Finalist: Toughest Man Alive, 20th Century: William H. Rankin, Marine Corps pilot
Rankin survived a "fall" (he had a parachute) from 44,000 feet in the 1950s. The engines on his plane seized, he ejected, but his chute opened too soon. It so happened that he was above a thunderstorm at the time. He spent 40 minutes WITHIN the storm clouds being buffeted around. Finally he fell to Earth, still alive. He is the only known human being to have been inside the clouds of a thunderstorm.
Finalist: Toughest Man Alive, 21st Century: Alcides Moreno, New York City window washer
Doctors say they have never seen anything like it: A window washer who fell 47 stories from the roof of a Manhattan skyscraper is now awake, talking to his family and expected to walk again. Alcides Moreno, 37, plummeted almost 500 feet in a Dec. 7 scaffolding collapse that killed his brother.
Somehow, Moreno lived, and doctors at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center announced Thursday that his recovery has been astonishing.
Moreno fell an incredible 47 floors from a NYC skyscraper when his scaffolding fell. When the scaffolding gave way, he laid down flat against bottom of the platform, an action which probably resulted in his surviving the eventual impact.
Sir Edmund Hillary died yesterday. He reached the top of Mount Everest seconds before his Sherpa companion in 1953. Chalk another victory/oppression up for the white man. Couldn't he simply have let Norgay go ahead of him, in the interest of political correctness?