A blind lawyer using echolocation to break out of captivity and escape an autocratic country? No, it’s not Daredevil escaping from Doctor Doom’s Latveria, it’s political dissident Chen Guagncheng escaping from house arrest in China.
Now Chen Guangcheng, popularly known as the “Barefoot Lawyer”, has revealed that he escaped using a “bat-like echolocation” technique to navigate his way more than a mile to a neighbouring village and the safety of a friend’s home.
“I drew on an old skill I had developed when I was three or four years old, a kind of bat-like echolocation,” he writes in his new memoir, ‘The Barefoot Lawyer’, which is published this week.
“By making just the slightest ‘shhhh’ sound, no louder than a light wind in a pine tree, I could determine from the returning sound waves what was in front of me, whether large object or wall, forest or field.
“I hissed under my breath and listened carefully to the patter of the raindrops for clues about what surfaces were ahead of and around me.”
Here’s a map of his escape route.