Last week the most bizarre thing happened. We found a bullet embedded in our roof. This will take some explaining so let me get down to it.
We have these solar coils on our roof that heat the swimming pool. Water is pumped up into these coils made of black PVC like material where it gets heated by the sun and then goes into the pool. It doesn’t use photovoltaic cells which coverts solar energy into electricity. It has worked well so far.
Last week my wife noticed water leaking and called the company that installed it for us. The technician went up on the roof. He fixed the leak and then brought down this most interesting artifact – a two inch length of tubing with a bullet in it.
The technician first suspected that we were maybe a trigger-happy family and let loose a few into the roof. But he didn’t find any holes in the roof. So his conclusion and ours was that the bullet came from elsewhere. Perhaps a wayward bullet from someone’s gun that was fired into the air and hit our roof at the end of its journey.
According to high school physics the speed of a projectile thrown up will be the same when it lands on the ground as the speed at release. However, in reality, air drag will reduce the speed. In the case of a bullet, I don’t know how much it will slow down by, but I have heard of at least one TV show where someone dies of a random bullet on its way down that was fired into the air somewhere else.
Our bullet was also traveling at great speed. There is no doubt about that. The coil is made of stiff plastic tubing. The bullet was able to penetrate it twice, though it didn’t fully exit it the second time. Also, the bullet did not hit the coil along a radial line. The entry hole (wound?!) and the exit hole are about 15 degrees apart which indicates a glancing impact. But the bullet was fast enough that it was able to penetrate the tube on a glancing impact.
I guess this kind of a thing is commonplace in Baghdad and Beirut. But for Fremont, California – ‘a good place to raise a family’ – we’ll be talking about this for weeks.