Since his famous survival and rescue, Air Force Pilot Scott O’ Grady has inspired thousands if not millions of people around the world, with his spiritual renewal that he discovered in the hills of Bosnia.
The Amazing Story of American Air Force Captain Scott O’Grady
Scott O’Grady, the fighter pilot of the NATO forces whose plane was shot down in Bosnia in June 1995, was rescued after a successful operation in which more than forty planes and helicopters took part, a hundred soldiers and some of the best military strategists of NATO.
After his return to the United States, he also wrote a book about the events and the horrors he lived through after the Bosnian Serbs shot down his F-16. Describing the sufferings, hunger, thirst, cold and fear that he lived through in the course of the several days of hiding and waiting for help in the forests of Bosnia in his book Honored Return, he also brings out an interesting event which has the most significance in the entire rescue operation.
“On the third day of my hiding out, thinking about how survival is first of all a spiritual test, I experienced something amazing and unrepeatable. All of a sudden, in the stillness of my hiding place, I remembered the accounts of my mother’s friend who, before the war broke out in Bosnia, had visited Medjugorje, a little place south in the country, where there is testimony about Our Lady’s apparition.That afternoon I turned to Our Lady in prayer. Immediately I felt her presence. It became more and more clear and palpable right up to the moment that I saw her. It is hard to describe in words.
The vision came through the strength of my feelings, and that feeling was indescribably warm, full of bliss and peace. Someone existed that prayed and kept watch over my return home. That vision was the most important thing that happened to me in Bosnia. It gave me the courage to hold out in the most difficult moments.”
Through his book the American pilot made public his own declaration given immediately after the very rescue operation: “Our Lady of Medjugorje saved me!” Q: Is it true that Scott O’Grady, the American pilot shot down over Bosnia had some form of spititual contact?
On June 13, 1995, a Fatima anniversary day, Air Force Captain O’Grady, 31, a devout Catholic, appeared on NBC’s Dateline. He described how, after miraculously surviving an attack by a Bosnian Serb missile, he encountered equal miracles in his ability to survive without the Serbs finding him after he parachuted from his destroyed F-16.
Serbs saw the ‘chute and knew he survived the crash. He strongly felt some mysterious force made him invisible to the enemy. He was hiding about twenty miles south of Bihac, well behind Serbian lines. He told Jane Pauley that his faith in Our Lady and God sustained him, along with everyone’s prayers. And he saw something, a phenomenon of some sort, that revealed to him was connected with Medjugorje but could not verbalize further.
“I don’t know what I saw, I cannot describe it in earthly terms, but I saw something”. During another interview he said that when he prayed to Our Lady of Medjugorje he could “see” her, but not as a form or image that he can explain. It was more a sense of good battling evil. “I felt her covering me with her mantle consoling and hiding me”.
On his third day in Bosnia, he says, he turned himself over completely to Our Lady and praying for her continued protection and consolation. “Before long I felt a definite presence”, he wrote about his ordeal. “It only grew more and more vivid, until I could see it, shimmering in my mind’s eye! I knew I would not die. It’s hard to put into words, but I saw the vision but yet, also felt it. The feeling was powerful, very warm and comforting…”Source: Michael H. Brown, The Day Will Come .