Jessica Buchanan shares with audiences her experience in learning first-hand that the human spirit is impenetrable. No matter what obstacles or challenges lie in our path if we dig deep to find the strength and fortitude, there is help for any situation no matter how impossible the odds.
On October 25, 2011, Jessica Buchanan and a colleague were kidnapped at gunpoint by Somali land pirates and held for 93 days, enduring the most harrowing and painful experience of her life. On the day of her kidnapping, she silently said to herself, "Some do come out alive, the numbers are small but they do exist."
During her captivity, she was terrorized by her captors, held outdoors in a scrub desert and kept on a starvation diet. With her health steadily deteriorating her husband, Erik Landemalm, was furiously working behind the scenes with the FBI, professional hostage negotiators, and the United States government in negotiating her release.
Finally, after fruitless negotiations with her captors and her medical state becoming a life-or-death issue, President Barack Obama ordered Navy SEAL Team Six to attempt a rescue. On January 25, 2012, members of SEAL Team Six attacked the heavily-armed captors killing all and airlifting Buchanan and her colleague to safety.
Through this experience, Buchanan and Landemalm learned that the human spirit is indomitable. Today in a solo or joint presentation they share with audiences the tools they quickly learned to find strength to face any situation no matter how large or small the challenges or obstacles. They learned first-hand how to remain hopeful, dig deep even when you feel completely empty of any resources and trust your instincts as all can find the inner strength to face any situation. They chronicled their story in the New York Times best-seller and 2013 USA Best Book Award/Autobiography, Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six (2013, Atria/Simon and Schuster). She is the Co-Host of the popular podcast, We Should Talk About That.
Jessica resides in Alexandria, VA with her husband Erik and their son and daughter.
- Coping Through COVID: How 93 Days with Somali Pirates Prepared Me for COVID-19
Jessica Buchanan, co-author of the NYT Bestselling book, Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team VI, will inspire virtual audiences with her story of captivity at the hands of Somali pirates, and her eventual rescue by SEAL Team VI. In this talk, Jessica brings a simple shift in perspective as she outlines the similarities she faced during her kidnapping, to those we may be feeling at such a historical time as this. The commonality of uncertainty will align as Jessica recounts the helplessness she experienced during her 93 days as a hostage. She will examine the loss of control she felt, over even the most basic of needs, and discuss the hardships associated with the KNOWING things are going to end, versus the BELIEVING they will, and how that affects our coping strategies in the midst of crisis. Through her story telling, Jessica reminds us that we are more resilient than we think we are, and how working our way through this marathon of complication is an opportunity for us to see what we are truly capable of as a collective community. Jessica teaches her audiences to use humor to help shift perspective and shares the necessary skill of visualization and referring to the past, as useful tools to successfully manage trauma.
- Impossible Odds: A Story of Strength and Survival
Jessica Buchanan shares her story of the impossible odds facing her during her 93 days of captivity by Somali land pirates and her determination and efforts to survive the harrowing and most painful experience of her life. In sharing her story with audiences she provides to use in everyday life to help find strength in any situation or challenge. They will be surprised to find that you can scrape out just enough to get through that day. It may not be more than enough—but just enough has got to be ok, and as Buchanan experienced day after day after day—just enough will do just fine.