What Do You Think? An Informal Poll

Yesterday I attended a family gathering. During the visit, someone said something about a casualty of The World Trade Center being recently identified through DNA. We had a brief discussion about how many will never be identified.

I said, "I wonder how many there were who weren't really in the World Trade Center but took the opportunity to disappear and start a new life?"

Almost everyone thought I was crazy. "None." "It was a sudden event. No one would have time to plan that." "You're just thinking too much like an author."

I said, "What if someone was in a horrible relationship or was abused? What if everyone thought they were at work but they were actually late and when the towers came down, they knew they'd be suspected dead and they could escape their miserable life?"

Several people laughed and the conversation moved on.

Was I thinking too much like an author? Do you think someone would have the presence of mind to use a tragedy like that to make an escape for whatever reason?

What do you think? Do you agree with me that there might be a couple of people who started new lives? Or do you agree with most of my family that it's a crazy thought?

20 comments:

Tiffany H said...

I had the SAME thought! When they were doing the catch ups with the survivors and all the stories a year or so later, my mom and I were talking about the children of the lost, the children of the survivors, the survivors themselves, etc., and how we're sure a lot of survivors decided to do something else with their lives. I had turned to my mom and said, "How many people do you think survived and just decided to...walk away? Do you think that's even possible in today's age? If no finger prints on the system, they could claim to have amnesia and book it. But how'd they have the money to go without suspiciously pulling it ahead of time? Secret stash?" All those questions! I don't think it was just an author thing. The author thing is you'd be able to turn it into a story; I could not. lol

Karey said...

Kinda fascinating to think about, huh? I'd imagine there would be a lot to take into account, but what if you'd been wanting to start over? A bad relationship? Trouble with the law? The possibilities are plentiful.

Brooke said...

I can't imagine someone doing that, but I guess that is my lack of imagination.

Samantha Kemp said...

I totally agree! I think about weird stuff like that all the time... ya, it could be a great book or movie but those things exist because stuff like that really happens! It would be the perfect opportunity to just disappear... without any notice, it'd be so easy!

Cathy said...

I think it could happen! I don't know that I personally would have thought of it, but if someone was looking for an excuse anyway I could see where they would take it. I wonder too, what if someone had a case of amnesia and didn't remember their lives and started a new one because of that?

Cindy W. said...

I think it could happen, and someone might even pull it off without much planning, but with a lot of luck. If the reason were compelling enough, that was a traumatic even that could give them the push to try something like this, and even succeed. I don't think it's crazy at all.

Cyndi said...

I think it's likely a few did this. A chance to start completely over, with no mistakes in it? If they weren't happy with their life, or felt trapped by circumstances beyond their control, or even if they were shell shocked at first and then realized that no one was looking for them, I think there would be some who would take the chance to start over. People fall through the cracks everyday, I think a big 'crack' like that gapes open in front of them, some will jump into it. Stressed out not-so- young executive who chose hot shot banker career over 'boring' family life suddenly has her wasted life flash before her eyes? She has no real family, her colleagues, her career, everything she's worked so hard for is all gone. She's been given a second chance to find her purpose in life. Oh, yeah, she just walks across that bridge with all the other shell shocked people and never looks back.
Kind of like Rose in the Titanic...

Taylor Knight said...

That a very interesting idea. I'd never thought of that. But I guess if I, for whatever reason, wanted or needed, to get away from something of someone, I would use something like 9/11 has a platform to get away.
Did someone do that? I didn't know.
Could someone have? Yes.

Sometimes people don't plant these things. It just all falls into place.

Cathy Romanczuk said...

I thought that as well. Yes, it was sudden but it could happen. When I was in the Air Force there was airman who went AWOL and was tracked down to Mexico City. He managed to slip away because of a big earthquake. So maybe someone might have been planning....

VanillaOrchids said...

I definitely agree with you. There doesn't have to be planning involved. You never know what someone might think when something devastating happens, whether natural or not. It would be the perfect escape.

Mary Walker said...

I think it could happen, if someone realized everyone thought they were crushed in the rubble they could disappear and no one would even know they were alive and gone. With the confusion of that time a person could withdraw money from their bank, before their accounts were frozen or even their company's accounts. If no one thinks you're alive they aren't going to go after you for embezzlement.

Corinne Starley said...

I think it's totally plausible and probable. So when can we expect your "crazy" idea book? ;)

Rhonda D said...

I totally agree with you.

Certifible said...

I have thought the same thing. Look at the woman afterwards that claimed to have had a fiancee and knew all about where he worked. Is it far off to think that a clean slate would be tempting to some - no. It wouldn't even have to be victim's of abuse, look at the woman who left her family only to be found 11 years later in the Keys. Too much debt, too many responsibilities, sometimes walking away and finding yourself (even with a name you choose) might be just the thing. I am surprised it doesn't happen often.

Mindy said...

I think it's possible, and I think it would make a very interesting book, and you should write it.

Karey said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought this could happen. You've all given me some things to think about. It could be fun to run with the idea.

Kristi said...

I don't think anyone would do that, but it makes for a good story. You should make that your next book.

Nicole Lapierre said...

It is totally plausible! There was a story a few years back in the indie arts community about a man who 'disappeared' with a man hunt and police involvement, etc. It turned out he'd walked out on his wife and young children to take up the other life he'd created for himself in a city a mere few hours away.

Maximary said...

It may be a "crazy thought", but it could be "food for thought". Especially for someone who was in an abusive relationship, which they would like to escape but could find no way to implement a plan. Grabbing a bag of donuts - or bagels - as a treat for co-workers, may delay one's arrival. Having a fender-bender en route to work, stopping at the Pharmacy for medication for the ever-present migraine or ulcer, the list of potential delaying issues is enormous. But, is the issue of the twin towers too raw yet, for a book to evolve, from the escape of a battered woman - or man? The potential is there. My mind is racing. I will continue to follow your thoughts!

Karen H in NC said...

I never thought about but what about the opposite happening....someone claiming they were in one of the towers. I just watched a documentary on Netflix titled 'The Woman Who Wasn't There' about a woman who claimed she was a survivor and kept up the hoax for several years before she was found out. Very interesting film. So, if someone could claim to have been there, couldn't someone use the event to disappear? I think so.