Throughout history, there have been people that managed to survive extreme accidents. Those events typically defy all logic and likelihoods. They can only be described as religious or statistical miracles. For example, in most cases falling hundreds or thousands of feet from the sky will only result in death. (Which only makes sense.) A human body reaching terminal velocity as it falls towards the Earth and then impacting the hard surface is a violent and terrible thing. However, these lucky individuals fell from as high as 33,000 feet and didn’t die. They literally plummeted out of the sky, but something incredible happened on impact. Did they survive because of divine intervention, a statisitcal improbability or just dumb luck? Regardless, it’s hard to believe these are real.
1.) Josh Hanson: In 2007, Josh was attending a dart-throwing convention at the Minneapolis Hyatt. One night, he drunkenly fell through a double pane window, dropping 160 feet. He sustained a broken leg, two collapsed lungs and a few bruises.
2.) Steve Fossett: Not only did Steve Fosset fall from his hot air balloon at 22,000 feet, but he survived a plunge into shark infested waters. The professional hot air balloonist got very, very lucky.
3.) Roger Woodward: As a boy, Roger was on vacation at Niagra Falls with his family. After a boating accident, Roger fell into the water and was swept over the falls, wearing only a life jacket. He is the youngest person to go over the falls unprotected and survive.
4.) Danny Yamashiro: On December 22, 1985, Danny and his girlfriend climbed Nuuanu Pali mountain in Hawaii. During the hike, Danny attempted to help his stranded girlfriend and fell head-first 300 feet down the mountain. He even fell a second time, for another 100 feet.
5.) Cliff Judkins: Pilot Cliff Judkins survived a 15,000 feet drop while flying an F-8 fighter. A mid-air refueling accident forced him to jump from his aircraft. His parachute failed to deploy and he sustained a broken back, ankles, pelvis, and a collapsed lung. He also suffered kidney and intestine failure.
6.) Frane Selak: Frane, a Croatian music teacher, has escaped death 7 times (and then won the lottery). One year, he was sucked out of a malfunctioning plane door and landed in a haystack. The plane crashed, killing 16 people. It’s hard to tell if he is lucky or unlucky.
7.) James Boole: While sky-diving, James survived a fall of 6,000 feet without a parachute. He suffered a broken back and multiple broken ribs. It’s estimated that when he hit the ground, he was going 60mph.
8.) Kevin Hines: Kevin survived jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge. There are more suicides committed there than almost anywhere else. Kevin wanted to end his life, so he jumped from a height of 245ft. On the way down, he suddenly changed his body position and went into the water, feet-first. He lived.
9.) Chris Saggers: Chris, a window washer, fell from the 22nd floor of the Salford Tower Blocks in Britain. He landed on top of a car… but stood up and told passers by he was “fine.” He only had a broken elbow.
10.) Alcides Moreno: Alcide, a window washer, was working when a malfunction caused the platform to send him and his brother Edgar down 47 stories. Tragically, Edgar died, but Alcides survived.
11.) Lareece Butler: Lareece was on a routine skydiving jump when her parachutes failed. She could only pray to God on her way down, asking Him to save her. After falling 3,000 feet, she slammed into the ground. She only broke her leg and suffered a concussion. She believes God saved her.
12.) Alan Magee: Alan was a B-17 bomber pilot in WWII. He fell 22,000 feet from his plane and crashed through the glass roof of the St. Nazarine railroad station. He had 28 shrapnel wounds and several broken bones.
13.) Hans Lange: Base jumper Hans Lange leapt from Bjoerkentind mountain using his wingsuit, but the jump went horribly wrong. He got too close to the mountain wall, going at least 100mph. He hit the mountain multiple times, painfully ricocheting down. He only broke his leg.
14.) Dave Hodgman: Dave was sky diving with a group when, at 2,500 feet, he became tangled with another diver who deployed his chute. The two sky divers fell to Earth… and both miraculously survived.
15.) Gareth Griffiths: Professional rugby player Gareth Griffiths survived a fall from the sky, thanks to the sacrifice of Michael Costello. Michael was Gareth’s instructor. During the jump, their parachutes failed to deploy. Seconds before they hit the ground, Michael twisted his body, placing it between Gareth and the ground. He saved his life.
16.) Nicholas Alkemade: Flight Sergeant Nicholas Alkemade fell 18,000 feet from his plane. Fire on the plane destroyed every available parachute, so he had to jump without any. He ended up falling into a patch of pine trees and only sprained his leg.
17.) Christine McKenzie: Christine survived a 2 mile fall into power lines. The veteran skydiver was on her 112th jump when both her main and reserve parachutes failed to deploy. She was in free-fall from 11,000 feet. She hit power lines, which slowed her fall enough to help her live.
18.) Joe Herman: Joe, a Royal Australian Air Force pilot, was in his bomber when it was blown up. He was thrown from it, and into the sky. Fellow pilot John Vivash was in the process of pulling his ripcord near him, so Joe grabbed onto his leg. He survived the fall and only endured a couple of broken ribs.
19.) Juliane Koepcke: On Christmas Eve, Juliane’s LANSA flight 508 crashed into an Amazon rainforest. She fell from a height of 10,000 feet before falling into the forest. She was the only surivor.
20.) Ivan Chisov: To avoid German fighters, Lieutenant Ivan Chisov jumped from his damaged Ilyushin Il-4 bomber at an altitude of about 22,000 feet. He meant to use his parachute, but passed out. At 120-150 mph, he hit the edge of a snowy ravine. He injured and spine and broke his pelvis.
21.) Russian Base Jumper: An unidentified base jumper survived a fall from a 400ft tower into snow. He suffered a broken vertebrate, pelvis and legs. Most believe that if it weren’t for the snow, he would be dead.
22.) Michael Holmes: Michael was the youngest person to be a skydiving instructor… and his young career almost ended when he fell 15,000 feet. His parachute was fault and he fell into bushes at 100mph. He survived with a punctured lung and shattered ankle.
23.) Vesna Vulovic: Vesna, a 22 year-old Yugoslav airlines flight attendant, was aboard a plane when it exploded because of a hidden bomb. She was in the tail section at the time of the incident. She fell 33,000 feet into a snow-covered mountain, but survived. She holds the Guinness World Record for surviving the highest fall without a parachute.
24.) Shayna Richardson: Shayna Richardson was taking her first solo jump when her parachutes failed; she raced towards earth at 150 mph from a height of about 10,000 feet. She slammed into the asphalt, face-first. Miraculously, she survived… and so did the unborn child she didn’t even know she was carrying.
Each of these people must have thanked their lucky stars once their feet were firmly on the ground again. Even if science can explain why these people were able to survive the impossible, all I know is this: they are far luckier than I ever will be. Share their incredible stories with others by clicking on the button below.
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