The Short Take:
Once again, truth is wilder than fiction. This all-true story about some WWII soldiers who crash in uncharted territory surrounded by possible headhunters is amazing. The plans for getting them out are even more so. What an adventure!
I saw the author on The Daily Show and immediately bought this book. It is an incredible story set in (then) Dutch Papua New Guinea during the final days of WWII.
This book has it all — from a beautiful blonde in danger to the almost unbelievable culture of the isolated people who surround the crash survivors to the actor/jewel thief/director who shows up to document everything. Indiana Jones has nothing on this adventure! You have to wonder why this story hasn’t been repeated ever since and made into a movie or two instead of simply forgotten.
Thankfully, Zuckoff gives us the full story. He even presents it in thriller style to heighten the tension. In addition, he actually revisited that remote tribe, where some of the natives who met the “strangers from the sky” still live today.
It’s simply an incredible story from start to finish. Hopefully it will not be forgotten again
A Little Plot:
An unknown Stone Age society exists in a hidden valley — totally isolated from the rest of the world. They’re accidently discovered by an Army pilot. Several buzz-by flights subsequently occur to look at these unknown people. One takes along a group of WACs. The plane crashes in that hidden valley but there are survivors, including one gorgeous WAC.
The survivors, suffering from severe burns and wounds, face tribes of warring natives — possibly cannibals and headhunters to boot. Meanwhile, back at their base, strategies to find the survivors and ultimately rescue them are weighed and rejected — the valley is virtually inaccessible.
A brave company of Filipino-American soldiers parachutes into this dangerously-dense jungle to stage a rescue. But still no one knows how to get everyone out. Surrounded by hundreds of miles of mountains, jungles, known headhunters, and Japanese soldiers — hiking out is no option. The solution? Read it and find out.
Zuckoff has a really interesting website with visuals from the book you can visit by clicking here.