Woody Allen once quoted, “I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” Nobody lives forever; that is one inevitability of life. Some people have quick brushes with death, while others have practically danced with it. Then there are some people, such as J.K. Rowling, who seems to have a better take on the final outcome. She stated, “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” These ten people have a greater outlook on life, having nearly died in their experiences and have lived to tell the tale.
10) Professor Falls Into a 70 Foot Crevasse and Lives to Record His Ordeal
Professor John All, from Western Kentucky University, was climbing one of the highest mountains in the world, when he ended up falling seventy feet into a crevasse, located in the Himalayan mountain range. He was on the mountain conducting research regarding the climate at the time, while his group was several hours behind him. Professor All decided to record his climb back up the crevasse after falling. He had dislocated his shoulder, broke five ribs and was hurt very badly during his climb, but he forced himself to make it out alive, taking four to five hours for that treacherous hike. When he reached the top, he was able to call for assistance, using his radio, and helicopters ended up taking around 17 hours to reach the professor after his horrifying brush with death.
9) A Man Died and Came Back to Win the Lottery. Twice.
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. 37-year old Bill Morgan was a blue-collar worker, previously living in a caravan before being involved in a truck accident that nearly took his life. After a truck nearly crushed Bill, his doctor had to put him on medication that caused him to have a heart condition. After taking the prescription, Bill ended up having a heart attack that caused him to go into a coma for twelve days. His family was even told two times, to take Bill off of life support, as they thought he was not going to survive the coma; as he was literally dead for fourteen minutes before entering the death-like state. Amazingly, Bill lived and decided to propose to his girlfriend a year after the ordeal. His girlfriend said yes, and he went out and bought a “scratchy” ticket to celebrate (a “scratchy” in Australia is the same thing as a “scratch-off” ticket in America). After he scratched off his lottery ticket, Bill found out that he had won a brand new car. The media was so impressed with his story, that they decided to do a news story about Bill, to show people about this lucky man who had escaped death. During the filming of the story, the media had Bill buy another “scratchy” ticket, and he scratched off that ticket while they were on the air. At that point, bill found out that he won again, this time it was $250,000 ($170,000 in Australian money).
8) Man Survives Six Nails Driven Through His Head
Construction worker, Isidro Mejia, was working on the roof of a house one day, when he fell off and onto a co-worker, who just happened to have a nail gun in his hand. According to the LA Times, Isidro “had six nails in his head; including three embedded in his brain, one in his spinal column and one in his face.” The doctors who performed surgery to remove the nails were unsure of exactly how they were going to go about that, since there was no “proper procedure” in removing nails from one’s head. Amazingly enough, Isidro survived and can even speak about it now, even saying that he is “lucky to be alive.” There have since been case studies about this particular case, as well. The Journal of College Science Teaching has an article published in the National Science Teachers Association; in which they show the x-ray of Isidro’s head (nails intact), and have students show how to treat such injuries in the future.
7) Little Boy Gets Buried Alive
Six year-old Nathan Woessner was playing on Mount Baldy, a sand dune at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, in Indiana. Nathan was with a few friends, when he fell into a massive hole in the sand and was buried alive. The little boy was underneath the sand dune for over three hours until rescue crews were able to find him. He survived, but was hospitalized and had to have many different types of therapy after the incident. Nathan still has problems with the way he walks, his memory and speech, due to being stuck in the sand for so long.
6) Woman Has A Near-Death Experience Unlike Most Others
When most people hear stories regarding near-death experiences, they hear about a bright light surrounding the person who nearly dies (or dies and comes back). It is mainly a beautiful story about how a person’s life changes and they “surrender” to the light that is encompassing them throughout the experience. This was not the case for Jeanne Eppley, from Columbus, Ohio. Jeanne was in the middle of giving birth to her first child, when she apparently went into some sort of near-death like occurrence. Jeanne talks about her experience, stating, “Everything was bright yellow. There was a tiny black dot in the center of all the yellow. Somehow, I knew that the dot was me. The dot began to divide. First there was two, then four, then eight. After there had been enough division, the dots formed into a pinwheel and began to spin. As the pinwheel spun, the dots began to rejoin in the same manner as they had divided. I knew that when they were all one again, I would be dead, so I began to fight. The next thing I remember is the doctor trying to awaken me and keep me on the delivery table, because I was getting up.”
Jeanne goes on to talk about the birth of her daughter; how her “head was flattened from her forehead to a point in back,” and that she was somewhere stuck near Jeanne’s pelvic bone. Jeanne did not have the wonderful, bright lights that we seem to hear about with other incidents, but she has become a much stronger person since that happened.
5) Couple Escapes Unscathed, As Giant Shipping Container Crushes Their Car
While driving a large cargo truck in Qingdao (a large, exceptionally busy city in China), a man lost control of the truck and lost a large shipping container that it was carrying. The large shipping container flew off of the back of the lorry, and landed on top of a couple’s small car they were traveling in. When emergency responders arrived, they did not think that anyone would have possibly survived their car being almost flattened by the extremely large container that took a 100 ton crane to remove. With less than two feet of open area, somehow the woman who was driving the car was able to get out with barely any scratches. The male she was travelling with had to be transported to the hospital, but he also survived.
4) Little Boy Claims to Have Gone to Heaven and Came Back
When Colton Burpo was just four years old, he had an appendectomy and claims to have died and gone to Heaven. He is fourteen years old now, and has kept records of his “visit” from when he was just a toddler. Colton says that he saw a little girl who alleged to be his older sister that died before she was born, and later he found out that his mother had lost a baby due to a miscarriage before she had Colton. He also says to have met his grandfather during his brief encounter with death, who died in the 1940s, so the two never actually connected in “real life.” He spends his time now speaking to others about what happened, and yet, Colton says that he is not afraid of death. His parents wrote a book about his ordeal and there was even a movie created from the book, entitled, Heaven Is For Real…
3) Man Cuts Off Own Arm to Survive and Lives to See the Movie About It
Aron Ralston was a highly experienced hiker, having trekked the Blue John Canyon in the Utah Desert multiple times in the past. One day; however, he is climbing the canyon, and falls into a spot where a large rock ends up falling onto his arm and gets wedged in place. For 127 hours, Aron is stuck in between two rocks, with only a small amount of water that he quickly runs out of, a video recorder and a small tool that he eventually uses to cut off his own arm, after realizing that nobody will ever find him if he does not get out of the area. Aron wrote a book about his experience, entitled, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, which became a best seller. A movie was made about the book and his experiences called 127 Hours, in which James Franco played the part of Aron. The film was “nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture and best actor.” According to Aron, “the film is so factually accurate, it is as close to a documentary as you can get and still be a drama,” with the exception of the part where he is in swimming areas with two females. He stated that he only showed the girls “climbing moves,” not pools of water in which they swam, as it was depicted in the movie.
2) Pierre Cota Survives Car Accident and Airplane Crash in the Same Day, Yet Still Arrives at Meeting on Time
In January 1992, an airbus crashed near the Vosges Mountains in France. One of the nine survivors of that crash was Pierre Cota, who exclaimed, “There was a lot of noise, and flames. I grabbed the boy next to me, and went out through a hole in the plane.” That wasn’t the first accident he had been in that day, either. Pierre had actually booked a flight earlier in the day to get to a meeting in Strasbourg, but ended up totaling his car when he was on the way to the airport and had to take a later flight. He was booked on Air Inter Flight 148, and was seated in the back of the plane, which probably saved his life on that dreadful flight. Pierre; however, did end up making it to his meeting that day. Some say that the boss probably would have understood had he called off that day.
1) Flight Attendant Accidentally Makes World Record Book for Longest Freefall
22 year-old Vesna Vulović was a flight attendant back in 1972, for a Czechoslovakian airline. She should have been on a different flight, but for some reason, there was a mix-up with names and she landed this particular gig. While flying over Srbská Kamenice, JAT Flight 367 incurred an explosion in the luggage department (from a terrorist attack), and Vesna found herself falling from over 30,000 feet in the sky. She survived the crash, but it resulted in Vesna receiving a “fractured skull, two broken legs and three broken vertebrae, which left her temporarily paralyzed from the waist down.” Eventually, she was able to walk again and still flies on occasion. Vesna even enjoys watching films that have plane crashes in them, despite her 27-day coma after the accident. After recovering, Vesna found out that she holds the world record for “world’s longest freefall,” according to Guinness.