In pursuit of his off-kilter dream — creating a suit of armor that can withstand the attack of a grizzly bear — Troy Hurtubise has endured much: Slugs in the chest from a 12-gauge shotgun at a range of 20 feet. Falling, on purpose, off the edge of the 150-foot-high Niagara Escarpment. Assaults from burly friends and relatives all too willing to cuff him repeatedly with road picks, knives, bows and arrows, two-by-fours. Eighteen times he has stood in the path of a three-ton pickup doing 30 miles per hour, and 18 times the truck has knocked him from here to next week. On several occasions, he has stood at attention while a 350-pound log, winched 30 feet up in a tree, swung down broadside to topple him like a human bowling pin.You cannot make this stuff up.
In each of these encounters, Hurtubise explains over oil-slicked restaurant coffee, he was safe inside his invention: the Ursus Mark VI Bearproof Suit, 147 pounds of titanium alloy, rubber, plastic, and chain mail standing seven feet, two inches tall. “I sustained a headache one time coming down the mountain,” he says proudly. “And a bruise on my right arm. After all the tests, that's it.”
01 July 2006
The right to arm bears
This blog salutes you, Troy Hurtubise.