BEST DAREDEVIL STUNTS
Evel Knievel attempts to jump Snake River Canyon (1974)
To that point known primarily for his motorcycle jumps, the artist otherwise known as Robert Craig Knievel climbed aboard a steam-powered rocket and took flight. The craft actually would have made it to the other side had a strong wind not blown it back into the canyon and just feet from the water, where the well-restrained Knievel would have almost certainly drowned. The failed event was broadcast to movie theaters nationwide via closed-circuit television. Investors never made their money back.
Philippe Petit walks high wire between World Trade Center towers (1974)
Most remember the French high-wire artist’s crossing between the Twin Towers in August 1974 but few recall that he actually made the trip eight times in 45 minutes, dancing, laying down and waving to onlookers as he performed. Just as neat a trick was the stringing of the cable between the two 1,350-foot buildings in the cover of night using a bow and arrow, fishing line and rope. Even the famously jaded New York City police were impressed. The feat was the subject of the 2008 documentary “Man on a Wire.”
Wingsuited Jeb Corliss’ “flying dagger” jump through China’s Tianmen Hole (2011)
Chances are, you’ve seen the video of this stunt – from many different angles, in fact – in which Corliss jumped from a helicoptter and sailed through a 20-foot-wide fissure in China’s Mount Jianglang before deploying a parachute and floating gently to earth. In fact, video taken from Corliss’ wrist cam, complete with wind blast, shows how truly scary – and exhilarating – this jump was. No surprise that Corliss cried afterward and called it “the single gnarliest thing I’ve ever done.”