Thor Alex Kappfjell

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Thor Alex Kappfjell was a Norwegian offshore oil worker and BASE jumper. He is famous for parachuting from the observation deck of the World Trade Center's South tower in 1999. Previously, he had jumped from the 86th floor of the observation deck of the Empire State Building and the 61st floor of the Chrysler Building (on October 24 and 27, 1998 respectively). Kappfjell claimed to have jumped more than 200 mountains and buildings (radio/television masts, bridges, the Eiffel Tower, etc.) in his daredevil career.

BASE jumping activity where participants jump from fixed objects and use a parachute to break their fall

BASE jumping, also sometimes written as B.A.S.E. jumping, is parachuting or wingsuit flying from a fixed structure or cliff. "BASE" is an acronym that stands for four categories of fixed objects from which one can jump: building, antenna, span, and earth (cliff). Due to the lower altitudes of the jumps, BASE jumping is significantly more dangerous than skydiving from a plane. In the U.S., BASE jumping is currently regarded by many as a fringe extreme sport or stunt.

World Trade Center (1973–2001) complex of buildings in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States

The original World Trade Center was a large complex of seven buildings in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. It featured the landmark Twin Towers, which opened on April 4, 1973 and were destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. At the time of their completion, the Twin Towers — the original 1 World Trade Center, at 1,368 feet (417 m); and 2 World Trade Center, at 1,362 feet (415.1 m) — were the tallest buildings in the world. Other buildings in the complex included the Marriott World Trade Center, 4 WTC, 5 WTC, 6 WTC, and 7 WTC. The complex was located in New York City's Financial District and contained 13,400,000 square feet (1,240,000 m2) of office space.

Empire State Building Skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City

The Empire State Building is a 102-story Art Deco skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon and completed in 1931, the building has a roof height of 1,250 feet (380 m) and stands a total of 1,454 feet (443.2 m) tall, including its antenna. Its name is derived from "Empire State", the nickname of New York, which is of unknown origin. As of 2019 the building is the 5th-tallest completed skyscraper in the United States and the 28th-tallest in the world. It is also the 6th-tallest freestanding structure in the Americas. The Empire State Building stood as the world's tallest building for nearly 40 years until the completion of the World Trade Center's North Tower in Lower Manhattan in late 1970. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, it was again the tallest building in New York until the new One World Trade Center was completed in April 2012.

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World Trade Center jump

On March 25, 1999, Kappfjell ignored threats from Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Police Commissioner Howard Safir and was able to get past the heightened post-bombing-of-1993 security and make his way up the South tower. Kappfjell later on claimed that he used a disguise, but wouldn't go into more detail about how he gave security the slip.

Howard Safir was New York City Fire Commissioner from 1994 to 1996 and New York City Police Commissioner from 1996 to 2000.

Kappfjell landed on West Street in a small construction area between the north and southbound lanes. Without pausing (except to snap some photos), he packed his parachute away and disappeared into the World Financial Center. On March 26, along with his cousin and photographer, he was arrested in his midtown hotel room. He was charged with reckless endangerment and criminal trespassing while his accomplices were charged with obstructing government administration.

Brookfield Place (New York City) office complex in New York City

Brookfield Place, built as and still commonly referred to as the World Financial Center, is a shopping center and office-building complex located across West Street from the World Trade Center in the Battery Park City neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. Overlooking the Hudson River, Brookfield Place has been home to offices of various companies including Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets, Nomura Group, American Express, Bank of New York Mellon, Time Inc. and Brookfield Asset Management, among others. In 2014, the complex was given its current name following the completion of extensive renovations.

Lawsuit

Kappfjell later filed a $2.25 million lawsuit against "Extra", the syndicated television show, seeking damages for breach of contract and fraud. Kappfjell told The New York Post that he was planning to leave the city immediately after the jump, but Barry Levine ("Extra"'s managing editor), had told him to wait until the next morning to be paid for footage of the WTC jump. (He had sold videos of previous jumps to the show.) But, to Kappfjell's surprise, the "Extra" film crew showed up, along with the police the next morning, and Levine was nowhere to be seen.

Extra is an American syndicated television newsmagazine that is distributed by Warner Bros. Television Distribution and premiered on September 5, 1994. The program serves as a straight rundown of news headlines and gossip throughout the entertainment industry, providing coverage of events and celebrities; however, since 2013, it has also placed an even greater emphasis on interviews and insider previews of upcoming film and television projects. As of 2017, the program's weekday broadcasts are currently anchored by Mario Lopez, Renee Bargh and Tanika Ray; its weekend editions are co-anchored by Lopez and Bargh.

<i>New York Post</i> Daily tabloid newspaper based in New York City

The New York Post is a daily newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates the celebrity gossip site PageSix.com, the entertainment site Decider.com, and co-produces the television show Page Six TV.

Death

On July 5, 1999, Kappfjell was killed in a jump off Kjerag mountain in Norway. Having lost his bearings in the night fog, he crashed into the side of the mountain. His body was found at the base of the cliff, parachute open. Fellow jumpers suspected that he hit the face of the cliff and slid down. He was 32 years old.

Kjerag mountain

Kjerag or Kiragg is a mountain in Forsand municipality in Rogaland county, Norway. The 1,110-metre (3,640 ft) tall mountain sits on the southern shore of the Lysefjorden, just southwest of the village of Lysebotn. Its northern side is a massive cliff, plunging 984 metres (3,228 ft) almost straight down into the Lysefjorden, a sight which attracts many visitors each year. Another tourist attraction, the Kjeragbolten, a 5-cubic-metre (180 cu ft) stone wedged between two rocks is located on the mountain. The Kjeragfossen waterfall plunges off the mountain down to the fjord. It is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world.

Norway constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northwestern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.

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Michael Pelkey and Brian Schubert are considered among the first fixed object jumpers.

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Jeb Corliss is an American professional skydiver and BASE jumper. He has jumped from sites including Paris' Eiffel Tower, Seattle's Space Needle, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He lives in Venice, California.

Owen J. Quinn is an American man who was the first person to successfully parachute off one of the World Trade Center towers. He did this on July 22, 1975.

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