PASS or F*AI*L is a series where Compass Vermont enters various prompts into AI Chatbots to see where they take us.  Here is the latest:

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Prompt:  What is the most amazing story you know about a Vermont native?


There are many amazing stories about Vermont natives. Here is one that I find particularly inspiring:

In 1910, a young woman named Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She was born in Vermont in 1838 and grew up on a farm. She was always a bit of a daredevil, and she loved to take risks. When she was 72 years old, she decided that she wanted to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She built her own barrel and made sure that it was as safe as possible. Then, on October 24, 1910, she climbed into the barrel and took the plunge.

The fall was terrifying, but Annie survived. She became an instant celebrity, and she toured the country giving lectures about her experience. She died in 1921 at the age of 83.

Result:  F*AI*L

According to several sources, while indeed being the first person over the fall in a barrel, Annie Edson Taylor was born in Auburn, New York.

The first flesh-and-blood person to venture down the falls in a barrel was American Annie Edson Taylor , on October 24, 1901, during her 63rd birthday. A retired teacher, she had the idea to become famous and earn money.

Initially, she used a waterproof barrel padded inside, sent a cat to test it, and both the animal and the transport survived. Annie entered the barrel and the top was covered. Compressed air was pumped through the cork with a bicycle pump. Hermetically sealed, the barrel was released, and 20 minutes later, she was rescued from the Niagara River, with only a cut to her head—but nearly dying of asphyxiation.