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The First Base Board updated

by Nick Di Giovanni

After reading through some historic BASE material I began adding some of Mike Allen’s early BASE postings to Genie into my book.

This is 1990 and back in the days when the next thing up from a local BBS (bulletin board system) is the commercial content providers like CompuServe and Prodigy, and this is also the days when the big debate is about the web going commercial. (It did of course, and, well, there you go. . . )

The first BASE Board came online in 1990 in the Aviation Section of Genie (that stood for General Electric Network for Information Exchange,) Roundtable #11. I was the Sysop and it’s the very first public bulletin for BASE jumpers. Of course, at the time you could count the number of tech savvy BASE jumpers on one hand. Yet, the board was visited by the rest of the aviation community and it’s the first time a positive BASE message was broadcast on the internet.

One of the first to appear online is Mike Allen, BASE 163. Mike died one night on Florida’s Alligator Alley, in 1992. He was traveling between jumps, and he was hit head on by a semi truck.

Aviation RT
Category 11, Topic 21
Message 39, Thursday, April 24, 1991
M.ALLEN28
20:11 EDT

"I'm alive and breathing! And this old gravity just keeps bringing me down. I didn't see much activity on this board and wonder just how many participate. It must be a really elite sub-species of BASE jumper. I'll throw my 2-cents in when something sparks a neuron. REMEMBER: Always practice safe BASE, and always know your partners!"

C-ya,
Mike

That was the first time I ever saw anyone write “C-ya” on the internet and I remember thinking it was very cool . . .

His next post is:

Ah, the moon is so big and bright tonight. It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling in my heart to know people from all corners of the globe are jumping off of stuff. What a wonderful nutty world.

C-ya,
Mike

And another…

Ahoy, matey and all that other Jolly Roger talk. Sounds like you had a great time navigating your way off those big secret cliffs. As you know my local fixed object aviation chapter has been practicing our flying technique quite diligently off a variety of short runway type launch points. I just love good aviation."

C-ya,
Mike

And lastly:

I think I'm getting burned out on jumping all these Florida towers. Maybe I'm getting R.A.D.I.O.A.C.T.I.V.E. I'm developing a taste for microwaved foods. So, I think I'll head out to sunny California and jump her monolithic protrusions. Or maybe, launch off some small little coastal bridge and land in the surf. Or, plummet off a glassy downtown building in Los Angeles waving at myself in the mirrored windows as I go by. It would be great! I need to relax a bit anyway, so what the hell, I feel a BASE mission coming on!

C-ya,
Mike.

That was one of the last times I heard from Mike Allen. His niece Marah is now using some of Mike’s video (he was an awesome camera person) to produce her film on BASE history.

I miss him…


Submitted by Nick Di Giovanni on 2007-06-19 | Last Modified on 2009-08-28

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