Ever go to your fridge or cupboard and realize you don’t have much to eat. How many people ‘fluffed’ their Ramen noodles by tossing in hot-dogs? I’ve heard someone used to wrap it in a tortilla and eat it like a soft taco. Now, imagine that you’ve been arrested. There’s a certain expectation, mostly thank s to movies, that the police have an obligation to your general well-being. Turns out someone forgot to mention that to these DEA guys…
On April 20, a Friday, Mr. Chong had gone to get high at a friend’s house, in the so-called 4/20 ritual that sprang from a group of Northern California teenagers in the 1970s who liked to smoke marijuana at 4:20 p.m. The next morning, the D.E.A. raided the house. Agents found about 18,000 pills identified as MDMA, or Ecstasy, along with other drugs and weapons, according to the D.E.A., and Mr. Chong was detained, along with eight others.
The suspects were taken to the D.E.A. offices, where they were interviewed. Then seven of the suspects were taken to the county detention center, and one was released. Mr. Chong said the agents told him on Saturday, April 21, that he, too, would be released, and put him in a holding cell to wait for them to take him home.
“That door never opened again until Wednesday,” he said.
Instead, Mr. Chong was left alone in the 5-by-10-foot holding cell, with no food, no sink and no toilet — only a blanket. He said he could hear footsteps as agents walked by, other cell doors opening and toilets flushing. He kicked the door, screaming for water. But no one came.
After the first two days, Mr. Chong said, he began to hallucinate, imagining “little Japanese cartoon characters telling me what to do.” He clawed at the walls, convinced that they contained messages about where to find water.
Three times he drank his own urine. The only sustenance he had, he said, was a packet of white powder that he found wrapped in the blanket, which turned out to be methamphetamine.
On the fourth day, he said, the lights in the cell went out. Eventually, his hands still cuffed behind his back, he broke his eyeglasses with his teeth, as he contemplated killing himself. On his arm, he tried to carve a message: “Sorry Mom.” He also swallowed a piece of the glass, which cut his esophagus.
When agents discovered him on the afternoon of April 25, paramedics took him to a hospital, where his lawyers said he remained for five days while he was treated for kidney failure, severe dehydration and a perforated esophagus.
You can check out this list from How Stuff Works.com about “10 Harrowing Tails of Survival”. Here is a sampling of tales…
- In January 1982, Steven Callahan set sail from the Canary Islands on a small boat he built himself. The boat sank six days into the trip, and Callahan was left adrift on a 5-foot (1.5-meter) life raft.With only three pounds (1.3 kilograms) of food and eight pints of water, a solar still and a makeshift spear, Callahan managed to survive until his rescue 76 days later. During his two-plus months at sea, Callahan’s raft traveled approximately 1,800 miles (2,898 kilometers).
- Joe Simpson and Simon Yates’s journey up the Siula Grande, a 21,000-foot (6,401-meter) mountain in the Peruvian Andes, began without incident; however, their trip soon changed when snowstorms moved in. To navigate the mountain’s crevasses, the men decided to rope themselves together. Suddenly, the unthinkable happened. Simpson fell, injuring his leg. They couldn’t continue climbing.Yates decided to lower Simpson down the mountain, and once Simpson had anchored himself, climb down. However, a snowstorm hit, and Simpson was left dangling mid-air. In order to survive, Yates had to do the unthinkable: he had to cut the rope.Miraculously, Simpson landed in a crevice and was able to use the remains of the rope to lower himself down the mountain. Both men survived the ordeal. Simpson commended Yates for staying with an injured climber and admitted that he, too, would have cut the rope.
- Yossi Ghinsberg set out with three friends in 1981 to explore the Tuichi River in the Bolivian Amazon. Lost and realizing that they hadn’t prepared well for the arduous journey, they broke off into pairs. Ghinsberg and his friend Kevin floated on a raft down river. The other pair was not as fortunate: They were never seen again.Unfortunately, Ghinsberg’s raft hit a rock, and the pair were split up. Ghinsberg spent the next 19 days wandering alone through the wilderness. Local men found Kevin, and they began a search for Ghinsberg. Miraculously, he was found alive. Ghinsberg is now a motivational speaker who inspires audiences with his tale of survival.
- You probably can’t even begin to fathom making the decision to amputate your own arm with a dull knife. But on May 1, 2003, Aron Ralston was left with no other choice. An 800-pound (362.8 kilogram) boulder fell on his arm and trapped him in a Utah canyon wall. After lying pinned to the canyon for five days, Ralston, running out of food and water, thought chances of being found were slim. He leveraged the boulder to make his bones snap, and he then used his pocket knife to cut away his muscles and tendon. Amazingly, he rappelled down a 65 foot wall and walked until hikers found him.
- When experienced ocean voyagers Tami Oldham Ashcraft and her fiancee Richard Sharp set out on a job to deliver a yacht from Tahiti to San Diego, they never dreamed that they would be stuck in a category four hurricane. Hurricane Raymond’s 50-foot waves and 140 knot winds put the couple in the middle of a battle for their own survival. The boat capsized, and Ashcraft, who sought shelter below deck, was rendered unconscious. When she woke up hours later, her fiancee was gone. When the boat righted itself, Sharp’s safety line had snapped. Ashcraft resolutely rationed her supplies, crafted a makeshift sail and mast and figured out a course to Hawaii, a forty day journey 1,500 miles away. Amazingly, she continues to sail.
- In April 2006, ranchers in a remote area of Australia were shocked when a skeletal figure appeared at their cattle station. The man, Ricky Megee, thought that his car had been stolen after he was drugged by a hitchhiker. The last thing he recalled was breaking down while he was driving along the Buntine highway near the border of Western Australia and the Northern Territory. He told police that he awoke to find dingos scratching at him. Suffering from exposure and malnutrition, McGee lived off of a diet of leeches, insects, snakes, frogs and lizards for 71 days. He drank water from a dam and constructed a makeshift shelter. Luckily, McGee’s ordeal took place during the wet season, and he was able to obtain enough water to drink. He weighed 230 pounds (105 kilograms) before he got lost and weighed 105 pounds (48 kilograms) when he was finally rescued.
- Carol Martini and Jay Barry always dreamed of sailing the high seas and worked to restore a 1960 wreck into a majestic vessel. In 1999, they set sail around the world. Little did they know that their dream would soon turn into a nightmare. Their ship, the Gandalf, sailed along the U.S Atlantic coast, and to the Panama Canal, Carribean, the Galapagos, Polynesia, Australia and Singapore. When they reached Thailand, they teamed up with several other ships because they knew they were beginning to venture into Pirate Alley. Soon, two large pirate vessels appeared on the horizon and began shooting at the Gandalf. Sensing that the pirates intended to board the ship, Barry quickly turned the vessel and headed straight for the pirates, ramming into their ship. The pirates weren’t used to ships fighting back, and after a brief confrontation, escaped back to sea.
As usual Cracked.com can be trusted to have an article. Jacopo della Quercia wrote up this list “The 6 Most Insane True Tales of Survival“
I don’t know about you, but I had to read the book “Island of the Blue Dolphin” when I was in grade school, so I’m including that portion of the article here. I strongly recommend you still click and check out the rest of the stories at the link above, they are all pretty darn fantastic.
Like the mighty unicorn missing its place on the Ark, so too did Juana Maria miss the boat intended to save the last of her people from genocide in the mid 1800s. She was an islander on San Nicolas (off California) when the population was nearly wiped out by a group of roving Aleutian hunters from the north. The Aleutians killed nearly every man, woman and child on the island, and by 1835 there were less than 30 islanders left, total.
A boat full of missionaries came to rescue the remaining islanders from getting murdered, and they managed to get everyone on board safely. Everyone except for Juana Maria. The woman ended up completely alone on the hostile island of San Nicolas … for the next 18 fucking years.
After several failed attempts to rescue her, Juana was eventually picked up in 1853 wearing what one newspaper described as “skins and feathers of wild ducks, which she sewed together with sinews of the seal.” The paper went on to add that “she cannot speak any known language, is good-looking and about middle age.” She had not only survived alone on the island, but thrived there, actually outliving everyone else she knew (but more on that in a moment).
Ironically, despite her amazing individual resilience for almost 20 years, Juana Maria did not last two months once she reached the mainland. Her story was the inspiration for Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins, thus serving as a romantic ideal for future generations of girls of what life might be like if everyone would just leave them the fuck alone.
Oh, and what we said earlier about how she outlived everyone she knew? It turns out that her getting left off the rescue boat was the mother of all blessings in disguise. The rest of her people who fled to the mainland ended up dying almost immediately from the new diseases they contracted from their rescuers.
I don’t recall the sad part that she died so shortly after being rescued, or maybe our teacher told us, but I blocked that out of my memory. Along those lines I can still remember only two parts about this book. One, I distinctly recall her internal debate to fashion a weapon/tools for her survival because her tribe didn’t think women should hunt and it was against their beliefs to the point where they’d be punished, she finally over came her fear that there would be wrath from her gods and fashioned tools for survival. The other part I remember is that she had a hair brush made of urchin spines for the bristles.
Weird News on a lighter note…
From Yahoo’s list of weird news, a Texas man arrested riding a unicycle naked. (click to watch a video (that is blurred))
45-year-old Joseph Glynn Farley didn’t reinvent the wheel, but he certainly came up with a unique way to get arrested while cruising around on one.
Police detained the Southeast Texas man after he was discovered riding a unicycle naked across a local bridge. In an understatement, Farley was arrested for allegedly distracting drivers and creating a hazard.
In the accompanying police video, a female dispatcher can be overheard saying that Farley is headed North “riding on a unicycle and is not wearing any clothes.”
He was charged with misdemeanor indecent exposure. His bond is reportedly set at $1,500.
In what might be an even stranger development, Kemah police Chief Greg Rikard said even though Farley was not only nude but was repeatedly falling off his unicycle into traffic, he apparently was “not intoxicated or impaired” at the time.
Instead, Farley told police he simply liked the feeling of riding without his clothes, which police later discovered at the base of the bridge.
I’ve read previously that TSA claims it doesn’t flag children below a certain age for their “No-Fly List,” but then you get the following article from yahoo.com and have to wonder who’s really to blame?
The parents of an 18-month-old girl say they were “humiliated” after being pulled off a plane and told their young child had been placed on a no-fly list.
After boarding a JetBlue flight in Ft. Lauderdale, the parents of young Riyanna, who asked to remain anonymous over fears of repercussions, were told the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) wanted to interview their toddler.
“And I said, ‘For what?'” Riyanna’s mother told ABC affiliate WPBF 25 News on Wednesday. “And he said, ‘Well, it’s not you or your husband. Your daughter was flagged as no fly.’ I said, ‘Excuse me?'”
Whoever is to blame, the parents say they believe the incident began because they are both of Middle Eastern descent and because the wife wears a hijab, a traditional headscarf. A 2011 poll from the Pew Research Center found that Muslim Americans say they believe they are disproportionately singled out by airport security officers.
Eventually, the couple were given their boarding passes back. Interesting, both JetBlue and the TSA tell WPBF they weren’t responsible for the incident. The TSA says that because the couple and their child were eventually issued boarding passes, Riyanna could not have been on the no-fly list.
“TSA did not flag this child as being on the No Fly list,” the group said in a statement to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “TSA was called to the gate by the airline and after talking to the parents and confirming through our vetting system, TSA determined the airline had mistakenly indicated the child was on a government watch list.”
JetBlue told WPBF that both the airline and the TSA are investigating the incident.
Now for News of the Weird from Chuck Shepherd.
Gosh, I thought all the end-of-the-world stuff was over…
Condo developer Larry Hall is already one-quarter sold out of the upscale doomsday units he is building in an abandoned underground Cold War-era Atlas-F missile silo near Salina, Kan. He told an Agence France-Presse reporter in April that his 14-story structure would house seven floors of apartments ($1 million to $2 million each, cash up front), with the rest devoted to dry food storage, filtered-water tanks and an indoor farm, which would raise fish and vegetables to sustain residents for five years. The 9-foot-thick concrete walls (built to protect rockets from a Soviet nuclear attack) would be buttressed by entrance security to ward off the savages who were not wise enough to prepare against famine, meteors, nuclear war and the like. Hall said he expects to be sold out this year and begin work on another of the three silos he has options to buy. [Agence France-Presse via Google News, 4-9-2012]
[Editor’s note: click here to go to SurvivalCondo.com to view features and specs]
Dan takes one for the team…
Dan O’Leary, the city manager of Keller, Tex. (pop. 27,000), faced with severe budget problems, was unable to avoid the sad job of handing out pink slips. For instance, he determined that one of Keller’s three city managers had to go, and in April, he laid himself off. According to a March Fort Worth Star-Telegram report, O’Leary neither intended to retire nor had other offers pending, and he had aroused no negative suspicions as to motive. He simply realized the city could be managed more cost-effectively by the two lower-paid officials. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 3-21-2012]
Stupid criminals on parade…
In January, Ms. Navey Skinner, 34, was charged with robbing the Chase Bank in Arlington, Wash., after passing a teller a note that read, “Put the money in the bag now or [d]ie.” According to investigators, Skinner subsequently told them she had been thinking about robbing a bank and then, while inside the Chase Bank, “accidentally robbed” it. [Daily Herald (Everett, Wash.), 1-30-2012]
Amateur Hour: (1) CVS supervisor Fenton Graham, 35, of Silver Spring, Md., was arrested as the inside man (with two accomplices) in two drugstore robberies in April. Surveillance video showed that in the second heist, the nervous perp evidently failed to take the money with him, and Graham (the “victim”) was seen taking it out to his forgetful partner. (2) Kyle Voss, 24, was charged with four burglaries in Great Falls, Mont., in April after coming upon a private residence containing buckets of coins. According to police, Voss first took the quarters and half-dollars ($3,000), then days later he returned for $700 in dimes and nickels. By the third break-in, the resident had installed surveillance video, and Voss was caught as he came back for a bucket of pennies. [Washington Post, 4-13-2012] [Associated Press via Fox News, 4-17-2012]
Federal court documents revealed in March that AWOL Army Pvt. Brandon Price, 28, had convinced Citibank in January that he spoke for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen (one of the world’s richest men) and convinced the bank to issue Allen (i.e., Price) a new debit card and to change Allen’s address from Seattle to Price’s address in Pittsburgh. Price/Allen shopped decidedly downscale, running up charges only at Gamestop and Family Dollar, totaling less than $1,000. [Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 3-27-2012]
In March, West Des Moines, Iowa, police opened an investigation, with video surveillance, of a 59-year-old employee of the state’s Farm Bureau on suspicion of criminal mischief. According to police documents cited by the Des Moines Register, the man would look through the employee database for photos of attractive female colleagues and then visit their work space after hours and urinate on their chairs. Not only does the man allegedly have a problem, but the Farm Bureau figured it is out $4,500 in damaged chairs. [Des Moines Register, 3-27-2012]
Finally, a nationally prominent judge has taken on prison “nutriloaf” as a constitutional issue. In March, U.S. Appeals Court Judge Richard Posner reinstated a dismissed lawsuit by a Milwaukee County Jail inmate who claimed that the mystery meat gave him an “anal fissure.” Posner wrote that the lower courts needed to rule on whether the food of indeterminate content is “cruel and unusual punishment,” since (citing a Wikipedia entry) an anal fissure seems “no fun at all.” [American Bar Association Journal, 3-28-2012]
Lumpkin County, Ga., judge David Barrett, apparently frustrated by an alleged rape victim’s reluctant testimony at a trial in February, blurted out in court that she was “killing her case (against the accused rapist),” and to dramatize the point, pulled out his own handgun and offered it to her, explaining that she might as well shoot her lawyer because the chances for conviction were dropping rapidly. (Five days later, following news reports, Barrett resigned.) [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2-25-2012; Gainesville Times (Gainesville, Ga.), 3-1-2012]
In a March interview on Bolivian television, Judge Gualberto Cusi, who was recently elected to Bolivia’s Constitutional Tribunal from the indigenous Aymara community, acknowledged that occasionally, when deciding tough cases, he relied on the Aymaran tradition of “reading” coca leaves. [click to read about coca leaf readings] “In moments when decisions must be taken, we turn to coca to guide us and show us the way.” [BBC News, 3-15-2012]
Fuzzy on the concept…
(1) In April, the Tampa Police Department issued preliminary security guidelines to control areas around August’s Republican National Convention in the city. Although the Secret Service will control the actual convention arena, Tampa Police are establishing a zone around the arena in which weapons will be confiscated (including sticks, rocks, bottles and slingshots). Police would like to have banned firearms, too, but state law prevents cities from restricting the rights of licensed gun-carriers. (2) South Florida station WPLG-TV reported in March that vendors were openly selling, for about $30, verbatim driver’s license test questions and answers, on the street in front of DMV offices. However, when told about it, a DMV official shrugged, pointing out that test-takers still had to memorize them to pass the closed-book exam. [Tampa Bay Times, 4-3-2012] [WPLG-TV, 3-30-2012]
What’s in a name?
At a March town meeting in Embden, Maine, residents turned down proposals to rename its most notorious street “Katie Road.” Thus, the name will remain, as it has for decades, “Katie Crotch Road.” Some residents, in addition to being embarrassed by the name, also noted the cost of constantly replacing the street signs stolen by giggling visitors. (A Kennebec Journal report noted uncertainty about the name’s origin. It might refer to how the road splits in two, forming a “Y” shape. On the low side, the name might refer to an early settler who would sit on her front porch without underwear.) [Kennebec Journal, 3-10-2012]
Can you name the “Rule of 3s” regarding survival?
- How long can you last without fresh air to breathe?
- How long can you survive without shelter from harsh (cold) weather?
- How long can you survive without water?
- How long can you last without food?
Answers (verified with sources outside of my TV viewing pleasures):
This is all based on the law of averages. Obviously there are people who train for extreme conditions and situations so their bodies may be adapted to last longer than the rest of us.
- 3 minutes
- 3 hours
- 3 days
- 3 weeks
Lastly, I’ll leave you with this link to a blog on the Tragic Story of the Donner Party.
If you never had to read about it in school, like I did in Middle School, then give that a once-over when you have time. To summarize several families with wagon masters and some servants totally 87 set out for California by wagon train under the mistaken belief there was a short-cut over the Mountains through Utah. Unbeknown to them the trail was not actually tested by Lansford Hastings who had published the trails existence in a pioneer guidebook. The route actually took them longer, delaying them and causing them to suffer casualties and losses to their supplies before even reaching the Sierra-Nevada mountains where they were snowed in at Truckee Lake having found a few cabins remained from prior pioneers. Once the snow locked them down things took an even more dire path. I’ll let you read the article to find out the punch line, but what started out with 87 members of a wagon train was winnowed down to a group of 48 survivors.