Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Falling Man. Would you have jumped from the towers?

On this anniversary of 9-11, a date on which there is both MY WEDDING ANNIVERSARY (1992) and a horrible disaster that everyone in the world lays claim to, I have to ask...
 Would you have jumped?

Stories tell of people falling from the towers on that morning, being forced out by winds.. by others?
 But of the documented 200 people who died by falling or jumping from the towers on that morning 12 years ago, how many thought they would survive?
 Surely the people who fashioned makeshift parachutes had an idea that it might work, right? I've read of people using tablecloths, curtains, clothing...
 This video, believe it or not, shows  a pretty good facsimile.

  In this video,  you can see some attempts to slow the fall, maybe even to slide down the side of the building to another floor, where a broken window.. something.. could save them. But mostly, you see people choosing to jump to their death, than be burned to death.

Which makes me wonder, why didn't anyone try to break windows on the lower floors? Could someone have escaped from higher floors that way? Would that air simply have fueled the fires? Why was nothing set up to catch the jumpers? Nothing from the air, helicopter assists? Would you have listened to the report that the building was safe, and to return to your office? What would you have done? Was there even time to do or think of any of this? Was 102 minutes enough time?

 This guy, Pasquale Buzzelli, survived by "surfing down" 15 floors- inside- the North Tower.
  Amazing story.

In this article by Tom Leonard on 9-11-2011, there are specific details about the jumpers. ( read in full here)
 "As part of its research into where the fire was at its most intense, NIST analysed camera footage and still photographs, and counted 104 jumpers, often recording the floor and exact window from which they left.
All but three leapt from the first building to be hit — the North Tower. The second plane struck the South Tower 16 minutes later but it collapsed first, giving occupants less time to react.
The first jumper is recorded plunging from the North Tower’s 149th window of the 93rd floor on the north face of the building at 8.51am, just over four minutes after it was hit by the first hijacked Boeing 757 between the 93rd and 99th floors.
Sometimes the fallers were separated by an interval of just a second. At one point nine people fell in six seconds from five adjacent windows; at another, 13 people fell in two minutes. Twenty minutes after the building was struck, two people fell simultaneously from the same window on the 95th floor.
At least four jumpers tried to climb to other windows for safety then lost their grip. One person climbed from the 93rd floor to the 92nd, clinging to the window’s edge before falling just one second after someone else plumetted from the same window — number 215 on the east face of the tower.
The early jumpers came from the crash zone where the plane entered the building — the offices of the insurance brokers Marsh & McLennan.
The last jumper fell just as the North Tower collapsed 102 minutes after the building had been hit. Photographer Richard Drew says he has a picture of this person clinging to some debris while falling."
 Maybe you need to read this article by Tom Junod in Esquire.
 And stare long and hard at this, before you can decide.

Would you jump? Would you be committing suicide? Would you be a coward or a hero? Would you change your mind mid-fall?

I pray you never have to make these choices.

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