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UER Mobile > In Memoriam > 08/23/05 - Ninjalicious has passed away (Viewed 317239 times)

post by FreshFeeling   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 260 on 9/15/2005 12:47 PM >

Hey, Damien Nightbane already posted this link (thanks), and I apologize for the redundancy, but I think some may have passed it over when in actuality they'd appreciate it... sorry if that's presumptuous.


Also, I apologize for my dad's brutal business slang. It seems so remarkably out-of-place.

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post by Ninjalocksmurf   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 261 on 9/16/2005 4:20 AM >

I've lurked this site off and on for quite some time but hadn't been here in a few months and so it was a shock yesterday to learn that Ninjalicious had passed away. My deepest and most sincere condolences to his friends and loved ones.

Heaven's maintenance tunnels will never be safe again.

God rest his soul.

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post by n-rock   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 262 on 9/16/2005 4:27 AM >

Words fail when you hear news like this. I only met Jeff briefly, but was inspired by his writings to be confident and excited about UE, and to see the potential around me for a more pure and creative experience in my own environment.

Jeff brought humor, passion, and a deep respect for humanity to his work. For me, his writing made UE speak about issues that matter deep down: democracy, authority, how places affect people, and what it means for us to live in cities. He was good at demystifying powerful institutions - something that a lot of writers who care about social change try to do, but few succeed.

I especially liked that he presented his own interpretations of places and experiences but always left you feeling like there was room for you to add something to the story. He never needed to have the last word, and he was happy instead of threatened when people built on his accomplishments. He was the heart of a scene but also an anti-scenester. This kind of practical, compassionate humility is rare and something to really treasure. (And something we should all aspire to.)

I am crushed that we lost him so young. But Jeff made our lives richer, and will live on as a legend for many years to come. However long we live, few of us will ever be able to say that.

Let's remember him by passing along the grace he shared with us.


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post by David E   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 263 on 9/16/2005 3:52 PM >

I a extremely sorry to hear of Jeff's (Ninjalicious) passing. I have never met him although I had wanted to. His magazine, lifestyle, and creed were an inspiration for all. I can only hope a little bit of him lives on in all of us...

Farewell, fair traveller, only footsteps...

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post by HauntedPA   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 264 on 9/17/2005 9:24 AM >

OK so I'm pretty late on all this. Perhaps it took me this long to deal with the situation. I don't know exactly...

However, here's to you Ninj. I stumbled across your site years ago and you are probably one of the main reasons I got into UE seriously as far as photography and finding out the history of places go. You opened up my eyes to a world that was alien to me. Before that I thought I was one of few that went into abandoned buildings to find answers...finding your site made me realize there were many more.

While we didn't agree on everything and had a few arguements over the years I must say you stayed true to your course and didn't sway. That I must recognize and give props to.

You are truely a saint amongst sinners and a scholar amongst scholars and may you rest in peace and work never be forgotten. I know I'll never forget you and what you've done for the UE commmunity as a whole.

Again...here's to you Ninj....you inspired many of us and kept the dream alive. You were truely a great person and will NEVER be forgotten!

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post by zendog   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 265 on 9/18/2005 2:21 AM >

I've read the magazine for a long time and have been doing UE for quite a while and I just need to say how much this community will miss Ninj. He was avery BIG influence on me getting more into UE and he always showed class and responsiblity in everything he wrote.

Ninj was our voice.

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post by Sheila   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 266 on 9/19/2005 10:52 PM >

I will always admire Jeff's curiosity about the world and his ingenious ways of experiencing it. The Infiltrations zine and website have fascinated me, made me laugh, and often scared me -- all good things! -- and I know Jeff's presence will live on as the many good people Jeff brought together continue to share their stories.

I feel lucky to have met Jeff and experienced his friendliness and his inspired and brilliantly-executed ways of having fun.

To Liz, and Jeff's friends and family, I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for providing information about donations, I will definitely make a donation to thank Jeff for everything he did to make the world a more interesting place.

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post by r00bix   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 267 on 9/23/2005 6:12 AM >

You can only imagine how much I idolize someone who has made such an impact on a hobby that I have been fortunate enough to share in. He will live on forever in the spirit of urban exploring.

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post by Panic!   |  | This member has been banned. See the banlist for more information.

Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 268 on 9/24/2005 2:27 AM >

I found out about this some weeks ago but have just managed to get online to express my condolences. Wow, I knew about this for some time, but it is still a blow. I have known Jeff online and off for some time, and chatted back and forth over the years. It's almost like I've lost a brother, especially since we shared the same last name.

Regret is a powerful emotion. I wish we had spent a little more effort getting to know each other and putting aside differences as mere different opinions. Damn I am going to miss him. On the lighter side though, he was a great guy, a great inspiration to many people, and one of the explorers I really respected. I wish I had regular access to the web to have expressed these thoughts earlier.

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post by oldtimer   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 269 on 9/25/2005 12:29 AM >

On Saturday, September 24th I attended a "gathering" at Don Valley Brickworks, Building #1 - an informal remembrance of a person who passed away approximately one month ago. His monicker was 'Ninjalicious' (real name Jeff). He was an inspiration and considered a father of urban exploration, and the popularization (if that's ever a good thing) of this odd hobby of going place you're not supposed to go.

His witty writing in his 'zines "Infiltration", since 1996, have encouraged and coalesced diverse people from all over the world. There are 100s of similar groups now - Australia, England, Russia. Ninjalicious exuberant style and flair brought them all together in the cyber world.

The gathering was attended by perhaps 50 or so people. His wife, mother, father and brother (I think). About 4 people plus Jeff's father delivered some nice speeches. There was a short TV interview with Ninj shown on a laptop.

Ninjalicious didn't like interviews but was interviewed on radio, and on TV while keeping anonymous. No matter how well the intent of exploring abandoned buildings, under-construction hospitals, tunnel systems underneath the city, disused subway platforms, storm drains, roofs and basements of government official buildings, etc., there will always be the sourpusses who can not wrap their heads around child-like curiosity and genuine creativity as a driving force. They would imagine the worst of intentions - B&E (break and entry), though nothing is ever broken.

To me, Ninj was not so much a pioneer, but only because I am older by almost 20 years. I have ventured into "invisible" floors at University of Toronto's Erindale campus, ducking swiveling security cameras and crawling around catwalks and roofs of the Ontario Science Centre in the mid to late 70s. Finding Dr. No like access ramps and electric personnel vehicles underneath the Eaton's Centre (Toronto's huge indoor shopping mall) while it was still new. The Casa Loma - the castle that's a tourism focus - but not known for its old boiler rooms, dumb waiters, rickety towers, and hidden tunnels.

I met Ninj once, face to face. That was probably around late 90's. I had seen his magazine 'Infiltration' and I wanted to arrange to order all back issues I was missing. Back then I was on the 3rd or 4th when I discovered it. Before going any further to offer money or support this funny person who wrote so delightfully, I wanted to interview him over supper. It took a few attempts and he finally agreed to come out to the Dundas Street Grille - near the Kipling subway stop.

I had been doing 'urban spelunking' as I coined it for over 20 years by the time I met him. I had always practiced the utmost in ethical exploration. I would sometimes spend an hour retracing my steps to close all propped open doors and reset elevator 'service' switches to their default positions. I told him of several of my past adventures but I was still very cautious when he encouraged me to contribute some articles to the zine. Some of my techniques included separating inner and outer elevator doors, taking service ports off their hinges, jumping across intertwined scissor staircases, crawling over glass domes, fashioning crude tools, etc. I explained to him that I in no way wanted to simplify a bad person's access. Ninj was never pressuring. He said, OK, yeah, I see what you mean. Can you then leave that dangerous part out? By 'dangerous' he didn't just mean protection from bruised arm from being stuck in an elevator door. He meant that if I felt uncomfortable that some miscreant may abuse the knowledge that I was not obligated to write in that much nitty detail.

Whether it's the taking along of night-vision equipment and infra-red (invisible) flashlights, laser rangefinders, radio scanners and the like, we spent the supper discussing high tech toys and their ultimate practicality. All the while I was realizing I am becoming more and more chicken in my old age. My explorations have waned over the years.

It's becoming less and less fun anymore. Even simple storm drains are now routinely barred up - and graffitiized. These things used to be open and welcoming. Not hangouts for druggies. Times have changed.

Anyhow, my interview with Ninj proved that he was more humble, more quiet than I had expected. Not a note out of place as far as ethics and motivations. But he percolated an underlying energy and positive vibe. He didn't look comfortable for long. Just too "family restaurant" and an environment just too mundane I would guess. He liked some of the ideas of destinations that I had mentioned.

His zines from that point forward arrived gratis - often with a nice yellow sticky attached with some note or funny saying. Signed Jeff. I was considered one of his 'friends' which honors me since I barely knew him. I wish I had made more effort. We corresponded via email over the years.

I often told him he is welcomed anytime to another supper, my treat. I owed him. Unfortunately he was simply too humble to take me up on it.

After remembering his article about the scuttled ship La Grande Hermine off St. Catharines, my mother called me to say that on the news the ship had been torched. During the winter I proceeded to do some post-exploration exploration and took a bunch of pictures to send to Ninj as a 'thank you'. Obviously when he explored it, the ship had much more of its glory intact.

The Eaton's Centre was revisited but there again, lots of new cameras all over the place. The telephone access portals in the sidewalks have all been locked down. The "central core" as I called it - the cylinder that the cars spiral around when exiting the multi-level garage has even been locked up. Used to be my friend and I could enter there and stand in the middle of it - wondering how all those golf balls got there. Probably someone is using this concrete cylinder as putting practice off the higher buildings around there.

I managed to do a storm drain in my area. Plus environs of a private residence - which I felt was a little too private. Well I did respect a healthy boundary area. Then an impromptu afternoon's worth of exploring Union Station using Ninj's advice of which access doors were more access than doors. A friend and I alternated between clandestine sleuthing and overt social engineering: "of course we belong here, do you?".

I had promised but never delivered a detailed alphabetical index of his zines. For that I am sorry. His website seems to have a comprehensive index now anyways.

At the gathering I had the pleasure of meeting Liz - his partner in 'crimes'. She knew me right away... from the correspondence. Again, I don't know why we wait to get to know people.

The old Don Valley Brickworks was such a perfect location. Great day. I went for a walk up top of the escarpment to the north of there. Though I had my small Maglite (R) with me I was not in the mood for anything more grimy on such a nice day.

I don't know what else to say except that Ninj (Jeff) never made a big deal about his perpetual health problems. His passing came as a total shock when I read it on the UER forums. I was not aware of anything amiss until then. On August 17th I had asked in an email how I may pay for a pre-order of his new book "Access All Areas" if not by sending cash. I had not heard from him. The book was available at the gathering... and there will be an upcoming official book launch later some time in the brewery district I think I heard.

I am grateful Jeff was part of my life experience. There was of course much more to him than this particular hobby but this part is all I know. Just as most people do not know I do (did) this urban spelunking.

Thank you Liz and all other persons who planned and arranged the gathering.

[last edit 9/25/2005 12:37 AM by oldtimer - edited 6 times]

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post by Stewie   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 270 on 9/25/2005 6:22 AM >

Just like to say I had a really wonderful time at the meet today. The stories that were shared were very heartfelt and now more than ever I understand the impact Ninj had on the lives of so many. It was great to be gathered with so many explorers to remember the guy who was an inspiration to us all. We did some UE'ing in tribute to Ninj afterwards. I had a whole new take on it after attending the get together and reading parts of Access All Areas.

Thanks for the good day.

[last edit 9/25/2005 6:23 AM by Stewie - edited 2 times]

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post by da uno   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 271 on 10/1/2005 7:45 AM >

I couldn't be more sorry to hear this. Even so late. I wish his family nothing but the best with continued success through their lives in this dark time. My condolences.

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post by Panic!   |  | This member has been banned. See the banlist for more information.

Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 272 on 10/4/2005 7:42 AM >

For those that were at OPEX94 I have some of the video I shot at the BBQ which features a youthful and cheerful Ninj / Jeff on it. I am not sure if I should make it available online (with restricted access) but I'd be willing to perhaps send it to people if they wanted a copy. If people were after a bit oa lasting reminder of Jeff. Hmm not appropriate if I should post that here but well....

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post by Squidgit   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 273 on 10/4/2005 9:25 PM >

It was a very nice meet. aTOMx and I were glad to come.

Thanks a lot.

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post by Jen X   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 274 on 10/4/2005 9:42 PM >

I remember finding Infiltration online a little over two years ago, feeling like I finally found a voice for what I love to do. Even though that voice has been silenced in this life those who have been inspired by it will carry on the message. Ninj will live forever in the hearts of those who have answered the call to go where no others dare, to take nothing with them but photographs to show there were truly there, to leave nothing more than a foot print behind them.

Here's to Ninj may he lead the way in the next life as well.


Crazy Jim

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post by The Dude!   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 275 on 10/5/2005 8:09 PM >

A great man and an inspiration to all. His section on hotel pools on Infiltration.org is what inspired me to infiltrate my first hotel pool. His memory will live on in all urban explorers.
RIP Ninja We'll meet again someday.

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post by greywolf45   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 276 on 10/6/2005 4:00 PM >

Posted by bluebomber
A great man and an inspiration to all. His section on hotel pools on Infiltration.org is what inspired me to infiltrate my first hotel pool. His memory will live on in all urban explorers.
RIP Ninja We'll meet again someday.

The man may be gone, but his legacy lives on. See you on the other side.

[last edit 10/6/2005 4:02 PM by greywolf45 - edited 1 times]

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post by greenman999   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 277 on 10/7/2005 8:54 AM >

in these tunnels beneath the reached earth
we begin a brand new birth
after you got so many in
you gone is a true sin
ur ahead of us in many ways
we'll see u in our future days

-Tunnel Rats-(keep those damn cops off our asses)
-goodbye my exploration brother-

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post by darkness   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 278 on 10/8/2005 2:29 PM >

Rest in peace, mate.

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post by eR1c   |  | 
Re: Ninjalicious has passed away
<Reply # 279 on 10/11/2005 8:50 PM >

I just finished reading Ninja's book. The book like him will become a legend in the "art of urban exploration".

my heart goes out to his wife, family, and friends.

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