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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BASE jumping is the recreational sport of jumping from fixed objects, using a parachute to descend safely to the ground. "BASE" is an acronym that stands for four categories of fixed objects from which one can jump: buildings, antennae, spans, and earth (cliffs). Participants exit from a fixed object such as a cliff, and after an optional freefall delay, deploy a parachute to slow their descent and land. A popular form of BASE jumping is wingsuit BASE jumping.
The Willis Tower is a 108-story, 1,450-foot (442.1 m) skyscraper in Chicago. The tower has 108 stories as counted by standard methods, though the building's owners count the main roof as 109 and the mechanical penthouse roof as 110. At completion in 1974, it surpassed the World Trade Center in New York City to become the tallest building in the world, a title that it held for nearly 25 years; it was also the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere for 41 years, until the new One World Trade Center surpassed it in 2013.
The Transamerica Pyramid at 600 Montgomery Street between Clay and Washington Streets in the Financial District of San Francisco, California, United States, is a 48-story futurist building and the second-tallest skyscraper in the San Francisco skyline. It was the tallest building in San Francisco from its completion in 1972 until 2018 when the newly constructed Salesforce Tower surpassed its height. The building no longer houses the headquarters of the Transamerica Corporation, which moved its U.S. headquarters to Baltimore, Maryland. However, the building is still associated with the company by being depicted on the company's logo. Designed by architect William Pereira and built by Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company, the building stands at 853 feet (260 m). On completion in 1972 it was the eighth-tallest building in the world. It is also a popular tourist site. In 2020, the building was sold to NYC investor Michael Shvo.
The Space Needle is an observation tower in Seattle, Washington, United States. Considered to be an icon of the city and the Pacific Northwest, it has been designated a Seattle landmark. Located in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood, it was built in the Seattle Center for the 1962 World's Fair, which drew over 2.3 million visitors. Nearly 20,000 people a day used its elevators during the event.
The Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Center, also known as Macau Tower, is a tower located in Sé, Macau. The tower measures 338 m (1,109 ft) in height from ground level to the highest point. Its observation deck features views, restaurants, theaters, shopping malls and the Skywalk X, a walking tour around the outer rim. It offers the best view of Macau and in recent years has been used for a variety of adventurous activities. At 233 meters (764 ft), the Macau Tower's tethered "skyjump" and Bungee jump by AJ Hackett from the tower's outer rim, is the highest commercial skyjump in the world, and is also the second highest commercial decelerator descent facility in the world, after Vegas' Stratosphere skyjump at 252 meters (827 ft).
The Columbia Center, formerly named the Bank of America Tower and Columbia Seafirst Center, is a skyscraper in downtown Seattle, Washington, United States. The 76-story structure is the tallest building in Seattle and the state of Washington, reaching a height of 933 ft (284 m). At the time of its completion, the Columbia Center was the tallest structure on the West Coast; as of 2017 it is the fourth-tallest, behind buildings in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The Jin Mao Tower, also known as the Jinmao Building or Jinmao Tower, is a 420.5-meter-tall (1,380 ft), 88-story landmark skyscraper in Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai, China. It contains a shopping mall, offices and the Grand Hyatt Shanghai hotel which starts from the 53rd floor, which at the time of completion was the highest hotel in the world. Along with the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Shanghai Tower it is part of the Lujiazui skyline seen from the Bund. It was the tallest building in China from its completion in 1999 until 2007, when it was surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Center which is located close by. The Shanghai Tower, a 121-story building located next to these two buildings, surpassed the height of both these buildings in 2015, creating the world's first trio of adjacent supertall skyscrapers.
Terminal Tower is a 52-story, 235 m (771 ft), landmark skyscraper located on Public Square in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. Built during the skyscraper boom of the 1920s and 1930s, it was the second-tallest building in the world when it was completed. Terminal Tower stood as the tallest building in North America outside of New York City from its completion in 1930 until 1964. It was the tallest building in the state of Ohio until the completion of Key Tower in 1991, and remains the second-tallest building in the state. The building is part of the Tower City Center mixed-use development, and its major tenants include Forest City Enterprises, former owner of the building, which maintained its corporate headquarters there until 2018, and Riverside Company.
The Shard, also referred to as the Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and formerly London Bridge Tower, is a 72-storey skyscraper, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, in Southwark, London, that forms part of the Shard Quarter development. Standing 309.6 metres high, the Shard is the tallest building in the United Kingdom, and the seventh-tallest building in Europe. It is also the second-tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom, after the concrete tower of the Emley Moor transmitting station. It replaced Southwark Towers, a 24-storey office block built on the site in 1975.
The Burj Khalifa, known as the Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration in 2010, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. With a total height of 829.8 m and a roof height of 828 m (2,717 ft), the Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure and building in the world since its topping out in 2009.
A jumper, in police and media parlance, is a person who plans to fall or jump from a potentially deadly height, sometimes with the intention to die by suicide, at other times to escape conditions inside by suicide.
The I. B. Perrine Bridge is four-lane truss arch span in the western United States. Located at Twin Falls, Idaho, it carries U.S. Highway 93 over the Snake River Canyon, connecting to Jerome County and Interstate 84.
Roland Simpson was a BASE jumper with over 1,000 jumps. He was born in Australia in 1969. He was a qualified tandem master and a wingsuit instructor. He became the US national exit style champion in 1998, and the US national champion in 1999.
Franz Reichelt, also known as Frantz Reichelt or François Reichelt, was an Austrian-born French tailor, inventor and parachuting pioneer, now sometimes referred to as the Flying Tailor, who is remembered for jumping to his death from the Eiffel Tower while testing a wearable parachute of his own design. Reichelt had become fixated on developing a suit for aviators that would convert into a parachute and allow them to survive a fall should they be forced to leave their aircraft in mid-air. Initial experiments conducted with dummies dropped from the fifth floor of his apartment building had been successful, but he was unable to replicate those early successes with any of his subsequent designs.
Jeb Corliss is an American professional skydiver and BASE jumper. He has jumped from sites including Paris's Eiffel Tower, Seattle's Space Needle, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. He lives in Venice, California.
Gary Connery is a British skydiver, BASE jumper, and professional stuntman. Connery has performed stunt-work in films. He has also acted as the stunt-double for Gary Oldman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Rowan Atkinson, and John Hurt. He is acknowledged as the first skydiver to land after a wingsuit jump without using a parachute. He made his first parachute jump at age 23, as part of his army training.
Giovanni Carta, also known as John Carta, was an Italian American airman and parachutist, veteran of the Vietnam War.
30 Hudson Yards is a super-tall skyscraper in the West Side area of Manhattan. Located near Hell's Kitchen, Chelsea, and the Penn Station area, the building is part of the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project, a plan to redevelop the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's West Side Yard. It is the sixth-tallest building in New York City.
Justin Casquejo is an American free solo climber and stunt performer who has scaled several skyscrapers in Manhattan, New York City as well as a water tower in his hometown, Weehawken, New Jersey. He has been arrested, charged, and convicted for some of his activities. Others have been brought to light through his publication on social media, such as Instagram and YouTube.
Ski-BASE jumping is the recreational sport of skiing at a high speed off of a cliff or mountain and free-falling through the air, using a parachute to descend to the ground, therefore combining the two sports of skiing and BASE jumping. Participants often perform tricks or manoeuvres during the freefall and remove their skis mid-air in order to safely deploy the parachute and land.