As she travelled downstream, Koepcke discovered more wreckage from the plane -- and found some of the crash victims.
"I found another row of seats with three dead women still strapped in. They had landed head-first and the impact must have been so hard that they were buried almost two feet into the ground.
"I was horrified -- I didn't want to touch them but I wanted to make sure that my mother wasn't one of them. So I took a stick and knocked a shoe off one of the bodies. The toe nails had nail polish on them and I knew it could not have been my mother because she never used nail polish."
Juliane continued through the rainforest, wading through jungle streams infested with crocodiles, piranhas and devil rays.
Koepcke is now a librarian in Munich. Read the whole story and see a video interview at CNN. Link -via reddit
The fall of 2 miles was based on the hight of the flightpath of the airplane when it was still going, minus the reconstructed dive it took after it was hit towards the point that it disintegrated.
So it wasn't Juliane who knew that she fell for such a distance- She took that distance from what was explained to her afterwards by others.
And like others say- She was the only person of all those passengers plus crew that survived that ordeal.
We will never know if others perhaps also survived their fall, because not all the passengers and crew were found back. But she's clearly the only one that walked out of there and lived to tell.
That in itself is near to impossible- but it happened.
January 26, 1972, 22-year-old flight attendant Vesna Vulovic, was on a DC-9 which got blown up by a terrorist group. She was in the tail section of the plane, which fell 30,000+ feet, crashed onto a tree-covered, snow-covered mountainside, she was the only survivor. Severely injured, but she recovered.
//"you've won nothing" - you mean there's prizes?