Friday, September 28, 2007

The 9/11 survivor no one can remember

· Tale of flight from burning tower does not add up
· Woman goes to ground after story is questioned

Taken from the Guardian, UK, Friday September 28, 2007
David Dunlap and Serge Kovaleski

Tania Head's story, as shared over the years with reporters, students, friends and hundreds of visitors to ground zero, was a remarkable account of both life and death.

She had, she said, survived the terror attack on the World Trade Centre despite having been badly burned when the plane crashed into the upper floors of the south tower.

Crawling through the chaos and carnage on the 78th floor that morning, she said, she encountered a dying man who handed her his inscribed wedding ring, which she later returned to his widow.

Her own life was saved, she said, by a selfless volunteer who extinguished the flames on her burning clothes before she was helped down the stairs. It was a journey she said she had the strength to make because she kept thinking of a beautiful white dress she was to wear at her coming wedding to a man named Dave.

But later she would discover, she said, that Dave, her fiance, and in some versions her husband, had perished in the north tower.

Ms Head's account made her one of only 19 survivors who had been at or above the point of impact when the planes hit. But no part of her story, it turns out, has been verified.

The family and friends of the man to whom she claimed to be engaged say they have never heard of Tania Head and view the relationship she describes with the man, who did die in the north tower, as an impossibility.

A spokeswoman for Merrill Lynch, where she told people she worked at the time of the terror attack, said the company had no record of employing a Tania Head.

And few people, it seems, who embraced the immediacy and pain of her account ever asked the name of the man whose ring she had returned, or that of the hospital where she was treated, or the identities of the people she met in the south tower on the morning of 9/11.

"She never shared those details, and it was nothing we wanted to probe," said Alison Crowther, the mother of Welles Remy Crowther, a man who died on 9/11 and who is credited with rescuing a number of people from the south tower, including Ms Head by her own account.

In recent weeks the New York Times sought to interview Ms Head about her experiences on 9/11 but she cancelled three scheduled interviews, citing her privacy and emotional turmoil, and declined to provide details to corroborate her story. "I have done nothing illegal," she said.

She has retained a lawyer, Stephanie Furgang Adwar, to represent her.

No one has suggested that Ms Head did anything to profit financially from her position as an officer with the Survivors' Network, the non-profit group for which she helped to raise money.

But the organisations to which she has been affiliated have also questioned her account.

For several weeks colleagues who said they respected the good work she had done among survivors have pressed her to come forward and clarify details. But they said they had been unable to persuade her or, in other cases, that she contradicted previous versions she had given.
The board of the Survivors' Network voted this week to remove her as president and as a director of the group, which supports those who escaped the terror that day.

Jefferson Crowther, Welles Crowther's father, said in an interview that he and his wife met Ms Head early last year.

"She explained that her clothes were on fire and that our son took a jacket and put out the flames.

"She told us that she said, 'Don't leave me,' and he replied, 'I won't. Don't worry. I'll get you down.'

"She seemed so heartfelt and genuine about what she said to us."

1 comment:

tania said...

Tania Head's hoax is the natural continuation of the fakeness permeating all the mainstream media accounts regarding September 11, 2001.

After six years, most people also tend to shy away from a honest analysis of that fateful day. The best overview of what the TV media showed us on 9/11 can be viewed by googling "SEPTEMBER CLUES" (part1 to 8).