Robert Young Pelton Explains Why Pandemics Are More Dangerous Than War Zones | DISTANCE | SCNR

In this episode of DISTANCE, we sit down with legendary explorer, journalist, filmmaker and author Robert Young Pelton. Perhaps most well known for his seminal New York Times’ best-selling tome, The World’s Most Dangerous Places, which explores in great detail some of the most perilous and life-threatening situations you’ll ever read about, taking places in hands down some of the worst hellholes the world has ever known.

Three decades later, Pelton’s expansive career has been made by thrusting himself into arguably more deadly and dangerous situations than anyone else in modern history — all with the goal of understanding what drives humanity’s unrelenting desire for war and power by his ability to somehow enter the frontlines of conflicts and speak to the brutal men running the show using methods that we can only chalk up to some strange, conflict-hardened magic he has singularly developed. Pelton has bared witness to some of the most pivotal — and bone-chillingly terrifying — moments in modern history, stretching across almost every continent, including: the battle of Qala-I-Jangi in Afghanistan, the siege of Grozny in Chechnya, living with LURD rebels in Liberia, the MILF in the Philippines, the Colombian FARC, the Taliban, al Qaeda members and most recently in Sirte, Libya inside the battle against ISIS and the first person to document the White Army amid the chaos of the South Sudanese Civil War.

Yet, Pelton says, the extreme dangers he’s faced during those experiences pale in comparison to the COVID-19 pandemic’s potential for long-term death and devastation. He resides in San Diego where he also designs survival tools for his company DPx Gear and is the holder of over two dozen patents. You can find out more about Pelton at and purchase some of the best stabbing knives money can buy at

About the series: DISTANCE documents the experiences of everyday Americans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Filmed by a small crew roving the United States in an RV, each episode offers a window into the rapidly changing lives of an individual or close-knit group grappling with the new normal. Their stories, stitched together, outline the contours of a society reshaped by the pandemic and ensuing economic collapse.

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