You want to jump off what?
In recent news, four men BASE-jumped off the new One World Trade Center building. If you are unfamiliar with BASE-jumping it is a daredevil type act in which you leap from a tall standing structure, deploy a parachute, and float to the ground.
In the world of BASE-jumping, the higher or more famous the structure, the cooler you appear to other BASE jumpers and thrill seekers. Now while the word “BASE” describes the type of jump, it is also an acronym — B.A.S.E. that stands for the four categories of fixed objects from which one can jump. Building, Antenna, Span (bridges) and Earth (cliffs).
Once a jumper has conquered all four categories, with proof of the jumps, they can then apply for a base number. As if that was not enough a new category was created as the thrill seekers joined in on the fun, night BASE-jumping. As it sounds, to jump from the four categories during the night will gain you another spot in the BASE jumpers log.
The recently arrested four all completed a night BASE jump from what is the highest target to terrorist according to the Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio. The group climbed the nation’s tallest building at over 1,300 feet on September 30, the group’s attorney kept lookout at the base of the tower. James Brady, a former construction worker at the tower along with Kyle Hartwell, Marko Markovich and Andrew Rossig have been charged with burglary, reckless endangerment and jumping from a structure, according to a statement issued by NYPD Commissioner William Bratton.
Brady helped the group gain access through a hole cut in the fence surrounding the building.
“One of the first things my client said to me was that how surprised he was at how there was no security whatsoever -- how easy it was to just walk right up there in something that the mayor has just recently described as the No. 1 terrorist target in the world,” said attorney Timothy Parlatore.
A search of the men’s homes last month produced video footage of the jump, police said.
BASE-jumping for the most part is banned from public institution such as National and State Parks due to the high-risk nature of the stunt. Many BASE jumpers knowingly break the law to accomplish the list, and in some cases cause injury and even death. While some institutions have banned BASE-jumping altogether, some have embraced this group of daredevils with singular days of BASE-jumping activities.
Once a year in Fayetteville, West Virginia permission is granted to jump from the New River Gorge Bridge, an 876-foot jump above a spectacular river view, below. On 21 October 2006, veteran BASE jumper Brian Lee Schubert of Alta Loma, California died while jumping from the New River Gorge Bridge during Bridge Day activities because his parachute opened late; he plummeted to his death in the waters below. Jumps continued after the recovery of his body.
BASE jumping is considered one of the most dangerous recreational activities in the world, with a fatality and injury rate 43 times higher than parachuting from a plane. As of 23 February 2014 the ‘BASE Fatality List’ maintained by Blincmagazine.com records 226 deaths for BASE-jumping since April 1981.
While I would not begrudge a thrill seeker his challenge, after all, I’m a child of the 70’s and the days of Evil Knievel, so really, jump if you must, just stay off of that building.
The One World Trade Center is a symbol as much as a building of the sacrifice and rebuild of New York, America and the American People. It stands for so much that was lost that this act seems disrespectful. Go get your BASE jump number somewhere else; this building deserves the respect of the American people.