Vesna Vulović (1950 - ) was a flight attendant on JAT Yugoslav Flight 364. She survived the plane explosion followed by a 33,000 foot fall the highest fall without a parachute ever known.
Vesna Vulović was a flight attendant on JAT Yugoslav Flight 364 the day of January 26, 1972. When an explosion ripped the plane appart. Vesna was at the back of the plane at the time of the explosion and survived the initial explosion. The back part of the plane was torn away from the main fuselage and she fell 33,000 feet before impact with the ground. A food tray pinned her to the back of the plane during her fall acting as a seatbelt, this prevented her from being sucked out of the plane during de-compression or the ensuing fall. Though she was at the back when the explosion occured she was said to be found in the middle section of the plane. No one else but Vesna survived the explosion. On the morning of 27 January 1972 an anonymous man called the newspaper Kvällsposten published in Malmö, Sweden claiming in bad Swedish that he was a Croat and member of a Nationalist group that brought the bomb onto the plane. Apart from this no further evidence was ever found that this was a terrorist attack. Nevertheless shortly after the phone call the Yugoslav government blamed the Ustase which was the Yugoslav regime's designation for Croatian nationalists and extremists of all kinds. This has never been borne out by other sources, neither the Czechoslovak investigators nor an independent international investigation.
Vesna was barely alive when found. She was rushed to a hospital where she was treated for a fractured skull, two broken legs, and broken vertebrae. Vesna was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. She however regained the use of her legs after surgery. After her recovery, she continued to work for JAT Yugoslav at a desk job. She currently has the highest documented fall in the world and the Guinness World Record.
The American show Mythbusters re-created Vesna's fall to see if it was survivable. The Mythbusters concluded it was possible to survive the fall depending on how the wreckage someone was sittine in landed but noted it was still very unlikely that the wreckage would land in a favourable manner. Discovery Channel's Against all Odds also profiled Vesna's amazing fall to earth.
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