On Christmas Eve 1971, 17-year-old Juliane Koepcke and her mother boarded LANSA Flight 508 from Lima to the Peruvian city of Pucallpa to visit her father, who worked in the Amazon jungle. .
Juliane was born on October 10, 1954 in Lima, both father and mother are German zoologists, moved to Peru to study wildlife. The day before the flight, Juliane receives a high school diploma and plans to study zoology like her parents.
When mother and daughter Juliane boarded the plane, the South American subtropical hurricane had just passed, the previous day’s flight had just been canceled for some reason. weatherbut Juliane had a feeling the storm had not passed so quickly, and the young girl’s hunch was right.
The flight is expected to take about 1 hour. Juliane sat in row 19F and it was smooth sailing at first, but after a while, dark clouds came in and the plane experienced turbulence. Suddenly, the plane got into the middle of a huge storm. At this time, the plane was in the midst of dark clouds, a bright flash of lightning could be seen outside the window. Unfortunately, the lightning strike hit the engine, causing the fuselage to rupture.
The plane then rocked and lost control, the glass shattered and Juliane was still in her seat, quickly realizing that she had been sucked out of the plane and in free fall. He fell into the Amazon jungle from a height of more than 3,000 meters, through the dense foliage.
Somehow, Juliane survived the free fall. He broke his collarbone and had a deep cut on his calf, but he was conscious. When Juliane woke up the next morning, she was shocked. Juliane couldn’t see clearly with one eye, then fell unconscious again. It took Juliane half a day to come to her senses. He tried to find his mother but failed. Later, when she is rescued, Juliane learns that her mother was alive when the plane crashed but later succumbs to her injuries.
Juliane doesn’t have any survival items on her. She also lost her glasses and shoes and wore a dress that did not protect her from snakes, spiders and mosquitoes. Juliane’s chances of surviving in a dense forest with severe injuries and wild animals around her were almost zero. However, with his miraculous powers, he survived.
Juliane walked for 11 days in the forest, fighting with insects, getting her wounds open and even starving to death. Juliane remembers the survival tips her father gave her, saying that if you see water, just go downstream, that’s where humans live. So from there, Juliane began her journey across waterfalls in the forest, sometimes walking, sometimes swimming, though her legs hurt from being eaten by maggots.
On the fourth day of the journey, Juliane saw three passengers on the same flight as her, still in the seats but all dead. One of them was a woman and Juliane thought it was her mother, but it wasn’t. In one of the passenger bags was a bag of candy, and that became Juliane’s only source of food for the rest of the day. Juliane also heard the sound of rescue planes and helicopters overhead. They arrive to save the crashed plane, but unfortunately attempts to get Juliane’s attention are unsuccessful.
That year’s plane crash was the biggest search and rescue in Peru’s history, but because the forests were so dense and dangerous, planes couldn’t find the wreckage of the crashed plane, let alone any survivors. After a while, Juliane didn’t hear the rescue plane again. He was desperate that someone would come to his aid and could only rely on himself to live.
On the 9th day in the forest, Juliane saw a hut. He dragged himself into it and lay unconscious, thinking he would die here. But luckily, Juliane heard some voices. He thought he was just imagining it, but the voice was real. There were 3 missionaries also in the hut and they were the ones who saved Juliane’s life. They let him stay there for one night, and the next day took him to a local hospital located in a nearby town.
After awakening from a nightmare, Juliane is reunited with her father. He also helped the authorities locate the crashed plane, thereby locating the bodies of the ill-fated victims. The flight had a total of 85 passengers and 6 crew, all of whom died except for Juliane.
Soon after, Juliane became famous in the media, being hailed as a “magic girl”. No one believed he could live when he fell from a plane that crashed into the forest, fighting in the forest alone for 11 days. Juliane’s courage and magic left everyone in awe and awe.
Juliane’s survival is a hotly debated topic. Some have suggested that Julian’s seat belt helped him lessen the impact of the fall and that his life could have been saved because of the force of the storm and the thick leaves on which he fell. .
In addition, the training he learned from his parents helped him survive 10 days in the dense forest. Although many people admit that even the most experienced jungler cannot survive in the Amazon jungle without any equipment or protection. But after all, Juliane’s courage, composure, optimism and wisdom still surprises.
Of course, the plane crash also had a big impact on Juliane. She is in the media spotlight, so it’s hard to forget her pain and obsession, from the loss of the mother she loved most to the fear of the trauma she went through. Years later, Juliane still has nightmares and always feels insecure when flying.
After that, Juliane continued to study biology at the University of Kiel in Germany in 1980, then earned a doctorate. Juliane returned to Peru to study genealogy and married there.
In 1998, Juliane returned to the scene of an old plane crash to make the documentary “Wings of Hope”, which tells the story of the flight, usually hers. That day, Juliane sat back down in row 19F but oddly enough, it didn’t frighten her, but on the contrary, it helped her psyche as well. Later, Juliane also wrote a memoir entitled “When I Fell From the Sky”.
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