Human survival is pure chance. Drunk people fall from the eighth floor into a snowdrift, shake themselves off, and climb back up to the table without even realizing what happened. At the same time, a man slips on the ice, breaks his head, falls into a coma, and subsequently dies. How do you explain this other than chaos?
Suppose you consider it a miracle when a man crashed his car at high speed into a pole and got away with only scratches. What about the following people who managed to survive under unbelievable conditions?
Charles Joughin survived the Titanic wreck
Between 1,500 and 1,600 people are estimated to have died in the sinking of the steamer Titanic. Charles Joughin, the chief baker, may have been among them, but when help arrived on the wreck, he was alive, although he spent a lot of time in the cold water. What was his secret? Alcohol.
The fact is that Charles Joughin, seeing the futility of the situation, accepted the fact that he would go down with the ship and therefore acted decisively. First, he sent all his subordinates with food to the boats so that the rescuers would have a supply of provisions. After that, he made the workers get into the boats, and he himself remained on the ship. While there was panic on the steamer, Joughin was just drunk out of his mind. When the water was already on the decks of the Titanic, Joughin threw off the deck chairs so that the people who fell into the ocean had something to hold on to, and then went to his cabin, where he drank some more.
So how did that help him? The fact is that although alcohol makes a person more susceptible to the cold, it also makes them ignore the danger. If a sober person gets into cold water, the sudden drop in temperature causes him to panic, and he is very likely to either lose his temperature quickly or drown. But since Joughin was dead drunk, he didn’t panic and just drifted calmly in the water, which allowed him to live until the rescue team arrived.
However, we caution you against judging a drunk man to be able to do anything. Charles Joughin’s case is an outlier, and many who did exactly the same thing that night died just as quickly as the sober passengers.
Pasquale Buzzelli survived collapsing on a concrete slab
Few people have not heard of one of the most massive terrorist attacks in terms of the number of victims, 9/11. Nearly 3,000 people were killed and about 6,300 wounded in a coordinated terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, the White House, and the Capitol.
One of the few survivors of the attack on the Twin Towers that day was Pasquale Buzzelli, a 34-year-old civil engineer working on the 64th floor of the North Tower. After the plane crashed into the tower, he and other people tried to evacuate up the stairs, but they only made it as far as the 22nd floor. At this point, the building was already cracking at the seams and beginning to shake. The staircase under Pasquale Bazzelli’s feet shifted, and realizing it might collapse, the man jumped to the corner of the landing, feeling the nearby walls crack and sag. He then felt as if he were in a fall and then passed out.
He regained consciousness about two hours later; it turned out that he was on a concrete slab lying on a huge pile of rubble and other parts of building construction. After flying more than 50 meters on the concrete slab, not only was he alive, but he was not seriously injured. He was soon rescued by firefighters and then taken to the hospital, where the man was found to have only a broken foot.
Brian Udell survived being ejected from a plane flying at supersonic speed
Only in movies does an ejection always end with the pilot surviving, if he is not shot by enemy planes. But in reality, even at low speed, an emergency evacuation from a plane can lead to the death of the crew due to pressure differences, temperatures, and other factors.
However, Brian Udell proved that it is possible to survive even ejecting at enormous speeds. During a flight on an F-15 supersonic fighter where Brian was the commander, the plane’s electronic systems failed, and it tilted 60 degrees down and flew at nearly 1,300 kilometers per hour straight into the ocean. At an altitude of 3,000 meters Udell realized he could not level the plane and ordered the copilot, Dennis White, to eject. White ejected at 900 m and Udell at 450.
White was killed immediately upon ejection, while Udell managed to survive. Though the pilot was seriously injured and the doctors said he would most likely never walk again, Brian Udell did not give up and was back on his feet in six months, and in ten months, he was back in the pilot’s seat.
Adrian Carton de Wiart survived many wars
When we look at News lines, we see how often just one bullet is enough to kill a man. But Adrian Carton de Wiart, a Belgian-born British military leader, was seemingly bullet-proof and nicknamed “Lucky Odysseus” for his survivability.
He began his military career with the Anglo-Boer War. He then participated in World War I, Soviet-Polish, Polish-Ukrainian, Polish-Lithuanian, and World War II. In World War I alone, he received eight severe wounds, including two shots to the face, which caused him to lose an eye and part of an ear. In the same war, when his left arm was crushed by a wound, and the doctor refused to amputate it, he tore it off himself to continue fighting.
In 1941 he was taken prisoner in Italy and, being by then 61 years old with one working arm and one eye, he made five attempts to escape. He was later released from captivity for health reasons and returned to Great Britain, from where Winston Churchill personally sent him to China as his representative.