David Blaine's Dive of Death

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Kevin Reylek is on the scene for the third and final day of David Blaine's latest endurance feat, the Dive of Death. NYMP will continue to post exclusive video footage and photos from this event for the next several days. We'll be on the scene tonight at 11 PM EST when Blaine performs his Dive of Death.

David hangs six stories above Central Park
David hangs six stories above Central Park

Dive of Death - Day 3
September 24, 2008

Hi guys. Here's the latest update from our experience covering the Dive of Death out at the Rink. Information will be added through the night as the event unfolds.

1:00 AM
After breaking for a late dinner, Alex and I arrive back on the scene. There's still a surprisingly large crowd hanging out watching David, taking photos, and getting autographs. Lots of magicians are on the scene, including Joshua Jay and many others.

2:00 AM
Triumph the Insult Comic Dog arrives to heckle David and talk to the crowd. While we don't agree with all of Triumph's comments about David, we must say he's a funny dog. Keep your eye on the Conan O'Brien Show for the segment. You might catch a glimpse of me and/or Alex in the crowd!

3:00 AM
The area is very quiet now, the most quiet we've seen it. For anyone visiting future stunts, it seems that 3AM is a prime hour to try to visit David and spend some time with him. We're still trying to get another interview, but between signing autographs, being checked out by his doctor, and trying to score a few minutes rest, Blaine is a little tied up.

Blaine must continually stretch his legs to maintain
blood flow or he risks passing out
David goes airborne right on schedule

4:00 AM
David has a break to check his vitals.

4:45 AM
Some of the crew rig David into sort of an "L" shape, hoping that he'll be able to catch a little bit of sleep for the first time in days.

5:20 AM
Construction crews arrive and start gathering wood around the area. The stanchions are removed. Hmmm, what's this going to be?

6:00 AM
David's been lowered for a while (still upside-down), and the crew is constructing a large circle around him. It looks as if it's going to be a large circular platform. It seems like it could contain some type of above-ground pool. Maybe the dive is a plummet into a shallow pool? Or is this going to be the Ring of Fire? We'll find out tonight!

6:30 AM
More visitors are starting to arrive, as are crew members. Day 3 is officially beginning, and we can tell it's going to be a busy one. I've been at the Rink for the last 12 hours, and it's been about 22 hours since I've slept. Based on how I feel, I can't imagine what David is going through. I'm off to catch a few hours of sleep before returning this afternoon to cover the final hours of the event.

♦     ♦     ♦

The circular platform was constructed quickly
David hangs six stories above Central Park

6:00 PM
We return to the scene with only about five hours left to go before David does his Dive of Death. The circular structure that was under construction this morning is now painted black and has a cover with Blaine's logo. Is this a platform, or will the cover be coming off? We're not sure yet. We wade through the growing crowd and join the line to see David. People are being moved through quickly so everyone can have a chance to get an autograph. David looks much better than he did this morning—earlier his eyes were almost swollen shut and he wasn't talking much, but now he's shaking hands with everyone and is clearly ready for his stunt.

7:30 PM
We are able to get a quick picture with David. The crowd is excited and we're all looking forward to seeing how this stunt will end.

David and I pose for one last photo before the Dive
David goes airborne right on schedule

8:30 PM
Alex and I head to the press area and get set up to cover the special, which begins shortly. We'll be able to watch the special on a large screen off to the side of David's structure. The only parts we won't see are the "live" bits from the camera's POV. We still get to see all the magic!

9:00 PM
The special begins! This is a great one. Lots of strong magic, and reactions that are through-the-roof! Some of this is magic that is out on the market, and some is exclusive to David. I think this was a really well constructed special. I particularly enjoyed the emphasis on David and his history, since he's been so much of a mystery to most folks. Now we get to have a closer look at the man behind the magic.

10:50 PM
The bullet catch airs. Fantastic. The big question is whether or not this was real or an illusion. The presence of Carl Skenes and the authentic look of the catch lead many to believe that it's the real deal. However it's been stated repeatedly that this is just an illusion. Is this to prevent people from trying it themselves? Or is it an illusion in the sense that it was a tightly controlled procedure? We'll be speculating on this one for a long time to come.

David is hoisted to the top of the cube for the final event
David hangs six stories above Central Park

11:00 PM
After 60 hours David is finally turned upright in his harness. He gets checked out by his doctors and gets the OK for the final event. We're so happy he was able to complete this effort without any major problems. He's now out of his harness, and about to begin the Dive of Death!

11:10 PM
The crowd looks on anxiously as David stands 44 feet in the air, about to jump down. David jumps. . .and stops inches short of hitting the platform below. He hovers for a moment, then begins to rise slowly. He reaches his previous height and then continues to float out of the cube and starts drifting away into the night. Response from the audience is mixed to say the least. Some cheer, some boo, some laugh, and some say "huh?" I personally found it very entertaining, and it certainly lives up to the promise of being something that we'll "talk about for quite awhile afterwards."

David begins to float out of the cube
David goes airborne right on schedule

11:30 PM
The crowd begins to dissipate and the crew has already started deconstructing the set. They're fast—I don't think it will take more than a few hours to clear the area of any evidence of the past 3 days.

12:00 PM
We say our last goodbyes to friends new and old, and make our way out of Central Park.

Final Thoughts
Overall we've had a very satisfying few days. We witnessed thousands of New Yorkers join together to support one of their own. We watched a man defy the odds and push the limits of human physicality. We made new friends, and reunited with old ones. And we saw some wonderful magic. It doesn't get much better than that.

I've put together a handy chart breaking down David's stats and mine during the event:

 
Kevin
David Blaine
Time in Central Park 22.5 hours 63 hours
Time upside-down 1-2 minutes 55-60 hours
Total sleep 12 hours 30-60 minutes
Number of times flying out of Wollman Rink None One

That concludes our live event coverage. We haven't had time to upload all of our videos and photos from the event, so check back with us over the next few days for follow-up information. A big thanks to everyone who made this coverage possible, especially David. And be sure to tune in next time! We don't know what David's next stunt will be, but you can bet we'll be covering it! Until then, signing out. . .

Kevin Reylek

 

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