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911 - The Falling Man Photo

 
 
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 09:51 pm
Quote:
http://www.esquire.com/cm/esquire/images/fallingman-lg.jpg The Falling Man

Do you remember this photograph? In the United States, people have taken pains to banish it from the record of September 11, 2001. The story behind it, though, and the search for the man pictured in it, are our most intimate connection to the horror of that day.

In the picture, he departs from this earth like an arrow. Although he has not chosen his fate, he appears to have, in his last instants of life, embraced it. If he were not falling, he might very well be flying. He appears relaxed, hurtling through the air. He appears comfortable in the grip of unimaginable motion. He does not appear intimidated by gravity's divine suction or by what awaits him. His arms are by his side, only slightly outriggered. His left leg is bent at the knee, almost casually. His white shirt, or jacket, or frock, is billowing free of his black pants. His black high-tops are still on his feet.
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 10:01 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I remember a picture like that but somewhat doubt it was the same one, as I think I'd remember that combination of linearity and posture. Whatever photo I saw was ephemeral. I think I only saw it for a few seconds.

Do you remember it?
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 10:15 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I remember seeing people jump live on camera. Is that a real memory, though? Did the TV cameras pick that up?

I swear, somewhere, I saw two people holding hands as they fell.

I do not recall that particular picture.

I remember thinking of the awful decisions people were making, and greatly admiring their courage and congratulating them in taking their fate into their own hands.

I remember, from hearing it later in the documentary by the French film maker, that awful sound as a body hit the ground, and the fire-fighters realised what it was, and then the sounds continuing.


Later, I remember what our friend said as he suffocated on the top of the first tower hit, as he spoke to a friend on his mobile phone, and the people there, who had scrambled up the stairs waited for helicopters which could never come.


I am kind of surprised to read they were edited frm American coverage...though I can well imagine people not wanting to see them in case they were readily identifiable.

To me, though, they are images of transcendence...though that is likely my mind just wanting to defend itself from reality.

Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 10:43 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

Do you remember it?


Of course. It's seared into my memory and has become an iconographic part of 911. It's one of those rare photos that you can reference by name.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Falling_Man
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 10:46 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
I am kind of surprised to read they were edited frm American coverage...though I can well imagine people not wanting to see them in case they were readily identifiable.


That's actually something I admire about American press. A friend of mine was murdered here in Costa Rica and I had to see gruesome pictures of his body in the news coverage.

Other press is much more willing to use graphic imagery in an appeal to emotion or in an appeal for ratings and sales than American press.

I was in Brazil when 911 happened and moved stateside shortly afterward. The 911 coverage was much less graphic in the US.
dlowan
 
  3  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 11:13 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Yes...I can get that. I also want to know what the reality is, though. It WAS so easy to see it all as just like some damned disaster movie.

What worried me more (professionally speaking as well as in terms of how horrible I personally found it) about the coverage was that the tapes were played again and again and again.......still are.


"And yet if one calls the New York Medical Examiner's Office to learn its own estimate of how many people might have jumped, one does not get an answer but an admonition: "We don't like to say they jumped. They didn't jump. Nobody jumped. They were forced out, or blown out." And if one Googles the words "how many jumped on 9/11," one falls into some blogger's trap, slugged "Go Away, No Jumpers Here," where the bait is one's own need to know: "I've got at least three entries in my referrer logs that show someone is doing a search on Google for 'how many people jumped from WTC.' My September 11 post had made mention of that terrible occurance [sic], so now any pervert looking for that will get my site's URL. I'm disgusted. I tried, but cannot find any reason someone would want to know something like that.... Whatever. If that's why you're here -- you're busted. Now go away.""


Now...this I DO NOT get.

Seeing jumping as some sort of shameful thing to do? Wanting not tu use the language?


Good grief...of course they didn't decide to casually commit suicide that day because it seemed like a cute thing to do....but they jumped all right, and, as I said, good on them.

Why see it as shameful? If I am correctly picking this up?
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 11:22 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Why see it as shameful? If I am correctly picking this up?


That does seem odd, and I haven't run into any of that personally. I like that it's not in the mainstream media but I often have used other sources to get the graphic details if I were ever interested in seeing it for myself.

So I like when, say, the Daniel Pearl execution video is self-censored by mainstream media and I think they do so to strike a better balance between reporting reality and capitalizing on the misery of others.

rotten.com used to say that they'd stop capitalizing on human suffering when CNN did, but I think there's a world of a difference between responsible reporting of reality and being a shock jock for profit and the feel I got from the US coverage was that they were trying not to be too graphic, and not that they were trying to hide what they thought might be perceived as dishonorable. I see it as trying to avoid becoming something like the "Faces of Death" series.

I think the people falling was the most graphic and heart-wrenching imagery from the attacks that day, and that it was just held back because the US media wanted to remove itself from the raw emotion a bit.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 04:05 am
@Robert Gentel,
Seems like the shame thing was a later phenomenon? As though this was a failure.

You're not kidding about the heart-wrenching.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 07:04 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:


Other press is much more willing to use graphic imagery in an appeal to emotion or in an appeal for ratings and sales than American press.


Reading through all of the posts first, I sort of dont want to interject this thought here.. because it almost doesnt belong.. but..

When i first read this sentence, my very first reaction was that.. I doubted the news was looking for sensitivity, or I should say.. trying to BE sensitive when not showing bodies, and other strong visual images.
I think they are just not allowed to. And I can not understand why.
Almost every single movie you watch in america, or from america.. has SOMEONE dying in it. And more often then not you get to see gory details.

Yes, yes, I know.. this does not apply to all movies. But I question the film makers who will produce childrens shows were parents get shot, friends get mutilated and others die from unnatural causes.

Our society is littered with horrible depictions of death, dismemberment, and shoot outs. Yet, be half naked and you earn an R rating at the box office.

Im not trying to down play 9-11 . not in the least. Im just not sure the motives behind the lack of strong imagery was 'romantic' in nature. That it was really about caring who was watching, and more about some odd ball disclosure law.
I for one will join in the chorus of being truly appreciative of the lack of photographs of that nature . Just swallowing that where I lived was under attack was more then I could handle. Learning later on that we may NOT have been attacked by someone OUTSIDE the US?
Oh man. Thats an even bigger chip to swallow. but I am getting side tracked..
squinney
 
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Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 07:27 am
@shewolfnm,
Yeah, I think there are regulations on showing that kind of thing in the US. Unfortunately, on the ground reporting and individual video takers that caught it didn't have time to censor. It was all happening so fast and with such horror.

I didn't see it as heroic. I saw it as instinct - fire at their back, the heat... gawd the HEAT! They had to get away.

Yes, I do recall a picture of two jumping holding hands.

Evidently the RNC Convention use of 9/11 footage included someone that had jumped. I don't know if they didn't see it when they put together the montage or if they did. I still don't want to see it again.
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 07:58 am
@squinney,
I can NOT imagine the human who would be in that situation and NOT jump. I mean, hitting the ground is instant death from that height. I dont think anyone would choose to burn to death.
A slow, painful, death.
Most people , instinct, would almost require them to jump in effort to get away from fire, and some where deep down , they would know that jumping would be instant.

0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 08:17 am
@dlowan,
ms. buns jumping does not fit the American John Wayne self image. People like the ones who call you a pervert for googling the pics want y0u to believe outside of this country that the people in the towers would have lassoed and hogtied the flames given the choice. To this type of person... we are all supposed to be John Wayne. It was a sad and tragic day.... do we need to see the pictures? Well maybe not... on the other hand there are "never forget" holocaust survivors and their families who want us reminded a lot so it doesn't happen again, and perhaps that line of thought is appropriate too. Who's to say?
0 Replies
 
camlok
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Jul, 2017 10:59 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
"And yet if one calls the New York Medical Examiner's Office to learn its own estimate of how many people might have jumped, one does not get an answer but an admonition: "We don't like to say they jumped. They didn't jump. Nobody jumped. They were forced out, or blown out."


How could anyone be blown out? Remember, after all the Day One bomb reports, come Day Two, there were no bombs or mention of bombs.

There is actually a video of a human being being exploded out a twin tower window after the plane crash and before the collapse.
0 Replies
 
 

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