It was September 2007 and I remember the phone ringing and it being Jennifer Adams from the September 11 Families Association. She was calling to give me a “heads up” about a story that would be appearing in the New York Times the next day. A reporter from the New York Times had been working on a story about Tania Head and as he was verify various facts some things didn’t add up. The story being released the next day would report that Tania Head was a fake. What!?! Her story of being in the south tower and being one of only 20 people to escape from above the impact zone was a fake. And not only being a survivor but also of having lost her finance in the north tower. Really !?! I mean really – she made it up. She had burns on her arm. She was the head of the survivor network. She did the tours for the “bigwigs”. I had stood next to this woman while leading tours for the Tribute Center and shared my very real personal story and she had lied. Wow!!!
I was dumbfounded. A friend said didn’t anyone check that her story was true. Well, why would someone lie about all of that. Any of us who had a story would have been grateful to not have a story. I felt betrayed but mostly I was heartbroken for those who had truly befriended her. I was heartbroken for the real survivors who had trusted her with their stories. I was also fearful of what would happen to the Tribute Center and the tours. It was a truly bizarre time.
As this book about her is published (& the possible media frenzy that will follow), would you please join me in praying for her “friends” and all those who have real stories. There is so much about September 11, 2001 that is unbelievable but that someone would fake a story – that is unimaginable.
here is a link to the daily news story:
Wow, that’s so sad. It’s speaks to our deep need–an insane need for some, obviously–to feel significant. We’re rather be a victim than no one at all. I think it’s awful, but some tiny part of me gets it. The need to feel special, important. To have a story. A story people care about. What’s so sad is that this will become her story–her embarrassing fiasco of desperation for one. Too many ironies here to even comment on. Thanks for sharing. It really makes me think even more about how important stories are–our need to feel heard and known. Maybe if someone had seemed interested in her ordinary story she might have not felt the need… Who knows. Anyway, thanks so much for sharing! Heather
Ann… This is truly sad. Her need for attention hurt so many as well as betrayal of the worst kind. I wonder if she knew that without making up her story she still could have made a difference. So many people that were not there, that were not affected personally have made a difference because this was and always will be a tragic day in our lives and history. They came into our lives through their messages, thru their contributions etc. and she chose to do this for purely selfish reasons She was successful in bringing so much to light at a great expense to so many. I see all that we have done as a group because of our experiences and I wish we had all been able to meet under different circumstances. She apparently took advantage of other peoples hurt, sadness and loss. She has to live with what she did. As for me, in spite of what she has done, the message we deliver via our true stories continue to make a positive difference.
Well, She will have to answer to God for her actions, what will she say? So sorry for the hurt she caused you and others.