Lost in Shangri-La with Mitchell Zuckoff

NOTE: This blog entry originally appeared in July 2011


While doing research on World War Two, Mitchell Zuckoff stumbled upon a far more interesting story - one that was widely reported in the summer of 1945 but has since been largely forgotten. In May of that year, a plane carrying 24 US servicemen and women on a sightseeing tour above New Guinea crashed atop a mountain in the middle of a dense rain forest. 21 of the passengers died but two men and one woman survived the crash and the jungle and the native people - stone age cannibals who had likely never encountered a foreigner and had no concept of the outside world. Zuckoff is now a professor of journalism at Boston University and was once an investigative reporter for the Boston Globe. He used those skills to write a book called Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and The Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II. Remarkably, ahead of the rescue mission, a filmmaker parachuted into the valley along with US troops and recorded the native tribes, the survivors and the daring escape. Here is some of the archival footage filmed by Alexander Cann.

Click here for lots more multimedia goodies related to the survivors, the rescuers and the book Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff.