So yes, I was cut off on the way to work by the President of Latvia. It’s the closest thing I’ve experienced to an action-movie moment.

I once had to delay crossing a street because a motorcade was passing by. But it wasn’t so much an action-movie moment as really annoying.

(It was Hillary Clinton.)

I was the victim of a drive-by shooting by some young men armed with a full-auto paintball gun. They started shooting while they were still behind me and the car was still moving. I felt something hit the leg of my pants and heard what sounded like a muffled gun, so I dove for cover. They drove off laughing and it wasn’t til I saw the paint splats on the sidewalk that I understood what had just happened.

Went to a briefing at the CIA for a political science seminar that we were attending that involved meetings at several embassies [Saudi Arabia, Canada, USSR and Sweden] and the guy doing the briefing said his name was ‘John Smith’ but he couldn’t show us any ID to prove it :dubious:

[it took a month for most of the people that attended to get their clearances. I waltzed in because I was already holding a security clearance because of my job, I needed it to get on various government installations back when I was doing hazmat. I got the strangest reception because of this. But then again the usual university student doesn’t need a security clearance.]

I caused an absolutely gigantic explosion, that I swear to God looked like a miniature mushroom cloud, when I was an idiotic high school sophomore and my friends and I had created a big gasoline bomb in a vacant lot. Scared the hell out of me and excited me tremendously at the same time. The fire trucks and Sherriff’s deputy were a big buzzkill though.

I was driving once through somewhere in rural Illinois when I saw a small prop plane plummeting head-first towards the ground, on the other side of a hill in the distance. I had my phone in hand and was ready to call 9/11 (and try to drive to the downed plane and help) - then, an instant later, I saw the plane swoop back up again.

I guess it was a stunt pilot practicing or putting on a demonstration. But I swear to God I thought the plane was toast.

That’s the closest I’ve come to an “action hero” moment.

My ex-GF had a few stories. She used to smuggle things in and out of communist Czecho. She and a friend were chased by (and escaped from) the Czech version of the KGB after trying to visit Vaclav Havel. She was once being tailed and had to make her way the the American embassy for protection. She’s had machine guns pointed at her at border crossings.

But nothing like the stories he ex-parents-in-law had. they were spies against first the Nazis then the commies.

My next door neighbor when I lived in Indianapolis was a small potatoes drug dealer that got into a bad way with his supplier. I witnessed three different driveby directed at his house.

As a firefighter/EMT, I’ve seen too many fires, explosions, car wrecks, and suicides for one lifetime. And I’m still in the EMT biz…

At work, heard a siren, silence, then gunfire. Then hours of commotion as police cars and news helicopters arrived, and stayed for hours. A cop had been shot by the driver of a car he had pulled over, and owing to the nature of his injuries, he wasn’t removed from the scene for over 40 minutes. He ended up paralyzed; the driver was caught and convicted. The TV show Rescue 911 did a segment on it and my co-worker was briefly seen on it in one of the re-enactment scenes. After the injured policeman recovered, he was given a desk job, but soon retired, moved across the state. He ran for and was elected mayor of the town he moved to.