Nice thread, muzzleflash.
The most logical explanation so far is the one offered defcon5.
My guess, from what I am picturing is that there is a very fine separation somewhere that is allowing them to slide off, but its only doing
it when its under some type of stress. When its not under that stress it is not visible to the naked eye. So for example there is a hairline fracture
there that is held together so tightly that it appears solid when you inspect it, but when its put under a sufficient amount of heat or torque the gap
I have a story, too. Hopefully it is on topic enough to be relevant.
It was the early 90's. I was Assistant Location Manager on a Disney film shot in Zimbabwe and Namibia. My job was to build a camp to house the crew
for two weeks while they filmed in the desert just outside Solitare in Namibia.
Most of the tented-camp equipment came from a rental company in Zim.
I met the convoy as planned in Keetmanshoop, showed the drivers to their
accomodation and gave them money for supper. I would escort them the following morning to the campsite - half-a-day's driving.
I headed for the bar. I ended up staying out later than I wanted to, drinking more than I should have.
I woke the drivers 3.30 AM arranged their
breakfast and left them with the instruction to depart for Mariental
by 4 AM. I went back to bed for an hours kip. I could easily catch the two ancient semi's before they got to the turn-off just before Mariental. I
woke with a jolt. It was nearly 6AM!
I quickly did the math. I figured if I drove flat-out all the way, I might just catch them. The trouble was that the drivers were unfamiliar with the
area, and I told them to drive and I would catch up.
Anyway, I jumped into my rental truck, an old diesel Isuzu which could manage 140 km/h and took off. I was about 30 minutes into the drive and I had
settled in for the long trip ahead.
All of a sudden, the brake warning light came on, went off, came on again, went off again, and then came on and stayed on. This happened in the blink
of an eye. When the light came on the second time, I automatically lifted my foot off the accelerator, while checking to see that the handbrake was
properly disengaged. Then, thinking the warning could also mean a loss of brake fluid, I gave the brakes a test stomp. They were as sharp as ever.
Just then, 3 Kudu antelope ran across the road in front of me! If I hadn't just a split-second ago hit the brakes, I would have ploughed right into
them. It was dark and they came from nowhere. I had slowed down just enough for me to miss them. I can't describe how that shook me up!
I pulled over, opened the hood and checked the brake fluid level, just to be sure. I then tried to pull the handbrake up just a bit to try and
duplicate the flashing, but I couldn't make it happen.
Kudu are a serious menace to drivers at night in Namibia and Southern Africa. I was fully aware of this. For some reason, a combination of a hangover,
focussing on catching up with the convoy, or whatever, I just didn't give Kudu a thought.
I am an atheist, but I can tell you, that was the closest I have come to what some might call a religious experience.
Now, while I have related this story a number of times since it happened, I have always left out a little bit. Everything I have said so far is true,
although I can understand that it sounds incredible. Here's the truly bizarre part. IT HAPPENED AGAIN!
It was dawn, just outside Mariental. I knew I had missed the convoy. I ended up meeting them about 150 km past where we were meant to turn off. I was
coming up and over a blind rise in the road when the brake warning light came on again. I hit the brakes! Just over the rise a Kudu doe and her calf
were crossing the road.
So... I hear you. Once is incredible, but twice? Unbelievable!
But I swear, It happened just like I said it did. I know I am inviting ridicule, but there it it.