Talk:The Falling Man

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Wikilink to jumper[edit]

I don't know if this is appropriate as the Wiki entry for jumper is about people who commit suicide. Can we really categorize people fleeing flames as suicides? The deaths have been classified as "homicides" by the NYPD. Changing this re: WP:BRD. Open to discussion on this and the jumper article. Respectfully, RomaC (talk) 06:21, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

It's inappropriate and the article explains why. Also, attempting to classify the individual in the photograph as a jumper doesn't take into account that the person could have been blown out of the building or fell, as no doubt some did. Additionally, attempting to say he was a jumper places an undue bias on the person in the image because it's a picture of a person falling and doesn't provide any information regarding the motives or reasons the person is falling. (talk) 16:29, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Why Peter Cheney redirect[edit]

Why does Peter Cheney redirect to this page? Cheney is only mentioned in passing and is not a prominent subject of the entry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rmachenw (talkcontribs) 18:49, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

This is utterly disgusting[edit]

It is not right to have this disrespect for the young man who fell to his death in this attack. He deserves the privacy and respect inherent to all people. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:12, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

You are missing the point. The photograph is supposed to be disgusting, just like the famous photograph taken by Eddie Adams of Nguyễn Ngọc Loan executing Nguyễn Văn Lém, and of Miller's photograph of the Buchenwald Slave Laborers, to cite only two examples of photographs that are considered historically important. Real history is not something that is presented to you all sanitized and cheerful with a nice red bow and a fresh pine fragrance. It's often ugly, repugnant, and gut wrenching, forcing us to reflect on what makes us human. In fact if you look at history, really look at it with warts and all, it's a sad and vicious tale, a far cry from the censored version we find in textbooks. Viriditas (talk) 07:41, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Re: Lead[edit]

The photographer has noted that, in at least two cases, newspaper stories commenting on the image have attracted a barrage of criticism from readers who found the image disturbing.

This seems out of place in the lead section. Is there anyone who would not find the image of a man falling to his death disturbing? I think there's a way to note the criticism without resorting to "water is wet" statements. Viriditas (talk) 06:04, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

The Ambiguity of "Impact" in this Context[edit]

"The Falling Man," although capitalized, may refer to the photograph, or the subject of the photograph, as in "The Mona Lisa." So, "Regarding the impact of The Falling Man ..." is an ambiguous start to this sentence (or a really cruel pun); it may signal that comments made by Moore will relate to the individual's physical impact with the ground, or, as is the case here, the significance of the photograph. In dictionaries, the first definition for "impact" is the one usually referring to a physical event. "Significance" is the closest synonym, although "effect" also fits. Another option is to delete "the impact of" and leave the sentence as "Regarding The Falling Man ...." Ileanadu (talk) 12:20, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Identity and Notability, Candidate for Merging[edit]

If the identity of this man has not been established, as is said in the beginning of the article, then why is a possible identity put in such concrete terms in more than one section? This is misleading. Also, are this picture and the person in it really notable, or is it just one in a series of thousands of shocking images of a much larger event, namely the hundreds of people that jumped?

A documentary can be made about anything, notable or not, hence we have YouTube and video blogs. The documentary about this particular image was not shown in the country in which the photo was taken for more than a year after the film premiered on British public television (and more than five years after the photo, itself, was taken), and even then, it was only shown on a paid television channel in the U.S., which happens to be a former co-owned subsidiary of the New York Times, which is solely responsible for the image's publication, in the first place. Furthermore, an article in Esquire does not a series of facts make, with such "academically-verifiable" articles as "Sexiest Women Alive" and "Dubious Achievement Awards" setting the benchmark.

The photograph of Nguyễn Ngọc Loan executing Nguyễn Văn Lém is notable. It has been used worldwide, is instantly recognizable, and holds a certain amount of infamy unto itself. At least a dozen non-fiction books have been written about it or used it as subject matter. It has spawned multiple documentaries with credible data. "The Falling Man" is rarely seen or mentioned, and, when exposed, is usually heavily-fictionalized, at worst, or presented with speculative data, at best. A caption with this picture alone is sufficient when the identity of the man has not been established, and he is among hundreds of others to perform the same act.

In my opinion, this photograph is hardly notable; we don't even have an article here about the documentary nearly five years after the picture made its heaviest impact on the global media circuit. It isn't even a very notable instance of self-defenestration in modern times; more than half of all suicides in Hong Kong are performed in this manner, and number much greater, annually, than the jumpers of 9/11. The only thing that makes this particularly notable, as I mentioned before, is the much larger event of hundreds of jumpers escaping fires caused by an even greater catalyst and the fact that this one in particular is the picture that was singled out of thousands for an article in the New York Times. This article needs at least ten more citations, as it is. I suggest it be merged to Casualties of the September 11 attacks, where it belongs. O sibili, si ergo! fortibus es inero. O nobili! demis trux! Si vats inem: caus en dux. (talk) 18:22, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

  • I'm probably putting another nail into my coffin here if it is decided by a reasonable consensus that I am completely out of touch with reality, but the documentary, itself, refers to 9/11 as "the most photographed day in history" in its first spoken sentence. It's kind of hypocritical for me to argue against this article using the offspring of its subject as support for why the subject is not particularly important, but I'll freely admit I've started a crusade against The Falling Man, in general. At least I don't meatpuppet. :-D O sibili, si ergo! fortibus es inero. O nobili! demis trux! Si vats inem: caus en dux. (talk) 19:23, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
    • I went ahead and added The Falling Man.jpg to the casualties page and removed the references to The Falling Man on both that page and defenestration as per WP:BRD. On defenestration, I replaced a sloppy citation needed template and a See: The Falling Man on the same point with a proper citation. On the Casualties page, I added a more detailed description to the image than just "The Falling Man", giving it some context, rather than letting it become the only way this photograph is known, as that will create a systematic bias in naming conventions, if nothing else. O sibili, si ergo! fortibus es inero. O nobili! demis trux! Si vats inem: caus en dux. (talk) 19:41, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Just one last point before I go off to do other things with my day, all of the data in this article about the photographer and the circumstances surrounding the photo can easily be summarized on its file page, especially in the copyright section, instead of using a vague template. There is really very little reason to giving this picture its own article, when the substance can easily be divided more or less into footnotes or trivia in other articles. The execution photo of Nguyễn Văn Lém doesn't even have its own article. Three sentences could easily take the place of this entire article, sans photo, and these three could be used on a disambiguation page to keep track of the photo, the Esquire article, the documentary, etc. Watch:

  • "The Falling Man" refers to a photograph taken by Associated Press photographer Richard Drew, depicting a man falling from the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:41:15 a.m. during the September 11 attacks in New York City. The subject of the image — whose identity remains uncertain — was one of over 200 people trapped on the upper floors of the skyscraper who apparently chose to jump rather than die from the growing fire and smoke. It appeared in media worldwide, but only appeared once in the New York Times because of criticism and anger against its use; six years later, it appeared on page 1 of the New York Times Book Review on May 27, 2007.

Voilà! Everything else is unrelated to an article about this picture, regardless of whether or not it is related to its satellite portrayals. Make a new article for that. The Esquire article is irrelevant, entirely, as it was a different picture used, and its author is known to have fabricated details in other articles, making his work not a reliable source. The references to the documentary can become a stub about the documentary, to which data can later be added, otherwise it isn't notable enough to be mentioned at all. The books mentioned in the article have their own pages, so linking to this one would be redundant. It's utterly useless to include speculation of who it may have been as content to the article. It's still a stub with all that cruft. Either there is a positive ID, or there isn't. We don't need to list every person ever supposed to be this man, and if we do, it goes into a list, not a detailed article.

Then again, I'm crusading. O sibili, si ergo! fortibus es inero. O nobili! demis trux! Si vats inem: caus en dux. (talk) 20:26, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

...and apparently brainstorming by myself. O sibili, si ergo! fortibus es inero. O nobili! demis trux! Si vats inem: caus en dux. (talk) 20:32, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

  • Despite all that is said above, I see no reason to merge this with another article. Also, it is marked as a stub, and it does not seem to me to be a stub. KConWiki (talk) 23:26, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
It's only just been tagged as a stub. It clearly isn't one, so I removed the tag. --David Edgar (talk) 23:48, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I see no particular advantage to a merge either. That much of the sourcing is from the popular press is of no particular merit. Yes, Esquire runs some titillating crap. So what? It goes to the notability of the photo. If your argument is that the photo is not wp:notable, the existence of coverage in such press is a hard hurdle to clear. - (talk) 02:19, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  • This photograph is notable because it is represents the very hard decision many people trapped in upper floors of World Trade Center were forced to make. Either die painfully by fire and smoke or jump and have a very quick death by jumping. It should not be merged and forgotten just because many feel disgusted looking at it. It's not ment to make anyone feel good looking at it. Overmannus (talk) 10:18, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
    • Actually, the photo of Nguyen Van Lem DOES have its own article, contrary to what user:Btmaisel said. In any event, I see no reason to merge this. The photo does have interest in its own right and serves a function. I can well imagine people researching it or wanting to know more about the photograph. It has its own documentary.QuizzicalBee (talk) 23:53, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Who is he[edit]

What happen to his body? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:09, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Richard Drew said today in an interview that he only wanted to publish this photograph when this person is unidentifiable. --Science politique (talk) 12:41, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Did you read the whole article? It's discussed there. The bodies of those who fell were not recovered. (talk) 21:46, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

New article[edit]

I don't know if there's anything in here that is usable for the article (haven't read it yet) but this came out early in September. Millahnna (talk) 08:22, 9 October 2011 (UTC)


I'm really surprised that this photo is so "controversial". When we watched news coverage of 9/11 on that day, there was live film of people jumping from the buildings (some holding hands) and film that was taken from inside the buildings (before the collapse) where you could hear bodies hitting the ground. That was disturbing to watch and hear. But this is just a still photo. So, I guess the people complaining about it didn't see the larger news coverage of this event?

I know that in the days after September 11th, the film of people falling wasn't reaired on news channels, it just aired on that day as the cameras were rolling. No one knew what was going to happen. (talk) 21:52, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Number of Jumpers[edit]

I have added two sources that say the number is less than 200. The fact is no one knows how many people actually jumped, some say 200, some say 100, some say less, some concretely claiming 200 people jumped in the lead of the article is just taking the opinion of one newspaper over another. The NY Times article says:

"Even now, there has been less fact-finding than guesswork. Some researchers say more than 200 people most likely fell or jumped to their death. Others say the number is half that, or fewer. "

And the Telegraph says:

"People jumped or fell from all four sides of both towers. USA Today estimated that around 200 people died in this way. The New York Times ran a more conservative estimate of 50."

So in my opinion I think my edit makes things clearer and is more accurate.Zdawg1029 (talk) 14:23, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Here is another source which I did not add to the article. It says that NIST used footage to count and that it was 104 people. (talk) 14:36, 7 October 2013 (UTC)