Pictures of a Fearless Photographer at The Grand Canyon-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

A series of pictures showing a man taking photographs atop a steep rock at the Grand Canyon then jumping from the rock to a nearby ledge when he is finished. The eRumor says the photos are real and from a photographer named Hans Van de Vorst.

The Truth:

The pictures are authentic, but there is a little more to the story than the pictures show.

Hans Van de Vorst is a photographer from the Netherlands and posted the photos on Whoever started the eRumor used them without permission and Van de Vorst has declined to let us post them.  You can  CLICK HERE for that link.

It is a sequence of pictures that Van de Vorst took of a tourist at the Grand Canyon who was standing on a small rock atop a column of rocks with a camera on a tripod and taking pictures of a sunset.  Nearby in the picture is the edge of a cliff from which he apparently jumped and to which he will need to once again jump when he’s finished.  The pictures, and the narrative with the pictures, leave the impression that the drop between the column of rocks and the cliff was 900 meters (nearly 3,000 feet) to the bottom of the canyon.  In reality, however, there is shelf between them that is out of sight below what is seen in the picture.  If the tourist had missed the cliff, he would have dropped to that shelf.  It is still a death-defying act for him, however, because the drop from the front or either side of the rock is to the bottom of the canyon and even hitting the shelf safely is a risk.  Van de Vorst said that he did not intend to hide the shelf.  From where he was watching the tourist the shelf was not visible and he did not know of it until a later time.

The daredevil has never been identified.  Van de Vorst says he has no idea who the guy is.  Anybody know who he is—and wants to admit it?

Updated 1/5/07