BEST DARE­DEVIL STUNTS

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv - BY GE­ORGE DICKIE

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.”

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