77 Years Ago Parachutist Marooned on the Top of Devils Tower
It all started with a $50 bet, and it quickly became a media sensation. Just before America joined World War II, George Hopkins decided to parachute onto Devils Tower. He wanted to prove that it was possible to land on a small target, according to the National Park Service. Since the top of the Tower is about an acre in size, it was the ideal location. It was on October 1, when George stuck his landing. He won his bet, but the problem was now getting down from the 1200 foot cliff. He was stuck.
No one will remember him for that landing. What people will remember is how a man was stranded on the top of a mountain for 6 days. Hopkins orchestrated the publicity stunt, but what he didn't prepare for was his climbing gear falling from the cliff.
The Park Service and the media tried to put a plan together to rescue Hopkins. They thought of dropping rope so he could climb down much like his original plan. As written by Today I Found Out, The Good Year Blimp was on call to help rescue the man. The military offered the aid of their helicopters, too. The conditions in Wyoming turned out to be too windy and they had to send in climbers to retrieve Hopkins.
The rescue team led by Jack Durrance were able to grab the daredevil from the top of the peak. Hopkins was unharmed and in good spirits when then final reached the summit. It is also important to mention that he did have "room service" in the form of care packaged dropped from passing planes.