This is one sad story. It involves a guy – James “Fan Man” Miller – who
loves to paraglide into palaces: Caesars Palace, Buckingham Palace, you
name it. We’ve given you many stories of attention-crazed fans who met
bad ends like body painters with frost bit nipples or loonies who wore
fright wigs to games, but for ultimate sadness, this one tops it.
The ashes of Fan Man have been scattered in the icy
Alaska wilderness by the mother of the infant son he did not live to
Fan Man was a parachutist and a paraglider pilot who
not only was an avid outdoorsman, computer technician and extreme
sports enthusiast but also did the single most outrageous stunt at a
sporting event. That event was on November 6, 1993 when, during a
boxing match between Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe, he circled
Caesar’s Palace for ten minutes waiting for his moment. That moment
came during the second minute of the seventh round when he flew into
the arena getting his paraglider tangled with the lighting ropes and
crashing into the top rope of the ring. What did get for his trouble… a
severe beating in which he was knocked unconscious. One security
officer struck Miller twenty times before rushing Miller to the
hospital. Fans at the boxing event cut Miller’s paraglider into pieces
Miller later said “It was a heavyweight fight and I was the only guy knocked out.”
In January 1994, he flew into a Broncos-Raiders game
in Los Angeles. Luckily, in terms of getting beat silly for your
silliness, he did not land in the stands filled with Raider fans. In
February of 1994 he skydived into the middle of a soccer match in
Bolton, England. While he was in England he figured he could top that
stunt. How? By painting himself green except for his privates which he
covered with glow-in-the-dark orange and landing his paraglider on top
of Buckingham Palace.
What did he get for his trouble? How about being arrested by
British authorities, branded an IRA terrorist by Interpol, threatened
with a life sentence if he didn’t reveal his accomplices, held in
prison for 42 days and fined. Plus he was banned from the United
Kingdom for life and when he asked the judge if he could spread his
ashes in England, the mean old judge said “No.” Many, many Brits feel
responsible for the bad end James “Fan Man” Miller finally met.
Being branded a terrorist and jailed in England
prevented him from finding work in the U.S. He moved to Alaska so he
could soar above the beautiful wilderness. But without work there was
no health care. No health care resulted in worry and stress plus it
didn’t help that he was diagnosed as in need for a heart by-pass.
The doctors grounded him. No more flying. The doctors took away the one
thing he loved most.
James Miller had been missing for six months during
which time his girlfriend Courtney Oxman gave birth to baby Logan.
Alaskan hunters came across his decomposed body hanging from a tree by
the cords of his parachute. It was ruled a suicide. He was 39.
We warned you; sad story with a lot of excitement along the way.