The Jefferson Iowa News®



Miles Griener of rural Greene County built himself a power parachute last fall. It was a fan-driven, 47 HP flying machine. It was capable of gliding at speeds up to 25 mph, and had reached an altitude of 1,000 feet. One does not need an FAA-regulated pilots license to operate such a device, as would be necessary with a winged aircraft.

The device, which was steered with foot pedals and his arms, operated on a snowmobile engine, and could stay aloft for up to two or three hours. Miles had spent many hours in the air, hovering with the birds, simply enjoying the scenery.

Unfortunately, this all came to an abrupt halt last Thursday, when he was attacked by a ferocious flock of feathered fiends. While gliding just south of the Jefferson airport, it seems that a large flock of severely underfed birds had recently escaped from captivity somewhere nearby, and were looking for perhaps their first meal in weeks.

As Mr Griener glided southward, the birds began attacking him, pecking away at his clothing and the parachute. As luck would have it, one of the first birds to attack plucked out Miles' eyes, and, lacking vision, caused him to veer off course, and delayed his landing.

The craft can only be landed slowly, and in the half hour or so that the landing procedure requires, the birds managed to completely devour Mr. Griener.

His bloody corpse was discovered two days later in Herb Miner's bean field. Needless to say, Mr. Griener had no comment. Although quite unusual, there are occasional reports of this nature that reach our offices. The birds were not tracked, and presumably are still at large. Most or Miles' power parachute has been recovered.

Submitted by Spencer Straight (08-28-08)