From the department of crisis=opportunity:
As a matter of history, Ms. Head’s account made her one of only 19 survivors who had been at or above the point of impact when the planes hit. As a matter of emotion, her story deeply moved audiences like college students to whom she spoke and visitors at ground zero, where she has long led tours for the Tribute W.T.C. Visitor Center for visitors including Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and former Gov. George E. Pataki.
“What I witnessed there I will never forget,” she told a gathering at Baruch College at a memorial event in 2006. “It was a lot of death and destruction, but I also saw hope.”
Much of Ms. Head’s account was posted on the Web site of the World Trade Center Survivors’ Network, a nonprofit organization for which she served as president and as point person for corporate donations.
But no part of her story, it turns out, has been verified.
The family and friends of the man to whom she claimed to be engaged say they have never heard of Tania Head and view the relationship she describes with the man, who truly died in the north tower, as an impossibility.
A spokeswoman for Merrill Lynch & Company, where she told people she worked at the time of the terror attack, said the company had no record of employing a Tania Head.
And few people, it seems, who embraced the gripping immediacy and pain of her account ever asked the name of the man whose ring she had returned, or that of the hospital where she was treated, or the identities of the people she met with in the south tower on the morning of 9/11.