Is the Castaway Jose Salvador Alvarenga Legit?

Okay. This is simply an observation. We’ve read reports or at least heard of the real life castaway, Jose Salvador Alvarenga.

NBC News reported “he had survived for more than a year in an unforgiving sea, drifting 6,000 miles from a Mexican fishing village to a remote Marshall Islands atoll.”

Jose claimed he was out fishing in November of 2012 with his friend Ezequiel Cordoba when a sudden storm sent their 24 foot boat off course. Shortly after, the boat’s engine died and the two were set adrift in the Pacific Ocean.

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Alvarenga says that his friend died several weeks after — succumbing to hunger and thirst because he could not stomach the raw fish and birds they caught with their hands, after which Jose threw Cordoba’s body overboard.

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Alright. So this sounds like both a human tragedy and a miracle. I am, however, just a bit skeptical.

We’ve seen pictures of this guy. Yes, he looks haggard, unkempt and generally worse for wear. But take a closer look. Look at the before and after pictures.

Jose Salvador Alvarenga BEFORE
Jose Salvador Alvarenga BEFORE

Jose Salvador Alvarenga AFTER
Jose Salvador Alvarenga AFTER

Does he really look that different? Look at the size of his neck, shoulders and arms. Does this look like a man who was stranded in a small boat floating aimlessly for more than a year in the Pacific Ocean? Does it look as if he’s been half starved and blistered from the heat of the sun? There appears to be no appreciable weight loss. How is that possible?

And what of the friend? He starved to death because he would not eat raw meat or fish? Now, I’ve never been truly starving, but from what I understand from the likes of Survivorman and various military personnel I’ve spoken to, who have been forced to eat some rather unappetizing things; when one is starving, one will eat virtually anything to survive. It’s more instinctive than rational.

Maybe this Cordoba guy just didn’t have the will to live? Who knows.

You’ll have to pardon the pun, but it all sounds a bit fishy – hearing this story and looking at a guy who should resemble a skeletal shadow of his former self.

However, God does work miracles from time to time, and this may be one of them. The only thing that seems to be verifiable is the journey’s starting and ending points.

Maybe this really is a miracle? I don’t know, and we may never know for sure. It would make for a great movie though, if it weren’t for that Tom Hanks guy.

I don’t know. Maybe this is much ado about nothing. I just can’t seem to shake how healthy he looks after such an ordeal.

And one more thing, where was his soccer ball companion?

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