1977: The Human Fly Climbs the WTC Tower

1977: The Human Fly Climbs the WTC Tower
Photo Credit To https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/49/Marriott_World_Trade_Center.jpg

On this day 27-year-old George Willig scaled the Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) using his hands and legs. His stunt caused a sensation and drew a lot of media attention. It took him about 3 ½ hours to finish the climb. He spent one year on preparations, during which he designed special clamps which he could fit into the window washing tracks.

During previous nights he went to the Tower 4-5 times to secretly test his equipment. On this day at 6:30 in the morning, he began his ascent. He chose the South Tower of the World Trade Center (the first one to crash during the September 11 terrorist attack, although the North Tower was the first hit by a plane). The height of the tower was 415 meters and it had 110 floors. When Willig was noticed climbing, two policemen were lowered to his level in a window washing basket.

One of the policemen was a suicide expert. They tried to convince Willig to give up. However, he was persistent, and the police officers were convinced that he knows what he is doing and does not pose a threat. After three-and-a-half hours, he successfully completed the climb and was arrested only after the ascent. By decision of the New York mayor he was charged a fine of only one dollar and ten cents (one cent for each floor he climbed).

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