‘NYT’ Probes Possibly Fake 9/11 Survivor — Other News Outlets Had Bought Her Story

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By: E&P Staff

Today’s front-page article in The New York Times raising questions about Tania Head, a prominent survivor of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11, raises questions about how many news outlets have bought her story over the years.

Head was one of the few who claimed to gotten off a floor above the airpline entry, said she was given a wedding ring by a dying man, and then became an activist. She even helped give tours of the 9/11 site with Mayor Rudy Giuliani and others.

The USA Today blog, On Deadline, summarized all this today but also cited publications that had covered Head without raising questions. An E&P search of New York Times archives show no previous mention of Head. This past Sept. 7, The Journal News of White Plains, N.Y., quoted her describing the man who helped save her: “It was a man with a red scarf around his face. … He was putting the flames out on my shoulders.”

On Deadline reports as follows:

Tania Head has sold herself to the public as a survivor of 9/11 who lost her fiance — or husband — when the World Trade Center collapsed …

Here’s a selection of excerpts from news stories that included Head:

? “Those of us who were here always talk about how blue the sky was,” she says in a New York Daily News story dated Sept. 7, 2006.

? “September 11 was a regular day,” she tells the British Press Association on Sept. 4. “It was such beautiful weather – it was still warm, the last days of summer. We arrived at about 7.30am and said goodbye, and ‘I love you, I’ll see you later.’ Just before 8.30am Dave called me. He wanted to meet downstairs for a coffee, but I said I was too busy. I said ‘I’ll see you later.’ That was the last time I spoke to him.”

? “People cannot understand. We saw things,” she tells Time magazine on Sept. 6, 2004. “We had to make life-or-death decisions. The higher the floor, the more lonely you were. I can’t get rid of my fear that it’s going to happen again.”

On Deadline’s research shows that Head registered her e-mail address with Yahoo about a month after the attacks, and joined an online discussion group for survivors on Dec. 2, 2001.

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