The Falling Man


Some believe this man to be Jonathan Briley who worked on the 106th floor of the North Tower. Others believe he may be Norberto Hernandez.

Whatever his identity, he remains as one of the most haunting images of the September 11th attacks: tragic figures either forced to jump rather than choke on smoke or be burned alive or perhaps even blown out of the windows.


The jumper photographs make clear to us the utter vulnerability of the victims; they present us with terrorism as a human experience, not just a political crime. Those trapped in the Towers had only two choices—to jump to their deaths or to be incinerated—which is to say they had no choice at all. To moralize either “choice”—to despise one as cowardly and valorize the other as heroic—is to misunderstand both. What the 9/11 victims faced was the absence of options.

  • Glenfilthie

    If there is any fairness in the world – that man would have been a dyed in the wool progressive liberal that shouted down anyone that had any issues with islam. I would like to think he was a sanctimonious social justice warrior, reaping the rewards of his deliberate stupidity.
    Those are the only conditions under which anything good can come from this.

    • That is a terrible thing to say.

      One does not know who that person was, let alone his sympathies. Chances are, he was just some poor sap in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      • Glenfilthie

        That probably didn’t come out right. Said another way, if possible…the horror of that man’s last moments should be felt and shared by everyone – most especially those leftist scum that set the stage for it.
        Yes, it is a horrible thing to say, but peaceniks and pacifists and other idiots are what they are. And yeah – that guy was probably a father or a son whose entire family will be scarred by ignorant moslems forever.

        • I don’t feel sorry for leftists at all and I know they are in for a terrible shock when their bullsh– hits them in the face. That they won’t accept that Islamism is the problem because they are too mad at their dads is their failing.

  • Everyone Else

    NY mag leftist crap

    when you know you’re going to die, it can make a big difference how it happens

  • Hard Little Machine

    If it happened today we’d write sternly worded letter to the UN then roll back all sanctions on any country we thought had something to do with it. Al Qaeda had terrible timing. They could have conquered America if they just waited 7 years.

  • ed

    justice served ! crane collapse to day on the grand mosque in mecca ,over 100 ass lifters dead so far instant karma !

  • WhiteRabbit3

    Would never have occurred to me to judge the jumpers. I’m surprized any did.

    • Bataviawillem

      Watch the docu. I posted, the family of Norberto Hernandez had a hard time accepting that he might was the man that jumped.

    • I remember watching the news on September 11th and being so shocked that people would jump. That is what they were reduced to: jumping or dying in the fires.

      We should have turned Saudi Arabia into glass that very day.

  • Bataviawillem

    Here is a documentary on this photo on you tube.