Cannibalism – Story of a Plane Crash Survival in 1972

cannibalism-plane crash survival 1972

This sounds like a crazy question but I have to ask you, would you eat your friend to stay alive? Because I know a group of rugby players who exactly did that, they eat their team members.

In case you wondering, he said his friend tasted like the raw meat of a cow.

Cold, selfish, and disgusting…

That is how the world saw them… This sounds like a scene from a slasher movie, isn’t it? What if I told you that wasn’t truly the case!

You did have goosebumps! Didn’t you? Well, don’t rush with your answer.

Let’s introduce you to a horrifyingly true tale of survival and perseverance that might change your outlook on life.

Miracle of the Andes

Together with some of their family supporters and friends, they were in a plane from Uruguay to Chile for a rugby match. Because of the mistake of the pilot, their plane crashed on a mountain.

The plane that carried 45 people now had 11 dead. They had absolutely nothing, no mobile phone, no warm clothes, just rocks mountains, and sky!

Imagine being a survivor of a plane disaster and being abandoned on a mountain that has no name. What are your odds of surviving this stage of life, surrounded by the bodies of your mother and sister and a never-ending wait for someone to come to your rescue?

The only thing they found was a bottle of rum, some chocolates, a camera, and a radio. This was their reality and home for 72 days!

Cannibalism-Story of a Plane Crash

Imagine being cold, hungry, and scared, stuck on a mountain at -35 degrees with planes flying above you. But no matter how high you jump or how loud you scream, they don’t see or hear you! Think about the amount of disappointment that made a place in your thought process!

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On day-10 they listen to the radio and got to know that their rescue mission was called off! Their only chance of hope seemed to vanish into thin air. You are alive and breathing with a hope to live but the world has considered you dead!

What would you do? Die as a slow and painful death or maybe would you eat your dead friends to stay alive? The question remains the same…

You see, the world would judge them. But no one saw the moral dilemma that they went through.

When the reality is way harsher than you ever think it is! Their mouth wasn’t opening to swallow the flesh of their very dear team members and friends.

They didn’t resort to cannibalism like a lion on a feast on dear. It was their last resort to live, to stay alive! That is how a medical student made sense to eat human flesh.

So how did it all end?

Well, something close to impossible happened. As the week passed more of them started to die.

They knew, if they didn’t take any action, they won’t survive as no one was coming for their rescue. It is only their will to live more going to save them from this perilous situation. So they choose the strongest two of them to leave and get help for them.

Without any mountain climbing experience, equipment, and only humans remaining to eat they made it out alive by an absolute miracle.

A miracle because the journey was more than 59 kilometers, and they have nothing but will to live some longer. They knew they can die but they wanted to try than just being dead.

After 10 days of incredible struggle, they finally saw a river and spotted a farmer on the other side. Just imagine the amount of happiness that they might be feeling at that time?

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But they were unable to cross the river to meet him. So they slept that night there and the next morning the farmer came back. He now had a piece of paper and pan with him he tied them with a rock and threw them across the river.

Then finally they wrote that they were survivors of a plane crash and they have no food left, they need help! And threw it back.

The farmer went to find help. That took some time as he was also away from civilization. On Day-10 both of them were finally picked up by the army.

Their skinny bodies were carried out on the back of horses. They said at that point- “They were ready to embrace life again”.

Soon helicopters would take them to find is friends how could they have possibly walked over such terrain without equipment? They knew their answer but they also know that they might don’t want to know their answer of survival.

On day-71 the first of the team was picked up and on day-72 the rest were taken. All of them were suffering from various ailments but all of those who were still being alive eventually recovered and in fact, only one of them is not alive today.

Once the newspapers had stopped cheering for the survivors many began to ask actually how they survived so long without food.

It was impossible, literally impossible!

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They knew their answers but was the world ready for the truth to digest it? That’s the bigger question!

Then a photograph taken by the rescuers came to light of a human carcass whose bones had been stripped! The survivors admitted what they have done and that’s when the public went mad calling them cannibals!

They went on again and again that eating the human flesh of their people was not cannibalism but was their last resort to live.

It was not their choice but the only way to live. It’s not like they didn’t try to eat other non-eatable things, they tried to eat straps of the leather torn piece from the luggage, opened seat cushions, and whatnot.

But it was either feast on dead friends or die and one survivor who was reluctant to cannibalism did actually die. But 16 of the survivors decided that they would do whatever it would take to stay alive and because of it, they made it down off the mountain.

People say things like “Oh, I’d rather starve than eat a dead human body,” said the guy who eats three meals a day, has never been in a plane crash, has never felt starving to death, and has never experienced a survival event.

We never put our feet in their shoes, so it’s easy to say.

Final Words

In one interview one of the survivor’s Roberto Canessa said, “His major concern was that he was invading his friends’ privacy by invading their bodies, so robbing them of their dignity. But then he realized that if he was killed, he would
be glad that his body may be utilized to help others live. Because their will to live was communicated to them through their flesh, he felt like he had shared a few of his friends not only materially, but also spiritually. They agreed that if they died, they would happily contribute their bodies to the remaining members.”

One lesson that I’ve learned from this impeccable survival story is that you are fortunate if you have a place to sleep, water to drink, and adequate food.

Don’t wait till your plane drops down to appreciate how fortunate you are. Be more appreciative of life. You can wait for the helicopter, but don’t wait too long.

There is a time to wait and watch what happens in life, but there is also a time to take action. If you don’t get out and look for your helicopter, you’ll starve to death.

Coming back on the question, hope you have your answer by now. Let’s get you hooked on the endnote of the story. Here’s another question for you on the end!

In the same situation, would you want your friends to eat you so they can survive? Will wait for your answers in the comment section below…

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