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5 Real Superhuman Ways People Cheat Death Featuring Louis Zamperini

Updated on January 18, 2015
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Starlight is an evil genius whose neither evil nor dominating the world. But he's a good Dad who supports his family working from home.

Not quite 100 yet, Louis Zamperini only fits into the next and final category for now.

Louis Zamperini

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This lady isn't Angelina Jolie, he'd be hanging around with her about 78 years later.
This lady isn't Angelina Jolie, he'd be hanging around with her about 78 years later.
This lady isn't Angelina Jolie, he'd be hanging around with her about 78 years later.

Super Soldier Action Heroes of World War II.

Even now historians are struggling to grasp the enormity of events that occurred in the second world war. One subject of these times that seems to have no limit is the courage and sheer immortality of those who survived the most extreme circumstances. Here are my top three survivors - from POW and concentration camps to the battlefield.

  • Louis Zamperini - Alive today (update: he left us at 97 just after publication of this article. Still unbroken) this man's legend is now synonymous with the word "Unbroken".

Unbroken - that's the title of his biographies, both book and (in 2014) film. He almost broke the 4 minute mile, but that's not the unbroken subject of his legend. His indomitable spirit is.

His amazing life truly began even before he made it to the Berlin Olympics where saw the host up close. Adolf Hitler (who remarked about him) even gave him a wave. Hitler's 1936 games don't go exactly as planned for Adolf. Neither did they turn out as well for Louis. Then one thing leads to another *take a history lesson, I'm not covering it here* and the world descends into war, causing Mr. Zamperini to head out to the Pacific. He has to fly reconnaissance in a notorious plane to look for survivors of an inevitable crash of the same crappy plane.

Just his experience flying that crappy deathtrap plane is a worthy story. But it goes on after it inevitably crashes, with his harrowing raft journey lasting months (a record "I survived" story even today) ending with him fighting off sharks. Whew. Finally he gets "rescued" and imprisoned under the worst conditions by the Japanese, one of whom is particularly sadistic, and who has it in for Louis, whom he despises more than anything. No real reason, just pure sadism. Well, one thing leads to another, *read the book, watch the movie* and today, he's smiling and living it up with his new friend and old neighbor Angelina Jolie... (right up until his passing.)

Update

Yesterday, July 3 2014 at 97 Louis Zamperini passed from old age, unbroken.

Another Update

Dec 11, 2014

So Sony Studios got hacked and it's in the news how the executives really feel, from their leaked emails. I won't repeat what they said about Angelina Jolie, but geez, I have to step in and defend her because she's a true gem among the gaudy, tacky, narcissistic power brokers in tinseltown.

Audie Murphy

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Stallone, Schwartzenegger, and even Chuck Norris' fictional characters have nothing on the real character and courage of Audie Murphy.
Stallone, Schwartzenegger, and even Chuck Norris' fictional characters have nothing on the real character and courage of Audie Murphy.
Stallone, Schwartzenegger, and even Chuck Norris' fictional characters have nothing on the real character and courage of Audie Murphy.

Super Action Heroes of World War 2 cont.


  • Audie Murphy - This guy lived Call of Duty long before first-person-shooter video games were invented. In fact, what he experienced is probably a little more intense than even what the actual first person to shoot a gun playing DOOM thought he experienced... for three big reasons:
  1. there's the fact you're not in your living room, when your AFK you'll be MIA OR DOA
  2. The checkpoint is surviving another day and falling asleep
  3. No respawns

That being said, does anybody know who is the actual first person to shoot a gun playing the very first FPS? Contact me because history should record this fact. I'd love to do an interview before he dies of old age- JK!

  • He was awarded every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army at the time. The 19-year-old Murphy received the Medal of Honor after single-handedly holding off an entire company of Germans for an hour at the Colmar Pocket in France in January 1945, then leading a successful counterattack while wounded and out of ammunition. He hopped on a burning tank and fired its .50mm gun at oncoming German Soldiers among many other deeds. He grabbed grenades thrown at him and, using his best baseball arm, pitched them into the slits of the bunkers from which the grenades and countless bullets were flying at him and his men. Well, he got to be a Hollywood star afterwards, but nothing he did in the movies could ever do justice to what he accomplished on the real-life battlefield.

Super Action Heroes of World War 2 - Last but NOT Least - Witold Pilecki

Look into this man's eyes. This is the soul of someone who hates evil so much he'll break into Auschwitz to stir things up with the bad guys.
Look into this man's eyes. This is the soul of someone who hates evil so much he'll break into Auschwitz to stir things up with the bad guys.
Oh yeah, and when the opportunity presents itself, he'll do it again.
Oh yeah, and when the opportunity presents itself, he'll do it again.

I'm Not Jingoistic, I Admire a Polish Warrior, Perhaps the True "Ultimate Warrior"


  • Witold Pilecki 13 May 1901 – 25 May 1948; a man worthy of multiple codenames: Roman Jezierski, Tomasz Serafiński, Druh, Witold. This guy is the only one I know of who not only survived German death camps, but got in on purpose, broke out, then went back and did it again, just because doing it would help the fight against the bad guys. Look at the guy's face, and you know he ain't afraid of no Nazi concentration camp, the Nazi camps should fear him. That being said, since he hated Evil, he didn't get along well with the Soviet Regime, and they didn't treat this great hero well at all. Sadly, it didn't end well for him. What a shame. The U.S.S.R. didn't deserve a man of this caliber anyway, he was too good for them.

His B17, the aptly named "Snap! Crackle! Pop!" did just that over Germany one fateful day, but the day ended OK for Alan, though he scared the life out of some people in the train station where he came crashing through the glass roof..
His B17, the aptly named "Snap! Crackle! Pop!" did just that over Germany one fateful day, but the day ended OK for Alan, though he scared the life out of some people in the train station where he came crashing through the glass roof..
Allen MacGee wasn't smiling when he fell out of the plane without the aid of a working parachute.
Allen MacGee wasn't smiling when he fell out of the plane without the aid of a working parachute.
With that kind of luck, this is who you'd expect to rescue you.
With that kind of luck, this is who you'd expect to rescue you.

Impactfully Immortal Survivors

Not many people can survive a fall from a five-storey building. Above about 50 levels, people reach terminal velocity which is, coincidentally, literally "terminal". Well, 99.9999% of the time. Some people fall out of airplanes and such, hit the ground, say "ouch", and walk away.

  • Alan MacGee is one of my favorite such instances. During World War II his B-17 bomber lived up to its name "Snap! Crackle! Pop!" all too well after Germans got the better of it. So he fell thousands of feet, crashing into a glass ceiling of a train station, surviving with only minor injuries all things considered. Talk about breaking through the glass ceiling.
  • Ivan Chisov was flying his Soviet bomber with skill until the Germans turned his flying machine into a soon-not-to-be-flying machine. Since parachuting dudes were easy targets for the same aforementioned Nazi pilots, he waited to pull his ripcord until he would be much closer to the ground. What he didn't realize, though, was that bailing out in the extremely thin atmosphere at 22,000 feet would cause him to black out due to the lack of oxygen. OK - time out for today's lessons. Now pay attention to this: If you free-fall from a plane:
  1. Allow the lack of oxygen and/or fear make you pass out,
  2. sleep well, at this point it's not up to you anymore.
  3. Be sure not to wake up, if you indeed want to wake up alive later on.
  4. Also, do it over a steeply-sloped snowy mountain range if you have the choice.

Ivan had all of the above going for him as Soviet foot soldiers watched his epic fall, then rushed to pick up what's left of their fallen Comrade. But surprisingly they found Chisov in one piece and alive. Of course, pilot's skills were in demand (and the U.S.S.R. didn't have a forgiving worker's comp. program) so 3 months later he was back in the air.

  • British pilot Nicholas Alkemade had a bad day that could have been worse. German fighters blasted his Bomber to pieces, but not before he bailed and passed out due to immediate lack of oxygen. He never got the chance to pull his cord and open his chute. Good thing he didn't wake up, because his relaxed body remained intact and alive. Again, It helps not to be stiff at impact. Try pulling that off when you're conscious!
  • In 1963, Cliff Judkins fell from his F-8 fighter after a midair refueling accident. Same deal, he passed out and woke up on the ground.
  • There are many other examples of such tales, sometimes people were conscious during the fall, but circumstances differed.

Metalhead C-Student Athlete Gets Head Pounded in Bar-Brawl Beatdown - Becomes Newborn Genius MATHlete.

Nobody could have guessed Jason Padgett could do anything ingenious. Just as David Banner is underestimated in a fight, the odds against Jason ever becoming a mathematician were every bit as lopsided. Nope, this "average Joe" didn't like math. He liked weightlifting, chasing skirts, and being a hard-working metal-head. Nothing wrong with that. But this High-School dropout became a different person after recovering from a nearly-murderous bar brawl where his head was repeatedly and ruthlessly smashed.

Jason Padgett is now a super genius in his early 40's. He constantly discovers underlying geometric patterns made sensible by intuitively-understood complex mathematical formulas in just about everything. Each image is a new revelation to him, also a brilliantly awesome and beautiful representation of whole fields of science to PhDs familiar with the subject. At first, he could only relate these patterns by complex hand-drawn geometric images. Such images have never before or since been illustrated by any human hand.

Even Leonardo Da Vinci would be impressed with Jason today, never mind HOW this curious talent suddenly appeared. Such a violent beating should kill or at the least traumatically brain damage anybody. Jason's superhuman brain not only withstood it, but hulked-out. Now it's on a rampage currently smashing one STEM degree after another. Captain America is silent on the issue so I'll say it- Jason, Smash.

Not for the faint of heart. The oldest face you'll ever see.

Um, nope. No thanks. But hey, at 127 years old, you won't look as good, unless...
Um, nope. No thanks. But hey, at 127 years old, you won't look as good, unless...

Legendary Super-Centenarians

There are several categories of centenarians.

  1. Living ones you can see today - Misao Okawa 116 years.
  2. Well-documented contemporary deceased - Jeanne Calment 122 years.
  3. Not-so-well-documented contemporary ones - Luo Meizhen who reportedly gave birth to at the age of 61, in Bama, south China's Guangxi province was born in 1885 and died in 2013 (that would make her almost 128)!
  4. Ancient patriarchs of old, both scripturally documented and/or from oral histories - Methuselah takes the fire-hazard-birthday-cake at 969 years.

The Saints "Incorruptible"

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Saint Vincent DePaulSaint BernadetteSaint Catherine LaBoureSaint Clare
Saint Vincent DePaul
Saint Vincent DePaul
Saint Bernadette
Saint Bernadette
Saint Catherine LaBoure
Saint Catherine LaBoure
Saint Clare
Saint Clare

You Can be one of "The Immortals" of the Catholic Church

Saints never die, and some never fade away. There is a class of Saints in the Church who lived lives so holy, it's believed their earthly forms are immune from corruption. Before the Incredibles, the Catholic Church became home of the Incorruptibles. From the research I've done, these Saints must have done something good. Critics may claim these are wax-museum hoaxes, but each case has been well-documented. I assumed the burial conditions must have preserved them, but the various conditions happen to be just about the worst imaginable environments, sometimes even where they're stored or displayed. Many were exhumed in public, re-buried and exhumed again. Others were found literally right next to regular "mortals" who showed standard effects of time and decay.

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  • starlightreflex profile image
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    Doug DeWalt 2 years ago from Ohio USA

    Luck favors the prepared, but is heaped on some people ex nihilo.

  • mgeorge1050 profile image

    Alan 3 years ago from West Georgia

    I love these kinds of stories. It is fascinating to think of how so many variables had to come together perfectly. Amazing.

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