This week’s episode returns to an ongoing series where we discuss some of the most remarkable and fascinating stories of human will, courage and determination – lovingly called ‘Fantastic Human Feats – and where to find them’

Two stories of survival against the odds are discussed in the podcast this week, and they are both unbelievable:

Aron Ralston

The story that inspired the film ‘127 hours’, Aron Ralston’s story has become the definitive example of the power of human willpower. Having been trapped in a Utah canyon for days without food or water, trapped by a boulder, knowing his time to survive was running out, Ralston did what many could never do in order to survive. Hear his story recounted in visceral detail by Chris in this weeks podcast.

Juliane Koepcke

On the morning of December 24th, Christmas Eve, in 1971, LANSA flight 508 departed Lima, Peru. The plane, carrying 92 souls across the Amazon rainforest encountered an area of severe thunderstorms when travelling approximately 6.4 km above sea level. The pilots, allegedly concerned about missing the holiday schedule, decided to continue the flight.

Shortly after, disaster strikes, in what would later be termed the worst lightning strike disaster in history. A lightning thunderbolt strikes the craft mid-air causing critical damage. The plane disintegrates 2 miles above the ground, and plummets.

After 10 days an intensive search for the missing plane was abandoned, but miraculously, 2 days later, the sole survivor was found.

Hear the story of how 17 Juliane Koepcke survived a 10,000 ft fall and 11 days alone in the Amazon rainforest.


Below are some links to the stories covered in this weeks podcast, for further reading


Aron Ralston:

Juliane Koepcke:

Wings of Hope documentary:

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