A hearty welcome home to all those who dare to delve into murky realm of the Weird...or What! It's time to Saddle up, because this season our intrepid guide, William Shatner, is galloping headlong into everything that goes bump in the back of your mind. And we'll start with baffling tales of survival that defy every law of physics you thought that you knew. Hang on, because this is going to be a bumpy ride.
In the wreckage of the sobering act of terror committed on September the 11th of 2001, only 20 survivors were pulled from the debris. And one case in particular, seem to truly have been a miracle. One man, in his desperate flight down the tower found himself trapped in a corner fearing the impending crush of the steel and concrete above. And yet, somehow, even after an 18 story plummet, rescue workers managed to extract him from the carnage relatively unscathed. Though some attribute his survival to an instinctual urge to find the safest corner amidst the chaos, and others hypothesize that he fell through a lucky cushion of air resistance, the most compelling explanation for this miracle comes from within the tower itself. As the tower collapsed, its thick, steel central beams converged to create a protective teepee - saving a life with its final breath.
Back on the ranch, or rather, in the train yard, railroad switch man Truman Duncan found himself dragged under the train he operated for a spine-crushing 22 meters. With his entire lower body tangled in the machine's brake mechanism, Truman managed to reach his cell phone, call for help, and remain conscious until medical professionals arrived. Down a leg and half a pelvis, Truman is astonishingly alive and robust. In an ironic twist to this crippling accident, it may have been the very mechanisms that mangled Truman that ultimately saved his life. The train's vice grip on Truman's legs acted as a temporary tourniquet. Furthermore, the emergency medical response team, knowing that the rapid transfusion of IV fluid would not allow his blood to clot properly, used an advanced technique called permissive hypotension that maintained a survivable blood pressure without disturbing the clotting process.
And while thus far we've examined man against his fellow man as well as machine, there is arguably no more brutal killer than Mother Nature herself. Paul Templer, a river tour guide in Zimbabwe nearly lost his life to Africa's most deadly animal - the Hippopotamus. After an angry bull flipped his friend overboard, Paul dove into the water in a rescue attempt that ended in his friend's death and his own mutilation. Miraculously, Paul was taken over a long and bumpy road to the nearest medical facility where he was able to be returned to health. Somehow, all of his wounds were survivable, perhaps because of the surgically precise cuts of the Hippopotamus' tusk or perhaps because he was driven by compassion. Regardless, Paul's artful dodge out of a watery grave is the reason we continue to seek out the Weird or What.
Learn who's who in Helix Season 2. Helix returns January 16 at 10/9c