Let's face it: As much as we like to pretend that we're all Bruce Willis, if faced with a real-life kidnapper, most of us would react by soiling ourselves, begging for our lives and soiling ourselves some more. Since stories about people continuously pissing their pants aren't that unique or interesting, here are the tales of six real badass hostages who not only kept their cool but managed to foil their kidnappings in awesome ways. Like ...
#6. Telling Passengers to Take Down Their Hijacker (Right in Front of Him)
In 2007, a commercial flight from Mauritania in northern Africa to the Canary Islands was hijacked by a man who barged into the cockpit with two loaded handguns soon after taking off. His objective? Turning the plane over to France, where he planned to request political asylum for unknown reasons.
Piloting an airplane is hard enough under non-crazy conditions, so imagine having to do it with a gun pointed at your head and 71 panicking passengers behind you. As if that wasn't enough, at this point the crew informed the pilot that they didn't actually have enough fuel to get to France like the hijacker wanted. Uh-oh.
"And if you look directly behind me, you'll see a man in sore need of an ass-whupping."
But Then ...
As the pilot tried to explain to the hijacker that they couldn't make it to his intended destination, he realized something: The guy didn't speak a word of French. Turning this small fact to his advantage, the pilot took the PA system and calmly informed the passengers, in French, that they would be making a rough landing ... and that as soon as the hijacker lost his balance from the impact, they should feel free to come into the cockpit and beat the shit out of him. As the pilot said this, the hijacker stood right next to him, assuming that he was just relaying his demands or talking about normal airplane stuff.
"Nah, I was just telling them how honored I am to be hijacked by a man as cool and awesome as you."
Women and children were instructed to move to the seats in the back, partly for their own safety, and partly so that those who could deal the most damage were closer to the front. And then the pilot did exactly what he said: Upon landing the plane, he slammed on the brakes and abruptly sped up, causing the hijacker to fall down and drop his guns. Then about 10 passengers immediately rushed in and overpowered him as crew members poured boiling hot water over his body.
Eventually, after the passengers were done using him as a hacky sack, the hijacker was handed over to Spanish authorities. Why the genius chose France above all other countries when he didn't even have a basic understanding of the language, we may never know.
Probably because of all the weird French sex.
#5. Retired Tarzan Actor Disarms Cuban Rebels by Doing the Yell
In 1958, a group of Americans staying at the Hilton Havana in Cuba were playing a golf tournament when they suddenly found themselves surrounded by rebel soldiers pointing guns at them. As you probably know, Cuba was in the middle of a bloody anti-imperialist revolution, but apparently the golfers never got the memo.
Obviously, the rebels didn't exactly look kindly on a bunch of wealthy capitalists who still thought of Cuba as America's playground, and began interrogating the golfers one by one, with their guns still very much pointed at their decadent captives.
Hey, if you have to pick some people to blame for the problems of the West, golfers aren't a bad place to start.
But Then ...
What the rebels didn't know was that one of those golfers was 54-year-old actor Johnny Weissmuller, best known for dressing in nothing but loincloths and swinging on vines. In the '30s and '40s, Weissmuller starred as Tarzan in 12 films and is to this day the best known actor to have played the role. When the hostile soldiers approached him, Weissmuller confidently said, "Me Tarzan" ... to which the rebels responded, "Huh?" Turns out that "Tarzan" is pronounced completely differently in Spanish (it's more like "Tar-zaan").
"Taar-zan," meanwhile, means "Screw your mother with a blowtorch, you commie piece of shit."
Since they clearly weren't getting the message, and for some reason still convinced that his celebrity status could save him from captivity or death, Weissmuller stood up to his full height, beat his chest with his fists and let out the trademarked Tarzan yell that he single-handedly popularized. In the middle of a golf course, with Cuban rebels pointing guns at him. At which point the rebels collectively shat their pants.
Seriously. Star struck, the rebels put down their guns and proceeded to freak the hell out, yelling "Tarzan! Tarzan!" and "Welcome to Cuba!" Apparently their anti-capitalist sentiment stopped at Hollywood movies. They not only released Weissmuller and his fellow golfers completely unharmed, but actually escorted them back to their hotel.
We like to imagine that Weissmuller was doing this the entire ride back.
Of course none of that would have worked if the bad guys had been intentionally trying to capture a celebrity, as in this next example ...
#4. Kidnapped Supremes Singer Says "Screw This," Jumps Out of Speeding Car
If it's the '60s and you're gonna kidnap a member of Motown sensation the Supremes, the obvious choice would be Diana Ross, since we're pretty sure she's the only one the average person could name (the others were replaced more often than the drummer in Spinal Tap). Kidnapper Charles Collier apparently decided that that would take way too much work and instead went for the much lesser known but awesomely named Cindy Birdsong.
On December 2, 1969, Birdsong was opening the door to her Hollywood apartment when a crazed Collier jumped on her with a butcher knife and shoved her into the passenger seat of her car. Collier then took her on a terrifying joyride along the Long Beach Freeway -- Birdsong knew she had to get away from him as fast as possible, but what the hell could she do, jump out?
We try to base most of our life decisions on what would make a better metal album cover.
But Then ...
Well, yeah. After being forced to spend 30 minutes in the man's company, Birdsong couldn't take one more second of it and reached for his knife, cutting her hands in the process. Since this clearly wasn't working out, she went to plan B: She unlocked the car door, opened it and jumped out of a speeding vehicle in the middle of a freeway. As a general rule, if you do that and the impact doesn't kill you, the other cars probably will (it was nighttime by now, by the way).
And they were all traveling at the speed of light.
Birdsong survived the fall, coming to a stop at the end of a ditch. Injured and bloodied, she got up and did her third crazy thing in less than a minute: She headed back to the freeway and started running in the opposite direction of the cars, determined to make it as hard as possible for Collier to circle back and collect her. She waved at the coming cars, but none of them stopped once they got a close enough look to see she that wasn't Diana Ross. Luckily, two highway patrolmen happened to be passing by, and they sort of have to stop in these situations.
"Ma'am, do you know how fast you were running?"
After all that, Birdsong was only treated for minor cuts and bruises. Figuring she had to be some sort of supernatural being for walking away from that, the kidnapper turned himself in a few days later.