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Jimmie Angel
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    (August 1, 1899-December 8, 1956)
    Born in Cedar Valley, Missouri
    American pilot credited with the discovery of Angel Falls, Venezuela, the world's tallest waterfall
    Discovered the falls while searching for a 'lost river of gold'
    Died eight months after a plane crash of complications from a head injury and eventual heart attack at age 57 in a hospital in Panama City, Panama
    Since his grandfather was also named James Angel, he went by his middle name in his youth - Crawford.
    Though a U.S. citizen, he spent most of his adult life in Central and South America.
    He never considered becoming a commercial airline pilot, stating, 'It would be like driving a bus.'
    He insisted a lost river of gold was somewhere in the jungle and spent a great deal of time looking for it without ever finding it.
    After he died, his ashes were interred at an aviation memorial in Burbank, California, but 2½ years later, they were taken and spread over the falls named after him.
    His 'discovery' was surely known by the indigenous people of the jungle, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has made waves about changing the falls name to something more relating to Venezuela.
    H had taught himself how to fly by age 14.
    He served as a pilot during World War I.
    After the war, he held various jobs as a barnstormer, test pilot, movie stunt pilot, and flight instructor.
    On November 18, 1933, he found and incredible waterfall that rose 3,212 feet above the jungle floor, documented his finding, and shortly thereafter Angel Falls was christened.
    Crash landing atop the Auyantepui plateau (near the top of the falls) in 1937, he, his wife and their gardener spent 11 days trekking down the terrain to safety, an extraordinary feat that gained them worldwide attention.
    His crashed plane was disassembled and removed in 1970 from the plateau by the military and reassembled as a memorial for the airport at Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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