A French scientist, Michel Siffre, on Tuesday (5 September) climbed out of the cave in Texas in which he had spent the last six months.
AV Hill country
GV Top of shaft & people
GV TILT DOWN Shaft with potheler coming out
SV Helpers at shaft
SV Wife looks down shaft
SV Potholer reaches surface & climbs out
CU Siffre speaking
BRIGGS: "There are many caves in the hill country of south-west Texas, and last Valentine's Day Michel Siffre, a French biologist took up residence in one cave. He stayed there until yesterday, six-and-a-half months underground. He chose this cave in Texas because it was dry, and because it was six time zones away from France. Time was the main purpose of the experiment. Siffre wanted to know if people could break out of the usual 24-hour day pattern when they are removed from any sense of night or day. He had to climb a ladder through a one hundred feet shaft to get out. His wife, Natalie, was waiting for him and so was the daylight - the first he had seen since February. He told reporters he managed to break the twenty-four hour cycle. He said he felt fine, and the doctors, who kept tabs on him all these months with sensors wired to his head and elsewhere, found him in good health.
REPORTER: Was the experiment a success, Michel?
SIFFRE: We found that with having just a few hours of sleep it is possible to have a long day without fatigue.
REPORTER: Do you think you might do something like this again?
SIFFRE: No, no no...finished forever"
Aerial view hill country; Siffre emerging from shaft; helpers; Siffre talking to newsmen.
This hill country in Texas has been home for French scientist, Michel Siffer for the past six-and-a-half months. But he's seen none of the rolling countryside. He's been deep in a cave, trying to prove that without the influence exerted by darkness and light, man adjusts naturally to a forty-eight hour day. When Siffre emerged on Tuesday he had to admit he hadn't fully proved the point -- but had adjusted to a longer day than the conventional twenty-four hour variety. None-the-less the experiment was a success, he claims. Twice while underground he adjusted to forty-eight hour days, and on each occasion he was able to keep going in this fashion for a fortnight. On the surface for the first time since February, Siffre faced a bevy of newsmen.
Initials SGM/2300 SGM/2332
EDITORS: This film includes a commentary by NBC reporter, Fred Briggs. A transcript appears below - and an alternative Visnews commentary appears overleaf.
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Background: A French scientist, Michel Siffre, on Tuesday (5 September) climbed out of the cave in Texas in which he had spent the last six months. Siffre was trying to prove that the 24-hour a day is a product of the sequence of darkness and light. He believes that if one is cut off from night and day, the human body naturally adjusts to a longer day.
When he emerged, 33-year-old Siffre told newsmen the experiment had been a success, even though he did not fully prove that man's natural instinct is for a 48-hour day.
The experiment cost about 40-thousand pounds, and was financed by the French Defence Ministry, and the Institute of Speleology.