On May 13, 1945, twenty-four American servicemen and WACs boarded a transport plane for a sightseeing trip over “Shangri-La,” a beautiful and mysterious valley deep within the jungle-covered mountains of Dutch New Guinea.Unlike the peaceful Tibetan monks of James Hilton’s bestselling novel Lost Horizon, this Shangri-La was home to spear-carrying tribesmen, warriors rumored to be cannibals.
But the pleasure tour became an unforgettable battle for survival when the plane crashed. Miraculously, three passengers pulled through. Margaret Hastings, barefoot and burned, had no choice but to wear her dead best friend’s shoes. John McCollom, grieving the death of his twin brother also aboard the plane, masked his grief with stoicism. Kenneth Decker, too, was severely burned and suffered a gaping head wound.
Emotionally devastated, badly injured, and vulnerable to the hidden dangers of the jungle, the trio faced certain death unless they left the crash site. Caught between man-eating headhunters and enemy Japanese, the wounded passengers endured a harrowing hike down the mountainside—a journey into the unknown that would lead them straight into a primitive tribe of superstitious natives who had never before seen a white man—or woman.
Drawn from interviews, declassified U.S. Army documents, personal photos and mementos, a survivor’s diary, a rescuer’s journal, and original film footage, Lost in Shangri-La recounts this incredible true-life adventure for the first time. Mitchell Zuckoff reveals how the determined trio—dehydrated, sick, and in pain—traversed the dense jungle to find help; how a brave band of paratroopers risked their own lives to save the survivors; and how a cowboy colonel attempted a previously untested rescue mission to get them out.
By trekking into the New Guinea jungle, visiting remote villages, and rediscovering the crash site, Zuckoff also captures the contemporary natives’ remembrances of the long-ago day when strange creatures fell from the sky. A riveting work of narrative nonfiction that vividly brings to life an odyssey at times terrifying, enlightening, and comic, Lost in Shangri-La is a thrill ride from beginning to end.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Most of Lost In Shangri-La is well-written, and all of the tale is a well-researched, and meticulously foot-noted, historical, non-fiction narrative. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Chris Gregory
Towards the end of May 1945, twenty-four American servicemen and WACs boarded a transport plane for a sightseeing trip over the area they called Shangri-La. Read morePublished 1 month ago by BevW
Absolutely loved this story, especially being non-fiction. Very well researched and written.Published 4 months ago by Brenda J. Piche
Very good book enjoyed it from beginning to the end love this author i'm reading another of is books right now and love it as much has this one.Published 4 months ago by Lorraine Cyr
I got this book because it was free, but what a pleasure to read. it has the flow of the story using helpful historical information.Published 5 months ago by pinky
did not care for this book. it seems they used silly mundane material just to fill pages, such as the background of reporters covering the crash for example. Read morePublished 6 months ago by hush
In May 1945, an innocent sightseeing flight containing 24 servicemen and women crashed in an area of jungle called, euphemistically, Shangri-La. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Hilgenbourg
This story is compelling. It is not guns and bullets nor butter and good feelings. It is about efforts to stay alive in a formidable jungle. Read morePublished 17 months ago by VE4KZ