Published September 23, 2008
David Blaine is not really hanging upside down for 60 hours, according to FOXNews.com's eyewitness who photographed the magician standing right-side up Tuesday.
The revelation would seem to deflate Blaine's latest stunt, but a representative for the 35-year-old magician said he never intended to stay upside down for 60 consecutive hours.
"About once an hour he has to come down for a medical check, to stretch, and to relieve himself, because even David Blaine can't do that upside down," said Patrick Smith, an executive vice president at Rubenstein Associates. "He has said all along that there will be times when he must get his head above his heart."
Smith continued, "The doctors told him if he doesn't do that, he will die."
Another witness at the scene told our source that Blaine turns himself around and stands up about three times an hour.
On Monday, Blaine said he was "doin' all right" after stringing himself upside down above Central Park's Wollman ice skating rink in New York City earlier that day.
Wearing a safety harness attached to a crossbar, Blaine dangled by his feet from a large steel scaffold structure.
Blaine said he planned to stay there for 60 hours despite doctors' warnings.
Sounding nasal from sinus pressure, Blaine kept smiling while describing the "enormous push of blood" that made it feel like his head was "about to explode."
"The legs go pins and needle very fast," he said, adding that stretches — kind of an upside-down sit-up — seem to help.
As a child, Blaine was intrigued to learn that Harry Houdini had dangled from a crane by his ankles while escaping a straitjacket.
"Live with Regis and Kelly" host Kelly Ripa also put on a harness and hung upside down with Blaine on her show Monday morning.
Blaine stopped eating "about a week ago," he told Ripa, so that he won't have to go to the bathroom, other than using his catheter.
"I’ll need lots of liquids so I won’t have to go into organ failure again, which has happened twice," he said.
Other medical difficulties: Swelling of the eyes and "there’s the possibility of blood hemorrhaging in the brain," he told Ripa, along with going into an altered state due to sleep deprivation.
Doctors, who will be monitoring him throughout the feat, say the increase in blood pressure raises the risk of stroke or blindness, and gravity could restrict the blood flow to his lower extremities.
Blaine has control of the cables suspending him and has front-to-back and side-to-side maneuverability. He periodically lowers himself closer to ground to interact with fans.
The spectacle is set to conclude in an ABC television special Wednesday night when Blaine takes what he calls the "Dive of Death" and falls 44 feet to the ground.
In November 2000, Blaine spent 61 hours inside a block of ice that was situated in Times Square. Two years ago, he lived for a week underwater in an acrylic sphere in front of Lincoln Center, and in 2002, he stood atop a 90-foot pillar erected behind the New York Public Library for 35 hours.
Blaine also lived for 44 days inside a transparent box suspended over the Thames River in London in fall 2003.
FOX News.com's Joshua Rhett Miller and The Associated Press contributed to this report.