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Frane Selak Escaped Death 7 Times & Went On To Win The Lottery
A little something on superpowers and how Frane Selak couldn't stop using his, to escape life-threatening situations unscathed.
This is a revelation more than anything.
We’ve each been gifted a superpower—something that’s so natural to us and yet people laud us for it in disbelief. A math genius, able to dissect the toughest of equations in their mind in seconds, might consider it a piece of cake but the world stands in awe, applauding them for their brilliance. A writer, who can effortlessly touch the right chords and immerse you in a world created by them with the power of the word, is met with a bewildered and inspired reader. A businessperson who’s built an empire across countries, by appropriately using their gift of gab, is revered for their excellence.
There are several gifts, scattered randomly across the world that are waiting to be discovered and that’s the catch. Not the discovery part of it, but that it is random. You don’t choose what you get which is why it’s been gifted. The ‘Who Am I?’ of it all is already answered for you—you just have to find it.
Once you’ve found it, you can either sulk for not getting what the others have, or you can build on it and become the best in the world. Imagine if Lionel Messi decided to become a motivational speaker or if Meryl Streep wanted to become a businesswoman, Albert Einstein a lawyer or J.K. Rowling an actress; all of this knowing that they’re better at something else. They would’ve risked becoming good instead of becoming great.
People call it luck, fate, destiny, god knows what else and guess what? They’re right. It is. The scary part is, only you can decide how to move forward with it. And there’s a lot banking on your future, if you choose wrong. Having said that, it’s not difficult to choose, because you know what it is. If there’s anything stopping you from going down that path, it’s others—others, who visualize your future for you without knowing what you know.
There are times, however, when your gift, your superpower is supernatural. Not voodoo, magic supernatural but out-of-this-world nonetheless. You don’t know how to utilize it but it’s going to be there whether you like it or not. And in the spirit of stories that ought to live on forever, here’s on that’s going to be repeated for ages to come.
We believe in our superpower. And so if you’ve received this as a forward, go ahead, put that email in—we’ll make you believe in yours!
A Story For You
On the 14th of June, 1929, when the stars were aligned just right, a mother who was in her 7th month of pregnancy, prematurely gave birth to Frane Selak on a boat, as her husband helplessly rowed the watercraft back to the shore. What started out as a fishing expedition soon became a frantic sprint to the hospital.
Frane Selak has had bizarre encounters on almost all modes of transportation, barring a boat, a vessel in which he was birthed. He’s been written about in numerous newspapers, articles, blogs, magazines, LinkedIn posts and newsletters and the tradition will continue till the world ends, primarily because there are some stories that the world will never let go of. And because there are several renditions of his life published haphazardly on the internet, we’ll break it down with the most credible stories we could find about him.
Throughout his lifetime, the Croat has been an a part of 7 fatal accidents and how he managed to escape from them, unscathed each time, is beyond us.
In 1957, a 28-year-old Frane was on a bus that veered off course and found itself submerged into a river within a couple of hours. He and the driver, Ahmet, the only two passengers onboard, were unharmed. It was later found out that Ahmet, whose driving skills Frane vouched for, was fond of a Serbian drink called rakija, so much so that he wouldn’t get behind the wheel without one. Rakija’s alcohol content is 40% ABV but that can vary depending on the source—and our guess is, Ahmet didn’t care much for rules. As a matter of fact, the purpose of their journey was to get some rounds of the fruit brandy when tragedy struck. Fortunately, they lived to down another drink.
In 1962, Selak, a music educator by profession, hopped onboard a train from Sarajevo to Dubrovnik with an acquaintance. It was a smooth ride until, out of nowhere, a boulder struck the train tracks, demolishing it to pieces. The train skid off the rails and crashed into the icy river Neretva. With his past experience in river crashing, Selak broke open the compartment window and slid out of the coach, helping his acquaintance in the process. The nearby village came to their aid as Selak merely suffered a broken arm and hypothermia. The rest of the passengers—17 in total—met their maker that day.
In 1963, an emergency family visit compelled Selak to convince the crew of a fully booked charter flight to give him a seat. They reluctantly agreed, seating him in the rear, with a flight attendant called Rozika. A technical malfunction, right as they were about to land, swung the plane downward. The plane, which lost altitude at an alarming rate, soon crashed into a boulder (perhaps the one that fail on the train tracks in 1962—a rock with vengeance), killing all of the passengers in the horrific incident. The plane door which tore off right before the collision, sucked Selak and Rozika out and as if there was some divine power in function, they landed on haystack, suffering minor injuries.
In 1970, Selak was driving his car when it suddenly caught on fire. He managed to escape right before the flames reached the fuel tank.
1973, another car accident. A defective duel pump conveniently suffered a leakage with hot oil pumping into the engine. Flames made their way to the air events balding Frane in the process but he left the scene unscarred.
1995, hit by a bus and he survived, yet again.
1996, a UN truck smashed into his car on the side of a mountain. Selak, who’d worked up quite a resume in accidents, relied on his instincts and drifted at the very last moment to crash into the guardrails. The car plummeted into the canyon for a 100 meters before getting caught up in a tree. Frane jumped out the windshield, clung on to the tree and watched powerlessly as his car continued its descent downward.
That was the last of major accidents.
Frane Selak had created such a reputation for himself that no one in his neighborhood, or within his circle, would travel with him. In fact, they would go out of their way to cancel tickets if he was onboard.
He’s known in history, as the man who cheated death.
But fate owed him. And it repaid him.
Frane’s luck turned around, right after his 73rd birthday when he won a $1 million lottery. Clueless on what to spend his newly received fortune on, he bought a mansion and distributed the rest of the earnings with his family and friends. He lent the remainder to people in need.
Apart from having regular appointments with death, Selak’s personal life was focused on music and remarrying. He passed away in 2016, at the age of 87, leaving behind his 5th wife. Yes, that fact is really undermined with all the other stories.
Frane’s superpower was getting out of situations that could have easily ended his life. While some are as unfortunate as to have died by slipping on a banana peel, Selak managed to get out of trains, buses, planes and cars without so much as losing any major body part.
Luck might be a byproduct of hard work but it was in endless supply in Frane’s case. He didn’t choose his superpower, nor could he use it at will—he was born to have lived the life that he did. He continues to be identified as either the luckiest unlucky man or the unluckiest lucky man to have ever lived.
Until next time,
Harsh & Aamer