William Fitzgerald
April 12, 2019
William Fitzgerald

On the morning of July 15th, 1961, William Fitzgerald, also known as Nathan Boya, a 29 year old went over Niagara Falls. He used a 544 kg (1200 lb) ball, 3 m (10 foot) in diameter, which he named “The Plunge-O-Sphere”. It had a steel frame covered with rubber. As the large ball was seen going over the Falls and appeared in the churning river below, it was retrieved by the Maid of the Mist staff. As he emerged from his protective capsule, the Niagara Parks police greeted the man who gave his name as "Nathan Boya". He was the first person to be charged and convicted under The Niagara Parks act for failure to obtain "A ceremonial permit from the Niagara Parks Commission to perform an act which congregates or is likely to congregate persons, contrary to the regulations of the Niagara Parks act". Boya paid a fine of $100 plus costs of $13. Even though he was scared stiff, he suffered only minor bruises and cuts. He is quoted as saying," I had to do it, I wanted to do it, and I'm glad I did it."

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