Wyoming’s Wildest Rescue: The Story of Daredevil George Hopkins
It all started with a $50 wager. In the fall of 1941, Rapid City, South Dakota, resident George Hopkins bet a friend that he could jump out of a plane and land safely on top of the Devils Tower National Monument in eastern Wyoming.
On October 1st, Hopkins won his bet, when he parachuted from a plane onto the tower. Unfortunately for him, the stunt nearly turned deadly after the rope Hopkins planned on using to descend from the 1,267 foot tower fell over the edge.
The next day, news of Hopkins' predicament spread and the national press flocked to Devil's Tower.
Another attempt to drop a rope by plane failed, stranding the daredevil on top of the monument for a second night. By this point, the weather had taken a turn for the worse and Hopkins was forced to endure snow, sleet and cold temperatures.
The National Park Service developed a plan to have rock climbers ascend the tower and bring Hopkins to safety. However, the inclement weather delayed the rescue mission for another four days.
Finally, after being stranded on top of Devils Tower for over five days, a team of nine experienced climbers scaled the Monument and helped Hopkins repel to safety.
Upon landing, an exhausted Hopkins told reporters, "I want a shave and a haircut."
What became of Hopkins after the harrowing ordeal is unknown, however some accounts suggest he may have joined the Army Air Corps and served in World War II. Hopefully, for his sake, he was able to collect the winnings from his $50 wager.