Extreme Survival: Lessons From Those Who Have Triumphed Against All Odds
We have all heard amazing stories of survival that rendered us awestruck. But too often, we don't realize that there is a wealth of information to learn from people who make it to the other side of life's most daunting challenges. In this presentation, New York Times bestselling author Michael J. Tougias captivates the audience by chronicling harrowing survival stories and discusses the lessons learned. Tougias has interviewed over 100 people who survived against all odds, and researched many historical figures who have achieved the near-impossible. He supplements their stories with a handful of first person accounts from some of the toughest survivors in history, including John McCain, Mary Rowlandson (captive during King Philip's Indian War), Howard Blackburn, Captain Bligh, Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, mountainman Hugh Glass, Admiral Byrd, Shackleton, WWII pilot James Whittaker, Teddy Roosevelt, USS Indianapolis survivors, and many more from mountain climbers to early explorers of the new world.
Sinking of the USS Indianapolis: Disaster and Survival in WWII
On July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed in the South Pacific by a Japanese submarine. An estimated 300 men were killed upon impact and close to 900 sailors were cast into the sea, fighting off sharks, hypothermia and hallucinations. When they were finally discovered, after four days and nights, only 317 men were alive. In this presentation, Michael Tougias will answer the questions: Why did the Navy fail to realize the ship was missing? Why was it unescorted in enemy waters? How did the 317 men survive against all odds? Why was the captain court-martialed? Was the captain a scapegoat for the Navy's own mistakes? This is a riveting story of survival during WWII that also shows the terrible cost of war.
The Finest Hours: The True Story Behind the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue
On February 18, 1952, an astonishing maritime event began when a ferocious nor'easter split in half a 500-foot long oil tanker, the Pendleton, approximately one mile off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Incredibly, just twenty miles away, a second oil tanker, the Fort Mercer, also split in half. On both tankers men were trapped on the severed bows and sterns, and all four sections were sinking in 60-foot seas. Thus began a life and death drama of survival, heroism, and a series of tragic mistakes. Of the 84 seamen aboard the tankers, 70 would be rescued and 14 would lose their lives. Michael Tougias, co-author of the book and soon-to-be Disney movie The Finest Hours, uses slides to illustrate the harrowing tale of the rescue efforts amidst towering waves and blinding snow in one of the most dangerous shoals in the world.
The Strange case of the Laconia: A WWII Story of Disaster, Survival and Cover-up
When a ship the size of the Titanic, the Laconia, was sunk by a U-boat, some of its nearly 3,000 British passengers and Italian POW's were rescued by the very U-boat that sank their ship. Highly unusual, but the story becomes more bizarre. The survivors thought their ordeal of floating in shark invested ocean was over… until an American plane unleashed its bombs. New York Times bestselling author Michael Tougias Tougias shares the complete account including the incredible survival story of four British citizens who survived seven weeks adrift at sea with only two tablespoons of water per day and little food.
Thirteen Days in October: The Untold Cuban Missile Crisis Story
At the height of the Cold War, two things saved humanity: the strategic wisdom of John F. Kennedy and the U2 aerial spy program. Based on declassified intelligence and interviews with the pilots, Michael Tougias and co-author Casey Sherman's book Above & Beyond: John F. Kennedy and America's Most Dangerous Cold War Spy Mission grounds this conversation about presidential decision-making, nuclear containment, intelligence-gathering, and public information. It's a timely topic given today's concerns about the United States, North Korea and Iran. Tougias gives special emphasis to the U-2 pilots who flew unarmed over Cuba to secure photographic proof that the Soviets were installing nuclear missiles on the Island.