The Third Man Factor

John Geiger

The Third Man Factor

The Third Man Factor tells the story behind an extraordinary idea: that people at the very edge of death, often adventurers or explorers, experience a benevolent presence beside them who encourages them to make one final effort to survive. If only a handful of people had ever experienced the Third Man, it might be dismissed as an unusual delusion shared by a few overstressed minds. But the amazing thing is this: over the years, the experience has occurred again and again, to mountaineers, divers, polar explorers, prisoners of war, solo sailors, aviators, astronauts and 9/11 survivors. All have escaped traumatic events only to tell strikingly similar stories of having experienced the close presence of a helper or guardian. The mysterious force has been explained as everything from hallucination to divine intervention. Recent neurological research suggests something else. 2.7 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
The Third Man Factor

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Psychology & Psychiatry, Paranormal & Supernatural
Format Paperback
Pages 320
RRP £12.99
Date of Publication July 2009
ISBN 978-1847674197
Publisher Canongate
 

The Third Man Factor tells the story behind an extraordinary idea: that people at the very edge of death, often adventurers or explorers, experience a benevolent presence beside them who encourages them to make one final effort to survive. If only a handful of people had ever experienced the Third Man, it might be dismissed as an unusual delusion shared by a few overstressed minds. But the amazing thing is this: over the years, the experience has occurred again and again, to mountaineers, divers, polar explorers, prisoners of war, solo sailors, aviators, astronauts and 9/11 survivors. All have escaped traumatic events only to tell strikingly similar stories of having experienced the close presence of a helper or guardian. The mysterious force has been explained as everything from hallucination to divine intervention. Recent neurological research suggests something else.

Reviews

The Evening Standard

Melanie McGrath

Almost without exception, they are exciting, edge-of-the-seat tales. Some of them might be familiar, which is no bad thing; it's like revisiting the greatest hits of exploration and daredevilry, but from a new angle.

03/07/2009

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The Sunday Times

James McConnachie

As Geiger rattles through the classic accounts from exploration literature, it’s all thrilling enough, but somehow collecting the various experiences together means they lose some of their strangeness. The book isn’t well served by its foray into brain science, either. Geiger is less comfortable with, say, malfunctions of the temporoparietal junction than he is in an open boat in a storm or deep in the Himalayan death zone.

21/06/2009

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The Scotsman

Roger Cox

Somehow, against all the odds, he has managed to take several dozen of the most dramatic tales of human survival ever recorded ... and then, by condensing them into easily digestible gobbets and recounting them in a monotonous back-to-back format, rendered them all spirit-crushingly dull... if only Geiger had resisted the temptation to recount every decent "Third Man" survival yarn he'd ever heard and focused a bit more on the science, this book could have been twice as good and half as long.

13/06/2009

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