And the ruiner of events worldwide — title fights, The Super Bowl, and the Nixon funeral — ladies and gentlemen: the Fan Man! — Michael Buffer, “The Homer They Fall”
While most of us bipeds abandon our dreams of flight the second the alarm clock goes off, James Miller was not so easily deterred. An enthusiast of powered paragliding, Miller made a big splash in the boxing world when he dive-bombed the open-roof Caesar’s Palace ring during a title fight between Evander Holyfield and defending heavyweight champ Riddick Bowe. Check it:
Unfortunately for Miller, he missed the ring by a few feet, taking a spill into the ringside seats. More unfortunately, the assembled crowd gave him a sound thrashing that sent him packing to the hospital (presumably by ambulance).
Undeterred, Miller attempted further stunts in the next few years, including this memorable act of civil disobedience:
Miller used a powered paraglider to get on top of Buckingham Palace after painting himself green and covering his private parts with glow-in-the-dark paint. British authorities evacuated the palace in seven minutes, then came for Miller, who was arrested on the roof. They charged him with terrorism, believing he had connections with the Irish Republican Army.
“What was funny was I was trying to make a point to the Irish that they didn’t need to use violence to protest British policies,” Miller told Valdez newspapers years later.
How ironic. While The Springfield Historical Society has always gone out of its way to discourage impressionable youth from dangerous activities such as those described here, it’s worth noting that these guys sell all the necessary equipage for a cool $6,300. In contrast, a college education costs $160,000 and doesn’t include flying.