On day 2 of the LeWeb2012 conference in Paris, euronews’ Marie Jamet hosted a Google+ Hangout with Brian Shul, a speaker at LeWeb 2012.
Shul is an accomplished speaker, author, and photographer. He spent 20 years as an Air Force fighter pilot and has used his unique experience to become one of America’s most dynamic inspirational speakers. While flying close air support missions in the Vietnam War, Brian’s aircraft was shot down. Unable to eject, he was forced to ride his plane into the jungle and was severely burned in the ensuing crash. Lucky to be alive, he crawled from the burning wreckage and was eventually rescued by special forces. Brian spent one year in military hospitals recovering from his injuries. Following 15 surgical procedures, he miraculously was able to pass a flight physical and returned to active flying duty. He went on to fly the A-7, was in the first A-10 squadron and taught at the Air Force TOPGUN School. He culminated his flying career with selection to fly the world’s fastest jet, the Top Secret SR-71 Blackbird. This assignment required an astronaut physical and Brian passed with no waivers. Brian flew spy missions in the Blackbird for 4 years and was the pilot who provided key photos to President Reagan during the Libyan Crisis in 1986. After leaving the Air Force Brian pursued his writing and photography interests. He was the first man to do a book about flying the SR-71, fully illustrated with his own rare photos of the magnificent aircraft. A second book followed and together they have formed the world’s most popular books on this aircraft, now in over 46 countries. The books SLEDDRIVER and THEUNTOUCHABLES, can only be purchased through the Gallery One website at sleddriver.com and are unique in that Brian flew the plane, wrote the book, and took all the photographs for these one-of-a-kind books. Brian’s story of overcoming great obstacles to follow one’s dream, has made him one of the most popular speakers in the world today. His unique slide show and unforgettable story have inspired millions of people who have heard his message. Brian is the recipient of the Spirit of Freedom Award, is an Honorary Thunderbird, and was recently inducted into the Air Force’s Hall of Fame. Today Brian runs Gallery One in Marysville, California, a gallery of his highly acclaimed nature photography as well his renowned aviation images. While in high demand as a speaker today, he can most often be found hiking in the mountains of the western United States, camera in hand.