The Third Man Factor by John Geiger
Surviving the Impossible

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Mr. ­Geiger's book is a highly readable, often gripping, ­collection of survival stories, alongside a survey of theories that attempt to explain the third-man phenomenon...­Ultimately Mr. Geiger's search for answers is inconclusive. His ­optimism, however, never wanes.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

The Third Man Factor is an extraordinary account of how people at the very edge of death often sense an unseen presence beside them who encourages them to make one final effort to survive. This incorporeal being offers a feeling of hope, protection, and guidance, and leaves the person convinced he or she is not alone. There is a name for this phenomenon: it’s called the Third Man Factor.

If only a handful of people had ever encountered the Third Man, it might be dismissed as an unusual delusion shared by a few overstressed minds. But over the years, the experience has occurred again and again, to 9/11 survivors, mountaineers, divers, polar explorers, prisoners of war, sailors, shipwreck survivors, aviators, and astronauts. All have escaped traumatic events only to tell strikingly similar stories of having sensed the close presence of a helper or guardian. The force has been explained as everything from hallucination to divine intervention. Recent neurological research suggests something else.

Bestselling and award-winning author John Geiger has completed six years of physiological, psychological, and historical research on the Third Man. He blends his analysis with compelling human stories such as that of Ron DiFrancesco, the last survivor to escape the World Trade Center on 9/11; Ernest Shackleton, the legendary explorer whose account of the Third Man inspired T. S. Eliot to write of it in The Waste Land; Jerry Linenger, a NASA astronaut who experienced the Third Man while aboard the Mir space station—and many more.

Fascinating for any reader, The Third Man Factor at last explains this secret to survival, a Third Man who—in the words of famed climber Reinhold Messner—“leads you out of the impossible.”

 

About John Geiger

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JOHN GEIGER is the award-winning author of four non-fiction books, including the international bestseller Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition. He is editorial board editor at The Globe and Mail. He is a fellow of the Explorer's Club, New York, and governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and chair of the Society's Expeditions Committee. His work has been translated into nine languages. He lives in Toronto.
 
Published September 1, 2009 by Weinstein Books. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, Science & Math, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Travel, Self Help. Non-fiction
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Reviewed by Michael J. Ybarra on Aug 24 2009

Mr. ­Geiger's book is a highly readable, often gripping, ­collection of survival stories, alongside a survey of theories that attempt to explain the third-man phenomenon...­Ultimately Mr. Geiger's search for answers is inconclusive. His ­optimism, however, never wanes.

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