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Remove the BASE Fatality List

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The BASE Fatality List maintained by NickDG is hurting the BASE community and is damaging our fight for fair access throughout the world. While I can appreciate its educational value, the "death list" grossly exaggerates how dangerous our sport can be and vilifies BASE jumping as a suicidal hobby for lunatics. The death list is routinely being referenced by websites, news reports, the NPS, and numerous non-jumping forums throughout the world. Whenever positive BASE jumping discussions are started, it never fails that the death list is brought into the equation and BASE jumping is once again looked down upon. How many other sports keep track of their dead? How many other death lists have a photo of the grim reaper's sister next to a big "85" at the top of the page? Why does Nick's death list invite press inquires at the bottom? If we are ever going to change the negative stereotype that surrounds us wherever we go, then the death list must be removed or password protected.

The death list is indexed by many website search engines, so it's quite easy for anyone to find the current death count. The media routinely references the number of dead in every injury, incident, or fatality story. This is very damaging to our sport. If you'd rather continue jumping at night and getting arrested everywhere you go, then you may not find Nick's death list as detrimental to our sport. If you'd like to see the public's perception of BASE jumpers change for the better and promote fair and equal access in National Parks and other sites around the world, then you might agree with me. I'm sure that some of you will see the list for its "remembrance" value rather than the harm is it doing to our sport and I fully respect that.

I've made several offers to password protect NickDG's death list, but he respectfully declined citing "personal reasons". I'm still unsure of what his personal reasons are, but his recent fake suicide posting on this forum leads me to believe he's obsessed with death. Don't get me wrong - I like NickDG and I consider him a friend. But this is just something we both disagree on and I'm posting this to see what everyone else thinks. Your thoughts?

I recently received information that Nick's death list is also being used by several unfriendly government organizations around the world to show how unsafe our sport is.

A quick web search revealed the following links to the Death List:

Monday's death is the 79th known base-jumping fatality....according to.....Nick Di Giovanni.

...BASE fatality statistics compiled by....Nick Di Giovanni, there have been 85 deaths worldwide.

An example of the hundreds of search engines that have indexed the Death List

Wikipedia Encyclopedia Links to BASE Fatality List

I suspect clean up duty SUCKS!

Nick's BASE Fatality List

If I ever bounce on a BASE jump, I don't want be displayed on Nick's death list for the world to see. As an experienced jumper, having my face on the death list would only show that I failed in some way. However, if I grow old and die of natural causes, feel free to put my name on the list as it would be the only positive listing so far.

So Nick, why can't you at least password protect the death list?
(c)2010 Vertical Visions. No unauthorized duplication permitted. <==For the media only

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Why not just put the data online, but not the stories, pictures, and personal details? To a new jumper who wants to analyze the ratio of object strikes to totals, the data would still be there. A reporter would have far less incentive to link to a plain table of data though, because how interesting is that?

If Nick's goal is to have the page up for educational value, then it's hard to argue against just presenting the data and having no superflous trappings.

My 2 cents.

- KW
Coreece: "You sound like some skinheads I know, but your prejudice is with Christians, not niggers..."

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Keep it. I've heard that dozens of hikers die each year. Maybe we should instead start a web site with the grizzly descriptions of the deaths of all these hikers, thus preventing the wanton and needless loss of life from hiking. Or maybe a website with deathly descriptions of alcohol poisening which might limit a citizen's right to alcohol, despite the Constitutional amendment.
Looks like a death sandwich without the bread - Steve Deadman Morrell, BASE 174

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I think (for whatever it's worth) it should stay in the public domain, it's a warning to the living.

I would imagine typing "*your sport here* Fatality" into any news or search engine would find nothing but bad news too.

Maybe like yourself, you could 'opt out' of publicly being named if ever you make the wrong side of the list.

But i do think it has a more positive effect than negative.. if that makes any sense.

-- Hope you don't die. --

I'm fucking winning

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the "death list" grossly exaggerates how dangerous our sport can be



No it doesn't. All of those deaths happened. There is no exaggeration.

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The death list is indexed by many website search engines



Perhaps a compromise is to set the tags in the HTML so that the site isn't cxrawled by spiders and robots.

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I've made several offers to password protect NickDG's death list



How do you propose to manage that? Who would make the decision to who has access or not

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If I ever bounce on a BASE jump, I don't want be displayed on Nick's death list for the world to see. As an experienced jumper, having my face on the death list would only show that I failed in some way.



It would probably appear in lots of news articles so what is different about the Fatality List? Do you think it unlikely your death would result from your failure?

I say keep it. It is too valuable. And work to provide some positive PR about the sport. Maybe Nick could link to a resource of yours demostrating as such?

Why isn't this on BLiNC? How is this helping those who "you plan to try your hand at BASE jumping" ?
Skydiving Fatalities - Cease not to learn 'til thou cease to live

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Hi Jason,

We had this conversation in private, but okay, we can do it here

I've wanted to take the List down several times over the years, but I always get talked into leaving it up by other BASE jumpers.

I published the first version of the List in 1987 as a training aid, but more so as a memorial to my friends. It's grown since then into this big thing. The List is written for jumpers and it's the reason it comes off frightening and cold to non-jumpers. But, I don't agree "unfriendly government organizations" can use this information against us. No one can hurt us with the truth.

Without the List being public, there's nothing to stop "unfriendly government organizations" from claiming there are one hundred BASE fatalities a year.

I don't especially like maintaining the List anymore, but it's survived all the changes BASE jumping has undergone since we "were" a small band of brothers. It's a constant that binds us together and fixes us to our history.

Since we can't censure the one hundred dollar "Come One, Come All," First BASE jump Courses the List shows those inquisitive enough to look, the dangers involved. And, yes, there are all kinds of arguments either way.

I'm not totally against the idea of password protecting the site. I just don't see how that's going to keep determined "unfriendly government organizations" from gaining access. I'm also open to taking it down altogether.

Jason, couldn't you state your case against the List without calling it, "Nick's Death List" so many times? And this --->>>leads me to believe he's obsessed with death.<<

Come on, brother, it was a Saturday Night Live sketch . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

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A technical point of order: if the Base Fatality List is password protected, someone with access will leak it every time there is an addition.

This means to me there is no middle ground with the list: it must either exist or not.

-=-=-=-=-
Pull.

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There is no exaggeration.



That's your opinion. Have you read some of the climber forums? Have you read the public comments on the websites that posted the dam carnage video? We have a very bad image. Morbidly listing dead jumpers as well as the official death toll (85) in large red numbers at the top of the page DOES present our sport as grossly suicidal, in my opinion.

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How do you propose to manage that? Who would make the decision to who has access or not



Easily done. The password can be passed on verbally or via private email to interested parties. This is very similar to the showing of bounce videos to newbies (private and effective, and there to see if you are interested).

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It would probably appear in lots of news articles so what is different about the Fatality List?



The death list is eternal. News stories aren't.

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Why isn't this on BLiNC?



Because Blinc belongs on the fatality list. This forum is more effective and efficient.

I know that some jumpers have a fascination with death. I also know that many jumpers will want to keep the list. But, when I truly believe in something, I'm not going to keep quiet. If the general consensus is to keep the list, then hopefully Nick can at least add some additonal information on there to show the positive aspects of our sport. Thanks for your comments Craig.
(c)2010 Vertical Visions. No unauthorized duplication permitted. <==For the media only

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I think it would help if there was a more thorough introduction to the list. Move the background story that is now at the bottom to the top of the page and explain it's purpose and the significance of the statistics. Without knowing how many base jumpers exist and how many jumps are made, the number in the top right corner really doesn't say much, except act as a general warning and memorial.

I'd hate to see the list go. The public should applaud the people in this sport for taking the responsibility and courage to document the mistakes (and bad luck) of our fallen comrades.

As far as I know, climbers don't maintain such a database. I climb myself and I recall a fatal accident a couple of years back where a forum discussion about it quickly degenerated in a "no-respect-for-the-dead" flamefest. The bottom-line was that the deceased wasn't wearing a helmet, which might have saved him. Accidents happen. Documentation is good.

I say, provide a good context and explanation for the list's existence (memorial, scare and learn-from-mistakes), at the very top of the page (maybe even on a separate page that you have to see before continueing to the main page) and the list will have a more positive image to the outside world.

Two cents though. Maybe even just one.

Cheers,

Jaap

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We had this conversation in private, but okay, we can do it here



I apologize if bringing this into the public forum is not what you wanted. But I feel that everyone should know the facts and provide input. This affects us all.

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But, I don't agree "unfriendly government organizations" can use this information against us.



Nick, remember the private email I sent you regarding this? "They" are analyzing your list as we speak. I have written proof. Unfortunately, I have been asked to not divulge the details of this until later.

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Without the List being public, there's nothing to stop "unfriendly government organizations" from claiming there are one hundred BASE fatalities a year.



If anyone claims 100 fatalities a year, it could be disproven through our own records. Nobody really knows how many base jumpers there are in the US, and that lack of information typically persuades the media to shy away from guessing.

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Jason, couldn't you state your case against the List without calling it, "Nick's Death List"



Sorry man, that is just the name I have called it for years. It's a lot easier to say than "Nick's BASE Fatality List".
(c)2010 Vertical Visions. No unauthorized duplication permitted. <==For the media only

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I wish to keep visiting the list....
TO learn with other´s errors... :(

Ask for them put on public the traffic fatality list, drugs consumer fatality list,

WAR fatality list

Etc......
After we compare the HOLE STATISTIC, Nick can decide if hide it or not!!!!!!!!!!

See ya.


Cya
Andre.

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Perhaps moving towards more of a database style format with some details scrubbed, with more of a historial refererence but still having all the data sortable and searchable for those that want to put the time into it.

Having a standerd format where things like canopy, rig, protective gear, experience, delay, etc would go a long ways into making it less of deathlist and more of a learning tool. I think the old SkydiveFatalities setup would be a good idea where all that info is listed at the top then the bottom is a lessons learned section. Having it in a database format is even better so you can run a search for learning is good too. See just what were object strikes and what lessons could be learned from a wire ride vs a cliff strike.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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If BASE will ever be legalized in the NPS, it will be because of your efforts. Keep up the fight.

But having said that, your call to bring the List down seems to be driven by the comments you've seen on the climber's forum. My read of those posts is that the climbers aren't complaining about the dangers of BASE, their complaint is with the "F*ck you, I'll do what I want" mentality of some jumpers. That's the hurdle that needs to be overcome to legalizing jumping in the NPS. The NPS is probably more concerned about the fact that jumpers are taking skiis off the Potato Bridge when they're told not too, than with the inherent dangers of BASE.

I think the List is an incredible educational tool & thanks to Nick DG for taking the time to see that others can try and learn from those mistakes.


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The BASE fatality list holds too much information that we can learn from to be taken away from public viewing.

I don't think the positive image that might be gained will outweigh the loss of a valuable learning tool from taking the list down. It's too bad the national parks won't let us jump there, but I don't think taking down the list is the answer.

I agree that putting an intro or description on the top of the list might be a good idea. It will explain the site upfront and reduce the chance of unknowing visitors thinking we are suicidal. However, I don't think it will solve any media problems. If they want to refer to facts on the list in a negitive sense, then they will.

Katie.


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I think that we are developing some great ideas here. Sometimes a collaborative effort is the best way to get good input and develop a system that is beneficial for all.

Chuckbrown, my thoughts on this base list were not driven by climbers comments. I have talked to Nick about this for quite some time.

As an experienced jumper who actively follows the forums, I'm don't have as much use for the list as others do. But I would never want to take away the lessons learned from these incidents. I think there is some common ground here. Maybe cleaning up the fatality list so that it's not so dark would be a good start. Remove the red 85 at the top. Turn it into more of an informative, educational tool. Heck, include commentary on "how this accident could have been prevented". Provide links to positive BASE websites or another page that lists other statistics about the sport.

Maybe even remove the numbering system applied to each fatality? If the list is truly for educational and memorial purposes, who cares about the tally?

Thanks for the good discussion so far.


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Perhaps moving towards more of a database style format


(c)2010 Vertical Visions. No unauthorized duplication permitted. <==For the media only

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Nick i told you this before and i still stand by it.YOU DO A GREAT JOB MAINTAINING that site.

I do belive that site nomatter how sad its to read(yes even by thouse few year ive been in the sport i spoke to some of thouse people.)

I USE that werry list each time i want to do a jump i think is on the edge,i look at the site,wondering if my kids one day will look at a pic of me smiling on that list.
Some times i do the jump sometimes i dont,but im sure that it has kept me on the safe side a couple of times.

If this were a vote you would get the "LET IT STAY!!!"

You might look at it dameging our sport but its a pert of it. more than most of touse legal boogies arround(even as i think theyre great things,they ruin "BASElife" the evryday BASEjumper...

Just my point..it would make me even more sad not having a place to go were i still can see freinds even after theyre gone...

Nick if you feel a preassure i can help(what ever you can ask this bad speller to do anyway..),i dont know by what but im here. i think its a werry special place to MY sport...

Stay safe
Stefan Faber

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Jason

I love and respect you man and think you're a top bloke so please don't think i'm having a pop in any way...there's always a place for you to stay if you ever come visit.

You have invited comments so here are mine for what they are worth.

I think you underestimate the press and how they will stop at nothing to get the story they want, which often isn't the story that exists . I don't believe that removing the list will make one iota of difference and infact might open the gates for journalists to speculate on the figures of fatalities within the sport. I grow tired of hearing from Joe Public how basejumpers pop their clogs at a rate of 50 a year.

Their perception of how dangerous our sport is seems to be hugely disproportionate to the reality, and this exists DESPITE the facts being available....not BECAUSE of them.

Take the list away, and i guarantee that the figures for base fatalities will rise in press stories, not disappear. Journalists quote the fatality numbers in their articles not for the sake of the list itself but always within a context. This is usually after a high profile accident or an arrest or some other news worthy story. Without a reliable fatality reference, the story will still run, why wouldn't it.??? This time though they'll just print whatever figure they like. Danger sells Jason and don't let the absense of a lack of official figures get in the way of a good story. If it were me, and i was as ambitious and unethical as most of them seem to be, i reckon something like 1 a week would sound good.....and hey......where's the proof to contradict me.

Base has had (to our knowledge) 85 fatalities since it first began about 30years ago. That's 85 deaths too many but in view of what we actually do (plunge to earth with seconds to impact) it's not excessive. The fatality list is testiment to how careful and organised we are and in no way exaggerates the danger. 3 decades, hundreds of thousands of successful jumps, 85 deaths????; One plane crash and you wipe out over 300 people in one second.

Jason, i just don't believe the list is hurting BASE in any way. The problems you list, of misrepresentation, prejudice, scapegoating, bias, ignorance and scaremongering are sadly something we will all have to try to fight, educate against and most likely tolerate. At the end of the day, the average person will NEVER EVER EVER understand what it is that makes us do what we do and so they'll pigeon hole us in a way that makes sense in their world. If that means we're suicidal nutters, then that's what we are in their world and keeping or losing the fatality list won't make one scrap of difference.

Truth is truth. Hide it, sweep it under the carpet, coat it in sugar and hang a bull's nut sack on it but it's still the truth baby.

And yes I do view it as a list of rememberence.

With utmost respect

ian

ps. love to Jen and hope the pregnancy is going well.

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Keep it.


It would be a disservice to anyone considering BASE to remove it. I for one am not into candy coating anything just to make it more appealing to the masses or "powers that be". Look what that has done to skydiving.


Every BASE FJC in the states references it as important reading for students. Too bad skydiving doesn't.
----------------------------------------------
You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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Hey Ian,

More great comments and thanks for posting. As I said when I originally posted this, I knew that most people want it to stay intact. And I think that it can stay as long as it's changed. My views might be quite different than the majority, but that doesn't mean they are bad. I deal with the NPS and the media quite a bit more than the average jumper, so maybe my views are slanted. Regardless, as I mentioned before, some great ideas have resulted from this and that was my original intention.

Good to chat with you.....my crazy, dental hygenically challenged friend!!! Cya.
(c)2010 Vertical Visions. No unauthorized duplication permitted. <==For the media only

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the "death list" grossly exaggerates how dangerous our sport can be



No it doesn't. All of those deaths happened. There is no exaggeration.



It's not an exaggeration but it is misinformation because the base rate isn't taken into account.

People have no idea how many BASE jumps occur which are incident free (and neither as a community do we!). Without that data you can't determine risk.

My gut feel is that "the list" does therefore exaggerate the probability of failure.
Coreece: "You sound like some skinheads I know, but your prejudice is with Christians, not niggers..."

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Shoot me if you will....what the hell do I know.
Reading 'The List' objectively, and not sensationally, made me decide to do alot more groundwork and research before making a first jump.

It helped polarise a view that this 'sport' and its risks are very real....and bad things can , and probably will happen......

If any newbies think like I do.......then that list helps keeps future 'additions' to a minimum......so it should stay and be available publically.

As already stated....this type of information will always come out......you cant hide this information.
At least on this list its displayed with accuracy and respect.

Viva la List.......although it would be great for it to just gather dust, because there are no new 'updates':|

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People have no idea how many BASE jumps occur which are incident free (and neither as a community do we!). Without that data you can't determine risk.



Would be nice if someone could run a survey on any given night/weekend...
Post your BASE jump numbers for that period of time...
That would give an 'idea' of how many jumps are happening on a given date

Edited to add :Me 'tinks dis is probably for Blinc

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I strongly disagree with any effort to "de-humanize" the List. I think it has more weight to the BASE community if you can attach a name and face to a fatality description.

The purpose of the list is to remember the ones who have gone in, help other jumpers learn from their mistakes in an attempt to prevent the same things from happening again, and show new jumpers the hazards they face.

I think reading the list and seeing the faces of the ones who have died is far more likely to give them pause, and make them really consider what they're getting into, than looking at a couple bar graphs and statistacal anaysis stuff instead.

If Nick doesn't want to do it anymore, hell, I'll learn something about computers and take it over for him.

Just because others misuse the List doesn't make it any less important to the people it was designed for, us BASE jumpers.

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