I have no idea why all the height junkies seem to be coming out of their closets as of late. Between the 16-year-old who scaled the Freedom Tower last week and some of the other insane videos of kids climbing to scarily unbelievable heights, which have been surfacing on YouTube, it seems that exciting society’s acrophobic response is completely the rage for the “extreme” folks these days.
On that note, the three guys who BASE jumped off 1 World Trade Center last September absolutely take the cake in the adrenaline junkie department. Not only did Andrew Rossig, James Brady, and Marco Markovich climb to the top of the Freedom Tower in NYC during the dead of night, but they preceded to jump off it, exhibiting their unbelievable height tolerance and their penchant for being “extreme,” all while breaking quite a few laws.
Last night, a video of their jump off of the 1,776 foot tower was posted to YouTube, which immediately started making Internet waves. Watching it will literally make you sit on the edge of your seat. Your palms will probably sweat, too.
I never considered myself scared of heights, having grown up as the son of a roofing contractor–but just seeing these guys teetering off the edge before they made their descent made my stomach turn.
How ballsy do you have to be if you are the first one to jump? Seriously, his buddy’s words of encouragement around the two minute mark struck me as totally zealous. I mean, it’s really easy to tell your friend, “You got this!” when he’s the first one diving off the tallest building the the United States, right? I wonder how the decision process played out for the lucky scapegoat who went off first?
Regardless, the GoPro footage filmed by a jumper whose exact identity remains unclear, is absolutely insane. Literally, it’s like pulling a Grand Theft Auto move in real life; anyone who is anyone has jumped off the tallest building in that game, at least, just to try it.
Unfortunately for the four men involved in this real-life incident (three jumpers and one spotter on the ground) they were arrested and charged with burglary and reckless endangerment this past Thursday, only after owning up and admitting to their thrill-seeking leap of faith.
Apparently, much like the aforementioned 16-year-old who found himself atop 1 WTC last week, the three men got atop of the 104 story building without much hassle. They snuck through a hole in the exterior fence, which surrounds the Freedom Tower.
As shown in the video, the three jumpers made a clean escape; however, it was a tip from a Goldman Sachs security officer that ultimately led police to tracking them down and obtaining willing confessions.
One of the jumpers put the stunt best:
“We just kind of walked in,” Andrew Rossig, 33, one of the parachutists, said before going with his lawyer to the First Precinct station house in Lower Manhattan. “It’s supposed to be the most secure building in the world. God forbid it was somebody else getting in there with a real intention to harm New Yorkers.”
Game, set, and match, if you ask me. Let’s hope a judge sees it that way.
Despite being clearly out of their minds, none of these guys hurt anyone and they clearly knew what they were doing in planning and executing this epic jump. If anything, the New York Port Authority and Manhattan’s legal system should take this with a grain of salt and realize that they exposed some pivotal security flaws, which obviously need addressing. Hopefully, that will prove preventative of any real danger to Americans in the future.
[via New York Times]