This is a book about men – ordinary men – who, by their daredevilry, became heroes overnight. The word 'IMPOSSIBLE' was not in their dictionary. They fought courageously with nature's wrath in seas, oceans, mountain tops, deserts and polar regions.
• Spy Odette's similarities of surnames help her survive from the hell of brutal Gestapo.
• A 70 years old man voyage around the world in 226 days!
• Crazy but daring adventures of real Indian Jones.
• How an American athlete ridicules Hitler's racist idea's.
• Surviving from Hindenburg's hydrogen inferno.
• Ernest Giles and his friend set out across an uncharted stretch of western Australia – but only one will be able to make it.
• 'NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM' was a subtitle of the movie about space. But it really happened in the case of Apollo 13 mission. What happens if you get stuck in space ...read…and sure there are then 14 true adventure stories.
Because of such remarkable traits in their nature, they did what most of the men couldn't or wouldn't do. It is these factors which stimulated us to compile sketches of their lives and adventures and present it to our valued readers.
1. Hindenburg’s Hydrogen Hell 5
2. A Voyage around the World 16
3. Best Foot Forward 21
4. Winston Churchill’s Relative - Odette 25
5. Escape of Dr. Sun Yet Sen 38
6. The Original Indiana Jones 42
7. The Great Gorkhas 54
8. Mission: Apollo 13 60
9. Trial by Ordeal 70
10. The Agent who Saved the World 73
11. Lost in a World of Ice 77
12. The Secret Germany of Stauffenberg 87
13. The Great Escape of General Giraud 98
14. The Lawrence of Arabia 104
15. The Marvellous Chinese Conjurer 115
16. Jesse Owen’s Victory 118
17. The Great Actor - Shatouni 126
18. The Endless Desert 130
19. A Matter of Life and Death 142
(Following is an extract of the content from the book)
Francis Chechester had never witnessed a more beautiful sunset than on the day when he saw the shoreline of Britain after a gruelling voyage of 226 days. Nearly thirty thousand people had gathered on the seaside to give him a hero’s welcome. The rays of the setting sun had coloured the waves of the sea with a brilliant glow. Aircrafts were hovering in the sky just above the boat named the Gypsy Moth-IV to celebrate Francis Chechester’s oneman- voyage round the world. No one had accomplished such a daring feat before. Chechester had started from the Plymouth harbour on 27th August, 1966 and after sailing around the world on the high seas for 226 days, he had returned on 28th May, 1967.
For this admirable success, Chechester was immediately knighted and he took the tittle Sir Francis Chechester. Sir Francis’s boat was 53 feet long which he could move at a considerable speed. He had navigated it all alone throughout the voyage. A boat as big as the Gypsy Moth normally needs a crew of eight to steer it. Sir Francis had steered it all alone with the help of a self-steering device. He carried out all the needed repairs by himself in the cockpit. He also regularly inspected the mast. He took memorable photographs: of the boat, of himself in the voyage with the help of a 35 mm remote-controlled camera. Sir Francis Chechester can be termed a remarkable ‘youngman’ even at the age of sixty-four, born in the 20th centrury.
Since his early childhood, Francis Chechester had never been interested in studies. In the year 1910, he left school and began preparations for a voyage to New Zealand. After one year, he left for New Zealand having made the promise that he would not return to England without £20,000 in his pocket. He worked as a miner, a farm-hand, a newspaper vendor and, in the end, became a middleman in land deals. In 1929, when he returned to England, he was earning £10,000 per annum. He started an air service, but was unsatisfied with the pilots he employed, so he started flying his own aircrafts. The spirit of adventure and thrill was inborn in him. With just a three-month-old commercial pilot’s license, he flew from Britain to Sydney in a single-engined aircraft
and crossed the sea of Tasmania all alone. During one of his adventurous flights, his aircraft met with an accident over Japan. Somehow, he had a miraculous escape. In 1953, he bought a racing boat called Gypsy Moth-II and in 1960, he won a solo boat race of crossing the Atlantic Ocean. He reached the goal a week before his nearest rival. He also won the race the next year and reduced the period of his voyage by another seven days.
After this, Sir Francis planned the most important adventure of his life. He made up his mind to circumnavigate the world in this Gypsy Moth all by himself. This plan was very hazardous at the age of sixty-four, but Francis Chechester was determined to do something remarkable for the last time which would immortalised his name. Sir Francis had started on 27th August, 1966 from Plymouth in England and had planned to reach Sydney in Australia in 100 days, but the voyage took 107 days. There were a couple of reasons behind this delay. Sir Francis felt very seasick and much of the romance of adventure was lost. Further, the very first night, when he went to sleep, one of his legs began to ache very badly. He spent the night trying to sleep in the sitting posture. Till the 13th of September, his progress was very slow, but a lively current of the trade winds helped him and he covered a distance of 548 miles in just three days. Francis celebrated his 65th birthday on the 17th of September by sipping champagne in the cockpit and drinking toasts to the health of his wife and friends. Even before Sir Francis had finished celebrating his birthday, the Gypsy Moth ran into a storm. It was after two hours of gruelling effort that Sir Francis was able to bring her under control. Perhaps he took so long because he was a little drunk and also irritated as he had to stop his birthday celebrations midway. After a while, the Gypsy Moth was caught in a Southern gale. A giant wave broke the wind wane of his self-steering device. As a result, the boat could not move forward in the face of the wind and the waves. The velocity of the wind was 50 knots per hour. He tried in vain to row the boat along the current. A temporary repair of the wind-wane proved useless. The boat filled up with water. Even after the storm died down, Sir Francis could not find time even to eat as he was the bailing the water out of the boat.
In the beginning of October, the Gypsy Moth was caught twice in storms. They normally begin from the southern tip of Africa. The first time the boat remained unharmed, but the second storm damaged it badly. A hundred feet wave tore its sail to shreds. Many instruments went down into the depths of the sea. During the storm, Francis was chewing a mint cake and one of his false teeth broke into two. He immediately repaired it with the help of the dentist’s tools. But, the second day, the tooth broke again. He attempted to repair it but to no avail. So he filled the other half and levelled it so that his tongue did not scrape against it.