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Video shows BASE jumps off LDS Church Office Building

By Steve Fidel | Posted - Apr. 20, 2011 at 9:11 a.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A video posted online shows two men jumping off the LDS Church Office Building in downtown Salt Lake City.

It was posted two months ago but gained attention this week after one of the men spoke out about the Nov. 12 stunt.

The video shows Hartman Rector and Marshall Miller jumping 420 feet from the 26th floor observation deck of the 28-story church building and landing in a parking lot across North Temple before a waiting SUV whisks them away.

Rector, 28, and Miller, 32, were both cited for infractions. Rector pleaded guilty last week to disturbing the peace in Salt Lake City Justice Court, while a trespassing citation was dropped. He was ordered to pay $300, was forbidden from returning to the LDS Church Office Building and was given six months of probation.

Miller pleaded guilty to criminal trespassing in March and received the same sentence.

BASE stands for buildings, antennae, spans (bridges) and earth (cliffs), the locations from which thrill-seekers jump in what some consider the ultimate extreme sport.

Miller told KSL that he and Rector saw the Church Office Building as an unavoidably tempting target for BASE jumpers, but the building's security made it impossible to access the high-rise after hours. So the duo went on a tour of the building's observation deck to plan the logistics of a jump, devising a way to scale a security fence without damaging it and get to a ledge where they could make a clean jump.

On a separate trip, they returned to execute their plan, strapping on concealed parachutes in a men's restroom and then pulling off the mid-afternoon jump. Miller said they planned the jump at a time when the parking lot across the street would be empty.

Miller videotaped the entire episode with a helmet cam while the driver of their getaway vehicle filmed the jumps from inside his SUV. Rector jumped first, then Miller followed, doing a "nice little flip" off the edge of the building.

Miller said he was surprised the jump upset church security, and he bristled at the amount of the fines prosecutors levied against him and Rector. He originally tried to sell the video of the jump to offset his court costs but is now making it available in its entirety online free.

Miller said he would not be using the Church Office Building again for a BASE jump.

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