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Man missing since 9/11 found.
August 27, 2002 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Man missing since 9/11 found. Missing for almost an entire year, give or take... well, actually take exactly 14 days... a 46-year-old schizophrenic amnesiac is found to have been resting in a hospital since the day he went missing in the general area of the World Trade Center. No one knows where he went, why he was there, and how he ended up in a hospital. Strangely, the mans' family's faith was so strong in his survival that they refused for an entire year to collect 9/11 compensation, or for that matter even obtain a death certificate. Umm.... wow?
posted by XQUZYPHYR (14 comments total)

 
I just want to add that what I'm specifically reflecting on is the utter strangeness of a man not only being missing like this for an entire year, but literally almost an exact year. I'm sure others here will reflect on many other topics, be them religious, adversarial, or simply amazed that how in the midst of all the storeis we hear about people who weren't positive their relatives died trying to get compensation, here's a family that could have easily claimed as such and didn't. I guess there's plenty of "wow"s in this story to go around.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:35 PM on August 27, 2002


I am supressing my inner skeptic, but just barely.

No matter what, though, I wish a speedy recovery.
posted by ColdChef at 12:47 PM on August 27, 2002


While no one knows exactly where Sims was the day of the attacks or how he ended up at the hospital, his family remains hopeful that he will eventually recover and tell them what happened.

[flippant] I have the same problem with my Sims: It's two in the morning! Why are you cooking? And then they make you feel all guilty when they self-immolate. [/flippant]

Of course, it's always happy when someone missing turns up alive. Best wishes to them all.
posted by blueshammer at 12:48 PM on August 27, 2002


Family members said they believed Sims was "selling things" near the twin towers when the attacks occurred...

Selling things?

What the hell is that supposed to mean? Is that just a way for the writer to offset blame for not having any more substance than "selling things?" That line just seemed kind of odd to me.
posted by Hankins at 1:00 PM on August 27, 2002


I love you, blueshammer.

And Hankins, I have no idea. Maybe they were sugar-coating that he might have been doing something illegal, e.g. unlicensed souvenir vendor, drug dealing, day labor, who knows.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:08 PM on August 27, 2002


Hankins: It wouldn't be unusual for the particulars of a schizophrenic's life to be unknown to his family. This guy wasn't reported missing until Oct. 7, so it sounds like "selling things" was as specific as the reporter could get, based on the family's limited knowledge.

Either that, or he was peddling drugs, stolen goods, or something else they don't want to admit.
posted by rcade at 1:14 PM on August 27, 2002


XQUZetc, considering he was a schizophrenic, they were probably used to him disappearing now & then, and he probably hadn't been in touch with them for a while before the attacks, so they had reasons not to get a death certificate. It sounds like no one was even sure if he was in the WTC area on sept 11.
posted by mdn at 1:21 PM on August 27, 2002


Selling things? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Is that just a way for the writer to offset blame for not having any more substance than "selling things?"

Well, presumably, because it's in quote marks, it's what his family said. Perhaps they didn't want to go into detail on what he was selling.
posted by kindall at 1:35 PM on August 27, 2002


I smell Hamlet's Denmark, but I can't even see his father's ghost.

Personally I need a little more information than this AP newswire before I have anything to comment regarding the man & his family, but have much to say about the report itself. The anonymous AP 'reporter,' and I use that word loosely, left too much unanswered. I've done a few websearches but can't find this guy's story before this article. I haven't heard anything about this guy before, and I was (like many) rather obsessive for awhile immediately after Nine Eleven regarding wanting to hear all the stories of those who fell and those affected.

I recall one story which turned out to be false. Someone who disappeared a day before in NYC was mistakenly included among the missing in WTC for some weeks, because the family believed jumping on the WTC bandwagon of missing people would expedite the search for their own lost loved one. It was heart wrenching because on one level it was a thoughtless act to those who died in the tragedy, but were I in a similar situation, I honestly don't know what I would have done.

This situation is nothing like that, but the information provided is far too scarce and unclear. Was this person schizophrenic before Nine Eleven, or did Nine Eleven cause him to forget his family and end up in a mental ward? As already pondered above, what does the reporter mean by "selling things?" Why did it take a year for this man to be discovered if he'd been in a hospital all this time? Why do they assume he was at the WTC at the time of the attack? Were there eyewitnesses?

As an armchair editor-in-chief I find this frustrating and perhaps even offensive that the AP would bother to make public a news report that wouldn't have gotten a passing grade in a high school level journalism course. Who, what, where, when, how & why? These are barely covered. I give mister anonymous AP an F.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:39 PM on August 27, 2002


Makes me think of this woman, who supposedly went missing September 10.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:42 PM on August 27, 2002


Wait - is that who you were talking about Zach?

* "typing things" *
posted by gottabefunky at 1:44 PM on August 27, 2002


Sounds right. The missing woman being a medical professional sounds familiar, but in the report I saw on some 60 minutes ripoff news magazine last year indicated that the people closest to her pretended she disappeared a day later, in order to jump on the media coverage and hope for more exposure. This may or may not have been that case.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:12 PM on August 27, 2002


This story has intrigued me, but I'm confused.

Like ZachsMind, I am wondering, was he an amnesiac schizophrenic before the attacks? (Thus explaining the vague "selling things" reference -- perhaps he was homeless -- and the fact that the family waited almost a month to report him missing. Based on the article, it seems like they hadn't spoken to him for awhile to begin with, weren't too concerned, and then a few weeks after September 11, thought maybe he'd been harmed seriously during the attacks.)

Or was he rendered an amnesiac schizophrenic due to the WTC attack itself? This, too, could make sense according to the article -- the mom says he's "alive, but not in the best of health," going on to explain that he doesn't even recognize family members.

If he was an amnesiac to begin with, then that really wouldn't be "news" to her, nor pertinent to the article.

If he was an amnesiac after, then the story's somewhat cooler, but why was he out of touch in the first place, why did the family take a month to report him missing, how were they humanly able to hang on to hope for so long, and what "things" was he selling?

I'm specifically reflecting on is the utter strangeness of a man not only being missing like this for an entire year, but literally almost an exact year.

Sure, it's an intriguing article, but not because of that part. Exact year? According to what calendar? If it was 300 days or 700 days, how does that make it any more "miraculous?" Are we surmising that his reappearance somehow coincides with the moon and tide cycles or something?

I dunno, I'm throwing the bullshit flag on this one. Too many unanswered questions, and scam artists love anniversaries.
posted by Fofer at 4:10 PM on August 27, 2002


There's also a bylined version of the article on the AP Web site, along with a second article that covers another 9/11 no-longer-missing person.

The first article indicates that he sold "small items." Crack cocaine? Mood rings? Nanotechnology?
posted by rcade at 6:13 PM on August 27, 2002


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