2 Parachute Into Manhattan Near Ground Zero, Cops Investigating

Tuesday, 01 Oct 2013 01:35 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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New York police officers are on the hunt for two men who reportedly parachuted into lower Manhattan near Ground Zero early Monday and quickly disappeared.

The men, dressed in black suits and black helmets, touched down near 200 block of West Street, just several blocks from the area that was the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, according to Reuters. 

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"They were seen walking with parachutes away from the location," New York police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters Monday after a departmental promotion ceremony. "No banners, notes were left. They walked away from the (security) camera. We don't know how they left."

A security camera near Goldman Sachs headquarters in Manhattan showed the parachutists at 3:07 a.m. Monday, authorities told Reuters. Additional security cameras near the site showed the pair's final descent, but authorities don't know if the men jumped from a nearby rooftop or out of an aircraft, Reuters reported.

WNYW-TV reported that one 911 caller said they saw a person walking down the street in Manhattan dragging a parachute. 

The Federal Aviation Administration plans to contact the NYPD to see if the department needs help in the investigation. 

Police believe that the stunt may be similar to the three BASE jumpers in Chicago who climbed to the top of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in June and parachuted to the ground.

BASE jumpers leap from tall buildings and cliffs and parachute down. BASE is an acronym for their jump-off points: buildings, antennas, spans, and Earth.

Many have attempted to parachute into New York City. The New York Times reported in 2006 that parachutist Jeb Corliss was prevented from jumping off the observation deck of the Empire State Building. The building managers filed a $12 million suit against Corliss the next year, arguing that he disrupted business and endangered bystanders.

Corliss countersued in 2008 for "unlawfully imprisoning him" in his jump attempt, causing him emotional stress and lost income.

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