Piece of trivia for you: what does the recently departed Roger Moore have in common with this Cave of Swallows skydive back in 1989?
If you’d guessed 007 took the leap long before Bodhi tried his luck at BASE jumping the Cave of Swallows in some movie no one’s heard of called ‘Point Break’, you’d be wrong. But you’re on the right track – this video is of legendary skydiver BJ Worth, who’s still with us today. And while the name may escape you, Worth was one of the most respected stuntmen of the 1980s.
It was he – not Grace Jones (being chased by Moore’s James Bond) – who jumped from the Eiffel Tower at the beginning of View to a Kill. His greatest work, however, may be this Cave of Swallows skydive four years later, billed as the world’s first subterranean skydive, at the time.
BJ Worth’s Cave of Swallows Skydive
While fairly tame by today’s standards, it’s not every day you see skydiving in a cave. There’s a reason for that – BASE jumping is notoriously dangerous because you’ve got just seconds to open your chute before turning to meat waffle. Case in point, Felix Baumgartner’s BASE jump from Christ the Redeemer in January of 1999 which, at 95 feet, was one of the shortest jumps on record.
The Cave of Swallows is much higher, obviously, but it’s a precision jump. Bodhi and his cronies jumped from a transport plane and BASE jumped into the cave from much higher but, news flash: that was a movie.
There wasn’t much BASE jumping going on back in 1989, I can assure you, and it was groundbreaking at the time to think someone could leap from a helicopter and land safely in a hole some 1,200 feet deep.
His feat puts him in pretty elite company. As of 2017, I’m only aware of two extreme athletes who’ve skydived in to the Cave of Swallows: Patrick De Gayardon, and BJ Worth – both done decades before modern BASE jumping and action cameras.
Take those away and it’s really about skill and cojones. And for that, I tip my hat to BJ Worth’s Cave of Swallows skydive in the heady days of 1989. Enjoy!