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. ithappens

7 Sep 2010
Five survivor stories, top that!

Survival stories are among the top search results on the web. People seem to be obsessed with survival. Why do people like survival stories? Is it to know about the limits of survival? What role does fate and will power play in surviving?

The Hard Cold Alone
Douglas Mawson took surviving to the next level. He is the lead figure of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. In 1991, Mawson, the Australian Explorer began his adventures. Exploring the unknown territories of the Antarctic Continent he was the only survivor of a team. The expedition went west when Lieutenant Ninnis disappeared into a crack. The dogs and supplies were lost. The survivors ate the dogs that remained and they where poisoned by the dog liver. Mawson kept on going. Through cold and weakness, he continued. Hoping he could return to the base. Lost in Antarctic, without food, without equipment and alone tops the surviving stories. He made it back and survived.

Flight 508
In December 24th, 1971, LANSA flight 508, was flying when it was struck by lightning and exploded in the air. It was carrying 92 passengers. All died in the explosion except Julianne Koepcke. Julianne was only 17, a high school student, interested in zoology. She landed on the rainforest, strapped to her seat. Somehow she only suffered minor injuries. She found a stream and in knee-high water went down stream. Her father had taught her survival principals. "A stream will lead you to civilisation", he had said to her. Streams provide water and protection in rain forest, both essential in surviving. For nine days she followed the river downstream. Later she found a canoe and shelter. The following day she was found. Her survival was the inspiration for a movie called, "Wings of Hope".

The Andes Flight Disaster
A young Uruguay Rugby Team was on its way to Chile through the Andes. The plane crashed and violently went down into the mountains. For months they lived in the most inhospitable mountains. Some dying, other dead, surviving blizzards and avalanches. One of the team members Nando realised that the only way to survive was to climb the mountains. Search party never arrived. The team survived after a group lead by Nando climbed the same mountains professionals find nearly impossible to climb. And they climbed without any special equipment.

Say your Prayers
Joseph Matthäus Aigner was a 19th century Austrian portrait painter. He painted several known portraits of high figures of the time. When he was 18, Joseph tried hanging himself. A Capuchin Monk who he did not know saved him and "unhung" him. When he was 22, he tried hanging himself again, and again the same Capuchin Monk un-hung him. He was later sentenced to death and the same Capuchin Monk who he still did not know saved him from execution. In 1886, Joseph finally succeeded and took his own life with a pistol. They say the Capuchin Monk lead the funeral and prayed the final prayer for Joseph Matthäus Aigner.

Fate comes twice
It was 1930. The city? Detroit. Joseph Figlock was walking peacefully down the street when a baby fell through a window. The baby fell on Figlock and was saved. People wondered about chances and fate. No more than a year later, Figlock was walking through the same street, when the same baby fell through the same window. Again the baby landed on Figlock and both where saved. It seems destiny comes knocking not once, but twice, at least it did so in Detroit in the 1930s.

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