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Infilnews 6, October 1999

Alain Robert Climbs Sears Tower
On 10 August, French daredevil Alain Robert scaled Chicago's Sears Tower in a 90-minute unassisted climb, adding the 110-storey building to a long string of conquests that includes the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower and Tokyo's Shinjuku Tower.
        Robert used the method favoured by several tower climbers, working his way up a channel in the outside of the building used for window-washing equipment. He was met by police at the top of the tower and charged with criminal trespass and "failure to operate a safety net while performing an aerial show".
            Speaking shortly after his release, Robert offered this analysis of the experience: "Climbing the Sears Tower is like climbing Mt. Everest... It's nice."

Honduras To Build Big Boat
Honduras has been picked as the building site for what will be the largest ship ever constructed, the so-called "Freedom Ship".
        The ship will be 1500m long, 250m wide and 110m in height, and will house a marina and an airport. The American investors behind the $6-billion project envision the ship as a floating city, complete with rental apartments and condominiums, that may house as many as 20,000 residents once completed.
        According to the ship's designers, "A large onboard security force will patrol the ship around the clock, reinforced by an electronic incursion-detection system. The ship's entire crew will receive security training."
            Construction is expected to employ 20,000 people and take two years; a launch date has not yet been set. Visit for details on this tempting future urban exploration target.

Friends of Williamson's Tunnels Battle Enemies
The Friends of Williamson's Tunnels, the non-profit group interested in preserving and sharing the tunnel system constructed under Liverpool by an eccentric local businessman, is feeling a new sense of urgency to its work. A seemingly more profit-oriented enterprise called "The Stables" has begun to compete with the group in its bid to maintain the tunnel system. "The Stables", who propose to offer tourists a mere four-minute walk through two of the tunnels, have already been responsible for the collapse of one tunnel section. As well as continuing its efforts to buy Joseph Williamson's house (as an entrance to the tunnel system), the FOWT is "racing to get [its] tunnels done for opening" before "The Stables" does.
            To read the full story and find out how to show moral or financial support, visit the Friends of Williamson's Tunnels site.

How To Be a Movie Star
Social engineering made the headlines during Toronto's recent film festival, when a local nobody figured out how to get ushered inside a gala premiere by security. Videomaker and webmaster Albert Nerenberg and friends arrived outside Roy Thompson Hall in a limo, dressed for excess and cheered hysterically by screaming friends in the crowd. Seeking to prevent a mobbing, security promptly ushered Nuremberg and his associates inside, where they spent the evening mingling with celebrities and getting thoroughly drunk.

Free Willy Never Did This
Twenty-seven-year-old David Dukes was recently found dead and naked on the back of a killer whale inside the  whale tank at SeaWorld Orlando. Dukes' parents are suing SeaWorld, alleging that the park inaccurately portrays killer whales as being cute, friendly and stuffed-animal like.
            Commenting on the case, SeaWorld general manager Vic Abbey said, "I think the facts speak for themselves. A fellow trespasses on our property, evades our security, scales two very clear barriers and takes off his clothes and jumps into 50-degree water with an 11,000-pound killer whale. This is an incredibly unwise thing to do."

New Tunnels for New York
On 29 September, New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced a $17.5 billion, five-year plan that includes a Second Avenue subway line for Manhattan and a new Long Island Rail Road link to Grand Central Terminal.
            The new project, though the largest ever proposed by the MTA, only allots funds for a truncated ("stub") Second Avenue subway line. Critics argue that Manhattan requires a full-length Second Avenue subway line to relieve congestion.
            The plan requires approval by the governor and the state legislature.

Urban Exploration Ring Update
The Urban Exploring Ring continues to grow, now with 57 member sites. New members include:
Abandoned and Haunted Places in Ohio [Ohio]
Forgotten NY [New York]
Jimmy's Historical Buildings of Past and Present [Texas]
Ktas par le trou de la serrure [France]
New School Cave Clan [Australia]
Urban Exploration Australia [Australia]
Vadding [New York]

The Infiltration-l discussion list, the invite-only partner to this announcement list, could use some new blood. If you're interested in discussing urban exploration with other explorers around the world, and can handle 10-20 messages a week, visit to find out how to sign up. If you have any comments, corrections, questions, suggestions or submissions for Infilnews, please get in touch.

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