From the Archives: Forgotten Photos with Astonishing Stories

By Sophia Maddox | June 5, 2024

In 1971, 17-year-old Juliane Koepcke dropped 10,000 feet from an airplane into the Amazon rain forest. She spent the next 11 days alone in the Amazon jungle before being rescued by a logging team.

Looking through the long arc of time it's easy to see the big moments, the major wins and losses, but it's the small stories and characters who slip through the cracks of the history books that are the most interesting. Theirs are the stories that feel the most human, and provide context for grand historical moments that feel more like stories in a book than something that actually happened.

These photos tell the history of people who rose to the occasion to make a change for the better, and who stood up for themselves when faced with impending doom. Whether you're interesting in clandestine coverage of D-Day, or what presidents were like when they were growing up there's something here to interest you. Get comfy, there's a lot to learn. Keep reading.

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Every traveler’s worst fear - falling from a plane into a mysterious new land. Juliane Koepcke lived this story in 1971 when she was flying aboard LANSA Flight 508 over the Amazon when the plane went down on Christmas Eve. As Koepcke tells it everyhing was going fine until the plane encountered a thunderstorm, lighting struck the plane’s motor and the plane broke apart.

Koepcke survived a 10,000 foot fall into the Peruvian jungle with a concussion, a broken collarbone and deep gash on her calf. For the next 11 days she fought for survival as she followed a stream to civilization. On the ninth day she found a small village of indigenous people who took her in and nursed her wounds. Days later she was finally reunited with her father.

The 12 Russian snipers responsible for the deaths of 775 German soldiers during World War II, 1945.

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These gals are something straight out of a Tarantino movie - a troop of highly skilled female assassins that area a thorn in the side of the Nazis, they look good and they shoot even better. While the American forces kept female participation in World War II to a minimum, over 2000 women were trained as sharpshooters in the Soviet Army and sent to some of the most dangerous areas of the war.

After the war, sharpshooter Lyudmila “Lady Death” Pavlichenko bragged, “We mowed down Hitlerites like ripe grain.” Pavlichenko was pulled from field duty after a blast of shrapnel hit her in the face, but in one year she took out 309 German soldiers, including 36 enemy snipers.