WEST MINERAL — At approximately 11:44 a.m. Saturday, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a body at the Big Brutus Museum, 6509 NW 60th, West Mineral, according to a release from Sheriff David Groves.
Upon arrival, officers were directed by Big Brutus staff, to the body of a deceased male, who was near the shovel.
The body was identified as 49 year-old, Mark Mosley, of Lowell, Ark.
Based on evidence obtained at the scene, along with other information that has come forward as a result of the investigation, it appears Mosley was participating in an activity known as base jumping, the release said.
Base Jumping is an activity where participants jump from the “Base” (acronym for Buildings, Antennas, Spans (or bridges), and Earth (cliffs).
Base jumpers typically utilize specialized chutes, due to the low altitudes involved.
Cherokee County Investigators collected the chute and other equipment from the scene, and are conferring with skydiving / jumping experts in hopes of determining the appropriateness and functionality of the equipment used.
Having examined the scene, it appears that Mosley was attempting a non-static line jump.
A static line is typically utilized in low altitude jumps, because it involves a system where an attachment is formed between the parachute and the jump platform. This allows the chute to stretch as the jumper falls, then separates and allows the chute to inflate.
This does not appear to be the method used by Mosley for this particular jump, despite the relatively low height of the jump.
Big Brutus’ boom is only 160 feet high.
Groves said the investigation is ongoing while the department waits for preliminary autopsy results and attempts to determine additional circumstances surrounding Mosley’s death.
Big Brutus is the second largest electric stripping shovel ever built and the largest still in existence.