One of the survivors of a devastating 1972 airplane crash has spoken of his pain of having to eat a deceased friend's flesh in order to survive.
Here's the full story...
Disclaimer: This article contains details that some may find upsetting.
On October 13th, 1972, life was set to change forever for the Old Christians rugby team.
Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, later known as the Miracle Flight 57, had escorted the team from Montevideo, Uruguay, to its desired location, Santiago, Chile.
However, while flying over the famous Andes Mountain Range, the aircraft came into some difficulties.
The pilot, who was undoubtedly inexperienced, began the descent too early, resulting in the aircraft striking the side of a mountain.
Both wings and the tail section of the plane were sheared off...
While the remaining portion of the body slid down the mountain about 725 meters before striking ice and snow on a glacier.
The crash immediately killed twelve people...
While a further 5 died hours later. One more person died a week after the accident and, seventeen days later, an avalanche killed 8 more survivors.
After 2 months stranded up the mountain, sixteen survivors defied all the odds and were rescued.
However, their grim story of survival was quick to circulate and horrify people all across the globe.
It quickly emerged that, in order to survive, those who were stranded were forced to eat the flesh from the corpses of their deceased friends.
The men had little food and no source of heat in the harsh conditions at over 3,600 meters altitude so, when faced with starvation and radio news reports that the search for them had been abandoned, they resorted to feeding on the dead passengers who had been preserved in the snow.
Of course, the details of their horrifying means to survive have remained relatively unclear over the years...
Today in 1972 the 16 survivors of the Andes flight disaster are rescued after 73 days, surviving by cannibalism pic.twitter.com/ayEPmQGFFg— the painter flynn (@thepainterflynn) December 23, 2020
Though the story was depicted in the 1993 movie, Alive.
But this week, decades on from his ordeal, one of the survivors has broken his silence.
Jose Luis Inciarte, known as "Coche," appeared on the British breakfast show, This Morning, yesterday to detail the horrors of having to eat the flesh of his friend to survive.
People have been left completely astounded by Coche's account of events...
Andes flight disaster. I pride myself on liking true crime , but this episode legitimately has haunted me to this day. I will never be able to forget it. Good job nat!— jordan (@iownthisaccount) April 5, 2021
What a horrible situation to be in by having to eat humans to stay alive. Poor people that had to go through this.— Pazzie (@Pazzie37) April 5, 2021
This is absolutely fascinating going to buy the book what a guy and what they must have gone though is unimaginable 🥰— Nicola Ream (@nream) April 5, 2021
woke up thinking about the andes flight disaster time to fling myself back into my human created mind numbingly terrifying disasters special interest— cal pal (@smalredboy) June 16, 2018
Sipping nonchalantly on a drink, Coche began by praising the movie, Alive, for its accuracy in relaying his story.
"Some things are invented, and others are true. The film is very well done with all the effects, but we never fell into a hole in the snow and the other is really for me, my actor had a guitar, I've never played in my whole life."
But the talk very quickly turned to what actually happened up on the mountain.
When asked whether he thought he'd ever make it off the mountain alive, Coche explained:
"Most days I thought I was going to go out from there... I had a great confidence with them to reach some place and they did it."
"But other days, in those terrible days that we were waiting for them, I [thought] that they were not going to reach any place, so I put my date of dying on December 24th."
And, when asked about his infamous act of eating human flesh, Coche didn't hold back with the details.
"There was no other option if you wanted to stay alive," he said on the unthinkable act.
"We made a meeting between all and we argued whether to do it or not to do it, not to do it seemed to mean to die, everybody decided to eat."
He recalled struggling to actually eat the flesh from his friend's corpse, which he had cut using razor blades and broken glass.
"When you went to take a piece of flesh, the body of your friend, their frozen body, the hand doesn't obey and you have to make a great effort of energy and mind to make your arm obey, and then it obeys, not immediately."
"It was the same with opening mouth to put it inside the mouth and swallow."
However, he also admitted that the horror of the ordeal "doesn't live with him."
"No, the story doesn't live with me. I live my life as I imagined in those days and when I am having problems I think about the Andes and the problem seems to be very little against the others, so it helps me, but it's not part of my life."
You can watch the full interview below.
What an incredible story of survival.