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Theme for a book

Suggestion to authors
  [vote for,

There're plenty of book [and movie] titles about people who DID survive "against all the odds", and my tentative title "But They DIDN'T Survive", didn't bring up much on the web.

Difficult to research of course, but I for one would be a keen reader about individuals who fought against the odds but still died while in the prime of life.

My thoughts have always dwelled on the millions [surely] who suffer terror before they die, rather than on the lucky few like me, who survive.

rayfo, May 13 2001

Scott of the Antarctic http://www.amazon.c...os/ASIN/0803272480/
But they didn't survive. [sirrobin, May 13 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Into Thin Air http://www.amazon.c...dos/ASIN/0385492081
Mostly dead. [sirrobin, May 13 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Remember the Alamo? http://www.amazon.c...dos/ASIN/0060930942
Most don't. [sirrobin, May 13 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

http://images.villagevoice.com/issues/0031/clip2.mov http://images.villa...sues/0031/clip2.mov
TWA 800 planecrash animation. [Duffi, May 13 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

http://www.cnn.com/US/9707/twa.800/video/ http://www.cnn.com/US/9707/twa.800/video/
TWA 800 crash stuff from CNN [Duffi, May 13 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

NTSB Aircraft Accident Report http://www.ntsb.gov...tn/2000/AAR0003.pdf
In-flight Breakup Over the Atlantic Ocean, Trans World Airlines Flight 800 [egnor, May 13 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       on that sort of note, how about Books (and movies) which build up a strong good-guy, only to have him killed in a duel/shootout/whatever with the bad guy.
Or was it just me who always wanted shredder to win on teenage mutant hero (ninja) turtles?
dekoi, May 13 2001

       I forget which book, but in one of Dale Brown's books, he builds up an interesting lieutenant for a third of the book or so, and when a war starts, the first thing he does is jump out of a plane without connecting his chute-opening line.
StarChaser, May 13 2001

       Call it "The Guinness Book of Nice Tries."
Uncle Nutsy, May 13 2001

       There was that plane that crashed in the Atlantic a year or so back - the entire cockpit had been ripped off, but somehow the main body, with wings and engines intact and under the control of a sub-processor, managed to fly for a considerable amount of time before it, too, crashed into the Atlantic, killing all the remaining passengers.   

       It happened during the day. I often wonder what it was like for the passengers who could see the entire front of the plane was gone, daylight and blue sky where the pilot's cabin and front of the plane should have been.
Duffi, May 13 2001

sirrobin, May 14 2001

       sirrobin : Tell me more please.
rayfo, May 14 2001

       I assume [sirrobin] is talking about the links he added.
egnor, May 14 2001

       This was that famous one where the center tank exploded, this was like 2 years ago, it took off from New York, and they thought it was a missile that hit it for a while, then it was blamed on wiring and gas vapors in the unused center tank.   

       The plane didn't simply explode into pieces. The explosion took the front of the plane off, and the rest of it went on flying for several more minutes. They had an animation and description on the nightly news which mentioned the secondary processor that "kept the plane flying". VERY morbid.
Duffi, May 14 2001

       Here it is. TWA 800. I added a link to a news report .mov file that shows the cockpit seperation and bright morning sky and everything. It exploded shortly after takeoff, so they weren't flying high enough for the decompression. They have determined that at least 47 of them were still alive when it hit the water.   

       It looks like they only flew for a couple of minutes, and there was a second explosion - but notice there are twenty seconds in there after the nose comes off fairly cleanly, and before the second explosion, where people in the front row would have seem to have had quite a view.
Duffi, May 14 2001

       ...And then there's the book "Young Men and Fire" which describes a fire-fighting crew trapped by a forest fire; the book reconstructs the last moments of the victims as well as the survivors. You're right, rayfo, there is a niche for this kind of literature.
Dog Ed, May 14 2001

       Oh, TWA 800, I should have guessed. I don't think your initial description was entirely accurate. I have added a link to the NTSB report; allow me to quote from page 263:   

       "On the basis of computer simulations and witness information, the Safety Board determined that the entire breakup sequence of the airplane (from the time of the CWT explosion until the time that the aft portion of the airplane impacted the water) lasted about 47 to 54 seconds. The sequencing study established that the nose portion of the airplane separated from the remainder of the airplane after the initial explosion in the CWT. Computer simulations indicated that this occurred about 3 to 5 seconds after the initial explosion. Computer simulations based on radar data, trajectory calculations, and airplane performance factors indicate that after the separation of the nose portion, the remainder of the airplane (including much of the WCS, the wings, the aft fuselage, and the tail) continued in crippled flight and pitched up while rolling to the left (north), ascended from 13,800 to about 15,000 or 16,000 feet, 551 and then rolled into a descending turn to the right (south)."   

       I'm not sure I would call 47 to 54 seconds a "considerable time", nor do I see any evidence that the aft portion of the aircraft was "under the control of a sub-processor". While the NTSB does describe its trajectory as "crippled flight", from the rest of the description it sounds like they would describe a brick falling from the sky as "crippled flight" as well.   

       (I state these differences mostly to explain why I had no idea you were referring to TWA 800.)   

       Nevertheless, you're right; as in many in-flight accidents (e.g. the recent Alaska Airlines crash, and even the Challenger disaster), some passengers may have remained alive for long enough to have quite a ride.   

       Note, however, that by my calculations they hit the water (and died) *more* quickly than a parachuteless skydiver leaving the aircraft at the time of the initial explosion would have. ("Crippled flight" indeed...)
egnor, May 14 2001

       You're right, egnor, somehow I got the idea it went for ten minutes or so like that. Apologies.
Duffi, May 14 2001

       Thanks everyone.   

       I saw the genre as compilations including the events you refer to - and many more, written always from the viewpoint of those who didn't survive, not of the survivors as is usual.   

       The authors would have to be very skilled to do this well, having necessarily to project themselves into the victims' minds.
rayfo, May 15 2001


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