0
TomAiello

Naming Names

Recommended Posts

This is still a bit unpolished, so please excuse any errors. I wanted to get this posted, and start a discussion on it as soon as possible.
In public discussion, especially on-line discussion, I avoid naming BASE jumping sites, as well as BASE jumpers. I ask everyone else in this forum to do the same.
I will edit posts which include site names or precise locations, with the exception of a few extremely popular legal sites suitable for beginners, where instruction and supervision are often available. Examples include the legal bridge in the Western United States, and the popular big wall in Southern Norway.
Please remember that the appearance of a site in Skydiving Magazine (or other public venues) is not an expression of support for site publicity from the BASE community. Skydiving has done much to widen the rift between Skydivers and BASE jumpers by publicizing sites despite direct requests from local BASE jumpers to the contrary.
I will remove the names of BASE jumpers who either (a) request that their names be removed, or (b) have made such requests for privacy in the past.
My failure to edit a posting is not an expression of support. I'd recommend avoiding names altogether, whether they are well known or not.
Sites
Inquiries about sites serve as the primary gatekeeper of the BASE community. If a prospective jumper has to locate experienced jumpers to learn about sites, there is a far greater chance that they will receive instruction (of any kind) and use appropriate gear. If a site is publicized, pretty much anyone can run out and throw himself off of it. He can jump with no training, with improper equipment and with no supervision. This is a recipe for disaster, and has resulted in multiple accidents, including more than one fatality.
Any discussion of a site can easily be held by referring to the site descriptively, rather than by name or location. It is easy to discuss "the Bridge Day site" or "the popular terminal wall in Northern Italy" for example, and using such labels detracts nothing from a technical discussion.
Accidents occur at legal sites, as well as illegal ones, and this reasoning applies equally to either. In fact, the majority of BASE fatalities have occurred at legal sites. The ease of access to these sites, as well as the frequency of accidents, argues, if anything, for greater site secrecy at legal sites.
Some BASE jumpers feel that preventing accidents is important because it keeps sites open for jumping (whether legal or illegal). This concern is a distant second to preventing injury.
People
I also generally refrain from naming people. Many BASE jumpers are very shy--especially since they may face legal consequences for some jumps, and those consequences could have major ramifications for their lives. It would be extremely unfortunate to cost a fellow jumper their livelihood because you inadvertently mentioned their name in an internet discussion.
I often use pseudonyms, sometimes drawn from other places (particularly easy for people active on-line, as they often have screen names) and sometimes the product of my fanciful imagination. The informed can often decipher my references. By referring to the Little Aussie, or Space, or 460, I can allow each jumper to choose the level of their own name recognition. If they want to be known, they can publicize themselves. If they prefer to remain anonymous, I have not disregarded their desires.
What's in it for me?
All of this may seem to be a bit much. But it costs you nothing to refrain from naming names, and it may gain you much.
By acting respectfully, you will gain the respect of experienced BASE jumpers, both in your area and elsewhere. This is invaluable in gaining mentoring, support, and guidance, as well as easy access to established jumping sites. Very few experienced BASE jumpers will take you to new sites if they know that the next day the sites name and location will be spread across the internet (or around the drop zone).
Refraining from naming sites is quite easy, and the potential costs of naming them are huge. Why take the chance?
I'm sure I've overlooked some things, and I'd love to start a discussion on this topic.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
here here.
coming from one of those 'shy' jumpers, I certainly don't like my name being mentioned on the internet--at all (Tom you have any and all permission to edit a post with my name in it).
As for site naming, why would you? What purpose does it serve? Discussions about a particular site should be taken to PM. Let me be the 1000th person to point out that NPS and other legal types monitor these boards on a regular basis. Why? Because they are the AntiBASE. They think that we belong behind bars for our blatant disregard for our own lives and the lives of others. [aerial deliver THIS punk!].
I'm with ya Tom...even though you're soft.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree 100 %. When I inquire about sites when traveling, I don't even mention the exact cities I'll be visiting.
No local wants to see "Hi, I'm going to 'your home town' between these dates and was wondering if we could hit that B downtown?" all over the net.



Problems just be opportunities in der workin' clothes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you Tom, for putting it all down. I do not mind my name being used at all. I work on the Bridge Day video, where my name appears for NPS or whoever wants to buy a copy can read it. I avoid site names, even to BASE jumpers I do not know. I am a very inexperienced jumper, and respect from my peers and mentors is a two way street. Guidance from a BASE jumping mentor has given me insight into site naming I want to share. We were talking to a wuffo, and I mentioned a specific, legal, site. This mentor wisely ignored what I had said and steered the conversation away from BASE jumping. After the conversation ended, he politely explained site naming like this:

We do not name sites. Inquiries into actual BASE jumping locations are, by far, the first avenue of contact with a potential jumper. These inquiries open dialogue to determine a potential jumpers skill/training/knowlege. It allows us the opportunity to guide each other in the direction of what's safe for each of us. What's tested and proven. Without this opportunity, there is the possibility of a "everyone's jumping off this thing - it must be safe" mentality [since this conversation - this scenario has happened - tragically].

The internet is a double-edged sword in our world. It is a great place to find information. It is also a terrible place to find information. Site inquiries should be discreet - even if they are legal.

The laws of physics are strictly enforced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here here........... I know of one skydiver "friend" who decided to take the BASE journey alone - and very nearly killed himself in the process. If sites are made known to certain people then I think that perhaps more fools would try this route to chase a false dream.

[:/]

Be Safe........ be phuking scared $hitless of this sport cause you will enjoy it more!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I personally don't mind my name being mentioned, but I also completely understand why many prefer to maintain a lower profile.

I've been pretty open about the fact that I BASE jump... even at work. My personal thinking is that I'll know up front who does & doesn't have a problem with it. Plus, since my co-workers know that I BASE jump, and that I might get injured or busted, it becomes far less of an issue if either of those things actually does happen.

But I realize I'm pretty lucky in that most people seem to be pretty understanding. About the worst reaction I get is from those who think I have a screw or two loose. But I can see why other folks would need to keep their jumping under wraps.

- Z
"Always be yourself... unless you suck." - Joss Whedon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tom,
I am with you on any point you made!!! :)It is never enough the recommendation to people to refrain from naming sites!!! ;)
Hope you are well indeed and to see you soon!!! B|
Yesterday night we (myself, #724 and #726) jumped our A "you-know-where", very, very dark indeed, used a powerful handheld flash light (left alone on the ground...) to light up the landing area of our personal drop zone!!! Very nice exit in complete darkness, very nice flight, very nice landing!!! BASE is a state of mind!!! :) Next time you are around, we MUST jump together!!! :)
Stay safe out there
Blue Skies and Soft Walls
BASE #689 - base_689AT_NO_123_SPAMyahoo.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a question. How do you BASE jumpers feel when you see BASE jumping on T.V.? Do you feel differently about legal/illegal sites when you see them?. I'm curious as to your response due to the amount of banning site names on these forums. I just watched some BASE jumping on 'Real TV' today then wondered how you felt about that sort of coverage? At this point I'm not interested in taking up BASE jumping as I am still very new to skydiving. Thanks for your reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Most tv coverage usually only shows jumping when somthing goes wrong, same as skydiving.


I believe in not naming sites publicly but I find it very strange that some people post pics of some of their non legal jumps. I've come across a few pics on the net where a newbie like me (58 jumps) has recognized at least half a dozen sites. If I were to ever post a pic of me jumping, I think I'll blur out any noticeable landmarks. Too few objects in my area and even if there were a lot, I wouldn't want to burn one.


Just my measly .02



Problems just be opportunities in der workin' clothes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
0