MRKONJIC GRAD INCIDENT
While it looks more like a bad Scrabble hand than anything else, Mrkonjic Grad is in fact a small town in Bosnia-Herzegovina where a Serbian anti-aircraft missile successfully shot down a USAF F-16C flown by Captain Scott O’Grady.
O’Grady immediately went into hiding from the unfriendly locals, surviving a number of close calls and living off the land, using the skills learned from the Air Force’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) program. NATO aircraft had been picking up intermittent beeps from his survival radio, but it was only on the sixth day of his ordeal that O’Grady felt secure enough to speak into his radio.
Two Marine Sea Stallion helicopters supported by Harrier jets and Super Cobra gunships were in the air four hours later, tracing O’Grady’s beacon to a yellow flare and securing the area. After only seven minutes the pilot was on board and the helicopters were on their way out, narrowly dodging two shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles and a scattering of small-arms fire. The 2001 film Behind Enemy Lines was based heavily on O’Grady’s experiences, although 20th Century Fox never bothered to ask his permission or advice on the film.