The base system dating
Newspapers started to pick up on the fact that Bridge Day 2015 might be a bust, so the BDC decided to "rethink" their newly-created background check process.
The momentum seemed to move towards the BASE jumping community.
On January 21, 2015, a Bridge Day Commission meeting was held to discuss the opposition to fingerprint scans.
I couldn't attend due to a work commitment in San Diego, but several jumpers attended and voiced their concerns.
The BDC has stated the fingerprints won't be stored, but we are very skeptical. According to former park rangers who I've personally spoken to, the National Park Service (NPS) already has a well-known list of BASE jumpers kept on file in a safe at New River Gorge National River headquarters.
Although fingerprint scanner manufacturers may claim their device doesn't store fingerprints in standalone mode, many are capable of doing so if connected to other devices or servers.
The background check process was always a one-time only check performed months in advance of the event, meaning that a successful check from 2002-2014 would permit a jumper to not be required to submit the same information year after year.
During that 13 year time period, no problems arose and no jumpers ever failed the background check.
My request to the BDC for information for details on the fingerprint scanner being used has not been answered since November 2014, but I've since been told it's the "Morphoident" system that has been used by the West Virginia State Police. Who would ever be willing to step forward and fight the Government?In protest, jumpers organized a "Boycott Bridge Day" Facebook page and an alternate competing event on the same day as Bridge Day 2015 from the 486' tall Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho (where it's legal and free to jump every day of the year).I was quite surprised by how passionate other jumpers were about removing the fingerprint plan.Instructions on how to operate, maintain, and inspect the human catapult were not provided by us, so keep this in mind if you decide to trust your life to it.
I'm told the new owner had to find someone to figure out how to operate it.
Immediately after 9/11, the BDC began requesting the name, birthdate, and SSN (or passport number if not a US citizen) for all participants.