Skip to comments.In a 9/11 Survival Tale, the Pieces Just Donít Fit
Posted on 09/26/2007 9:41:29 PM PDT by neverdem
Tania Heads 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 Center 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 stanched 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 marriage ceremony to a man named Dave.
But later she would discover, she said, that Dave, her fiancé, and in some versions her husband, had perished in the north tower.
As a matter of history, Ms. Heads account made her one of only 19 survivors who had been at or above the point of impact when the planes hit. As a matter of emotion, her story deeply moved audiences like college students to whom she spoke and visitors at ground zero, where she has long led tours for the Tribute W.T.C. Visitor Center for visitors including Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and former Gov. George E. Pataki.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Sounds like someone was looking for significance in her life and latched onto 9-11. I credit her for apparently avoiding financial fraud in the situation where so many others jumped in only for the money.
Reminds me of phony war “heros”. Some people just want to be famous so bad they’ll crawl through the mud to get it, and hope nobody will question why they are so dirty because of the supposed protections a hero deserves.
This is America, and this woman can pretty much say or do anything she wants, but I hope this really affects her ability to find love or happiness, because her actions have tainted something that was already incredibly painful to many Americans.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my New York ping list.
Another manifestation of “Stolen Valor”
——every incident like this seems to bring out these people: remember the young kid who dressed up in fatigues and kept taking the stage at all the ceremonies after the first Gulf War?
This woman needs professional help.
I grieve for the families that she has mislead. This must be very painful for them.
Yep...another out-of-left-field wackjob.
Pure fiction: “It was a lot of death and destruction, but I also saw hope.
Put her on melaril and lock her away.
She never shared those details [about who gave her the ring, bla bla bla], and it was nothing we wanted to probe,
No, it was next to a NY link on my thread.
I wonder if she really did avoid financial fraud. It says that she spoke to audiences. Colleges pay guest speakers. She might not have cashed in on the federal victim's money because she couldn't give real employment verification, but she might have cashed in on other opportunities.
You have to wonder where her money does come from, though. Living in Manhattan is expensive.
odd that NYT would run this...
Indeed. “Fake but accurate!”
Lol. Fake but accurate. That’s such a great phrase.
Very weird. I knew her (not very well) when I was a member of the WTC Survivor’s Network and always thought very highly of her.
She was always very quiet, spoke softly and never seemed to want to draw attention to herself. In fact, “quiet dignity” is the phrase that was often used to describe her.
(I left the WTCSN because it had turned into a left-wing circle jerk and was becoming a group of apologists for radical Islamists.)
It’s very sad that she apparently has some serious personal issues.
Judging by where she lives, I don’t think she needs money. Probably just attention. :(
You might be right. If that is indeed the case, then she deserves some time explaining it to a judge.
“You have to wonder where her money does come from, though. Living in Manhattan is expensive.”
I suspect that angle will be investigated.
LOL. She is an imposter. She certainly couldn't make any claims without being found out. ...she would not explain her reticence, saying only that she had not filed any claims with the federal Victim Compensation Fund.
She was probably receiving some expense money and enjoyed being a celebrity and travelling the world. People are gulible.
Thanks for the ping!
“(I left the WTCSN because it had turned into a left-wing circle jerk and was becoming a group of apologists for radical Islamists.)”
I don’t know your story but you have my sympathy and admiration.
The problem with “support groups” like this is they seem to encourage members to wallow in the past rather than moving on. They then must find reasons to continue to exist beyond what is healthy for the normal human beings. After I was involved in a mini-trauma, compared to yours, a support group was set up and I was encouraged to attend but all it seemed to do was rehash over and over the trauma and encourage people to attribute every negative emotion to that trauma. I lasted two meetings. The group lasted at least a year and a half and perhaps still exists. We moved out of state so I don’t know. It must be even worse to see your friends and fellow victims become shills for killers.
"I resemble that remark."
Yeah there is a particular mental issue with people who feel the need to be part of big events.
She says she didn’t do anything illegal but if she was fundraising under false pretenses perhaps it could be an issue for any charities she worked with. I don’t know what the rules are but I’m pretty sure telling fibs to get people to donate money is frowned upon.
Since this is from the Times, there's probably no such person as Tania Head.
I declare the story, "stanched".
Well, I was never very close with any of them because it was a fairly tight group of people who worked in the towers and knew each from then or had bonded shortly after 9/11 — I didn’t work in the towers (I live in the immediate neighborhood) and didn’t experience the intense horrors that they did nor the same extent of losses that most experienced. I went to some events, but most of my contact with them was in a private email list.
The group was good in terms of being there for everyone to reach out when they needed to discuss something that only others in the same situation can understand. And it was also good for getting out information to us and rallying people for things like trying to save the Survivors’ Staircase.
I actually left the email list for a few months last year when some of the loudmouths (like the wife of another founder of the group) was so obnoxious in condemning Bush (and the right) over the deal to sell the ports to Dubai that I was so repulsed — even though I was also against the deal! Tania contacted me privately and told me that she was very upset with the twit who was being a jerk and that I was welcome back whenever I felt ready.
Then I left for good in late August of this year. I’d already been feeling increasingly annoyed at the sudden (at least to me) affection for Islam — from the gushing over a book by a mother of a man killed in the south tower who decided to get to know the mother of the terrorist who slammed the plane into the south tower, to one of the founders of the group trying to get people to join his “9/11 Community for Common Ground,” in which he effusively praised a woman with significant ties to Hamas [http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/3049], as being a great help with this hooey — when more Republican bashing started.
And then there were the (fortunately very few) conspiracy loons.
What’s really freaky is that she must have studied up on all sorts of 9/11 survivor stories and trivia, because she fooled many people. She had to have had enough details and emotions down pat in order to last as long as she did, especially with people who know 9/11 all too well. We’re talking about her fooling people who really did work in the towers and really did survive that morning, and never had any inkling of suspicion about her (at least not publicly).
I was never deeply involved with the group, but I was a member for a few years and everyone thought the world of her — and if they didn’t, they kept it to themselves. Everyone in the group who had anything to say about her thought that she was brave, strong, dignified and gracious.
I don’t know if the group itself raised any money (and if they did, there are plenty of legitimate survivors, so it’s not like it was for a fake group), but they did get funds from other umbrella groups, as I understand it. Mostly for basic operating expenses and social gatherings (like the holiday party in her apartment building’s rooftop lounge — maybe more, but that was the only one I attended), as far as I know.
Without knowing her well, I think that this is more a matter of a desperate need for attention and respect than anything else. But, considering how much I liked and looked up to her, I could be very wrong again.
This really makes me very sad. :(
She’s a real person.
I know two people that pretend to this day they were ‘there’.
And I know for a fact neither one was, and they were outted by the website hosts where they posted the fantasy stories.
You can’t hide the ISP, is the moral of the story.
Ping to what looks like the mother of all necro trolls.
I think to a degree they really do feel like they belong. So they glean alot of info by just listening to others and being in the right places. It is kinda sad.