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10 People Who Survived the Impossible (Part-1)

Vesna Vulovic

Vesna Vulovic

People who survived 'near death experiences'

I am only sharing this information knowing very well that it might be already available on the inetrnet somewhere. This was e-mailed to me a few days ago and I couldn't just delete it as trash. These are some hair-raising anecdotes narrated by non other than the survivors themselves. Have a look!

1. Vesna Vulovic: The Stewardess who survived a terrorist attack at 33,000 feet

. A Yugoslav Airlines DC-9 departed from Copenhagen for Belgrade (via Zagreb) with 28 passengers and crew on January 26, 1972 . When the plane reached at an altitude of 33,000 feet, a bomb in the cargo section, planted by the Ustashe Croatian separatist group, exploded. The plane blew up, disintegrated and crashed in the mountains.In what must be one of the greatest survival stories of all time, stewardess Vesna Vulovic survived the 33,000 feet descent sitting on the tail of the plane.

As she later stated in an interview, 22 year old Vulovic wasn't even supposed to be on that plane. it was another Vesna who was supposed to be on that flight, but she was happy with the mix-up as it allowed her to make her first trip to Denmark. She ended up with a fractured skull, two broken legs, and three broken vertebrae - one of which was crushed and left her paralyzed from the waist down.Vulovic spent several months in and out of hospitals; operations allowed her to walk again. She became a celebrity when the Guinness Book of World Records invited her to a ceremony in London with Paul McCartney. She is listed for surviving the longest fall without a parachute. Vulovic is now a national hero in Serbia and spent the late 90s marching in Belgrade against Slobodan Milosovic.

Frane Selak

Frane Selak

2. Frane Selak:Escaped from a derailed train, a door-less plane, a bus crash, a car into flames, another 2 car accidents...Then won Million Dollar lottery!

Luck has always been on his side or vice versa for Croatian music teacher Frane Selak (born in 1929), who is well known around the world for as many fatal accidents as spectacular escapes. The first of his numerous near-death experiences began on a cold January day in 1962, when Selak was on a train to Dubrovnik: it suddenly derailed into an icy river, killing 17 passengers. He managed to escape with a broken arm, minor scratches and bruises.
A year later, Selak was flying, from Zagreb to Rijeka, when a door abruptly blew away from the cockpit of the plane, as he was blown off the plane. The accident killed 19 people, however, Selak was lucky enough to land on a haystack, and wake up some days later in hospital, with minor injuries.
It was in 1966 that he met with the third misadventure while traveling on a bus that crashed and plunged into a river. There were four people dead. Astonishingly, Selak managed to escape unharmed again.
In 1970, Selak was driving along when, all of a sudden, his car caught fire. He was fortunate again to have left the car before the fuel tank exploded. Three years later, another of Selak's car caught fire, blowing flames through the air vents. To a greater dismay, Selak's lost most of his hair.
In 1995, Selak was in Zagreb when he was hit by a bus, again leaving nothing but a few injuries. The following year, while driving through a mountain road, Selak drove off a guardrail to escape an oncoming truck and landed on a tree to watch his car explode 300 feet below.

In a surprising turn of events in 2003, Selak won the million-dollar Croatian lottery, turning the man into either the world's unluckiest man, or the world's luckiest one.

Andes Survivors

Andes Survivors

3. Andes Survivors:Crashed on the Andes Mountains, lasted 72 days

On Friday the 13th of October, 1972, a Uruguayan Air Force twin turboprop Fairchild FH-227D was flying over the Andes carrying Stella Maris College's "Old Christians" rugby union team from Montevideo, Uruguay, to play a match in Santiago, Chile. When the plane was flying through the pass in the mountains, the pilot notified air controllers in Santiago that he was over Curicó, Chile, and was cleared to descend. This would prove to be a fatal error. Since the pass was covered by the clouds, the pilots had to rely on the usual time required to cross the pass (dead reckoning). However, they failed to take into account strong headwinds that ultimately slowed the plane and increased the time required to complete the crossing. As a result, the turn and descent was initiated too soon, before the plane had passed through the mountains. Dipping into the cloud cover while still over the mountains, the Fairchild soon crashed on an unnamed peak (later called Glacier of Tears), located between Chile and Argentina. Twelve people died in the crash. Survivors not only had to withstand the hunger and the fearful Mountains, but also 30 degree-below-zero temperatures during the night. They tried to survive with the scarce food reserves they had until being rescued, but they lost their hope when heard that the search had ceased on the radio. Desperate owing to the lack of food and physically exhausted, they were forced to feed themselves on their death partners to keep on living. Finally fed up with the extremely low temperatures and the avalanche threats, as well as anguished by the continuous deaths of their partners and the bad rescue prospects, two of them decided to cross the huge mountains to reach Chile. On 22nd of December of 1972, after being isolated for 72 days, the World found out and knew there were 16 survivors that beat Death in the Andes mountains.

Anatoli Bugorski

Anatoli Bugorski

4. Anatoli Bugorski:The Man Who Survived a Beam from a Particle Accelerator

As a researcher at the Institute for High Energy Physics in Protvino, Bugorski used to work with the largest Soviet particle accelerator, the Synchrotron U-70. On July 13, 1978, Bugorski was checking a malfunctioning piece of equipment when an accident occurred due to failed safety mechanisms. Bugorski was leaning over the piece of equipment when he stuck his head in the part through which the proton beam was running. Reportedly, he saw a flash "brighter than a thousand suns", but did not feel any pain. The beam measured about 200,000 rads when it entered Bugorski's skull, and about 300,000 rads when it exited after colliding with the inside of his head.

The left half of Bugorski's face swelled up beyond recognition, and over the next several days started peeling off, showing the path that the proton beam (moving near the speed of light) had burned through parts of his face, his bone, and the brain tissue underneath. As it was believed that about 500 to 600 rads is enough to kill a person, Bugorski was taken to a clinic in Moscow where the doctors could observe his expected demise. However, Bugorski survived and even completed his Ph.D.. There was virtually no damage to his intellectual capacity, but the fatigue of mental work increased markedly. Bugroski completely lost hearing in the left ear and only a constant, unpleasant internal noise remained. The left half of his face was frozen, due to the destruction of nerves, and does not age. He is able to function perfectly well, save the fact that he has occasional petit mal seizures and very occasional grand mal seizures.

Roy Sullivan

Roy Sullivan

5. Roy Sullivan: Struck by Lightning 7 Times

Roy Sullivan was a Virginia Forest Ranger who had an incredible attraction to lightning... Or rather lightning had an attraction to him. Over his 36-year career as a ranger, Sullivan was struck by lightning seven times - and survived each jolt, but not unscathed. His seventh strike put him in the Guinness Book of World Records:

· In 1942, the first lightning strike shot through Sullivan's leg and knocked his big toenail off.

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· In 1969, a second strike burned off his eyebrows and knocked him unconscious.

· In 1970, another strike left his shoulder seared.

· In 1972, his hair was set on fire and Roy had to dump a bucket of water over his head to cool off.

· On August 7, 1973, another bolt ripped through his hat and hit him on the head, set his hair on fire again, threw him out of his truck and knocked his left shoe off.

· On June 5, 1976, a sixth strike in 1976 left him with an injured ankle.

· On June 25th, 1977, the last lightning bolt to hit Roy Sullivan sent him to the hospital with chest and stomach burns in 1977.

His wife was also struck once, when a sudden storm welled up as she and her husband were out hanging wash on the back yard clothesline. On September 28, 1983, Roy Sullivan died at age 71, reportedly of a self-inflicted gunshot wound over troubles unrelated to lightning.

To be continued.......

  • Dancing with God
    I don’t know where this expression came from. The only thing I know is that I heard it in my mind while my eyes were half closed. Lying on my bed, trying to sleep, I felt my pulse rising and heart pounding...


Sonorita Lopez on August 07, 2015:

People Who Survived The Impossible :


Jayco Selak on November 04, 2013:

And, despite my comment from 4 years a go, people are still "buying" Frane Selak's fiction! Unbelievable....anjalichugh, I know that you were just "sharing what you read on internet", but you were spreading lies, as well. Don't share someone's fairytales. There is nothing fascinating about it! If you want more REAL facts about Frane Selak, you can contact me on

Imma retard on April 03, 2012:

If you think about the Selak story it's fake...

anjalichugh (author) from New York on August 31, 2011:

Princess Pitt:

Must say that I love your Handle / Title. :)

Even I was surprised when I read these real life incidents. I couldn't stop myself from sharing the stories with my online friends. Thank you for your kind comments.

Princess Pitt on August 31, 2011:

OMG. the most overwhelming story are the Andes Survivors!...

Did they really eat it?

Wow,that's surreal...

Every story is strikingly shocking...

really good putting this hub together..

Thanks for sharing!..voted awesome...

anjalichugh (author) from New York on March 06, 2011:

Bilal: OMG that was indeed a miracle. You must have done something right to deserve God's love. I wish for your son a very long, healthy, wealthy and prosperous life. May God be with him. Thanks for sharing your story here. Do let me know when your website is ready. :)

Bilal Markis on March 06, 2011:

Miracle Stories are so Inspirational. On August 3rd 2009, my 12 year old son was run over by 2 suv's while on his bicycle through a red light and survived. My sons niracle inspired me to have a website created called Soon i will also be promoting other peoples miracle Bilal(USA)

Shelly on September 16, 2010:

Jayco, This is your Texas girl, I have been looking for you. e-mail me at

anjalichugh (author) from New York on August 22, 2010:

Anand: Its really surprising! Thx for joining in.

Anand on August 20, 2010:

I really very surprised how they survive for 72 days in such an extreme conditions. I really salute to those brave guys.

anjalichugh (author) from New York on May 04, 2010:

JJ: Yes it is. Thx for stopping by.

jj on May 03, 2010:

I think it is just amazing how people can survive like that.

anjalichugh (author) from New York on March 25, 2010:

Rebecca: I know what you mean. Hard to believe. I'm sorry for not being able to verify the details given above as this content (like I stated at the outset) was only taken from the internet and shared with the community on Hub Pages. So we are in the same boat!!!

rebecca on March 25, 2010:

shit how the hell could you just be driving and your car just magically is a ball of flames? and it happen twice ????

bull crap!!!

i believe u Jayco

rebecca on March 25, 2010:

so jayco you are saying that all this is a load of crap? and is there such thing as frane selak? and anybody could say there last name is selak like one day some one could come on to this website and say "hey there guys my name is frane selak and i did suvive all of the stuff that is written" so yeah.

is frane selak true? or false?

rebecca on March 25, 2010:

wow that frane selak guy is really a is amazing just to read the 1st paragraph. he is lucky he did survive all of those things and then won the $million lotto!!!


aidyn on March 01, 2010:

how many people died

Jayco Selak on September 23, 2009:

OK,all you karma-guru's,let me dissapoint you in your Hero No.2.All the stories of unbelievable luck (crashes etc.), are PRODUCT OF IMAGINATION of provincial music teacher who dreamed of fame all his life.Since he couldn't make it as musician,in his old age, he got lucky indeed and won a lottery.That itself wouldn't be enough for fame,so he has found a local "journalist" who helped him making it up! Than another "journalist" from "Scotsman" newspaper saw the story and,without ANY FACTS CHECKING, published story in his newspapers,than other so-called "journalists" (again without checking facts!)from around the world picked up...and the Star (and,so long awaited FAME!) was born!

How do I know? Check my LAST NAME !!!

anjalichugh (author) from New York on July 05, 2009:

frankiectius: Absolutely! They were not supposed to depart. Such mistakes do happen. Even God is overloaded with work. Too many records to keep which can be overwhelming for Him too (on the lighter side). Thx for visiting.

frankiectlus from Chandler, AZ on July 05, 2009:

Very interesting article! For all of these people it must not have been their time to go yet.

anjalichugh (author) from New York on July 03, 2009:

Matt Barker: Yep! That's what I see. Isn't it amazing?

Thx very much for stopping by.

Matt Barker on July 03, 2009:

"Frane Selak:Escaped from a derailed train, a door-less plane, a bus crash, a car into flames, another 2 car accidents..."

Still got his looks...

anjalichugh (author) from New York on June 16, 2009:

Violet Sun & Narayan Krishna: It was definitely God's grace. Seeing the worst already, I guess they had to see the best too in some way or the other. That perhaps explains the 'million dollar lottery' in Frank's case. Thx both of you for reading this hub.

NarayanKrishna from The country of Mount Everest on June 16, 2009:

God might have helped them who survived near death experience.

VioletSun from Oregon/ Name: Marie on June 16, 2009:

Whoa, I am glad you didn't delete this, I have not read this before. It was not their time to go! Success guru made me realize that Frank Selak probably had better karma by the time he won the lottery.

Enjoyed reading this!

anjalichugh (author) from New York on June 15, 2009:

my-success-guru: You suddenly made it amusing and entertaining. I hadn't seen it from a funny angle. I love your imagination especially about the 'eyebrows' thing. Lol. You make me feel that every cloud does have a sliver lining after all. :)) Thx for your kind comments..

my-success-guru from Upstate NY on June 15, 2009:

Hi Anjali,

Wow! Amazing stuff! I remember seeing a movie about the Andes Survivors stranded for 72 days. It seems like a miracle to survive that long under those extreme conditions. I also remember Roy Sullivan was Struck by Lightning 7 Times. I hope his eyebrows grew back. I think the most fascinating story is about Frane Selak who Escaped from a derailed train, a door-less plane, a bus crash, a car into flames, another 2 car accidents...Then won Million Dollar lottery! It just goes to show you that no matter how bleak things are if you hang in there long enough karma will let you win. LOL 

Bye For Now,


anjalichugh (author) from New York on June 15, 2009:

Tatjana: Sure you all are brave. Cheers to that! Although this stuff is not originally mine, yet I loved sharing it. Thx for reading this.

Tatjana-Mihaela from Zadar, CROATIA on June 15, 2009:

Wow, Anjali, this is interesting. Good that you did not delete it.

People from my part of the world are survivors, we do not give up life so easily, he, he, he. Bravo Vesna, bravo Frane.

Bravo Anjali.

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