Out of Captivity: Surviving 1,967 Days in the Colombian Jungle [NOOK Book]

Overview

On February 13, 2003, a plane carrying three American civilian contractors—Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, and Tom Howes—crash-landed in the mountainous jungle of Colombia. Dazed and shaken, they emerged from the plane bloodied and injured as gunfire rained down around them. As of that moment they were prisoners of the FARC, a Colombian terrorist and Marxist rebel organization. In an instant they had become American captives in Colombia's volatile and ongoing conflict, which has...

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Out of Captivity: Surviving 1,967 Days in the Colombian Jungle

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Overview

On February 13, 2003, a plane carrying three American civilian contractors—Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, and Tom Howes—crash-landed in the mountainous jungle of Colombia. Dazed and shaken, they emerged from the plane bloodied and injured as gunfire rained down around them. As of that moment they were prisoners of the FARC, a Colombian terrorist and Marxist rebel organization. In an instant they had become American captives in Colombia's volatile and ongoing conflict, which has lasted for almost fifty years.

In Out of Captivity, Gonsalves, Stansell, and Howes recount for the first time their amazing tale of survival, friendship, and, ultimately, rescue, tracing their five and a half years as hostages of the FARC. Their story takes you inside one of the world's most notorious terrorist organizations, going behind enemy lines with vivid and haunting imagery. Their words conjure a reality that few people have ever encountered—from sleeping on beds literally carved out of the jungle to escaping Colombian military air strikes under the cover of darkness to being bound with steel chains by their captors. Describing backbreaking starvation marches and forced isolation, the authors chronicle their confrontations and interactions with the FARC guerrilla soldiers—a motley crew of brainwashed, idealistic teenagers and seasoned vet-erans who've been around long enough to realize that the only way out of the FARC is in a body bag.

Though the physical punishments their bodies endured were unrelenting, the psychological battles they waged were the ultimate test of their resolve. With candid detail, Gonsalves, Stansell, and Howes relate the perilous mental struggles they each experienced, as they grappled with feelings of guilt, fear, and anxiety for the families and lives they'd left behind. Exposing the transformative power of captivity, they show how they turned these fears into strengths, using their memories and their families, their pasts and their futures, to motivate them in their quest for survival.

Despite the odds and the conditions, despite the chains and the silence, and despite the often tense relationships they experienced with their fellow Colombian hostages, they had one another, forging a bond that allowed them to cope with the horrific conditions of their confinement. This brotherhood enabled them to persevere through the worst that the FARC threw at them while always reminding them of their ultimate goal: freedom.

A harrowing account of one of the longest civilian hostage crises in United States history, Out of Captivity is a remarkable and compelling exploration of how far three Americans were willing to go as they fought to stay alive for themselves, their families, and one another.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061868627
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/24/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 65,822
  • File size: 7 MB

Meet the Author

Marc Gonsalves is a former member of the United States Air Force who worked as a civilian military contractor for four years before the crash. He has a daughter, Destiney, and two stepsons, Cody and Joey. He lives in Connecticut.


Tom Howes has been a pilot working in the United States and South America for thirty-seven years. He currently lives with his son, Tommy, in Merritt Island, Florida.


Keith Stansell is a former Marine in the United States Marine Corps. He lives with his daughter, Lauren, his son Kyle, his twins Keith Jr. and Nick, and his fiancée, Patricia, in Bradenton, Florida.


Gary Brozek is a freelance writer. He lives in Evergreen, Colorado.

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Table of Contents

Authors' Note xi

Selected FARC Guerrillas 2003-2008 xiii

Prologue: A Place to Crash xv

1 Choke, and Challenges 1

2 Changes in Altitude 30

3 ?Qui?n Sabe? 60

4 The Transition 82

5 Settling In 115

6 Proof of Life 141

7 Caribe 167

8 Broken Bones and Broken Bonds 197

9 Ruin and Recovery 230

10 Getting Healthy 255

11 Dead 281

12 Running on Empty 298

13 Reunited 321

14 The Swamp 345

15 Politics and Pawns 372

16 Fat Camp 399

17 Freedom 413

18 Homecoming 430

Acknowledgments 453

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 71 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(44)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 71 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2009

    A Must Read For Obama Administration, Senators and Congressmen

    Gonsalves, Stansell and Howes have done a great service to the United States of America and the Democracy of Colombia. This book should cement the relationship between the two countries. It brings the personal level of the Colombian Civil War home to any US Citizen that reads about the confilict. The book is more exciting than a novel and every word is from the true life experience of three americans.

    My wife is a Colombian who spent the first 61 years of her life in Colombia. I have been a tourist in Colombia many times and have never felt thretened as long as I didn't venture into the country side where the thug, terroists reside. Mr. Brozek shows how beautiful the country is through the eyes of Marc, Keith and Tom.

    It is very disheartening to me to know that the U.S. Congress voted down the Colombia Free Trade Agreement at the same time these three Patriotic Americans were in captivity. The book depicts the patriotism of the Colombian Army and shows their respct for Americans. Many of our distinguished senators said they voted against the Colombian Free Trade Agreement because of Human Rights Issues in Colombia. This book shows the fallacy of this belief. The whole world should now know that the Colombian Revoloutionary Armed Forces (FARC) are inhuman in there treatment of themselves and all their hostages. Every decent law abiding person should help support any effort to free the remaining 700 hostages from the tyrannical FARC. The FARC are nothing but low life thugs and make up a very small portion of the Colombian population. The book proves what many of us have known for a long time, Hugo Chavez supports the FARC.

    The whole world needs to help the Colombian Government eradicate the FARC guerrillas.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2010

    This is a "must read"!

    I heard about this book when I was on my way back to the US from Colombia. This book is about three contractors whose plane goes down in the Colombian jungle when they are immediately captured by the FARC. This is their story of 1,967 days in captivity. From the crash, to time spent in captivity to the reunion with their family. Since my unit played a significant part in their recovery, I HAD to read this. This is more than worth the cost of the book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2009

    Fast Read for those wanting to learn more about the FARC Hostages

    Being that most of the books written by the hostages are in spanish, it was a huge relief to get hands on a book in English and written by Americans. Being Colombian-American myself, I could identify and was not surprised by the "accusations" as many in Colombia state that the 3 contractors are making regarding Ingrid Betancourt. Bottom line is that everyone that has since been liberated from the jungle will give their version and I'm happy that the Americans were of the first to give theirs. Congratulations on writing this book and to the Colombia/US govt' on Opertaion Jacque.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2009

    Breathtaking read

    This is an amazing story told in a way that made it hard to put the book down. Even though I knew the outcome of their captivity, their story was captivating.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2010

    Great read

    Amazing how the authors were able to squeeze 5 years worth of captivity, and the experiences therein, into 300 some-odd pages. I never felt like I was reading a crib-notes version of the story, but got a real sense of what it was like to be held captive for so long in such degrading conditions. Vivid descriptions and development of all involved in the book. Emotional and real. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2010

    Very entertaining

    I really enjoyed reading this book about the three men's captivity and their bravery and stalwart way of dealing with life in the jungle. I really admire them. Humans can get used to just about anything. I felt like I had to finish reading it so they could get rescued!! So I did. and they did. I wonder if Tom is still single. I would like to meet him.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Shocking, very real account of life in captivity!

    To read of these mens' miserable lives and years of suffering in captivity brought chills to my being. Arriving in Columbia just weeks after their escape, and having worked there as an American, heavily watched and continuously guarded, it was to say the least revealing. All I could imagine as i read the first hand accounts of their six years in captivity was how devastating the loss of time with my loved ones would be. How the fear, anger, despair, suffering, uncertainty all played terrible "games" with their minds and families. Thank God for their escape and pray that all those being held still, some going on ten years as captives may soon be released.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    When I saw the title of the book, I was instantly interested. I remembered hearing about these men in the news and wanted to read their story.

    Excellent! I could hardly put the book down. My heart pours out to them and any others in captivity. Their strength, faith, and perseverance was amazing and humbling. If only we as Americans in our cozy little homes could appreciate life as much as they learned to. May God continue to bless them as He already has done.
    I have recommended this to others and will continue to do so.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    GOTO FIRST RES? FOR NEWS

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    Sunkiss

    Hey Snowfur. You want to mate.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2012

    Hope

    A hot and pretty she cat pads in her fur as soft and shiny as silk. She sits down waiting. Her black leapord spotted fur gleamed as the slender she cat streched.~Hope

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    Snowfur

    Sire she says to Snowkiss

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    Shadowpines

    Anyone ready? I can only do two at a time

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 14, 2011

    Free+at+last

    GREAT+BOOK.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 23, 2010

    A must read

    My daughter recommended this book. I got it and read it in a short time. It was so well written and kept you on the edge of your seat. I knew how it ended but how they made it throught five plus years living in that hell hole is beyond human.

    My wish was all the families could have stayed together that would have been the best outcome. This is real life not fiction so in real life things happen.

    I am so glad they made it. I wish everyone would read this book it shows what the human spirt can overcome and what is important. Best of luck to all and I hope others will be free.

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  • Posted August 15, 2010

    Loved this book

    Great reading, I couldn't put is down. An amazing story of adventure, courage, drama and survival. I strongly recommend it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2010

    Good book!

    If you have not read this book, you should! It will have you on your seat. It should one of the best sellers!

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    Out of Captivity

    It has to be one of the best books I've ever read. I couldn't put it down, I was so amazed with the story and the men. I bought two others for gifts and they thought the same thing. Just enough politics about the Columbian Jungle to make it very interesting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2009

    Out of Captivity

    good book. Gave an excellent overview of the years spent in captivity from the aspect of each of the survivors.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 20, 2009

    Excellent

    A very good book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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