Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571
June 4, 2009 10:02 PM   Subscribe

The crash survivors, thinking they would be found and rescued within hours, a day or two at worst, had very little food and no way to make heat in the harsh climate, at over 3,600 meters (11,700+/- feet) altitude. Faced with starvation and the radio news reports they heard that the search and rescue mission for them had been abandoned, the survivors eventually fed on the dead passengers who were preserved in the snow. Rescue teams were not aware of the survivors until 72 days after the crash when Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa, after a 12 day snow trek across the treacherous Andes mountains, found a Chilean huaso who guided them to safety where help was found for the other survivors still trapped at the crash site. - Wikipedia
posted by Joe Beese (49 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This is an old-unto-classic story, covered years ago. But here's some bonus askme for survivophiles. -- cortex



 
Someone crashed a plane on Wikipedia?
posted by KokuRyu at 10:05 PM on June 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


the survivors eventually fed on the dead passengers who were preserved in the snow.

These days, airlines would probably charge you for the meal.
posted by mattdidthat at 10:09 PM on June 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


As a fat guy, if I ever find myself in such a situation, I'm leaving. I can survive the longest without eating and you thin douchebags will of course try and eat me first even though I have the best chance to survive for a while without eating anyone.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:11 PM on June 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


I saw this film at The Banff Mountain Film Festival and it made all of my own inconveniences feel petty and small. Also, I don't doubt for a moment that them all being neighbours and med students on the same soccer team they never would have pulled it off.
posted by furtive at 10:14 PM on June 4, 2009


It's always good to be reminded of this heartwarming story of humans persevering through the toughest of circumstances. It would make a great musical.
posted by ornate insect at 10:17 PM on June 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


The book: Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors (1974).

The film: Alive (1993), starring Ethan Hawke, Vincent Spano; directed by Frank Marshall.
posted by ericb at 10:23 PM on June 4, 2009


Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa, after a 12 day snow trek across the treacherous Andes mountains, found a Chilean huaso who guided them to safety

their mental powers were still good at that stage, too...upon spotting a settlement, the first thing they did was bury the human buttocks they were carrying in their bags, before making contact.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:24 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


You mean they ate each other up?
posted by Artw at 10:24 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: The survivors eventually fed on the dead passengers
posted by lukemeister at 10:26 PM on June 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


You mean they ate each other up?

what else would you suggest?

grilled cheese sandwiches?
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:32 PM on June 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


The other book: Miracle in the Andes by Nando Parrado and Vince Rause
posted by lukemeister at 10:32 PM on June 4, 2009


That movie scarred me for a long, long time. Then I read the book, which made the movie look like a picnic on a sunny day in the park.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:33 PM on June 4, 2009


Isn't this story very widely known?
posted by orange swan at 10:37 PM on June 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


orange swan: Isn't this story very widely known?

Yeah, but you know how us Mefites like to gnaw on old bones.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:41 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Don't worry, UbuRoivas. l know all about cannibalism. l saw it on TV.
posted by Artw at 10:43 PM on June 4, 2009


It's always good to be reminded of this heartwarming story of humans persevering through the toughest of circumstances. It would make a great musical.

Close enough?
posted by item at 10:45 PM on June 4, 2009


My only question -- is the poster too young to remember the movie Alive?
posted by judge.mentok.the.mindtaker at 10:47 PM on June 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


See, it's OK. He saw it on the television.

/Irritated, Latently Homicidal
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:49 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


MMmmm... long pig !
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:53 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]




My next FPP is going to be about this story I heard. There was this huge Trans-Atlantic ship they said was unsinkable and then it hit an iceberg and...you'll have to wait and find out what happened!

Sure it's an old story but I'm sure none of you have heard of it before. Wikipedia here I come!
posted by P.o.B. at 11:07 PM on June 4, 2009 [8 favorites]


the first time happened it was a pretty compelling and fucked up story.

for it to happen again, with the same flight number, etc is downright creepy.

(note to self, if flying to uganda, never, ever board a Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571. if needed, walk instead)
posted by el io at 11:08 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dude, don't be mad, but I ate your sister.
posted by Crotalus at 11:11 PM on June 4, 2009


When I was a wee nipper, I went on a school rugby tour to South America. One of the teams we played was the Stella Maris school team. In Uruguay Rugby is only really played at the private schools - with most private schools there's a tradition of sending your sons to the same school you went to and we were all expected to stay with the families of our opposite numbers while we were in town.

Long story short, three of our team stayed with the families of the 571 survivors. Apparently dinner-time was a bit of a fraught affair (well to 16-year-olds it was all hilarious). One thing was apparent - even 20 years after it occurred, no-one talked about it, it was the ultimate taboo.

We were all familiar with the story before we went on the tour but I hadn't realised exactly how badly the survivors were treated when they returned. Most of the survivors were told several times, to their faces as well as in the media and if memory serves, by some church bigwig that it would have been better if they had died.
posted by JustAsItSounds at 11:18 PM on June 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


Oh no! TOTAL COELO.
posted by tellurian at 11:19 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm a rather foolish person, and it's easy to say this from my armchair, but I would've taken my chances and hiked out of there after one week. Such an enduring strange story.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:25 PM on June 4, 2009


posted by ornate insect It's always good to be reminded of this heartwarming story of humans persevering through the toughest of circumstances. It would make a great musical.

Sung to the tune of, "Our Great Mikado, Virtuous Man" from The Mikado:

A plane with passengers and crew
Into the Andes mountains flew
But then they crashed
And hopes were dashed
When none came to their rescue.
Their food supply had all but ceased
So as their hunger pangs increased
They turned to those who were deceased
And cooked a tasty feast, a fee-east, a fee-ee-eeast!
They cooked a tasty feast.

This cut of steak, you'll understand,
Caused great dismay throughout the land
For Jane and Joe
And Hank and Flo
Were equally affected.
One vegan said "Although I feel,
"That meat should never be a meal,"
"Bob tastes a little bit like veal!"
"It's better than expected,"
"Expected, expected,"
"It's better than expected!"
posted by mattdidthat at 11:59 PM on June 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


What's really messed up is how many times and how close they really were to rescue; they tried hiking in all the wrong directions, but the one way they didn't go...
The book blew me away (after the movie blew me away, which was the first time I'd gotten high before the cinema... that plane crash went on forever)
Ooh ooh, slightly related, I took a dip in Donner Lake in November one year :)
That said, I will eat anyone here if I have to. Good night.

posted by hypersloth at 12:03 AM on June 5, 2009


That movie scarred me for a long, long time. Then I read the book, which made the movie look like a picnic on a sunny day in the park.

Yes.

The other book: Miracle in the Andes by Nando Parrado and Vince Rause

I was actually thinking of reading Alive again; maybe I'll do this one instead. Any thoughts?
posted by hypersloth at 12:18 AM on June 5, 2009


Just watched the entire documentary Stranded on YT (it's in 11 parts on YT), having never read any of the books or seen any of the films on this subject whatsoever.

I can honestly say it's one of the best documentaries I've ever seen, and there's no way anything else on this story could possibly be any better--since this documentary is told from the only point of view that matters, that of the actual survivors. I can't recommend it enough. It's absolutely gripping.
posted by ornate insect at 1:31 AM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Give the guy a break. The week after next is the 6 3/4 anniversary of the viven website.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:31 AM on June 5, 2009


Did someone ask for a musical? Try Cannibal! The Musical.
posted by buzzbash at 4:02 AM on June 5, 2009


I watched Stranded with my significant other quite some time ago. She looked at me and asked me, if WE went down in the Andes (which there is zero chance of), would I eat her? I said, "Of course, honey, but since I'm a gentleman, I'd share your legs with you!" Man, she got pissed! I don't know what she was expecting me to say; women are hard to figure out. I guess she wanted something like: "No way would I eat you! I'd die first!" I cut my losses there, and didn't mention that feeding her her legs would keep the rest of her fresher for longer. I'm SURE that would not have gone over very well at all.
posted by jamstigator at 4:19 AM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


There's a party going on in this thread!
posted by Pollomacho at 4:36 AM on June 5, 2009


That wikipedia article is missing a tv or movie from the 70s. I distinctly remember seeing it as a kid and being freaked out by it.
posted by forforf at 4:41 AM on June 5, 2009


There used to be this big wall in Berlin. True story.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:06 AM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


As a fat guy, if I ever find myself in such a situation, I'm leaving. I can survive the longest without eating and you thin douchebags will of course try and eat me first even though I have the best chance to survive for a while without eating anyone.

I suppose it's logical that you would survive the longest, but how much longer can you subsist on your internal stores? Doesn't the sensation of hunger get just as unbearable?
posted by Dragonness at 5:12 AM on June 5, 2009


I saw this movie about 5 years ago via HBO.
posted by LittleMissItneg at 5:16 AM on June 5, 2009


Stranded aired on Independent Lens this past week (repeat, probably). I'm in the middle of watching it now.

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/stranded/

I highly recommend the habit of watching absolutely everything that Independent Lens airs.
posted by intermod at 5:23 AM on June 5, 2009




None of you could understand because none of you were there!

Oh, I know more about post-plane crash cannibalism than I think you can imagine.

By the way, this story is indirectly responsible for one of the crappiest movies of the nineties starting off passably well (for the first three minutes). The Flintstones began with the Univeral logo showing the continents fused into Pangaea, and then the first establishing (special effects) shot shows a massive pterodactyl with a cabin strapped to its back being used as an airliner. A minute or two later Fred arrives home from work and reads a newspaper with the headline, "Pterodactyl Crashes into Andes, Eats Rugby Team to Survive."

I chuckled then, not knowing it was the last enjoyment I would wring out of the next ninety minutes.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:54 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Long story short, three of our team stayed with the families of the 571 survivors.

This story alone is worth the relative weakness of this FPP.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:00 AM on June 5, 2009


Just to be sure, in case we're ever involved in a MeFi plane crash, I'm very tough and stringy, low on fat content, and I've got a gammy leg. It wouldn't do much good to eat me.

TIA!
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:24 AM on June 5, 2009


and I've got a gammy leg

...or perhaps you mean gamey? yum.
posted by biffa at 6:38 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is why I always carry hot sauce on planes.
posted by orme at 7:06 AM on June 5, 2009


Another vote for the documentary Stranded. I had read the book a long time ago and then saw this at the theater. Absolutely riveting and so incredibly human.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:09 AM on June 5, 2009


In a related headline...
posted by Pollomacho at 7:14 AM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


OM NOM NOM
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 7:18 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


The movie is really good, but the books (both Alive and Miracle) get into the tasty details of smashing the skulls open to get to the brains, or eating the liver to get some iron.

I would give my first born child to Alton Brown if he would do a Good Eats episode on remote plane crash survival.
posted by bondcliff at 7:21 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


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