Coming up is an amazing survival story that will leave you in wonder. There’s a dark secret that lead normal humans down a path so dark that it would leave them changed forever.
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on Thursday October 12th 1972 the old Christians club rugby team left their hometown of Montevideo Uruguay in high spirits they were excited to make the trip through Argentina and across the Andes to Santiago Chile where they would play in a match against the other team the 19 players were bringing along 21 friends and family members which added to the festive and celebratory atmosphere they knew it will be an unforgettable experience but they had no idea that this trip would leave them fighting for their survival and lead them down a path so dark that it would leave them changed forever the 832 mile trip would have taken more than 20 hours by Road the team decided to splurge by chartering a twin-turbo prompt Fairchild FH 227 D plane belonging to the Uruguayan Air Force it came equipped with a crew of five servicemen the pilot Colonel Julio Cesare fer Addis had 5117 flying hours to his name including 29 flights across the Andes the flight across Argentina was uneventful but as they approached the mountains the weather took a turn for the worse so they decided to stay overnight at Mendoza International Airport in the foothills of the Andes in the hope that conditions may improve by the next day the weather had not changed but they didn't want to delay their trip any further Barradas had an important decision to make he could take the direct route to Santiago which was only 122 miles away but this would have been very tricky because the route reached elevations of nearly 26,000 feet and the planes maximum was 28,000 feet he was also training a new co-pilot Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Hector la Carrera so virata's decided to go with the safer route flying south to Blanche and Paz where they could cross at a lower elevation the 576 mile journey would take about 90 minutes they departed Mendoza and 2:18 p.m. the weather was still stormy and visibility was very poor they had to rely on a combination of radio navigation and dead reckoning at 321 copilot la aurora radioed air traffic control in Santiago to say that they had passed over the mountains and were turning north he received permission to drop to 11,500 feet and altitude for the final stretch toward the airport as they began their descent it became clear that something was very wrong extreme turbulence shook the plane violently as the pilots fought desperately to regain control fear quickly turned to horror when they broke through the clouds and found that the pilots had inaccurately judged their location and they were still in the Andes they had no chance to avoid the collision that follow the aircraft struck the mountain with tremendous force tearing the right wing and tail from the fuselage the left wing was the next to crashing to the ground sending its propeller shearing into the body of the plane then the fuselage at the ground and skidded like a toboggan before coming to a sudden jarring stop against the snowbank seven people had been thrown from the plane during the crash and the bodies were nowhere in sight of the remaining passengers and crew five had been killed including the pilot and the team's only physician as night fell bringing bitter coldness with it the survivors came to the grim realization that they were stranded thousands of miles from civilization with no means of contacting rescuers the mild climate in their hometown left them completely unprepared for freezing temperatures and they had no warm clothing this was the first time any of them had even seen snow they were huddled together using the remaining section of fuselage as shelter copilot LAN Corrado was critically injured and begged one of the passengers to find the gun this luggage and shoot him to end his suffering the passenger refused but Lanka Rada and four other people died during the first night followed by another on the first day aside from trying to keep warm there was little the survivors could do except wait for rescuers to find them they were able to spot plane searching for them but since the fuselage was white it blended in with the snow and was impossible to see from the sky they tried to signal for help by writing SOS on the top of the plane with lipstick salvaged from the wreckage but it was futile while they awaited rescue over the next several days survival proved to be a constant struggle they gathered together the small amount of food that they were able to salvage and rationed it out very strictly they developed a system for melting snow into drinking water improvised goggles for combating snow blindness and found a small transistor radio with which they could hear search teams transmissions when they ran out of food all of the survivors continued to frantically search for anything remotely edible they tore apart the upholstery hoping that the seats were stuffed with straw and when they found upholstery foam instead they tried to eat that they ate the leather they were able to strip from suitcases which made them sick because of the chemicals it contained nine days into their ordeal another passenger died on the 10th day they heard the devastating announcement on the radio that the search for them had been called off there was no longer any hope that they would be rescued they would have to rescue themselves that night the 27 people who were still alive gathered together for a meeting several were injured and were not physically capable of hiking out of the mountains their only shot at survival was to have one or more people hike out of the mountains and find civilization which would be impossible in their severely weakened date of starvation they would need some form of food in order to survive this was the first time they openly discussed a gruesome fact that had only been whispered about in small groups before that point there was only one source of food available and that was the bodies of their dead friends as devout Roman Catholics they drew strength from Bible verse John 15:14 which reads greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends they made a pact that if any of them were to die they wanted the others to consume their bodies so at least some of them would have a chance to survive they felt confident that their dead companions would have felt the same the decision having been made they steeled their nerves and set about carving meat from their friends bodies in long thin strips they let these strips freeze and force themselves to choke down their first sickening meal of raw human flesh over the next several days they became more efficient at the process of butchering in order to improve the taste they would roast the meat over a fire whenever possible when no fire was available they would eat it raw three of the strongest members Nando Prado Roberto Canessa and Antonio Visentin were chosen to be expeditioners while the other survivors had jobs to do around the makeshift camp these three were tasked with conserving their energy in order to build up the strength to hike back to civilization and send help but their plans were delayed when an avalanche struck in the middle of the night on October 29th burying the fuselage and killing eight people it took the remaining survivors three days to dig their way out in the next few days the expeditioners were able to locate the tail section of the plane they tore out the upholstery and sewed it into a sleeping bag large enough to fit all three expeditioners during their trek parado Canada and Visentin set off on their desperate mission on December 12th exactly two months after the plane had crashed by this time three more people had died only 16 survivors remained the expeditioners fought desperately against altitude sickness snow blindness and sheer exhaustion reaching the nearly 17,000 foot summit in three days they fully expected to see the green landscape of Brazil on the other side to their horror the only sight that awaited them was even more mountains in order to conserve resources the three decided that Visentin would return to the fuselage the next day this left two expeditioners Nando Prado and Roberto Canessa neither of whom had any hiking equipment or a previous climbing experience they spent the next 10 days hiking over rough and difficult terrain with only their instincts to guide them eventually they found a stream and followed it down towards civilization onto December 21st they spotted a shepherd on horseback on the other side of the river they tried shouting but he wasn't able to make up their words over the sound of the rushing water taught us the room a note explaining their dire situation and asking when he would come back to rescue them the astounded man threw two loaves of bread to them yelling a single word in response across the river tomorrow on December 22nd helicopters returned and Paris guided them to the fuselage where the other 14 survivors were waiting the helicopters were not able to carry everyone at once so six of the survivors were rescued that day and a small team of medics was left behind at tents at the other eight on their final night at the crash site on the morning of December 23rd a full 72 days after the crash the last of the survivors were rescued they were all severely underweight but had no serious injuries to speak of from the very beginning they spoke openly about their experience and asked the families of their dead friends for forgiveness the families responded with compassion a priest came to take the survivors his confessions he spoke with him at length and told them that no sin had been committed since they hadn't killed anyone but only done what they had to do in order to survive the survivors of the crash remained close and they have visited the crash site many times one passed away from cancer in 2015 at the age of 79 but the other 15 still meet every year on December 22nd along with their families as of 2017 the number of immediate family members of this celebration of life was at least a hundred and forty Uruguayan Air Force flight 571 has come to be known as el Milagro de las Andes or the miracle of the Andes several of the survivors have written books about their horrifying ordeal and their stories have inspired several movies books and documentaries if you would like to learn more about their foundation or to send a message to some or all of the survivors you can visit their official website link in the description so what are your views on cannibalism do you think it's justified in this case or never at all let me know in the comments down below and thanks for watching