Stalin's Lost Heroes


A deadly plane crash is every passenger’s worst nightmare. But in some extraordinary cases, there’s just one fortunate person who makes it out alive…
We hear the powerful first-hand accounts of three remarkable individuals – each united by the fact they somehow survived against the odds.
Phil Bradley is a D-Day veteran who, at 87, is the world’s oldest ‘lone survivor’. He was on a business trip to Oklahoma in 1959 when his plane crashed into Bucks Elbow Mountain, Virginia. He remained trapped in his seat, unable to move for 36 gruelling hours, before being located.
31-year-old Dutch national Annette Herfkens’ harrowing ordeal began when her Vietnam Airlines Yak 40 plane smashed into the side of a mountain in November 1992, killing all 29 other passengers, including her fiancée Willem. It took rescuers eight exhausting days of battling through dense jungle to reach the stricken aircraft.
Juliane Koepke was a 17-year-old schoolgirl travelling home with her mother, when she boarded a flight out of Lima, Peru, on Christmas Eve 1971. Twenty minutes before landing, her plane was struck by lightning and exploded in midair, sending Juliane plummeting down two miles towards the Peruvian rainforest. She was still strapped into her seat and still conscious. She found herself alone in the uninhabited rainforest.
Revealing some of the most compelling stories of human survival, this film sheds new light on the unique condition of the lone survivor.
A co-production with GroupM Entertainment

60mins, Channel 5, 2013

Producer / Director
James Gray

Executive Producer
Narinder Minhas