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jimmyh

Value (or not) of The List (World BASE Fatality List)

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[we don't learn more about basejumping when we know the jumpers name.]

well, it shows that there are real persons involved in it, and this is what will make people think about the risk, because they can identify with what happened better. if one just reads about an accident that happened to "someone" it doesn't have the same effect, as if one reads about someone who had a family and friends and a life when he/she died. it makes you think, this might happen to you, too, if you don't take care or even though you take care...

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Not arguing that the list has no use. The following is just an observation.

I don't think that the list really deters anyone from entering the sport. More likely than not, someone wanting to enter BASE that reads the list is going to think "I have read about this person and how (and in some cases why) he died, so it is not going to happen to me( or I know how to avoid it). "

Without some kind of rationalization that amounts to "it is not going to happen to me", it is not possible to enter the sport. Regardless of what people want to say now.

Kris.

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Being an active BASE reader (not jumper yet), I think you'll always have divergent point of views on the list...
As a pedagogic tool to learn as much as I can about skydiving and base jumping , I'd rather read a list of
accidents/incident, the causes and a discussion on what
to do to avoid/solve the problem (just like the Incident forum here ....)
But on the other hand, it's good for me and for other
people am sure to have this list to put your head back where it should be when you have the "I want to go BASe jumping now" idea in mind ...
That said, having a photo, name location etc, am not
sure it really helps the purpose

my 2 cents

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I want to publicly announce my complete displeasure with the BASE fatality list.



The list must remain. It is your responsibility not to fuck up and end up on the list. Consequences of dying include a list entry. This is a fact of life whether you like it or not.

bsbd!

Yuri.

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Those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. The list is a valuable and accurate resource designed to protect the living from themselves. As humans, we need all the help we can get.

359
"Now I've settled down,
in a quiet little town,
and forgot about everything"

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It appears that the one common thought about the BFL is that it serves some higher purpose in the form of education.


It's not that aspect of the list that I find abhorrent.

these words are at the top of the page...
"Published for its Educational, Historical, and Memorial Value . . . "

It's the subjectivity of the keeper of the page in his depiction of people who he never even knew that I find disrespectful and counterproductive to BASE jumping in general. How is it his ethical role to write anythiing memorialistic about these people? And what do the the dot dot dots stand for?

Obviously very few of you agree with me...

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"Published for its Educational, Historical, and Memorial Value . . . "

in these manners the fatility list reminds me of a war memorial for WW II or so. In the village where I live we have a boerd with all the NAMES of the people of that town that died in WW II. It is supposed to remind you of the meaninglessness of the war, for which all these people had to die. Of course this is a different topic, but the fatility list is also there to say that this shouldn't happen again.

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People are saying a list of this sort doesn't exist in other sports, what about the incident forum? Is this not a list of similar magnitude for skydiving? With similar information? Should the list become a wikipedia type platform where people can add what they feel is pertinent? I'm sure this would take a load off Nick's shoulders.

As for internet password protection, who would monitor this database? How would you decide who gets a password? Would you change it every few weeks to keep it secure?

An incident list is quite useful in sports like BASE, skydiving, rope jumping, paragliding, climbing, etc. The list helps prevent the recurring problem and make the danger of the activity a reality. How many of you check your gear differently since the Hilder incident? I know I do!

As for the personal aspects of such a list, I think it adds to my understanding of the incident, cause and effect, when I know a little about the person. I know he was some guy making bad choices and headed down the wrong path to begin with. It makes it a little harder to just rationalize away the issue as "it won't happen to me".

I have friends on the list. There are people I've met online, people I've jumped with, people that died while I was present. I don't think the list degrades them in anyway. I sometimes read the list just so I don't forget about the person and who they were to me. I also find people on the list I wish I had met before they made the list. This has me regard jumpers I meet at an exit point in a different way.

I think the list has several strong points. I think the biggest burden is it's maintenance. I feel Nick has an attachment to the list and this comes from his attachment to the sport, so the info in the list is fairly accurate. But he also catches the wrath when someone disagrees like Jimmy and Clair. If it was more of a free entry platform like the way a Wikipedia is supposed to work it may be even more complete.

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how many on the list did you know? for those of us that knew more than our fair share after years of being around, there is value...whether it be educational, historical or memorial value, matters not.

i can't say i haven't visited the list to see what was written about any of my lost friends. most that are lost, the discussion was completed regarding what happened that caused their demise. nevertheless, the historical and memorial value lives.

kaye

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First and foremost, I offer my sympathies for your loss. The loss of a friend is a tragedy and I wish you the best as you adapt to your life without your friend.

Secondly, with regards to 'The List', it serves as an unbiased testament of fact to what the sport is, and what the true risks are. It's information others -should- have and be aware of. If they choose to participate they should understand: Jumpers die. Truly talented and skilled jumpers die. Friends die. And those who BASE jump risk death while jumping.

One should feel very comfortable with their reaction to the risks inherent to the sport before they begin BASE jumping. If they waver on their feelings about death in the sport, they should take up a new sport. A jumper should have conviction about what jumping means to them, and be willing to die for it. If they aren't, they're risking more than they afford. In such a case they should reconsider their motives.

It's interesting that Nick included a section of those who died outside the sport. It brings truth to something someone once told me...

"We're all on Nick's list, it's just a matter of when and in what order."

-=Raistlin
find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;



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*** "The list must remain. It is your responsibility not to fuck up and end up on the list. Consequences of dying include a list entry. This is a fact of life whether you like it or not."

Well said. The list is simply a record of what has happened in the sport. Try not to end up on it. It will go on, because the sport will go on.

YMMV

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Whoops,
that last one was me, not my wife. She was still logged in when I posted.

Alright after giving it some more thought you all are right. The list is good. It serves an educational purpose as well as a cathartic purpose, and I thought of another purpose it could serve: A drinking game purpose.

The BFL Drinking Game or TBFLDG.

Whenever another name is added, get together with your BASE jumper friends (participants must be BASE jumpers), and start at the top with #1.

For every jumper who died before you started BASE jumping, drink. For every jumper you knew personally tell someone else to drink. If you ever made a jump with a dead (before they died) jumper, tell someone else to drink. If you ever had a similar incident but did not die, tell soemone to drink. If you ever made a jump from the same object, tell someone to drink. If you completed your BASE number requirements from an object that a jumper died from, tell everyone in the room to drink.

Whoever passes out during the game gets their picture taken, and that is the picture which gets used for the list when they die.

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Since most U.S. BASErs have come from the ranks of skydivers, I'll provide a link to USPA's incident reports:

http://www.uspa.org/safety/incident.htm

You'll notice it is under the Safety and Training section. I have been in the sport for several years now. I have learned, and will continue to learn, from both the USPA and BF lists. That is where the educational and historial value is for me.

No, USPA doesn't list names and locations or post pictures. But, I think that is what contributes to the memorial aspect of the BFL:

I have, on occasion, gone to the list not recognizing the person's name, but I have recognized their face. That has sparked memories of the times I may have spent around them and the exit points I may have shared with them. It puts a very real, human aspect to it that, to me, USPA's list does not contain.

As for the "dot, dot, dots", it is my belief that, rather than defining those words further, the writer has simply left the reader to define them themselves - and leaving it for discussions such as this.

Mark

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Whoops,
that last one was me, not my wife. She was still logged in when I posted.

Alright after giving it some more thought you all are right. The list is good. It serves an educational purpose as well as a cathartic purpose, and I thought of another purpose it could serve: A drinking game purpose.

The BFL Drinking Game or TBFLDG.

Whenever another name is added, get together with your BASE jumper friends (participants must be BASE jumpers), and start at the top with #1.

For every jumper who died before you started BASE jumping, drink. For every jumper you knew personally tell someone else to drink. If you ever made a jump with a dead (before they died) jumper, tell someone else to drink. If you ever had a similar incident but did not die, tell soemone to drink. If you ever made a jump from the same object, tell someone to drink. If you completed your BASE number requirements from an object that a jumper died from, tell everyone in the room to drink.

Whoever passes out during the game gets their picture taken, and that is the picture which gets used for the list when they die.



Now yer talkin'! Let's all have some fun before we leave up out this bitch.
Nobody gets out alive.

359
"Now I've settled down,
in a quiet little town,
and forgot about everything"

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Jimmy,

How about starting out with the names of your lost friends and drinking what was their favorite shot. If someone didn't know them, they drink double out of respect for our departed friend and quickly learn the favorite shot. While you're at it, you have to tell a funny story of your friend. If someone didn't know the person on the list and wasn't jumping before they passed, they drink triple. You see who gets wasted, the underclassmen!!!

Sorry for the loss of your friend...it always sucks when we lose someone close.

Kaye

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It's the subjectivity of the keeper of the page in his depiction of people who he never even knew that I find disrespectful and counterproductive to BASE jumping in general.



Generally it's people who knew the deceased that provide personal information. I don't think Nick assumes to portray those he didn't know. In the situations where no information has been provided, it is usually just the news reports. I've submitted personal information about a couple of people on the list and it has been reproduced. The list should stay. No disrespect is intended and it has education values. As the maintainer of another list of dead people I believe in providing personal information so that they are not just another statistic. Sorry for your loss.
Skydiving Fatalities - Cease not to learn 'til thou cease to live

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Wouldn't it be better if the list was distributed internally, like the carnage tape? While its a valuable resource for jumpers, it's like a chest of pearls in the middle of a pig farm. We don't think "youtubing" the carnage tape is good for BASE, do we? ;)
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A couple of things . . .

Jimmy & Clair, the . . . punctuation is nothing more than a personal writing style I've been using for thirty years and you're reading a bit too much into them. One poster up-board came closest in explaining them as my way of not over explaining things and leading perceptive readers to think for themselves. In reality they are called ellipsis and are used to omit text that is (or should be) already understood. I abuse that rule for sure, but again, it's just a personal style.

Also, if you look a bit more closely at the List you'll see that most reports include sentences encased in quotation marks ("-") and some that aren't. The quoted sections are from reports I receive from jumpers directly (or as directly as possible) involved in the fatality. The unquoted sentences are my own and I think it comes across that I'm as careful as possible with those.

In days past the early BASE magazines, specifically BASEline and the BASE Gazette in the 1980s were printing BASE accident reports and drawing inaccurate conclusions and it was a lesson I took to heart. As far as comparing the List reporting style to what the USPA does, their reports are, by design, impersonal and they often resort to merely stating violations of standing BSRs. The problem is that never tells the whole story. The fact USPA never mentions names or locations is purely political and if you think that through you should be able to understand the reasons why . . .

On your contention that I'm reporting on people I don’t know is, in a way, right and wrong. I did know almost everyone in the early section of the List, and if not in person at least through phone contact or letters. And the rest of the List contains many people in the same way. But the sport has grown so much nobody can know everyone. I'm the old fart who still believes in the "brotherhood" so I can't help but feel in a way I do know them all. We, all of us, are only separated by a few degrees at best.

For instance, you said you, "don't know who does the List." While I don’t think we've met face to face you did talk to me on the phone when you called a major gear manufacture trying to purchase gear for Clair. Granted, maybe you didn't put two and two together but that seems like a stretch. And what does "know" mean anyway? If either of us is asked if we know each other we are a long way from saying, "never heard of him." And I hope you'll give me a bit of credit here. When I refused to sell you the rig because Clair was underage it wasn't a statement on what you were doing, it was protecting my boss and the years he put in order to make the sport safer.

Now to the meat of the matter – Is the List appropriate and useful? There are as many ways to view it as there are people with opinions. In the long view I started the List in 1987 and we circulated it among ourselves via email. At that time there were only about a dozen names on the List. And certainly we were trying to learn from the mistakes of others. In those days no one wrote, with certainty, how to go about BASE jumping. The best advice at the time usually started with, "I tried this and it didn’t work, so don't do that." I'm not sure you can relate to that time, but in a way, even with mentors and the courses available we are still doing the same thing. However, now it's more because we ignore the past and the lessons that reside there.

On the statement I "enjoy" doing the List. Gee, Jimmy, I don’t know how to respond to that. If, for some wild reason you actually believe that, I'm here to say I don't. I think, like most old timers, I take a certain responsibility for the sport. We, and I'm including you here, did our little bit to popularize the sport. My way was more in house and yours is a bit more out there. But, except for the totally underground ones, most BASE jumpers do share a responsibility for it. I think, closer to home, you probably take BASE jumping seriously and I'll thank you to extend me the same.

On, should the List be public? I've grabbled with that one since day one. In the end I came down on the side of the truth can't hurt us. In another way it's us taking responsibility for what we are doing. Sure, we could sweep it under the rug, but what good is a clean house that is filthy underneath? I've heard, over the years, from enough jumpers, wuffos, and media types to know the List has value. I actually got a kick from Clair's reasoning that "other" sports don’t make use of Lists in a similar manner. But I think it's only because no one was around in the beginning with the idea to keep track. Imagine if there was no BASE Fatality List and someone today decided to compile one. It would be impossible. The facts and figures that make the List valuable would be lost to modern day interpretations. I sometimes look at some of the early reports and find I must resist the temptation to change them in light of modern events. But I know they are more valuable, at least for the discerning reader, when they are presented in the context of what we knew at the time. It's what makes the List a living breathing thing.

My tenure as the person who does the List is in its waning days. I don't want to do it anymore. It's too depressing for me. I've been looking, over the last couple of years, at a short list of people who have expressed interest in taking it over, and some that haven’t, but who I believe could and might if I asked them. I'm also open do doing away with it altogether. I don’t believe any of us, as individuals; have BASE jumping completely figured out yet, but as a group I think we do a pretty good job. So, I'm saying I'm listening, and if I thought now, or at sometime in the future, a majority thought the List should go away, I would make it so . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

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Ellipsis: This punctuation mark is also called a suspension point, points of ellipsis, periods of ellipsis, or colloquially, dot-dot-dot.

An ellipsis is sometimes used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence...
Leroy


..I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw my bath toys were a toaster and a radio...

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IMHO, The list stays. Yes, I am unhappy that Nick doesn't change the summary from what is purported to have happened to what the locals have stated. But it is his list.
I think he should go a step farther and categorize the fatalities more so than he has done for example:
7 have died doing video back to earth on exit.
6 have died doing frontloops on exit,
4 died doing proximity flying......
If you don't want to be on the list, then don't jump.
Should "we", the old school, sugar coat everything like tandem schools do? Fuck no. You fuck up like the rest, you die like the rest. One's only chance now is to die in a new way unthought of before. Then thats's OK in my book. But to repeat the same mistakes over and over again and have fatalities over and over again because there was no list is simply stoopid. Disrespect comes from people not learning from the pioneers in how to not to die doing what the pioneers in mistakes did. If, Bla-Bla dies the same way as 7 others, then maybe not going this route is a great idea. Why would one not want to share this with others? Morality?
Take care,
space

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as a person that wants to get into base, reading the list help me take a step back and realize that just jumping into something with out fully understanding the risks could be fatal. i had an oppertunity to jump but realizing the risk and my experince in skydiving, and knowing that the object to be jumped wasn't the best for the first time, thanks in part to the list. made me step back and reconsider what i was doing at that time. getting someone to stop and think for a second about their actions will always be a good thing, the list does just that.
light travels faster than sound, that's why some people appear to be bright until you hear them speak

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Space, what I remember is you and I standing beside the "ditch" at DeLand in 1989, when "swooping" was called "Ditch Digging" and you said this was going to be bad for the sport in the long run, and you were right . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

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