LOWELL THOMAS JR.
Hobe Sound, Fla.
Writer and lecturer
Flying from Beirut to Istanbul, we were blown far off course and approached the city at dusk. With the runway in sight, our engine conked out. I switched the gas tank selector back and forth. The engine caught on, just enough to get us on the runway. Not one drop of gas left.
A. C. GILBERT
New Haven, Conn.
Chairman of the board of A.C. Gilbert Co.
While I was photographing at close range a big sow grizzly bear with two cubs in Alaska, the bear suddenly charged. My primary object was to get the pictures, but you can't fight an enraged grizzly bear with a camera. I dropped the camera and shot in self-defense. But it was close.
COMMANDER ATTILIO GATTI
Derby Line, Vt.
A duel with a giant gorilla in the mountains of the Belgian Congo. This one surprised me. I shot twice-at point blank range, but he still came. Just as I thought he was going to crush me, he dropped dead at my feet. The giant measured 6 feet 6 inches and weighed 662 pounds, then a world record.
ROY CHAPMAN ANDREWS
Carmel Valley, Calif.
During World War I, I was driving across the Gobi Desert to Urga in Mongolia. Five men suddenly appeared and began shooting at us. I leaned back to reach for a rifle. In that split second a bullet shattered the steering wheel, where I had been leaning. I couldn't have had a closer call.
RICHARD F. DEMPEWOLFF
Explorer and writer
When I was isolated 50 miles from Admiral Byrd's ships. I was lost for four hours. The temperature was 30 below and the wind 40 knots. I was sure my fate would be worse than that of Scott, the English explorer. He was dead when found. I feared I wouldn't be found, dead or alive.
I've shot movies in 48 countries and have had many close calls. Prisoners in a Shanghai prison revolted while I was taking movies. I once fell overboard in the middle of the Atlantic. Entering King Tut's Tomb was supposed to be the seal of death. Twenty entered with me, now all are dead.
New York City
I went to the Belgian Congo to get pictures of giant gorillas. A new law barred guns because so many had been killed. When I spotted a gorilla with his family, I ran toward them to get my pictures. He came at me to protect his young. My Pygmy escort saved me with their spears.
CAPTAIN ALAN VILLIERS
Skipper, Mayflower II
In the four-mast bark Parma when she broached to in a hurricane squall near Cape Horn. Sea swept right over us. She rolled as if she'd roll the eyeballs out of us. Either we got her upright and before the sea again or we'd roll under with her. Didn't even figure how close it was.
Author of Kon-Tiki
Living alone within myself, I fear nothing but myself. Some might say that my six months on the raft drifting toward Samoa was my closest call. That may have been, but it didn't frighten me nearly as much as my wife did the first time she asked me to marry her. That wasn't close. I lost.
SIR HUBERT WILKINS
Among primitive Eskimos, revenge is a sacred duty. They also believe in thought power. Unknown to me, a member of my party assured a sick woman that his thoughts would cure her. The woman died and her husband was duty bound to kill the next white man he saw. I was that man. He came at me with a rifle but before he pulled the trigger I smilingly stepped up to show him how better to hold it. My presumed lack of fear embarrassed him and he said that he could not kill a man who showed no fear. I was, of course, unaware of his intention until I heard his declaration.