The Third Man Factor

Surviving the Impossible

John Geiger

The Third Man Factor by John Geiger (eBook ISBN 9781847677709) book cover

Available as eBook

Incredible true stories of a life-saving presence experienced in extreme adventuring situations - backed up by weighty research

The Third Man Factor tells the revealing 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 but amazingly, 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 while recent neurological research suggests something else.
In The Third Man Factor John Geiger combines history, scientific analysis and great adventure stories to explain this secret to survival, the Third Man who - in the words of legendary Italian climber Reinhold Messner - ‘leads you out of the impossible’.

“Founded on astonishing near-death tales …The Third Man Factor is a more thoughtful investigation of a strange “presence” felt by lonely explorers.”
James Mcconnachie
sunday Times

See more reviews

“Geiger recounts many, many tales of people who have found themselves in extreme situations, and felt a ghostly presence helping them. 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 … These are gripping tales, and Geiger tells them well”
Melanie Mcgrath
evening Standard

“Geiger seeks the opinion of a range of neurological researchers, and sets out these expert opinions with zest … There is interesting material here on the human organisms’s capacity to endure.”
Sara Wheeler
literary Review

“Geiger’s account combines history, scientific analysis and true-life tales to haunting effect.”

“Extraordinary … compelling … John Geiger’s book combines history, scientific analysis and great adventure stories and produces much food for thought.”
Jane Tester
refresh Magazine

John Geiger

John Grigsby Geiger was born in Ithaca, New York, and graduated in history from the University of Alberta. The author of four books of non-fiction, his work has been translated into nine languages. He is Editorial Board Editor at The Globe and Mail, and was 2004-05 St. Clair Balfour Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. He is a Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Chairman of the Society’s Expeditions Committee, and a Member of the Advisory Board of Wings Worldquest.