28 Jan 2005

Frenchman survives for 35 days on clay

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PARIS – A Frenchman lost in a labyrinth of disused mushroom caves said he had survived 35 days by eating rotten wood and clay, after being rescued only thanks to a teachers' strike.

Jean-Luc Josuat-Verges, 48, told French newspapers he had gone to the deserted caves at Madiran in the Pyrenees in December seeking isolation during a spell of depression which had left him considering suicide.

While wandering through the cave network the father-of-two's flashlight stopped working, and he was unable to find his way out.

His abandoned car was found 35 days later by three children who were not at school because their teachers were on strike. The children alerted police who rescued Josuat-Verges from the caves. French media said he had lost 40 lb. and was weak.


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