Is Anyone Out There?
The Major, author
Entrepreneur and Adventurer Ranulf Rayner has kept detailed scrapbooks for most of his life, including letters and photographs from when he was first at school. His life has been an extraordinary one, starting with escaping from his pram. Subsequently expelled from five schools, he later managed to win his spurs as a regular officer in the British cavalry—managing, soon after joining his regiment, to write off a fifty-ton tank. In the army, he also earned to fly helicopters, which while serving, he put to good use by directing the winter sports scenes for the James Bond film OHMSS. After leaving the army, he travelled 75,000 miles around the globe selling helicopters, which took him from an unexplored region of New Guinea—where they had never seen a white man before—to the swamps of Pantanal in Brazil’s Mato Grosso, looking for an Englishman with the same name as an explorer known to have been killed earlier by Indians in the rain forests of Amazon. Readers will find his further exploits equally astonishing for he refers back to some of his more desperate moments while flying light aircraft, climbing mountains, riding the Cresta toboggan run, and surviving a disastrous shipwreck, followed by starting up thirteen unique and entirely different businesses. Most of these moments are recorded in one hundred of Ranulf’s letters to key people, including two prime ministers and the archbishop of Canterbury, which have not been replied to, except with the odd acknowledgment. He wrote his hundredth letter to Donald Trump. He adds some intriguing images and an interesting commentary, but the reason why his letters were not answered is often left for the reader to decide.