This silent, raw footage shows the December 10th, 1954 human factors experiment involving Col. John Paul Stapp, who rode a rocket sled called the Sonic Wind at speeds up to 632 miles per hour at Holloman, New Mexico. This set a ground speed record and put Stapp into the books as "Fastest Man on Earth". The film starts with footage of Stapp being strapped into the sled and telemetry belts being affixed to his helmet and person. At 4:00, the Northrop Aircraft crew in the blockhouse begins a countdown. At 6:40 a signal flare is fired across the Holloman track. At 10:40, the sled is seen moving at high speed towards the water brake, which produces decelerating g-forces for the experiment. At 11:00, the ground team rushes to assist Col. Stapp. At 11:25, he is examined by a physician and removed from the sled. His eyes are visibly "redded out" from the massive deceleration. At 12:50 he is evacuated by ambulance to the base hospital where he is examined further at 13:00.The effects on his eyes is shown at 14:30.
John Paul Stapp, M.D., Ph.D., Colonel, USAF (Ret.) (11 July 1910 - 13 November 1999) was a career U.S. Air Force officer, USAF flight surgeon and pioneer in studying the effects of acceleration and deceleration forces on humans.