Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Third Man Factor

Some say he’s a hallucination. Some say he’s real.

Ron DiFrancesco, the last person out of the South Tower of the World Trade Center before it came down, tells of "an angel" that guided and urged him through the impact zone to safety.

His encounter may sound like a curiosity, an unusual delusion of an overstressed mind or a testament to his faith. But over the years, the experience he described has occurred again and again, not only to 9/11 survivors, but also to mountaineers, divers, polar explorers, prisoners of war, solo sailors, shipwreck survivors, aviators, and astronauts. All have escaped traumatic events only to tell strikingly similar stories of having felt the close presence of a companion and helper — one that offered a sense of protection, relief, guidance, and hope, and left the person convinced that there was some other being at his or her side, when by any normal calculation there was none.

The above text comes from an interesting and thought-provoking article in the current issue of Men's Journal that discusses what the "Third Man factor" is and why people experience it during survival situations. The article is appropriately called, The Mystery of Survival.

Find great deals on hiking and camping gear at Amazon:

Jeff Detailed information on trails in the Smoky Mountains; includes trail descriptions, key features, pictures, video, maps, elevation profiles, news, hiking gear store, and more.

No comments: