Fifth Estate Collective

Digger Digs In

Digger O’Dell, world famous stunt man, will be buried in Detroit October 26th, at 1 pm at 13505 Grand River east of Schaefer. Mr. O’Dell will be buried alive.

He will arrive on October 21 to begin construction of his concrete casket six feet beneath an abandoned gas station.

Digger estimates he has spent 6-1/2 of his 54 years buried in a self made grave and has been buried 93 times before. O’Dell, who earns his living either sitting on flagpoles or going to the other extreme of being buried alive, holds the present World Record of 78 days 20 minutes and 10 seconds for staying under six feet of dirt.

Digger’s “Home Away From Home” is the latest thing in coffins. It is equipped with electric lights, two telephones, a public address system, a 55-gallon septic tank, a fan and a radio—but no television. Each morning he receives a copy of the daily newspaper. “I’m probably the only customer who gets a paper in the grave,” he quips.

Life, however, is not easy. His coffin is a cramped three feet by three feet by six feet. There is room to roll over, but he can’t stand or sit up.

He is kept busy all day talking with visitors who peer at him through an observation window built over his coffin.

On the average he sleeps about two hours a day. and he takes one meal a day.

Digger is versatile. In an age of increasing specialization he has developed other skills to tide him over when there is no demand for live burials.

He holds the world’s record for living underwater in a steel tank (26 days), and was once perched atop a flagpole in Atlanta, for 109 days.

Go dig him and see one of the last practitioners of a dying art.


Fifth Estate #64, October 17–30, 1968