Suspended midair between life and death… she shares her amazing story with a worldwide audience
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
TORONTO, CANADA (ANS – October 3, 2016) — Terrorist Bomb Survivor Jeanette Chaffee will appear on the popular telecast 100 Huntley Street television show. It airs Thursday, October 13 on the GEB America Network at 4:30pm ET/1:30pm PT. (It will also be available on demand October 12-13 at http://www.100huntley.com/.
Chaffee recently traveled from her home in Tualatin, Oregon, to Toronto, Ont., Canada, to tape the 100 Huntley Street broadcast in which she shared her incredible story of survival and faith in the skies over Europe in April, 1986, when she was sitting fourteen feet away from a terrorist bomb that exploded on TWA Flight 840, and yet lived to tell her unbelievable story to the world.
“I was so excited because this was my first international trip to share my latest book, Extravagant Graces: 23 Inspiring Stories of Facing Impossible Odds, with millions of global viewers,” she said. “It also includes my personal story of the day I survived a bomb blast.”
Jeanette was shown around the Crossroads Christian Communications facilities including a warehouse-sized room with exquisite sets used for television productions. Lining the corridor walls hung framed photos of guests who had appeared on the show over the years. These included Billy Graham, Colonel Sanders (of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame), and Dr. Bill and Mrs. Vonette Bright.
A highlight for her was meeting with Crossroads CEO, Lorna Dueck.” I couldn’t believe she took the time to pray with me,” Jeanette remarked.
Jeanette was interviewed by host, Moira Brown, who opened the broadcast by sharing with the audience how she was on an airplane reading Jeanette’s dramatic flight about a bomb exploding just two rows away. Moira said she couldn’t put the book down and encouraged the television viewers to read it.
Moira asked Jeanette lots of questions. Jeanette told about life and death in the air when a bomb exploded. “The plane lurched wildly. We were falling out of the sky. I saw blue sky through a large hole in the side of the plane.”
Chaffee also talked about the theme of her book in 2 Corinthians 12:9 which says: “I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.” She said that in her case “God’s power shows up best in helpless people – because I was.”
Then she asked the viewers some questions. “Maybe you too are feeling helpless today. Do you think your disability prevents you from accomplishing your dreams? Do you believe no one understands what you’re going through? Are you struggling with grief or single parenthood?”
She and Moira discussed how the stories [in Extravagant Graces] are more than inspirational. They change lives. They also shared other stories from her book, including thrilling tales of world-renowned people such as Steve Arterburn, Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, Ken Medema, and Don Richardson.
Towards the end of the interview, Jeanette quoted Psalm 78:3-7 and explained why it’s important. “Telling to the generations to come the praises of the Lord, and the strength and His wonderful works…that they may set their hope in God and not forget.” She said that the true-life stories of Christian heroes and how the Lord helped them in dire situations is what Extravagant Graces is all about.
100 Huntley Street Producer Jennifer Taylor was impressed with the many photos in Jeanette’s book. “They are always so great to enhance the story,” she said.
Jeanette says she was thrilled to have been a guest on 100 Huntley Street and encourages everyone to tune in for the broadcast.
100 Huntley Street, the flagship television program of Crossroads Christian Communications, was founded by Rev. David Mainse. It is the longest running daily Christian television program in Canada and the sixth longest running daily talk show in the world. It showcases amazing stories of people – whether they are world leaders, celebrities, sports figures, or everyday people – who have had life-changing encounters with God. The show looks at the positive and spiritual side of life, focusing on the Christian message to the viewer by exposing them to real people with real stories.
The average weekly airing has the potential to reach over 28 million viewers.
About her incredible story of terror in the skies:
In April 1986, Jeanette was on the last leg of her trip from Salem, Oregon, to Athens when a bomb hidden in the life vest under seat 10F exploded over Argos, Greece. Jeanette was sitting just fourteen feet away when the bomb detonated tearing away the inside ceiling and blew a 9’ x 3’ hole in the side of the plane two rows from her. Five passengers were instantly sucked out the hole and seven others were injured by shrapnel as the cabin suffered a rapid decompression. The remaining 110 passengers miraculously survived the attack. Captain Richard Petersen was able to successfully land the plane in Athens, Greece forty minutes later.
Jeanette remembers how what began as an ordinary travel day turned into sheer terror flying at seventeen thousand feet. “I was jolted awake by an ear-splitting, thunderous boom. It felt like a gun had been shot inches from my head. We were falling out of the sky.”
Turning to her right, she saw blue sky through a large hole in the side of the plane. Jeanette thought, This is our coffin. There’s no getting off an airplane, but she kept praying that the Lord would miraculously save their lives. “I knew Jesus was sitting with me in seat 8A. I also knew the next time I blinked, I would see Him eye-to-eye.” She experienced the peace of God that passes all understanding that the Bible talks about in Philippians 4:7.
Jeanette prayed for a miracle and got one. It is the only time in history that passengers have survived after a bomb exploded aboard a commercial plane in the air.
Understandably, this event would change Jeanette’s life forever. She believes that she was left to tell. She said, “No guarantees of life exist. I want to share with everyone that now is the time to personally accept Jesus as Savior.”
With her book Extravagant Graces: 23 Inspiring Stories of Facing Impossible Odds, in which Jeanette shares her harrowing experience on TWA Flight 840, she inspires readers to trust in God during tough times by sharing the true stories of world-renowned musicians, missionaries, athletes, and speakers who survived the most distressing personal trials – and sometimes tragedies – in their lives with help from the Lord.
The common theme is real people challenged by situations including the deaths of family members by murder and cancer, drug addiction, and the loss of home and possessions, and how these people were able to face these impossible odds with God’s power. The book is a complication of over thirty-five years’ worth of Jeanette’s personal interview of some of the most inspiring and influential people of our time, gathering a fantastic collection of intimate testimonials, many of which have been included in her book. These include the Happy Days singers, Shirley Dobson, and Anne Graham Lotz.
Jeanette’s book has been well-received and became an instant classic, garnering dozens of five-star reviews on www.Amazon.com. It has also received numerous endorsements. These include: NFL coach to two Super Bowls, Les Steckel; President of Focus on the Family, Jim Daly; and Pat Boone. It’s available in stores, online, and on her website.
About Jeanette Chaffee:
Jeanette Chaffee was sitting fourteen feet away from a terrorist bomb that exploded on TWA Flight 840. She appeared on CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, 20/20, The 700 Club, and other television and radio shows. Jeanette has been quoted in Newsweek, The New York Times, and USA Today. She also hosted and produced Reflections, a fifteen-minute weekly radio show that aired in cities from South Carolina to the Arctic Circle. Recognized as a gifted communicator, Jeanette changes lives by offering God’s hope to audiences going through their most difficult personal challenges. She regularly speaks at community and church events, schools, women’s groups and clubs. She has written diverse national magazine articles and has been a published author for over fifty years.
Note: Jeanette has had the great joy of being able to meet with Captain Richard Petersen, captain of TWA Flight 840 when the bomb exploded. They met on May 20, 2015, near Tampa, Florida, some 29 years after the bombing, and talked together for five hours.
“Captain Petersen told me that his first words to the Athens air traffic control tower [after the bomb went off] were: ‘Explosive detonation.’ He told me that he always flew his planes…never on cruise control, adding, ‘I fly my airplanes. I love to fly.’ He also told me that the 727 was only plane he flew for thirty years prior to the TWA Flight 840 bombing and despite what happened, he continued flying for another five years before retiring.”
Jeanette then heard from the courageous captain what was happening in the cockpit, after he announced the problem to the control tower. He said that he “took control of the sky,” and then checked out parts of the plane to see if there was any way they could land.
She added, “He also told me that Athens emergency facilities were on strike that day. I was shocked and I said that I saw the fire engines, police, and ambulances out my window. So I asked him, ‘Who was driving them?” He replied, “Anybody!” After we landed in Athens, he even left the cockpit and came back to help get a badly injured passenger on the stretcher.
“Captain Petersen said that his was on the only commercial plane that’s had a bomb explode midair and anyone survived. “During out meeting, he showed me an exact (specially designed to be so) replica of a TWA 727, the only plane he flew for almost 30 years before ever needing to use his expertise on Flight 840 when the bomb exploded. This model and touching words included were his retirement gift from his children. I’m the only passenger (according to his wife) that he’s ever talked to…I was so honored.”
A re-enactment of Jeanette’s own story, “Terror in the Sky” has been aired this year on the international TV program Turning Point, produced by the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). It can be viewed online (http://turningpointzone.com/jeanette-chaffee-terror-in-the-sky/).
To follow Jeanette on social media for her speaking engagements, book signings, and special discounts on her books (Twitter.com/JeanetteChaffee or Facebook.com/Chaffee.Jeanette). Learn more about her story on her website (http://www.jeanettechaffee.com/).
Photo captions: 1) Jeanette Chaffee pictured during her interview with Moira Brown. 2) The bomb damage to TWA 840. 3) Jeanette with Crossroads CEO, Lorna Dueck. 4) Another picture taken during the interview. 5) Jeanette’s book, Extravagant Graces: 23 Inspiring Stories of Facing Impossible Odds. 6) Jeanette with her hero pilot, Captain Richard Petersen. He is holding an exact (specially designed to be so) replica of a TWA 727. Amazingly, he flew for another five years after the bombing. 7) Dan Wooding with Jeanette Chaffee after interviewing her at the KWVE studios in Santa Ana, California, for his “Front Page Radio” show.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 75, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 53 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren, who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder and international director of the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He is the author of some 45 books, and has been a full-time journalist since 1968. While still based in London, Dan Wooding was a senior reporter for two of Great Britain’s largest-circulation newspapers, and was an interviewer for BBC Radio One and also for LBC, the capital city’s main commercial talk station. Dan now has a weekly radio show and two TV shows all based in Southern California, and Jeanette Chaffee has appeared as a guest on his radio program and one of his TV shows.
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