The Time Bono And Jimmy Buffett Were Almost Murdered

Is it just us or does it seem kind of strange that the "Sunday Bloody Sunday" guy and the "Cheeseburger in Paradise" guy are friends? Guess you can chalk it up to the rich being different from the rest of us. Like personal-plane-to-Jamaica different. That's where the two found themselves (along with Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, plus Bono's wife, and two daughters) when they came under fire from Jamaican law enforcement.

OK, let's back up a bit. While most Parrotheads probably know this trivia, others may not realize that Jimmy Buffett is actually a trained pilot and has been for some time. According to BuffettWorld, Buffett became a licensed pilot at 39, fulfilling a longtime dream. And for a guy who likes to island hop, it's a handy skill to have.

Island hopping is exactly what the celebs were up to in 1996 when they ran into trouble. The group had been staying with Blackwell and decided to take a quick jaunt to Buffett's favorite jerk chicken place near Negril, says Outsider. If you've had really good jerk chicken, you know this is totally reasonable — celebrity or not.

The flight itself was uneventful by all accounts, but when the plane landed, that's when things got interesting.

Bono: 'I honestly thought we were all going to die'

According to NedRock, the seaplane landed safely in the water and waited for a boat to come pick them up while another pilot readied the plane to taxi away with its guests safely headed for land. We know that Bono and his family were inside the boat when bullets started flying and that the group had to dive for cover. Somehow, the pilot at the helm of Buffett's plane still managed to take off and escape the gunfire. When the plane reached safety, the pilot found that the plane had taken at least two bullets to the fuselage. Mercifully, all involved were somehow unharmed — aside from, you know, the shock of suddenly being shot at and almost murdered in an island paradise when you're just trying to get some jerk chicken.

So why the unexpected hail of gunfire? Well, the official story kind of explains. It seems that Jamaican authorities had been alerted to drug smuggling activity in the area (a significant problem in those days) but as to why this particular plane had been fired on, we still don't know. While NedRock explains that authorities seemed genuinely apologetic about the whole thing, an internal investigation never yielded any answers as to why authorities would randomly fire at a plane.

In the end, says NedRock, the always-chill Buffett pinned the mix-up on "probably karma." Oh, and he still got some jerk chicken afterward.