Survivors Club: Man Plunges 39 Stories and Survives

By Ben Sherwood

It sounds utterly impossible: A New York City man jumps 39 stories from the roof of an Upper West Side apartment building, slams into a parked car and survives.

"Miracle!" proclaims the New York Daily News.


The Survivors Club


By Ben Sherwood

On Tuesday morning, Thomas Magill, 22, plunged from a West 63rd Street apartment building and crashed into the backseat and trunk of a red Dodge Charger. The impact of the 490 foot drop was so great that Magill's Keds sneakers flew off his feet.

"My leg! My leg!" he reportedly screamed and was taken to a hospital where he is in critical condition.

"He had his hands up in the air, like flailing," witness Andrew Petrocelli told the Daily News. "Just when he's about to land, there was a boom and glass flying all over," he added. "The car saved his life. He landed in there like a stunt man. It was amazing."

Magill's story may sound like one in a million but it's not especially surprising if you delve into the obscure world of free falling. It turns out that people tumble from great heights all the time and survive... and their chances of survival actually improve if they're drunk, on drugs, suicidal or crazy, according to top experts in the field.

Dr. Richard Snyder knows more than anyone in the world about free falling and "human impact tolerances," the technical phrase for how much the body can withstand. Over a fifty-year career, he has researched more than thirty-three thousand falls of every height and variety.

As a crash injury expert at the FAA in 1963, Snyder published a classic study of 137 falls, including a sixty-nine year-old woman who toppled from a tree while chasing her pet parakeet and an eloper who tumbled from a tall ladder. Snyder's subjects ranged in age from eighteen months to ninety-one years old. Humans, he concluded, are able to survive impact forces "considerably greater than those previously believed tolerable."

Snyder retired to Tucson, Arizona, after careers in government, academia, and the private sector. When I interviewed him for my book The Survivors Club, he recalled gathering information on more than a thousand people who survived falls greater than a thousand feet -- more than twice the distance that Magill plunged on Tuesday.

"It isn't that unusual," he says matter-of-factly. It all depends on how you fall, where you land, and your own physical condition. Snyder's early research found that "psychotic patients," like suicidal people, may be able to withstand impact forces better than "normal" individuals. A crazy person who wants to leap from a building, he theorized, may be looser on the way down. "The act of jumping may thus be a release for him," he writes, "and unlike most of us, this individual may enjoy the jump. As a result he may be physically relaxed at the time of impact, which appears to be, in itself an important criterion for survival of free-fall." Snyder discovered that people who are drunk also "appear to have a disproportionate survival rate among free-falls of extreme distances" because they were "abnormally relaxed."

Snyder rattles off stories of free fallers the way some tell tales of great sports legends. He recalls that one man lived for ten hours after falling thirty-nine thousand feet when a Boeing 707 exploded. Had the victim received proper medical attention, he would have survived. A Russian pilot fell twenty-eight thousand feet and landed in deep snow on the side of a mountain, where he was rescued by Cossack horsemen. Snyder wrote a whole paper on snow as an "impact attenuator." He says if you happen to fall a great distance, pray that you land in what's known as corn snow, which has large, round crystals from repeated thawing and freezing.

Snyder is proud of his career exploring impact forces. His work has helped designers make safety improvements in planes and cars that protect you every day. But he recognizes there's much more work to do. On the one hand, Thomas Magill can fall 39 stories and survive. "On the other hand," he says, "you can trip and fall going out the door and die." He chuckles. "It's kind of an ironical business."

On his Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck goes where the Left and the media don't want us to go. The protests, riots, pandemic — it's all one big distraction being weaponized to shield the Deep State from the big reveal.

The case against General Michael Flynn is bigger than a phone call with the Russian ambassador; it exposes everything. Glenn reveals multiple cogs in the Deep State wheel that tried to destroy Donald Trump's presidency.

This story has everything: secret meetings, spies, glamorous European locations. Glenn puts all of the pieces together and interviews the man who was an eyewitness to all of it — former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. Specifically targeted by this Deep State coup, his reputation and life may never be the same. He reveals the names of those he believes were behind his setup and the coup against the president.

Watch a preview of the full episode below:


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The Washington Post wants Native Americans to hate the name "Washington Redskins" so badly that that it is willing to mock its own study that proved otherwise.

On the radio program Tuesday, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere (filling in for Glenn Beck) discussed the "woke insanity" of the WaPo's most recent poll, which, like its 2016 counterpart, found that the vast majority of Native Americans are not offended by the NFL team's name.

Watch the video below for all the details:


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As the left tries to erase America's history and disparage nearly everything about our nation's founding, Glenn Beck set the record straight about the Declaration of Independence, what it really says, and why he believes it is the "greatest mission statement of all time."

On the radio program Monday, Glenn read something you've probably never heard before: a section of the earliest known draft of the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson in July 1776 and lost for more than a century and a half.

"This wasn't found until 1947; the original draft of the Declaration was found in a bunch of Thomas Jefferson's writings, in a box in the Library of Congress," Glenn said. "This takes everything that you have learned about Thomas Jefferson and turns it upside down. It also explains why we didn't eliminate slavery. It also explains that our Founders felt passionately about slavery, that they tried to end slavery. I want to read just this paragraph to you. This changes absolutely everything."

Watch the video below for more details:



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On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck, Pat Gray, and Stu Burguiere reacted to a recent Washington Post op-ed in which the author, Ron Charles, suggests that "as Confederate statues finally tumble across America, [and] television networks are marching through their catalogues looking to take down racially offensive content," perhaps the next items that should be up on the cancel-culture chopping block are "problematic books."

"Monuments celebrating racist traitors, which were erected to fabricate history and terrify black Americans, are not works of art that deserve our respect or preservation. Similarly, scenes of modern-day white comedians reenacting minstrel-show caricatures are not ironical interrogations of racism that we have to stomach any longer. But complex works of literature are large, they contain multitudes," Charles wrote.

He goes on to argue that "calibrating our Racism Detector to spot only a few obvious sins" is but an insidious source of self-satisfaction when compared to the process of critical debate on the values and intentions of history's literary legends.

"If cancel culture has a weakness, it's that it risks short-circuiting the process of critical engagement that leads to our enlightenment," Charles wrote. "Scanning videos for blackface or searching text files for the n-word is so much easier than contending with, say, the systemic tokenism of TV rom-coms or the unbearable whiteness of Jane Austen."

Could cancel culture really spiral all the way down to book burning? In the clip below, Glenn, Pat, and Stu agreed that this radical progressive movement is really about erasing America's history and overturning the foundation of our country. The fundamental transformation of America is happening now.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


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