Mikkel Thorup: Interview with Dr. Jack Wheeler
The Real Indiana Jones
Dr. Jack Wheeler is hard to summarize in a single byline. Writer, teacher, humanitarian, political consultant, and explorer. He’s a man The Wall Street Journal once referred to as “The Real Indiana Jones,” and it’s easy to see why. A brief list of some of his many accomplishments include:
- Becoming both the youngest Eagle Scout in the U.S. (12 years old) and the youngest person to climb the Matterhorn in Switzerland (14 years old).
- At 16, he was adopted into a tribe of Shuara Jivaro headhunters in the Amazon.
- In 1986, he set the Guinness World Record for the Most Northerly Parachute Jump, at 90°N free-falling into the North Pole.
- He has three “first contacts” with tribes never before seen by the outside world: a clan of Aushiri in the Amazon, the Wali-Ali-Fo in New Guinea, and a band of Bushmen in the Kalahari.
- In 1979, Jack led an expedition retracing, for the first time in history, Hannibal’s route over the Alps with elephants.
- In 1984, Jack founded the Freedom Research Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting freedom around the world.
- In 2014, Jack completed a life goal of traveling to every single one of the 193 countries recognized by the UN. In addition, he has visited 288 Travelers Century Club jurisdictions and 504 Most Traveled People locations.
After receiving his Ph.D. in Aristotelian Ethics from UCLA, Jack dedicated his life to the pursuit of exploration, writing his debut book, The Adventurer’s Guide (1976), the first how-to handbook to becoming an adventurer oneself. In the 40+ years since he has become one of the world’s most decorated and influential adventurers of our time.
Sitting with Mikkel Thorup for an exclusive hour-long interview, Dr. Jack Wheeler discusses his commitment to adventure and how his experiences have shaped his perspectives on ethics, politics, history, and human nature. Further topics include meeting Ronald Reagan, arm wrestling Vladimir Putin, predicting the fall of the Soviet Union, and discussing the nature of Capitalism and the relationship between Socialism and Communism in modern times.