Photo by Michael Sergio ©1975

Earlier this week we posted some old photos of the Twin Towers, including a few that showed George "Human Fly" Willig climbing the South tower in 1977. Later that day Michael Sergio emailed us this photo that he took in 1975, showing Owen Quinn leaping off the North tower. This happened less than a year after Philippe Petit walked a wire between the two towers.

He calls the photo "Point Of No Return," and promises "there is a world of interesting storytelling that surrounds Owen's jump," which we're hoping to deliver to you in the future. For now, you can settle into this 1989 Sports Illustrated long read, which documents Sergio's own parachute jump... into Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The piece gets a little bit into the WTC jump shown in his photo, as well.

"It was on a Thursday afternoon—July 21. 1975—that [Michael] Sergio got the call. The North Tower was not yet completed, said [Owen] Quinn, but the construction equipment was out of the plaza at the foot of the nearly completed towers.

"We met at the World Trade Center the next afternoon at three o'clock," Sergio says. Quinn had brought the parachute and his crash helmet to work in a duffel bag. Says Sergio, "We wanted to see if we could make it to the roof, so we left the parachute with Owen's cousin at the base and went into the building. The construction elevators were not working, and security was allowing construction workers through the main elevator to the 80th floor. From there we walked to the 110th carrying the roll of tar paper. A security guard blocked the access to the roof, but we convinced him to give us a tour. As the guard pointed out the sights below, we scouted the jump, and then headed back down to collect the parachute and the camera."'

By the time they returned to the top it was after five and a new security guard was on duty. They told him they were from RCA to fix the roof aerial and were allowed on the roof by themselves. "Owen put on his chute and helmet and walked to the edge of the northwest corner." says Sergio. "He kept repeating: 'I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it.'"

He did—"Quinn would need a running start and would have to dive blindly, head first"— and even though he slammed into the tower at least once after leaping, he made it down unscathed. Once on solid ground he was brought to the First Precinct, while Sergio was left to make it downstairs without getting caught himself. Alas, both had to go through 13 court appearances before charges against them were dropped—"meanwhile Quinn had become one of the most famous jumpers in America. The lounge under construction on the 44th floor of the World Trade Center was named Skydive."