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2003 Personal Accounts
The Darwin Awards salutes the spirit portrayed in the following personal accounts, submitted by loyal (and sometimes reluctant) readers. Next Prev Random


2003 Personal Account

(4 February 1912, France) I have a picture of someone who may be my relative, called Franz Reichelt. He is dressed in what looks like a huge black overcoat, and the caption reads, "Monsieur Franz Reichelt with his early parachute -- an outstanding example of the way in which early aviators were as spectacular in their failures as in their successes.

"Reichelt was an Austrian tailor who sought to combine his interests by creating a garment to serve as both an overcoat and a parachute. In 1911, he decided to test his invention. Having told the authorities that he wanted to make a 'dummy' drop, at the last minute he strapped himself in, and with sublime confidence stepped from a platform off the Eiffel Tower, and fell to his death."

Reader Comments:
"For sale cheap: one parachute, used once, never opened."
"This really was a 'dummy' drop!" © 1994 - 2020
Submitted by: Robin Reichelt

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