Citizen SEALs: Mine Survival

I’m sure you’ve been watching this Chilean miner ordeal like I have for the last 2 months. The vast majority of you have been watching as regular civilians. You’ve watched with inexperienced wonder and amazement at the courage of the miners and the competence of the rescuers.

But a select few of you have been quietly and cannily observing this whole thing through a different set of eyes, falcon eyes; those of you, who like me, are Citizen SEALs (if you’re not familiar with that term, see here). You’ve keenly pinpointed flaws in the rescue attempt, and created a regimen for the miners to live by if they wanted to get out of there alive. Unfortunately, the Chilean government won’t let you communicate your regimen and survival advice directly to the miners, because like the idiots who run this country, they have a natural bias toward the “official” military running everything.

You’ve been dying to be down there, 2,000 feet below the surface in the coppery bowels of the Atacama desert. If you’re a Citizen SEAL (CS) you already knew that the Atacama is where NASA has been doing space simulation training for decades because the Atacama is the driest place on earth (some areas of the Atacama haven’t received rain in over 400 years). But that doesn’t mean anything to you–as you run through scenarios of being stranded there (above ground)–because you understand that in survival situations water can be always be found by those of us who keep our heads and use our training.

Most People: “Christian, I’m just a Ph.D-type guy with no military training. I’m scared because we’re lost in the Atacama. Where can we find water?”

Me: “Everywhere”

{Cue CSI Miami “YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH” scream and theme music}

Anyway, I’ve been dying to get in on the action down there in that mine. I haven’t talked about it until now because Citizen SEALs don’t “talk” until we get everyone home safely. We leave the talking to the armchair warriors and pundits.

I wish I could have been in there with those frightened miners. Could have taught them how many times one can recycle one’s urine as drinking water before it becomes poisonous, and shown them how to use Chilean Mine Rats as blankets by coating their bodies with guano (bad dung), which the rats nibble on all night, giving them solid, 4 inch thick flesh and fur blankets through the cold hours.

At any rate these miners must have had a CS or two among them, because they all made it out alive.

On a related note, did you read that one of the miners, Yonni Barrios, had a mistress and wife who discovered each other’s existence at the vigil at the surface, after he was trapped? Uh oh.

Victor: “Ok, Yonni, it’s your turn to go up to the surface in the rescue capsule.”

Yonni: “Oh, you know what, Victor, I think Juan was looking to be next, so. It’s just me left? You know, I think I’m good. I actually have some stuff I wanted to get done down here in the mine today anyway, so go on ahead. And honestly, I don’t think it’s too bad down here. Maybe just tell everyone up top I’ll catch up later. And you can send the capsule down in a few days when the crowd clears. Or just whenever you’re back in the area.”

Oh, Yonni.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Citizen SEALs: Mine Survival

  1. Davis says:

    I caught Ron heading to the airport for Chile and had to explain to him that it was 30 or so Chilean minErs trapped in a small space, not minOrs.

  2. Ryan says:

    You know, that guano-rat idea is not bad at all. I may use that next time we camp out in the yard.

  3. Layne says:

    I watched some of the footage and I loved that they all wore sunglasses. (“I wear my sunglasses at night, so i can, so i can…”) Okay, I’m glad that they survived and everything, but I think the world wanted to see how someone who just lived 70 days 2,000 feet underground would react to the sun. Screaming, shouting, hiding, wanting to go back down? Well, that was ruined by their fancy Oakley sunglasses. For humor’s sake, I wish they would have manned up and gone up naked faced. For us. It could have been great.

  4. Loving the Yonni dialogue. So great.

  5. Braden says:

    Oooh, I am almost feeling bad for Yonni. Ouch.

  6. Ben Pratt says:


    That foreman should definitely get some kind of recognition for his Citizen SEAL-like thinking. He seriously saved the day, er, the 70 days.

    I didn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about these guys, however, as I was too busy celebrating one daughter’s 8th birthday, writing 90 personalized student progress report narratives, and then celebrating another daughter’s 0th birthday. DMP, welcome to Earth!

    Even so, my sources inform me that, without filtering notions like political correctness or even politeness in the way, at least one member of the Chilean media had a field day with Yonni’s predicament, with comments like “It’s no wonder that Dr. Love Traingle had two wives; in fact they look identical and are equally fat, so he probably didn’t realize that they weren’t the same woman!”

  7. Rebecca Bell says:

    that CSI youtube video is priceless. i just don’t know where they got the lead guy but he is such a misfit. and the writing, oh the writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s