The Falling Man – Wikipedia article. Excerpt…
- The Falling Man is a photograph taken by Associated Press photographer Richard Drew of a man falling from the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:41:15 a.m. during the September 11 attacks in New York City. The subject of the image, whose identity remains uncertain, was one of the people trapped on the upper floors of the skyscraper who either fell searching for safety or jumped to escape the fire and smoke. At least 200 people are believed to have fallen or jumped to their deaths that day while other estimates say the number is half of that or less. Officials could not recover or identify the bodies of those forced out of the buildings prior to the collapse of the towers. All deaths in the attacks except those of the hijackers were ruled to be homicides due to blunt trauma (as opposed to suicides). The New York City medical examiner’s office said it does not classify the people who fell to their deaths on September 11 as “jumpers”: “A ‘jumper’ is somebody who goes to the office in the morning knowing that they will commit suicide. These people were forced out by the smoke and flames or blown out.”
September 11 Attacks – Casualties – Wikipedia article. Excerpt…
- At least 200 people fell or jumped to their deaths from the burning towers (as exemplified in the photograph The Falling Man), landing on the streets and rooftops of adjacent buildings hundreds of feet below. Some occupants of each tower above the point of impact made their way toward the roof in hope of helicopter rescue, but the roof access doors were locked. No plan existed for helicopter rescues, and the combination of roof equipment and thick smoke and intense heat prevented helicopters from approaching.
Desperation forced a horrific decision – USA Today – published 2 September 2002 about the 11 September 2001 attack. Excerpts…
- At first, it seemed like debris. Large objects were falling from the top of the World Trade Center’s north tower, just a few minutes after American Airlines Flight 11 hit.
- “It took three or four to realize: They were people,” says James Logozzo, who had gathered with co-workers in a Morgan Stanley boardroom on the 72nd floor of the south tower, just 120 feet away from the north tower. “Then this one woman fell.”
- She fell closer to the south tower, he recalls. Logozzo saw her face. She had dark hair and olive skin, a white blouse and black skirt. She fell with her back to the ground, flat, staring up.
- “The look on her face was shock. She wasn’t screaming. It was slow motion. When she hit, there was nothing left,” Logozzo says.
- Logozzo cried, “Oh my God!” and raced for the stairs. When he got to the street 45 minutes later, he looked up. By then, his building had been struck by United Airlines Flight 175. From the ground, he saw two more people jump. This time, they were from his building.
- The story of the victims who jumped to their deaths is the most sensitive aspect of the Sept. 11 tragedy. Photographs of people falling to their deaths shocked the nation. Most newspapers and magazines ran only one or two photos, then published no more. USA TODAY ran one photo Nov. 16.
- USA TODAY estimates that at least 200 people jumped to their deaths that morning, far more than can be seen in the photographs taken that morning. Nearly all were from the north tower, which was hit first and collapsed last. Fewer than a dozen were from the south tower.
- The jumping started shortly after the first jet hit at 8:46 a.m. People jumped continuously during the 102 minutes that the north tower stood. Two people jumped as the north tower began to fall at 10:28 a.m., witnesses said.
- For those who jumped, the fall lasted 10 seconds. They struck the ground at just less than 150 miles per hour — not fast enough to cause unconsciousness while falling, but fast enough to ensure instant death on impact. People jumped from all four sides of the north tower. They jumped alone, in pairs and in groups.
- Most came from the north tower’s 101st to 105th floors, where the Cantor Fitzgerald bond firm had offices, and the 106th and 107th floors, where a conference was underway at the Windows on the World restaurant. Others leaped from the 93rd through 100th floor offices of Marsh & McLennan insurance company.
- Intense smoke and heat, rather than flames, pushed people into this horrific choice. Flight 11 struck the 94th through 98th floors of the north tower, shooting heat and smoke up elevator shafts and stairways in the center of the building. Within minutes, it would have been very difficult to breathe. That drove people to the windows 1,100 to 1,300 feet above ground.
- There were several reasons more people jumped from the north tower than from the south. The fire was more intense and compact in the north tower. The jet hit higher, so smoke was concentrated in 15 floors compared with 30 floors in the south tower, which was hit on the 78th through 84th floors. The north tower also stood longer: 102 minutes vs. 56 minutes. And twice as many people were trapped on the north tower’s upper floors than in the south tower, where occupants had 161/2 minutes to evacuate before the second jet hit.
- The New York medical examiner’s office says it does not classify the people who fell to their deaths on Sept. 11 as “jumpers.”
- “A ‘jumper’ is somebody who goes to the office in the morning knowing that they will commit suicide,” says Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office. “These people were forced out by the smoke and flames or blown out.”
- She says the medical examiner’s office couldn’t determine who jumped because the injuries were similar to those suffered by the people killed in the collapse of the towers. The manner of death for all those who died was listed as homicide on death certificates.
- To make its estimate of the number of people who plunged from the Trade Center, USA TODAY reviewed videos and photographs, interviewed witnesses and analyzed the time and location of the jumping. The newspaper discussed its conclusion with officials in the fire department and medical examiner’s office who, while not making calculations of their own, deemed an estimate of 200 jumpers as accurate.
R.I.P. “The Falling Man” – and others.
It was the logical decision to make. But how can a person think logically and quickly under such a horrible condition? Heat and smoke from the fire forced an immediate decision. Death by extremely painful burning, or jump to a less painful means of departing this world. Apparently, some of them did have time to think about it – those who jumped together in pairs or in groups. They were going to die anyway. It was as if they were already dead, but for the one final decision. Freedom of choice? Not much of a choice.
Life here on Earth is like falling out of a plane without a parachute. Eventually, we all hit the ground, and then end up six feet under or as ashes in an urn.
Very few get to decide how and when they will bite the dust.
Some people who have a terminal illness also face a similar decision. The choice of a painful death from the illness, or depart this world by a less painful and quicker means. Death by burning jet fuel or death by virus amounts to the same kind of scenario. When death is certain anyway, then a choice for a less painful and quicker means should not be classified as suicide. It should be legal and given a designation other than suicide. In the case of the 9/11 jumpers, it was designated as homicide – murdered by terrorists. Think about it – terrorists are themselves a kind of virus that has infected human life – as a kind of cancer. So there’s really not much difference. A virus is a life form. It attacks you. It can kill you, but because it is not another human it can’t be charged with murder.
There are other kinds of scenarios in which a horrible death is likely, and has been caused by the actions of other people, perhaps as unintended consequences.
My case, for example. Two different kinds of attacks merging into one disaster…
- Medicare does not pay what it should. Doctors dump Medicare patients. Other doctors not accepting new patients covered by Medicare. Those patients can’t get effective health care, even though fully covered. Then those patients get worse, eventually resulting in death.
- Landlord sells apartment complex. Too be razed. New apartment building with higher rent to be built in its place by the new owner. By that means, affordable housing is vanishing across the US. Other locations create the new rule for minimum monthly net income of 3 times the rent – shutting out low-wage workers, part-time workers, retired senior citizens living only on Social Security, and people barely surviving on Social Security disability benefits. The number one cause of homelessness in 2015 is the loss of affordable housing – with some known as “the working homeless” as the result – having a job but not enough income to pay for an apartment.
…Becoming homeless while in bad health without any effective health care, likely to lead to horrible suffering and an inevitable painful death.
There’s time to think about it. There’s a choice. There’s a logical decision to be made. Die out-on-the-street homeless, or die by a less painful and quicker means. No doubt the decision is likely to be under the influence of emotional and situational depression (without a physical cause), and depression caused by health disorders – such as anemia and hypoglycemia as examples (for physical causes). The decision is also likely to be influenced by severe anxiety – mental anguish, as well as frustration with anger toward a kind of injustice. Greed rules. Rich vs. poor. It’s a vulture culture in which human life no longer has any value. It becomes political – “Please die quickly!” – being the preferred health care system to save taxpayers the cost. So there’s no sympathy out there by others who are also falling to the ground. A rich man will hit the ground as hard as a poor man, and death is just as certain. Even so, it appears “state-assisted suicide” is on the near horizon, but likely to be given a politically correct designation to make it appear to be more appealing. Perhaps something like in the 1973 movie Soylent Green. Excerpts from Wikipedia…
- The 20th century’s industrialization has left the world permanently overcrowded, polluted and stagnant by the turn of the 21st century. In 2022, with 40 million people in New York City alone, housing is dilapidated and overcrowded; homeless people fill the streets; about half are unemployed, the few “lucky” ones with jobs are only barely scraping by themselves, and food and working technology is scarce. Most of the population survives on rations produced by the Soylent Corporation, whose newest product is Soylent Green, a green wafer advertised to contain “high-energy plankton” from the world’s oceans, more nutritious and palatable than its predecessors “Red” and “Yellow”, but in short supply.
- Thorn later gives Roth the classified Soylent Oceanographic Survey Report, 2015 to 2019 found in Simonson’s apartment.
- Roth takes Soylent’s oceanographic reports to a like-minded group of researchers known as the Exchange, who agree that the oceans no longer produce the plankton from which Soylent Green is reputedly made, and infer that it must be made from human remains, as this is the only conceivable supply of protein that matches the known production. Unable to live with this discovery, Roth seeks assisted suicide at a government clinic called “Home.”
- Thorn rushes to stop him, but arrives too late, and is mesmerized by the euthanasia process’s visual and musical montage – a display of forests, wild animals, rivers, and ocean life, now extinct. Under the influence of a lethal drug, Roth tells Thorn his discovery and begs him to expose the truth. To this end, Thorn stows himself aboard a garbage truck to the disposal center, where he sees human corpses converted into Soylent Green.
Is that the future for human life here on planet Earth? Feed the poor to the rich?
As a Spiritual Universalist, I compare the human body to a car. The human soul is the driver. In order to function and live on Earth, each of us needs a body for transportation. Eventually, medical science might make it possible to extend physical life, or to create replacement bodies – perhaps more artificial than biological. Perhaps, eventually, man will stop falling – will no longer hit the ground – no longer bite the dust. What then happens to the soul? What is the soul being denied by not leaving this world? If souls are recycled, as in reincarnation, then what difference would it make if medical science provides a new body or God provides a new body – a new physical body for here or a new spiritual body for living in a spiritual universe heaven? On Earth as it is in Heaven? Nature and seasons here indicate ongoing recycling. The old must be removed to make room for the new, when space is limited. If we humans move out into space and begin to colonize other planets – gaining more space, then longer physical life will be needed.
Editorial Article by Jim Lantern
5:30 p.m. CT Wednesday 29 April 2015
To be, or not to be, that is the question.
~ William Shakespeare
To be or not to be isn’t the question. The question is how to prolong being.
~ Tom Robbins
You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be.
~ Chuck Palahniuk
Five billion people have played Hamlet. ‘To be or not to be.’ And how do you do that and find your way into your own journey, your own way of telling it?
~ Annette Bening
I’ve been struggling with the choice recently. To be here, or to be in the hereafter. To stay alive and risk being subjected to horrible suffering and inevitable painful death, or to depart planet Earth by a quicker and less painful means – to become a soul traveler.
Evil, horrors, and injustice on this world make me want to depart. If I had access to a starship, then that might be the preferred means – to be alive when I depart rather than dead. However, the fact that there is still great beauty to be seen and experienced on this world, and my overwhelming curiosity about the future of this world and its people, makes me want to stay as long as possible.
I’d prefer to not do so in bad health and as an out-on-the-street homeless person. I do have once chance. Moving to Reno Nevada, where I have found options for affordable places to live, and a greater number of doctors (MD) who are still accepting new patients covered by Medicare. My doctor (MD) dumped me. I’ve been surviving on “old home remedies” and nonprescription meds. Milk has reduced the pain of stomach ulcers – sometimes bleeding. So has cream of chicken soup. Even so, it’s not enough to heal me and to keep me alive.
If I stay here in Norman Oklahoma, then a horrible death is certain. Going to Reno gives me better odds, a better chance of not only surviving but also improving my health. The problem is staying alive and enduring the pain until departure day – Saturday May 2, and surviving the journey by Greyhound Bus to arrive there Monday May 4. The pain has at times been so bad I prayed to God, asking God to end my life now to end the suffering. That’s didn’t work. Last night the pain was so bad I nearly decided to end it myself. Going to the local hospital emergency room is not an option. Been there, done that, and still suffering. Better to die in the comfort of my home – except that my home has been sold and is to be razed, so I have to leave here soon anyway.
Last night it felt like a sword had been rammed through my stomach. Loss of more blood could interfere with my plan to escape to Reno, leaving me without enough strength to get to the local bus stop and to then survive the journey to Reno. I gave serious consideration to entering an airtight closet in my apartment, and allowing myself to die by running out of oxygen in about 3 hours. Go to sleep and not wake up. I’ve become unconscious from loss of oxygen before and it is not bad – likewise a low hemoglobin count causing me to black out. So that’s the way I’d go if I were to do it myself. I’d not want to use a method that would result in a bloody mess for other people top clean up.
I did not ask God in prayer this time to take my life, so that I don’t have to suffer until I die, or so that I don’t have to end my life myself. Instead, I asked God to simply give me some kind of “sign” that will give me new hope for better health in my future.
I was out of milk and cream of chicken soup. Suddenly, out of the fog of pain, I remembered the baking soda. I put a half spoonful int a cup of water and drank it down. That reduced the pain enough for me to get to the grocery store to buy more milk and cream of chicken soup. I decided – I don’t have to die today. I can DIE ANOTHER DAY. I chose to live another day. Maybe I’ll get better. Maybe I’ll make it to Reno and have a new life there.
“The Falling Man” didn’t have the choice to DIE ANOTHER DAY. Terrorists took that choice away from him, and the other victims. Murdered by terrorists – an illness infecting our world. A virus. A cancer. The only choice he had was to burn to death or to jump to his death.
I got an email from OKDHS to let me know Oklahoma would cover me through May for food stamps and medical, for a transition month, so I will not be without coverage during May. Then start getting coverage from Nevada in June. I’m informed the EBT card “should” work in all US states. That new information increased my hope – that I might have a better chance there. A “sign” from God to give me new hope? Perhaps.
Then an email notice about a new follower at Twitter. Much to my surprise, a famous person. Not just a famous person, but a person connected to history. Why would she follow me at Twitter? I don’t know. I read the tweet she would be on FOX News at 1:00 p.m. CT today, so I watched it – about the riots in Baltimore. My new follower is Alveda King. I agree with what she said on FOX News today. Maybe I can still make a difference for the better with my WordPress sites and related Twitter use. Another “sign” from God? Perhaps.
When I got home from the store, I discovered the US Mail had been delivered sooner than usual today. Much to my surprise, I discovered a local printer had sent me a free copy of a religious booklet about the End Times. Long ago I read the Left Behind series of novels. I wondered what it would be like to live through such times, if the Book of Revelation were to come true during my lifetime. Not that I wished for such a thing, but perhaps I wondered about it too much. The old saying might apply – “Be careful what you wish for. You might get it.” As is, I write here as an amateur independent journalist. Perhaps I am to live through the End Times and write about them. Another “sign” from God? Perhaps.
The Six Reasons People Attempt Suicide – Psychology Today – Suicide is far more understandable than people think. Post published by Alex Lickerman M.D. on Apr 29, 2010 in Happiness in this World. Excerpts…
- In general, people try to kill themselves for six reasons:
- They’re depressed. This is without question the most common reason people commit suicide. Severe depression is always accompanied by a pervasive sense of suffering as well as the belief that escape from it is hopeless. The pain of existence often becomes too much for severely depressed people to bear. The state of depression warps their thinking, allowing ideas like “Everyone would all be better off without me” to make rational sense. They shouldn’t be blamed for falling prey to such distorted thoughts any more than a heart patient should be blamed for experiencing chest pain: it’s simply the nature of their disease. Because depression, as we all know, is almost always treatable, we should all seek to recognize its presence in our close friends and loved ones. Often people suffer with it silently, planning suicide without anyone ever knowing. Despite making both parties uncomfortable, inquiring directly about suicidal thoughts in my experience almost always yields an honest response. If you suspect someone might be depressed, don’t allow your tendency to deny the possibility of suicidal ideation prevent you from asking about it.
- They’re psychotic. Malevolent inner voices often command self-destruction for unintelligible reasons. Psychosis is much harder to mask than depression, and is arguably even more tragic. The worldwide incidence of schizophrenia is 1% and often strikes otherwise healthy, high-performing individuals, whose lives, though manageable with medication, never fulfill their original promise. Schizophrenics are just as likely to talk freely about the voices commanding them to kill themselves as not, and also, in my experience, give honest answers about thoughts of suicide when asked directly. Psychosis, too, is treatable, and usually must be treated for a schizophrenic to be able to function at all. Untreated or poorly treated psychosis almost always requires hospital admission to a locked ward until the voices lose their commanding power.
- They’re impulsive. Often related to drugs and alcohol, some people become maudlin and impulsively attempt to end their own lives. Once sobered and calmed, these people usually feel emphatically ashamed. The remorse is often genuine, but whether or not they’ll ever attempt suicide again is unpredictable. They may try it again the very next time they become drunk or high, or never again in their lifetime. Hospital admission is therefore not usually indicated. Substance abuse and the underlying reasons for it are generally a greater concern in these people and should be addressed as aggressively as possible.
- They’re crying out for help, and don’t know how else to get it. These people don’t usually want to die but do want to alert those around them that something is seriously wrong. They often don’t believe they will die, frequently choosing methods they don’t think can kill them in order to strike out at someone who’s hurt them, but they are sometimes tragically misinformed. The prototypical example of this is a young teenage girl suffering genuine angst because of a relationship, either with a friend, boyfriend, or parent, who swallows a bottle of Tylenol, not realizing that in high enough doses Tylenol causes irreversible liver damage. I’ve watched more than one teenager die a horrible death in an ICU days after such an ingestion when remorse has already cured them of their desire to die and their true goal of alerting those close to them of their distress has been achieved.
- They have a philosophical desire to die. The decision to commit suicide for some is based on a reasoned decision, often motivated by the presence of a painful terminal illness from which little to no hope of reprieve exists. These people aren’t depressed, psychotic, maudlin, or crying out for help. They’re trying to take control of their destiny and alleviate their own suffering, which usually can only be done in death. They often look at their choice to commit suicide as a way to shorten a dying that will happen regardless. In my personal view, if such people are evaluated by a qualified professional who can reliably exclude the other possibilities for why suicide is desired, these people should be allowed to die at their own hands.
- They’ve made a mistake. This is a recent, tragic phenomenon in which typically young people flirt with oxygen deprivation for the high it brings and simply go too far. The only defense against this, it seems to me, is education.
Most lethal methods of suicide – Lost All Hope website – Excerpts…
For information on the most lethal methods of suicide, a good starting point is the statistics on the number of successful suicides by method (see Suicide statistics). There is also a much published study from 19951, where 291 lay persons and 10 forensic pathologists rated the lethality, time, and agony for 28 methods of suicide for 4,117 cases of completed suicide in Los Angeles County in the period 1988-1991.
They were asked to rate each method as follows:
- Lethality: How likely is the method to cause death (where 0% is no chance, and 100% is absolute certainty)
- Time: An opinion on the length of time the method will require to produce death
- Agony: The amount of pain and discomfort you would expect from the use of the particular method (ranked on scale of 0 to 100 where 0 is no pain/discomfort and 100 is the most pain/discomfort possible)
The outcome of the study is presented below, ranked by order of lethality from just the pathologists who participated in the study (the lay persons tended to drastically overestimate the lethality of methods).
Anyone reading this table to identify a suitable method of suicide is advised to read carefully the information on the dangers of the suicide methods mentioned on this site, and visit the section Help me, because statistically you are much more likely to hurt yourself by attempting suicide than to succeed killing yourself (see Suicide statistics for more information).
|Rank||Method Name||Lethality (%)||Time (min)||Agony|
|1||Shotgun to head||99.0%||1.7||5.5|
|3||Gunshot of head||97.0%||2.5||13|
|4||Shotgun to chest||96.4%||1.4||16|
|6||Hit by train||96.2%||17.92||7.08|
|7||Jump from height||93.4%||4.56||17.78|
|8||Gunshot of chest||89.5%||7||21.7|
|12||Set fire to self||76.5%||57||95|
|15||Hit by truck/auto||70.0%||19||63|
|17||Gunshot of abdomen||65.0%||69||74|
|19||Stab of chest||58.5%||96||76|
|21||Overdose illegal drugs||49.4%||116.25||5.25|
|22||Plastic bag over head||23.0%||7||23|
|24||Drowning swimming pool||21.5%||18.5||79|
|25||Stab of abdomen||12.5%||252||78|
|26||Overdose prescription drugs||12.3%||129||8.5|
|27||Overdose non-prescription drugs||6.0%||456||22.5|
In the study, there were significant differences between the methods chosen by females and males, with males choosing the most lethal and quickest methods, and females selecting methods varying in lethality, duration, and agony.
However, it should be noted that different studies produce different results of the fatality of different methods. For instance, JJ Card2 estimated the lethality of suicide by guns as only 91.6% effective, and Farberow and Shneidman3 had it as low as 84.7%. The Hawaii Department of Health (1990) had it even lower at 73%. The same studies showed the effectiveness of hanging to vary between 77% and 88%.
Whilst individual studies might differ in terms of the actual mortality rate, they are fairly consistent that firearms and hanging are the two most effective methods. Jumping is also very effective if done from sufficient height.
Again, R.I.P “The Falling Man” – and all others who lost their lives on 11 September 2001, as well as other victims of terrorists since then. Their lives were TAKEN from them. It was not a choice. Others chose for them NOT TO BE. Obviously, much more needs to be done to remove such evil from our world. My conclusion is my agreement with General George Patton – a favorite quote…
“No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”
Here’s an update!!!
So, the choice is for us to live to DIE ANOTHER DAY, and to help our enemies die sooner.
I’ll be away May 2 to at least May 4, traveling to Reno Nevada from Norman Oklahoma.
+ + +