George Willig


George Willig

George Willig (born June 11, 1949) (aka "the human fly" or "the spiderman") is a mountain-climber from Queens, New York, United States, who climbed the South Tower (2 WTC) of the World Trade Center on 25 May, 1977, about 2 1/2 years after tightrope walker Phillippe Petit walked between the tops of the two towers. At the time, it was the third tallest building in the world (behind 1 WTC and the Sears Tower). It took him 3.5 hours to scale the tower. New York City Mayor Abraham Beame fined him $1.10, one cent for each of the skyscraper's 110 stories.

Before the stunt, Willig was a toymaker. He visited the towers a year before the stunt and took measurements for the equipment he would need. He made special clamps that fit into the window washing tracks of the South Tower. The clamps he designed would lock into place when they were pulled down by his body weight. They would release when he decided to raise them. Once he built the equipment, he went to the World Trade Center 4 to 5 times at night to test the equipment. He began his climb at 6:30 a.m. that Thursday morning. As he was climbing, two police officers, one a suicide expert, were lowered down in a window washing basket to try to get Willig to give up. Willig swung away from the officers so they could not grab him. Willig and the officers talked, and the suicide expert realized that Willig knew what he was doing and was not a threat. The officer passed him a pen and paper, and Willig signed it "Best Wishes to my co-ascender." Police helped him to the top of the tower, by pulling him through a tiny window hatch at 10:05 a.m. and he was arrested. Willig said he could hear the crowd cheering from ground level. His climb received plenty of attention because it took 3 1/2 hours to complete, allowing news cameras and spectators to gather. The only significant problem Willig ran into was irregularities in window washing tracks. However, he was prepared for this because he brought a little hammer to fix the irregularities. He signed his name on a piece of metal on the observation deck of the South Tower, which was still visible until the tower was destroyed on September 11. The stunt paved the way for appearances on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson", "Good Morning America", "The Merv Griffin Show", and ABC's "Wide World of Sports". He also got jobs as a stuntman on "The Six Million Dollar Man", "Trauma Center", and "Hollywood Beat".

In 1979, he published a book called "Going It Alone" (ISBN 0-385-14726-0).

During the 1990s, Willig lived in California's San Fernando Valley, working as a remodeler of commercial buildings.

After the 9/11 attacks that destroyed both towers of the World Trade Center, Mr. Willig publicly said he regretted climbing the towers, as his actions may have brought them to the attention of terrorists. But he later told CNN that was just an initial, emotional reaction and that he was still glad to have climbed the towers. [ [http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0110/27/lklw.00.html "America Remembers: The Significance of the World Trade Center"] . Transcript of "Larry King Weekend". "CNN". October 27, 2001.]

References

External links

*wayback|http://www.ericdarton.net/html/tallstories.html Tall Stories (But True)
* [http://www.nypress.com/print.cfm?content_id=5283 Article in the New York Press]

References

Gillespie, Angus K. "Twin Towers the Life of New York City's World Trade Center" Rutgers University Press 1999

Glanz, James and Eric Lipton. "City in the Sky". New York: Times Book, 2003.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • George Willig — (* 11. Juni 1949 in Queens, New York) ist ein US amerikanischer Gebäudekletterer, Stuntman und Buchautor, der unter den Namen Human Fly (Menschliche Fliege) und The Spiderman (der Spinnenmann) bekannt ist. Am 26. Mai 1977 kletterte er die Fassade …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Willig — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Axel Willig (* 1938, † 1998), deutscher Zoologe George Willig (* 1949), US amerikanischer Gebäudekletterer, Stuntman und Buchautor Wilhelm Willig (1910 1992), deutscher Landespolitiker (Nordrhein… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George William Forbes — ( 1932) George William Forbes (* 12. März 1869 in Lyttelton; † 17. Mai 1947) war von 1930 bis 1935 Premierminister von Neuseeland. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George Jeffreys, 1. Baron Jeffreys — George Jeffrys George Jeffreys, 1. Baron Jeffreys of Wem PC (* 15. Mai 1645 in Wrexham in Wales; † 18. April 1689 in London) war Lordkanzler und …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George August Kunowski — Georg August Ölgemälde George August Kunowski (* 25. Juni 1757 in Beuthen/Oder; † 21. Januar 1838 in Schweidnitz) war 42 Jahre bis 1838 evangelischer Pastor Primarius an der Friedenskirche Schweidnitz, heute Weltkulturerbe, Superintendent sowie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George Jeffreys — Dieser Artikel oder Abschnitt ist nicht hinreichend mit Belegen (Literatur, Webseiten oder Einzelnachweisen) versehen. Die fraglichen Angaben werden daher möglicherweise demnächst gelöscht. Hilf Wikipedia, indem du die Angaben recherchierst und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys — Dieser Artikel oder Abschnitt ist nicht hinreichend mit Belegen (Literatur, Webseiten oder Einzelnachweisen) versehen. Die fraglichen Angaben werden daher möglicherweise demnächst gelöscht. Hilf Wikipedia, indem du die Angaben recherchierst und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • High Spirits - Die Geister sind willig! — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: High Spirits Originaltitel: High Spirits Produktionsland: GB, USA Erscheinungsjahr: 1988 Länge: 97 Minuten Originalsprache …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • High Spirits – Die Geister sind willig! — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: High Spirits Originaltitel: High Spirits Produktionsland: GB, USA Erscheinungsjahr: 1988 Länge: 97 Minuten Originalsprache …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Liste der Biografien/Wil — Biografien: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.