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Daredevil Inventor Gets on History Channel: on Astini News

BURLEY • A former Burley resident who gained a cult following for his over-the-top personality and stunts has turned the heads of two History Channel scientists who may invest in his safety harness invention.

"A lot of my stunts were too over-the-top back then," Lord Maximus Willhammer said Thursday of his time in the Magic Valley. "People thought I was a lunatic."

Willhammer, who was born George Bradley Lewis but legally changed his name in 2007, was featured Dec. 16 in a History Channel "Invention USA" segment.

The hosts of the show, Garrett Lisi and Reichart Von Wolfsheild, seek out inventors and test their products. If the both like what they see, they invest in the invention.

Both hosts said Willhammer's Air Trek Body Harness is a safer version of a standard personal safety harness due to its increased padding, looser fit and more even distribution of its wearer's weight.

A standard safety harness can act as a tourniquet on its wearer's legs: starving the heart of blood, rendering a person unconscious in five minutes and killing them in eight minutes, Willhammer said.

Willhammer, who has worked in the construction industry for years, said he once found a man who was killed by the very harness that should have saved his life. That, he said, prompted his quest to invent better equipment.

Lisi, who takes a chest-thumping 30-foot-fall during the TV show's segment while wearing Willhammer's harness, said he experienced no pain during the jump.

Lisi and Von Wolfsheild also said Willhammer's harness was more comfortable and safer than the standard version, but had a high cost and heavy weight.

Willhammer's harness sells for $349 — a big jump from the ballpark $70 for a standard harness.

During the show, Willhammer said he has sold his property and bought a tour bus to pursue his dream of marketing safety equipment. He requested a $150,000 investment.

Willhammer also continues to market his other inventions, which include a grappling-hook cannon that can be used by firemen that will also be featured on the History Channel show.

Many Magic Valley residents remember Willhammer for his outlandish tests of his safety gear between 2005 and 2008. He caused a ruckus when he strung a 3,000-foot-long rope across the Snake River Canyon near the Perrine Bridge to film a demonstration of one of his harnesses.

Willhammer also planned to have a helicopter lift a large version of his "Water Bullet"capsule — with himself inside — to 15,000 feet in the air, where it would be dropped into a body of water to prove the value of his safety equipment.

That never happened, but a toned-down version — unmanned, it made an 800-foot drop into Arrowrock Reservoir along the Boise River — was successful in December 2008.

Willhammer said the bullet has since fallen by the wayside.

"It was only being used as a stunt anyway to get the attention of investors for my safety gear," he said.

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LEARN more about Willhammer's gear at

PHOTOS:23.willhammer 1-2 (PHOTO 2 is probably the better choice for a small space)

Courtesy photo

Lord Maximus Willhammer hangs suspended from one of his inventions.

Courtesy photo

Lord Maximus Willhammer models one of his safety harnesses.

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