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Sunday, January 26, 2020


I ran across this story recently and thought it was interesting - and very terrifying...

Was Teenager Juliane Koepcke the Lone Survivor of a 1971 Plane Crash?
The amazing survival story of 17-year-old Juliane Koepcke has been the subject of a book, movie, and documentary.


Juliane Koepcke survived 10 days alone in the Amazon rainforest after falling nearly two miles during a plane crash.


What's True
Juliane Koepcke was the lone survivor of a plane crash in 1971.

What's Undetermined
The origins of a viral image frequently attached to Juliane Koepcke's story are unknown. This photograph most likely shows an actress in the movie about Koepcke, "Miracles Still Happen," not Koepcke herself.

The amazing story of teenager Juliane Koepcke has served as the basis of a full-length feature film, a documentary, and a book. Most internet users, however, have probably heard of Koepcke in the form of an internet meme featuring a photograph supposedly showing the 17-year-old plane crash survivor and a short piece of text summarizing her story:

"17 year-old Juliane Koepcke was sucked out of an airplane in 1971 after it was struck by a bolt of lightning. She fell 2 miles to the ground, strapped to her seat and survived after she endured 10 days in the Amazon Jungle."

While the story of Koepcke is undoubtedly true, we have a few unanswered questions about this photograph. This image most likely doesn’t show Koepcke, but an actress from the 1974 movie about Koepcke, “Miracles Still Happen.”

On Christmas Eve, 1971, Koepcke boarded LANSA Flight 508 (a Lockheed L-188A Electra turboprop plane) with her mother and 84 other passengers. The flight left from Lima, Peru, and was scheduled to land in Pucallpa, Peru, but was struck by a bolt of lighting. The plane went into a nose dive, broke into pieces, and Koepcke, who was still strapped to her seat, soon found herself outside of the plane plummeting approximately 9,000 feet (about 1.7 miles) into the Amazon jungle.

Koepcke talked to the BBC about the ordeal in 2012:

"When we saw lightning around the plane, I was scared. My mother and I held hands but we were unable to speak. Other passengers began to cry and weep and scream.

"After about 10 minutes, I saw a very bright light on the outer engine on the left. My mother said very calmly: 'That is the end, it’s all over.' Those were the last words I ever heard from her.

"The plane jumped down and went into a nose-dive. It was pitch black and people were screaming, then the deep roaring of the engines filled my head completely.

"Suddenly the noise stopped and I was outside the plane. I was in a freefall, strapped to my seat bench and hanging head-over-heels. The whispering of the wind was the only noise I could hear.

"I felt completely alone.

"I could see the canopy of the jungle spinning towards me. Then I lost consciousness and remember nothing of the impact. Later I learned that the plane had broken into pieces about two miles above the ground.

"I woke the next day and looked up into the canopy. The first thought I had was: 'I survived an air crash.'"

To read the rest of the article, complete with
newspaper clippings of the ordeal, go HERE.

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