Today Show: Jessica Buchanan Captured
Jessica Buchanan was living her dream doing humanitarian work in the country of Somalia. However, on October 25, 2011, that dream became a nightmare when Jessica Buchanan and her colleague, Poul Hagen Thisted, were captured at gunpoint by Somalian pirates while returning from a work-related training session. Their captors released a video of them as proof that they had them and demanded a $45 million ransom.
When Jessica’s health began to deteriorate in captivity, President Barack Obama sent in SEAL Team 6, the same team responsible for assassinating Osama Bin Laden in 2011, to rescue her and Paul. Team 6 killed all nine Somalian pirates and retrieved the two unharmed. The operation was a success.
Today Show: Jessica Buchanan Impossible Odds Review
Jessica Buchanan came on the Today Show May 13 2013 to talk about her new book, Impossible Odds, and about her feelings during her time of capture.
Though she did feel ill at ease when going into Somalia, knowing that the area was in a state of unrest and upheaval, she never imagined an abduction would take place. Her memory of the moment she was captured is a blurry one: yelling, screaming, AK-47’s smashing against windshields, and, before she knew it, being driven across the dessert to god only knows where.
Jessica had to live every one of the 93 days she spent in captivity with the knowledge that, at any time, the Somalian pirates would decide that they weren’t worth keeping around. It was a harrowing experience.
Today Show: Jessican Buchanan’s Husband Felt Helpless
Jessica Buchanan’s husband, Erik Landemalm, was almost as helpless as Jessica was. With the negotiators handling all communications with the Somalian pirates, he could not do anything. “I just wanted to go in after her,” said Erik, “but, at the same time, I just had to trust that the right people would do the right thing to get her back to me.”
Today Show: Jessican Buchanan Spent 93 Days In Captivity
As it turns out, Jessica didn’t spend every waking moment wondering if she was going to die. In addition to being scary, some days were just flat-out long and boring. There were times that Jessica, as opposed to fearing for her life, feared simply for her sanity. This was due in part to the way she was treated – much like an animal put on display. Her and Paul were given very little to eat, too.
She was initially releived to hear that the pirates’ motivations were of monetary interests and not political ones. With them asking for an exchange of money and not setting out to send a message, there was less of a chance that she would end up like Daniel Pearl. However, when their demands totaled to $45 million, the fear set in. This was where the inspiration for her book title came from. Impossible Odds is a pretty apt description of how the cards are stacked when asked to come up with $45 million.
Today Show: Jessica Buchanan Gets Rescued
When she was rescued by SEAL Team 6, Jessica Buchanan felt complete shock and awe that those men would have risked their lives to rescue hers. Since her rescue, Jessica has been unable to talk to them, since they went right back to work and faded into the background soon after the mission was completed.
Since her rescue, Jessica has given birth to a baby boy named August.