'MythBusters' test goes awry

A Dublin, Calif., police officer on Tuesday examines the exit hole of a cannonball that was misfired during taping of the Discovery Channel show “MythBusters.”

SAN FRANCISCO -- Zany experiments testing scientific theories in real-world settings have earned the TV show "MythBusters" a devoted following, but a stunt gone awry met with an unhappy audience when an errant cannonball went shooting through a California family's bedroom.

Sheriff's deputies are still measuring how, exactly, the cannonball flew from a bomb range in the rolling hills flanking a suburban San Francisco Bay area neighborhood and rocketed into the front door of a home and through its master bedroom before landing in a neighbor's parked minivan.

Producers for the Discovery Channel show fired the cannonball Tuesday as they filmed an episode testing whether other types of projectiles shot from a cannon would pick up the same speed and have the same impact as the steel ball.

Instead of hitting a string of water-filled garbage cans, however, the cannonball passed over the barrels, crashed straight through a protective cinder block wall and careened off the hill behind it, said Alameda County Sheriff's Department spokesman J.D. Nelson.

No one was injured, and the home's residents didn't even wake up until the broken drywall settled on top of them, Nelson said.