As we have all learned over the last 6 years, fact is truly stranger than fiction. This news story from Australia certainly keeps that line of thought alive because it is both one of the funniest and weirdest things we have ever read. The funny part comes in the part of the story where a guy buys a clapped out plane with no wings and decides that the way he will get it home is to literally drive it there on the public roads. We’re not certain how large the city of Newman is but apparently they didn’t take to kindly to the idea of someone driving their airplane around like a ‘Ute. Secondly, the fact that the guy figured that he’d have time to sit down at the bar and have a couple of drinks before completing his trip also made us laugh. We’re reasonably certain that the airplane is not equipped with reverse so imagine the scene of the guy coming out of the bar, collecting the cones he had put out to forewarn people of the prop, pushing the thing backwards out of its parking space and firing it up in the parking lot before rumbling off down the road.
We have seen some great entrances and exits from local watering holes before, but this? This one takes the cake to a level we had never even considered! The news story is below and the unintentional humor factor in it is high because it reads like a police report. Just the facts, ma’am…..just the facts.
Oh, one more thing. Can we agree that the guy who drove the plane in would probably be a fun dude to have a beer with?
Here’s the text of the story as it appeared on FB – Thanks to Damien Busbridge for the tip on this one!
Newman Plane Incident Charge – A 37 year old man was charged today in relation to him taxiing a propeller driven Beechcraft 2 seater aircraft (minus wings) through Newman to the Newman Hotel (purple pub) on Friday 31 October 2014 at about 2.10pm.
It will be alleged that he had just bought the aircraft from a private residence and was taking it home on the other side of the town, but stopped at the pub.
On examination it was found to have an exposed fuel line hanging from the side of the aircraft attached to an unsecured jerry can inside the cabin to enable the engine to run. On stopping the aircraft the accused left the engine in a potentially dangerous condition with the ignition on.
The accused does not hold a pilot’s licence and the roads were busy with other vehicles and pedestrians at the time.
The accused has been charged with Endanger Life, Health or Safety of a Person and is due to appear in the Newman Magistrates Court on 18 November 2014.
A number of young Russians are making names for themselves by posting videos of life-threatening stunts online. What drives these extreme selfie daredevils?
He’s got a camera strapped to his head and he teeters on the edge of the roof in a nine-storey apartment block in Siberia.
“Are you filming?” he asks, as a friend hands him a flaming torch. Orange flames engulf his legs and suddenly he jumps, somersaulting in the air like a stricken warplane before landing with a thud into a deep pile of snow.
Remarkably, he’s unhurt – if a little winded. Police tell a gaggle of onlookers to stop filming, but within hours, footage of this potentially deadly jump goes viral – various videos of the stunt filmed from different angles were watched millions of times on YouTube.
Many people were incredulous, even angry. “Is this the stupidest stunt ever?” screamed one headline.
The young man’s appetite for risk is unusual but not unique. In fact a growing number of deaths and injuries, suffered by Russians who among other things have fallen from buildings and moving trains whilst taking pictures, have prompted the Russian Interior Ministry to launch a “safe selfie” campaign.
Despite the deadly peril, some of the risk takers are attracted by fame and the possibility of becoming social media stars. In many places in Russia, tall buildings are accessible and fines for trespassing are low, if they exist at all. And one enthusiastic participant says extreme stunts can alleviate the boredom and pent up energy of many Russian men.
But what really drives some of the most notable Russian selfie daredevils?
The man jumping off of that Siberian apartment block, 23-year-old Alexander Chernikov, lives on the outskirts of Barnaul – 4,000km east of Moscow.
Even though it’s -18C and thick ice cakes the pavements, he’s dressed in a shiny burgundy bomber jacket, jeans and cowboy boots. The place where he made his infamous jump is a dreary, Soviet-era building with rusty balconies covered in satellite dishes.
“Up there you feel that you’re standing on the line between life and death – your life is hanging by a thread – that if something goes wrong you may die,” he says.
Alexander claims he is not afraid of death. “What’s the point of being scared? It’s inescapable. It comes to us all,” he says.
But would he go to such lengths if there were no cameras? “Probably not,” he admits. “I would find a different way to get on in life.”
Alexander sometimes gets temporary work as a labourer on building sites – there are also local jobs in factories or unloading cargo trains. But he dreams of a career as a stunt man or even a film star. He’s desperate to get out of the sleepy village where he still lives with his parents.
Soon after Alexander’s notorious jump, which has been viewed more than 10 million times online, he was invited onto a TV show in Moscow where a film director promised him a screen test. But on the show, he and his family were treated like country bumpkins.
“What if he jumps again and gets injured?” asked the show’s host. “I don’t want him being treated in hospital on my taxes – I don’t want to pay for this idiot!”
He’s still waiting for the screen test.
Vladimir Lapik and Sasha Bitkov
In a non-descript office block north of St Petersburg, two young men are teaching children and teenagers in a hall covered with red and black images of Asian warriors. It is a club devoted to parkour – a form of acrobatics in which people run, climb and somersault over a city’s ready-made urban assault course of walls, stairs, and rooftops.
Vladimir Lapik and Sasha Bitkov were friends of Pavel Kashin, one of the best known parkour artists in the city who died while filming a stunt on a rooftop. Standing on a metre-wide ledge at the top of an apartment block, Pavel attempted a back-flip – but lost his footing on the landing, and fell sixteen floors to his death.
It was a standard manoeuvre, according to his friends, and one that he had performed dozens of times before. “We don’t know what happened,” says Vladimir, “maybe he was distracted for some reason.”
He adds that he knows five people who have died falling from buildings or getting crushed on railways while performing stunts, but this has failed to put him off parkour.
“We are famous online because we have a lot of committed people here, who practice hard to be the best,” he says.
24-year-old Kirill Vselensky is one of Moscow’s most famous “roofers” or high-rise adventurers and he has climbed almost every tall building in the city – except, perhaps understandably, the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry.
He acknowledges that aside from the obvious danger of death or serious injury, roofers are also breaking the law – but the punishments are mild. The fines are small, although they have recently increased for people caught climbing on top of trains.
“In America, Canada and Europe the guys have to wear masks or climb at night because the property and trespassing laws are so strict,” he says. Once, while climbing the Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, he was nearly lynched and had to empty his wallet to escape.
In Russia, he says, authorities are prepared to look the other way, as long as roofers keep out of politics. Some opposition activists have asked Kirill to hang banners for them across high rise buildings but he always refuses.
In the summer of 2014, a Ukrainian friend of his climbed a landmark building and poured blue paint on the yellow star on top – creating the colours of his country’s flag. But while the friend hightailed it back to Kiev, police raided Kirill’s flat instead and the young Muscovite wound up in prison for 17 months.
But that didn’t dissuade Kirill from further urban exploration. At the top of a Stalin era skyscraper near the American Embassy, Kirill came across a secret floor.
“The lift doesn’t go up there but there’s a boiler room with a cage and a table and a lamp to carry out interrogations – it’s all derelict now,” he says. “But it was incredibly interesting because in the most scary films about the Soviet KGB they have that same boiler room, cage, table, and lamp for interrogations.”
The daughter of a trapeze artist from Moscow’s best known circus, Angela has more than 400,000 followers on her Instagram account. Travel firms, fashion brands and camera companies sponsor her dangerous adventures in Russia and beyond.
Like Alexander Chernikov, the 24-year-old art student was invited onto a TV show to talk about her stunts. But unlike him, she was applauded and received a bouquet of pink roses from the presenter.
In one of her most extreme videos, Angela and her boyfriend climb what is said to be the world’s tallest crane in Tianjin, China.
She also climbs high buildings to perform eye-popping feats like a yoga backbend on a narrow ledge, or a ballerina’s arabesque on a turret. Sometimes she is pictured smiling casually under a selfie-stick with the ground hundreds of metres below her.
Angela says her grandmother was so upset when she first saw her photos, that she pretended they were Photoshopped.
For her, the presence of the camera is a key part of what she calls her art – although few artistic pursuits are as clearly dangerous.
“Sometimes I just climb up a building without a camera just to see a colourful sunrise or sunset,” she says. “But if you are asking why I film myself, imagine an artist painting all alone in his studio – painting, painting, painting for five years until he is practically drowning in his own work. And he thinks who am I doing this for – is there any point in my work? We need an audience – that is just part of the human
For starters, she’s giving away 90 percent of her sun-related profits.
In September 2010, a middle-aged housewife from a nowhere town in Spain claimed legal ownership of the sun. Inspired by the millionaire moon-owning American Dennis Hope, she just woke up one morning, sauntered into her local notary office and made it official.
Predictably, a lot of people questioned the veracity of her claim. Would she charge everyone for using her new property? Was she now liable for things like sunstroke and melanomas?
Three years later, Angeles Duran is still living in the same Spanish border town, but she’s markedly wealthier. And for a person who called dibs on the major life-giving force in our solar system, she’s also surprisingly happy to share her tips, with an upcoming book detailing the ins and outs of celestial property ownership.
I couldn’t wait that long, so I called her up for a chat.
VICE: Hi Angeles. Spain has signed the Outer Space Treaty, a key tenet of which states that they can’t claim ownership of the sun, moon or other celestial bodies. What do you think about that?
Angeles Duran: You know the treaty is not binding for citizens? It’s only for governments.
Doesn’t that still mean Spain has to support your claim and supervise anything you do with your sun? No, my country does not have to monitor my property. This is not legal because no one nation has legal power outside of Earth. They don’t do anything, and I do not need the support of the Spanish government. However, I have offered about 90 percent of my profits to all governments to be reinvested in the following way: To [support] people who earn minimum pension, to educate youth who have no means to study, to [fund] medical research – do you know that Alzheimer’s is the third leading cause of death in the world? I want to help the education, justice and health administrations. And especially help poor people.
You really offer 90 percent of your sun profits to Spain and all governments? Have you handed any money over yet?
I’m talking with a member of the United Nations and I have already had a meeting with a Spanish government representative. I’m waiting for the answer.
How do you keep track of the seven billion people who are using your sun daily? I do not charge people for using the sun. I only want to charge companies that use solar energy without my authorisation.
That makes way more sense. Every day, companies use my property. They will pay for the number of solar panels and per kilowatt-hour of generated energy. I ask €1 for each solar panel. They need a license from the government to install a solar panel, and governmental agreements are the only way I can keep track. If they refuse to pay, I go through a judicial inquiry and pre-trial in a court filing for the prohibition of usury solar panels. The companies must pay me. The companies have to sign a contract with me for using my property. I don’t want the companies to be rich with my property, and I want to share the profits with the people.
What about a place like Barrow, Alaska; which experiences perma-night from late November to early January? They only pay for about nine months.
Holy shit, you even charge Alaska? How much money have you made? I’m sorry but no comment for the money.
Every year 80,000 people die from skin cancer potentially caused by exposure to the sun. How do feel about the fact your product could be the worst mass murderer in history? It is not the fault of sun. The ozone hole was created by humanity. Remember: Without the sun we don’t have life. Unfortunately, many people also die from medical negligence in hospitals. Or, for example, from speeding cars – but we can’t stop buying cars. Or from cirrhosis, but we don’t stop buying alcohol. Tobacco produces cancer but the people don’t stop it, and they still buy it. Do you know how many people die from government greed? Do you know how many people die because of the weapons that we produce?
No, but I try to stay happy. Why haven’t you advertised the proper way people should use your sun? We know the way to protect ourselves. The media informs us about sunlight, so we know the consequences and what we have to do to avoid skin cancer or other diseases. Now we have the means to fight it and they must be used.
What if a solar flare from your sun destroys an expensive satellite in orbit and NASA gets mad? I’m not worried, because they use my property – they stay in solar orbit, because the Earth stays in solar orbit.
That’s a good point. Has anyone actually tried to sue you because of your sun? Yes, a man from A Coruña in Spain tried to sue me because he declared himself the owner of the universe, and then of the sun. But the court recognised me as the only owner in the world of the sun who possesses an official document, and then closed the case.
He could’ve tried to buy your sun from you? Someone has already bought solar land on my webpage angelesduran.es.
Wait, you’re selling tracts of sun now under a trading name? The Space Treaty is very clear, and doesn’t say that I can’t sell it. A company can buy the sun because a company is not a country. My first sale was on eBay for €1 per square metre. Buyers feel it is an investment for the future. Also I sell the Tarzan shout.
Oh yes, you also claim to own the sound Tarzan makes. Isn’t that a Hollywood sound effect that is already a trademark of the studios? First, they have only registered the movie and the soundtrack, but they have never been able to transcribe the shout of Tarzan as it was in musical notes. I managed to write down the notes and then make a recording no one had ever made.
That is next-level. Have any businesses tried to buy your sun from you? Yes. A Japanese company wanted to buy solar plots in exchange for moon parcels, however I am not interested in the proposal as someone in a different country had already bought those plots on my web page.
Do you realise a man called Virgiliu Popalready claimed ownership of the sun in 2002? Yes, I have heard of him, but only after the publication of my articles on the property of the sun. He says: “I’m a Romanian space lawyer,” and he has claimed the property of the sun on a register called Archimedes Institute. First, this institute is a private non-profit organisation which has no legal authority and competence, and therefore has no authority to validate any extra-terrestrial property. Like everyone else – other than me – he has never been able to show any kind of legal document. Mr Pop publicly acknowledged that he isn’t the real owner in a newspaper called La Voz de Galicia. He said, “I’m an expert in public space,” but I say that his knowledge is very limited. He said that Spain has no jurisdiction over the sun, and on this I do agree, but I say: “Neither Spain norother nations.” According to him, to possess property, “You must have been to the place.” I’m sorry that he failed to attend school and missed lessons on Roman law.
Isn’t that true, though? Don’t you have to have been making consistent physical use of something for 40 years in order to claim it as yours? He is wrong because it is still the notary who has proven that property law applies to the sun based on the Roman law of usucapione and electromagnetic contact. He says he did all this to show how ridiculous it can be. I’m sorry that I am so “ridiculous”, but I’ll tell you what is serious – his lack of knowledge of civil and Roman law. When he speaks of the Space Treaty of the UN signed by almost all the nations in the world, he forgets something very important: Me, Angeles Duran. I am not a country, I’m not a nation and I never signed any agreement or treaty or convention.
I would not like to offend Mr Pop, but I want to remind him that Article 2 of the mentioned treaty says: “Extra-terrestrial space including the moon and other celestial bodies can never be the subject of national ownership and sovereignty, use, occupation or other form…” but this always refers to nations, not to people. I wanted to remind Mr Pop that the method of acquiring property is accepted and recognised by all the laws of all the countries of the world, as the roots of the law comes from Roman law. I say, “Come potest nemo contra factum proprium.”
This is a universal rule of law based on the principle of Bona Fides (Digest 1, 7, 25). At this point it is obvious that when Mr Pop speaks about me, he speaks without any knowledge of the law and without any legal basis. Thanks to this law, I was able to acquire the property of the sun as established by the Civil Code and laws recognised worldwide.
You really do technically own that sun, huh. My actions are legal; he did not have any legal value. In the same newspaper he claimed to have written a book called The Man Who Sold The Moon, but he is a liar because this book was written in 1950 by Robert A Heinlein and was awarded the Hugo Award Retro in 1951. I’m sorry for him, because I‘ve found a way to be the legal owner of the sun, and he never will.