Rescue workers search for body after 308 foot plunge-

Man goes over Falls. Jackson Hole Daily. By Cory Hatch

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

11 Responses to Man goes over Lower Falls in Yellowstone Park

  1. jdubya says:

    He should have broken the fish off.

  2. bob jackson says:

    The water going in such volume and so close in proximity draws folks emotionally along. Those not seriously considering suicide all at once become serious..and do it. people have removed wedding rings before going over. The common thread (I can’t say if this is so here) has been family didn’t know they were that bad before.

    The answer is the park should either put up some sort of pychological warning sign of how the water can emotionally and physically draw threm in or keep people from the brink. I doubt there is a person who views from this close distance doesn’t have to “fight it”.

  3. Save bears says:

    Interesting theory Bob, but I can honestly say, I have never had to “Fight it” and I have been at that viewing area several hundreds of times over the years!

  4. Caleb says:

    So everyone who views a waterfall closely wants to commit suicide. No they don’t need to put up a warning to people not to kill themselves or to resist the urge to jump in. It is common sense. And no they shouldn’t close down the trail either.

  5. Ken Cole says:

    The last time I stood at the precipice of the falls I was with a crazy alcoholic girlfriend and became worried that she was going to jump or throw me in. I’ve never been back. I also left her.

  6. Although I’ve never contemplated something like this, I do know from pleasant experience relaxing near waterfalls that you can sort of let yourself mentally drift along.

  7. Linda Hunter says:

    I feel sorry for the searchers. . we had one like this here not too long ago and we spent days looking for him. He finally “surfaced” quite a ways from where he jumped in. Very sad for the family.

  8. bob jackson says:

    And I have also been on searches for those “going over” also…and I don’t mean like in the Cohen Brothers movie “Burn After Reading”. Real nasty business I must say….the only good thing is there is no need to explain the details of the tragedy to the next of kin. And Ralph it is very relaxing for me also to be there….and get hypnotized and feel like “drifting along”.

  9. ChrisH says:

    When I worked at grand Canyon N.P., about 5 -10 people fell in by accident or of their own accord. This of course led some to suggest that a fence should be put up. That would be a lot of fence material. However, if people are intent to do to themselves harm a fence would not stop them.
    I think there is something to Mr. Jackson’s theory but we already have enough people trying to protect us from ourselves.

  10. Save bears says:

    When I was in the Military, I often had chance to sit and watch tracers arc over our heads or even hit close by, they were fascinating and almost hypnotic to watch as well as drifting along with them, but never once did I have to fight it to keep myself from becoming one with the tracer round..

    As I said above, never once did I have to fight the urge to jump in the river, of course my fascination was always with the power of the river and watching it go by..

  11. Almost There says:

    I was at the parking lot. It was raining, so we waited because it was clearing off. If we had gone down when we pulled up, we very well may have seen him jump. I had my 10 year old with me. I really upset him the remainder of the day. It was a very powerful learning experience for him about how dangerous nature can be if you don’t respect it. It was very sad.


June 2009


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey