9/11: The Falling Man

9/11: The Falling Man

2006, 9/11  -   226 Comments
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Ratings: 7.50/10 from 242 users.

The Falling Man refers to a photograph taken by Associated Press photographer Richard Drew, depicting 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, although attempts have been made to identify him - was one of the people trapped on the upper floors of the skyscraper who apparently chose to jump rather than die from the fire and smoke.

As many as 200 people jumped to their deaths that day; there was no time to recover or identify those who were forced to jump prior to the collapse of the towers.

Officially, all deaths in the attacks except those of the hijackers were ruled to be homicides (as opposed to suicides), and the New York City medical examiner's office stated that 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."

9/11: The Falling Man is a 2006 documentary film about the picture and the story behind it. It was made by American filmmaker Henry Singer and filmed by Richard Numeroff, a New York-based director of photography. The film is loosely based on Junod's Esquire story. It also drew its material from photographer Lyle Owerko's pictures of falling people.

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Claire
Claire
1 year ago

My father was a 777 captain for United at the time this happened.I was in high school at the time I had just come back from the restroom, and I heard on the news (we watched the news every morning in home room) that a United jet had hit one of the towers…. I lost my mind I started yelling asking if anyone had heard what kind of aircraft it was. Then I heard it was a 757 and at least I could breathe knowing there was no possibility it was my father’s plane. I was grateful that nobody I knew had died. I was still terrified for dad because we had no idea for many hours that he was safe in a train station in Germany watching the attack on our country. I may not have lost anyone I knew that day…dad was not as lucky he said he had flown many times with most of the United pilots and crew who died in the attack. One was even in his air force unit at the Wright-Patterson Air Force base in Ohio. It was a sad day for dad and even more so for our country

Debbie
Debbie
1 year ago

Watched it at 21st anniversary. If this happens today, w. Those social media, the people in the south tower would have evacuated before the 2nd plane hit. Also, looking at the video, there is no way to save lives from the roof. Smoke, heat, wind...... But is it possible to use helicopter to drop cooling material, so people had more time to escape?

Bruce
Bruce
1 year ago

We should have turned Afghanistan into an oil slick

Brody
Brody
1 year ago

Ima be honest but al qaeda got the U.S. good

Brody
Brody
1 year ago

Listen Ima be honest but if I was above the floors where the falling man was. I would not have jumped because let me tell you something, I HAVE A FEAR OF HIGHTS, and I am not going to do that. I'd rather find my own way down. Sorry :(

Brad
Brad
3 years ago

Anyone know how to find the song that plays throughout this film? It plays during the credits at the end as well. On the Piano.

Felicia McCarron
Felicia McCarron
3 years ago

Also, the number 12 on the clock adds up to 3 which is a symbol of the Trinity. Can anyone tell me why they could not have flown a helicopter around the trade Center to hang ladders to get the people that were waving tablecloths out the window for help. We need to come up with a way to rescue people from high rise buildings.. I'm sure it's possible

Felicia McCarron
Felicia McCarron
3 years ago

The clock itself equals 911. If you draw a cross over face of a clock and add up the numbers... The vertical line is 12 and 6 and 1+2+6 =9 Horizontal the line is 8 and 3 and 8+3=11. 911

Andy
Andy
3 years ago

Brilliant doc seen it many times very moving .

Loretta Bayless
Loretta Bayless
4 years ago

I watched this year's ago on Amazon prime video. I watched many documentaries, this is a good one, the heartbreak of families brought true to the film that we should never forget what happened that day.

Sandon
Sandon
4 years ago

The Falling Man... Can't they identify him from bodies recovered? It seems there could be some sort of reconciliation there. I really hope this man's story is accurate. He deserves it. This 9/11 remembering is hard to do. My city had no traffic for two days, when it's usually completely backed up. People were in mourning for America.

carol sumner
carol sumner
5 years ago

I saw this documentary on T.V many years ago, and it stood out from all others in my mind. Since I first saw it, I have often looked for it as some programs resurface in September each year. Like everyone, I stood frozen watching the events unfold that day, its so fresh still in my mind, my fears, my panic..... Your opinion of America is irrelevant, people here were innocent. Terrified and no doubt knowing they were never going to get out and see their loved ones again. How can this story make you feel anything but sadness. Well done to the makers, to me the stand out documentary about 9/11.

FallNoMore
FallNoMore
6 years ago

How about a different direction? I cannot bring anyone back.

So what is to prevent lost lives and tragically hurt families from such false flag incidents from happening again? Nothing at all. Rather than still mourning so many years later how about redirecting your attention to PREVENTION.

Since far too many of "the populous" are too clueless and lazy to stop and imprison the real culprits and their helpers and conspirators...

If I worked in a high rise I would invest in a good parachute, glass breaking tool, and lots of rope. Probably wouldn't have then but today is not then. We can learn from others experience, yet so many refuse to even learn from their parents. Arrogance and ego are the trademark of today.

We grew up in plain 3 story house, the top story was really a tall attic space made into a couple of bedrooms with windows. Even then mom had a knotted rope tied to a bedpost and the rope under the bed for us kids and a collapsible drop ladder for herself on the second floor. Thinking ahead never hurt anyone. It is always those who make fun of the wise who eat crow later; if they are alive or have teeth to chew.

Yolanda
Yolanda
6 years ago

Thank you for making this. They were always on my mind. I'll never forget seeing this on Tv and I don't think these images should be erased from history.

Sally
Sally
6 years ago

Shocking moments........I.....have no words just to say. RIP the people who lost their lives. Just want to know like if the jumpers survived?

Mic Baylor
Mic Baylor
6 years ago

America has taken over all the good in the world since the second world war. No nation gives the money nor man power as much as America to the worlds needy. No other nations have as large a heart. There are many rich people throughout the world. But our basic ideas of moral good are what have driven America to be the out streched hand. One of the things I get so tired of hearing is so much hatred and vitrol poured out toward America. You know the one fact that gets me tearing up all the time is how most of the males in my family have given thier lives to serve other people. To take someone else's problems upon ones self and make them your own is true act of love and bravery. America saved the world from a very dark tyranny. We all enjoy everything now built upon the foundation that was created by those men and women who fought and died. You may not believe that fact but I know the ones by name who were related to me as well as many friends family members who each struggled, resisted and died for my freedom. This is a fact for me. Tyrants will come yet upon this worlds stage...but, I know that the past Tyrants were put down by America and all her peoples. So...describe to me other magnificent countries whose national religions, moral imperatives and national conscience has and or would move them to take thier wealth and use it all for the purpose of saving millions of other people?

Gail Bentzinger
Gail Bentzinger
7 years ago

Weren't the remains of jumpers/those blown out of the building identified by DNA and returned to their families?

Harley Thornton
Harley Thornton
8 years ago

I personally found this documentary very sad and gut wrenching, I can't even put myself in the minds of the thousands who died and the families of those who died.
it is something that should not have happened and to be truthful I cried watching all aspects of the attack.
I fail to understand why they called them jumpers when jumpers are considered suicidal, these poor people had and felt like they had no choice stay and be burnt alive or go quickly.
find it very disturbing but to know all facts of that day i had to watch.
and as for the two airlines that hit, well no one will ever understand why and how but all that remains is pain and in a big way anger.

Tony
Tony
9 years ago

I would rather jump and have a quick, painless death than be burned alive or suffocate in the smoke. That's also what the people who jumped were thinking.

Evan Faria
Evan Faria
10 years ago

I can't believe some of the comments that people have left on this site. The United States is the greatest country in the world and we treat our people better than any other country in the world, and saying that it isn't or that America is responsible for all these tragedies is treasonous and disloyal. This country is what gives all you traitors the wonderful life you have today, and if you don't like it then get out and stop complaining, it's just one less **shole this country has to deal with. And stop saying that this tragedy was a work of God or a lack there of, we have free will whether you believe in God or not, he isn't a magical being that can just prevent bad things from happening, or make good things happen. I'm not trying to be vindictive or rude, I'm simply making a point, good day.

chiefkurtz
chiefkurtz
10 years ago

Truly terrible, of all the images of 9/11, this one disturbs me most. If I was given no chance to survive by staying in the building, I wonder if I'd say to myself, 'you're going to die, why not let the last thing you'll ever experience be what it's like to fly?'. I'm absolutely sincere and not being flippant or crass.

Michael Oconnor
Michael Oconnor
11 years ago

This is clearly not suicide. Anyone who believes that the falling man(whoever he was) committed suicide, is completely wrong. These individuals had no viable option that would have allowed them to live. The Hernandes family has the right to believe whatever they want. However, by assuming the people who jumped commited suicide does nothing but spit in the face of the families who lost loved ones. When given two options, both of death. How does one commit suicide? These people did not go into work that day seeking death, they were forced into it. I believe that we cannot judge there decisions, for we didn't experience the horrible situation the faced.

Nothing_Is_Real
Nothing_Is_Real
11 years ago

This is a great doc. lets not cloud it up with the god crap

Nothing_Is_Real
Nothing_Is_Real
11 years ago

It is the blindness of the godly that allows these things to happen after all it is all gods will. And they will look up to our wonderful politicians as they alwayse do ie, Pearl Habor, Kennedy Brothers Assasinations, Martin Luther King Assasination, and now TWC all these politicians have to say is god bless america and the people go blind. Ignorant bliss is the drug of most people and lets not forget the 1,000,000ds of children abused sexually by the preachers of this god aroung the world and the people prefer ignorant bliss and look the other way. Each time you look the other way your children loose more rights and freedom. OH THIS IS SUCH A WONDERFUL COUNTRY,GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Kirenzi Abby
Kirenzi Abby
11 years ago

was such a terrible experience

guyR
guyR
11 years ago

whatever you need to justify this use it. But we need to remember we are the best country in the world and should never let this ever happen again

Maegan Rupe
Maegan Rupe
11 years ago

I keep seeing people talking about how God should have intervened and so on.. Have you not read the Bible? It isn't about dancing in tulips and singing songs.
God is loving but yet he is not blind!

tigerweeds
tigerweeds
11 years ago

I would not say no miracles happened on that day. God does not always intervene when evil occurs. This world is the devils kingdom and he runs about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, he comes to kill, steal and destroy. Those who "jumped" had time to accept Christ and I'm sure many if not all had heard the gospel and cryed out to Jesus that day. When they lept from those building they fell into the hands of a loving God if that was the case. Christ knows their suffering and identifies with it. If I pray to God and you don't believe in Him well I haven't lost anything if I am wrong in the end. If you don't believe in God and in the end you were wrong, you have lost everything!

Janet Bernasconi
Janet Bernasconi
11 years ago

I agree with John and Connie's comments. I too feel a great sadness when I see this photo. I still remember seeing people falling to their deaths on TV that day and I sobbed. I too pray for the families and victims affected by such a tragic day. It's hard to believe that 11 yrs and 12 months have gone by. I feel sorry for those of you who don't believe in God and are filled with hatred. There is no reason to be mean just because you don't think pray makes a difference. Remember that this is a free country and we are allowed to express ourselves,but you shouldn't insult someone just because they believe in something. If you don't believe then have some respect and keep your mean comments to yourself. As the old saying goes...if you have nothing nice to say then don't say anything at all. If you don't believe in God that is okay because he believes in you.

connie Johnson
connie Johnson
11 years ago

This photograph brought a great sadness to me, it was hard to look at it and not have tears streaming down my face. The memories of waking up to the news on television on that day and hearing the words that America is under attack, is a day that changed all of us every where. To watch the people that were trapped in the towers, waving white towels and knowing there is nothing anyone can do to save them. The documentary footage that I watched, I could see the firemen rolling up in their fire trucks and running into the building of the towers and you know they are going to die because you watched it on that day of 9/11. Thousands of people died and I just pray for the families and friends of the ones who lost their life on that day.

dcquilter
dcquilter
11 years ago

I saw this documentary for the first time today. It was surprising to me that the images of those falling were not seen after Sept 12. Being a Washingtonian, here on the day of the attacks, I was immersed in what happened at the Pentagon. But, having lived in NYC with friends there (one who actually saw people jumping out of the towers), I'd often thought what choice I would have made.

I believe my choice would have been to jump/fall if I were able. I can imagine nothing worse than the feeling of burning to death. Yes, if that were my choice and a nearby window was open, I would choose to jump.

fbecke
fbecke
11 years ago

The Arab nations should be glad I'm not the U.S. President. They would walk the chalk line OR become parking lots.

fbecke
fbecke
11 years ago

ThevArab nations should be glad I'm not the U.S. President. I would watch this documentary before I dealt with them - every time!

fbecke
fbecke
11 years ago

The Arab nations should be thankful that I'm not the U.S. President. The Arab nations would walk the chalk line OR become parking lots.

sabrastev
sabrastev
11 years ago

Sadness in it's truest form

Cheryl Rae Young
Cheryl Rae Young
11 years ago

Very disturbing day in US History. I'm sure no one will ever forget how they felt as watched terrorist attacking us, but sadly "We Ain't seen nuthin yet!" as this is just the begining of the end of time here on Planet Earth!

Jenifer Markoe
Jenifer Markoe
12 years ago

While I saw the photo and knew that there were some people who jumped the press made it seem that there was just a number. It really shows how horrible it must have been for these people when not a few but in fact 200 people jumped. When I saw the photo in the newspaper I too was angry but not at the photographer or the newspaper but at the people cause who did this.

Marnie Watson O Brien
Marnie Watson O Brien
12 years ago

I think the controversial photograph of the falling man is beautiful. He knew he was going to die, and the picture itself is so composed and calm compared to the chaos of that day. it's quite a stunning and beautiful picture, taken at face value. The man, the subject yo could say, proabably wasn't thinking about art or photographical aesthetics. But if he could see the picture or whatever, I don't think he would mind terribly that if with his death someone happened to take a picture and it was a beautiful picture. At least on tiny, tiny good thing came out of his death and made people think. we can't hope for more than that/

Factotum123
Factotum123
12 years ago

I'm wondering why there wasn't more of an effort made to rescue the people before they fell out of the building? How far is the nearest building from the Twin Towers? Couldnt someone have shot out parachutes into the windows near where the victims were leaning out of? Then the victims could have had some kind of chance. Or what about a rope connecting from a safe building to the floors that the people where stuck on? Or a safety net that they could jump out onto? I know all of this probbaly happend really quickly and rescue teams did not have enough time to react? I'm not certain as to how long the people were hanging out of windows until finally falling. But all reports I have read, just simply state that rescue helicopters could not get near the building. But did they think of other alternative rescue routes? I'm not dismissing any one's heroism. I'm simply curious. Maybe it will say in this documentary that i have not viewed yet...

Coleman R
Coleman R
12 years ago

Whotinnanny - I would think he would have answered your question with "get me the hell out of here!" People didn't jump, they were murdered. I would like to think that for those fleeting moments, these poor people got all the air they needed and some semblance of peace. I would like to think that.

Bamba
Bamba
12 years ago

Sad part about the people who gave their lives to help out ground Zero unfortunately are forgotten after all that. They gained health issues, and the government fails to give them the help they need. Some may get a small sum of money, but not enough for their full expenses.
Maybe it's changed since I saw that health care docu', maybe not. Either way, it's apparent that they deserve to be thanked more than just a mere medal, but by living their lives, not suffering.

Dainty_Duck
Dainty_Duck
12 years ago

saw this about a year ago, thought it was fairly good

David Foster
David Foster
12 years ago

“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.”

So, that means they still get to go to Heaven and eat pizza with Jesus, right?

Mark Stouffer
Mark Stouffer
12 years ago

I think these people are making the mistake of the argument from definition. Jumping out of a window is a method of suicide. Therefore if a person jumps out of a window is committing suicide. They are forgetting that some situations are so desperate, so outside of our daily experience, that jumping out of a window is the best option you have of preserving your life for just a few minutes longer.

Mark Stouffer
Mark Stouffer
12 years ago

They say "no rational person would ever do that." Have you ever been on fire? How does a rational person who is on fire act?

Nicholas Clifford
Nicholas Clifford
12 years ago

there were lots of jumpers that fateful day, why so many from floors that weren't on fire ? Google Dr Judy Woods and with an open mind examine the pure facts

Totalrespect
Totalrespect
12 years ago

From the very first picture I saw of the falling man 10 years ago, I had a sense or feeling of ...."I'm not gonna let the bastard win". The bastard being the terrorists, or pure evil itself. I can imagine myself in the moment just as I understand death is inevitable, I would decide that I am going out on MY terms, not someone else's. Sacrifice of American lives is what the terrorists hoped to accomplish. I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of taking my life if there was an option to change it. I totally respect that man for choosing to free himself from the evil that was burning through that building. It must have been like walking through Hell literally. Obviously I don't know what he was thinking when he freely chose his own destiny, but I for one feel like he made a choice of dignity and faith in life ever after. May God bless his soul....he didn't let the bastard win.

Lavina O' Doherty
Lavina O' Doherty
12 years ago

...

Boris
Boris
12 years ago

A thought provoking film. I've been welling up all day, hearing again the stories of the victims of 9/11. What must this man have been thinking as he launched himself into oblivion? I'm sure he thought about those he loved and would never see again and I think he did the right thing by not being burned to death or asphixiated.

So...was it worth it for the nutters that caused 9/11? They have brought about over three thousand American dead, hundreds of thousands of muslims dead, hundreds of British dead, still no Palestinian state and half of the world world that despises Islam. The trouble is that these terrorists belong in the middle ages and the big mistake we have made is to share modern technology with them. Left to their own devices they'd still be rubbing sticks together to keep warm at nights and they'd never have the where withall to hurt the west.

I'm British and proud of it. America, I salute you for trying to do the right thing and standing up to these thugs.

D Citrus
D Citrus
12 years ago

How awful. "truthers" and conspiracy theorists are factually, morally, and blatantly Wrong. People who believe the nonsense and propaganda they spew are doing themselves a disservice, if they wish to understand the world as it is in reality.