Profile: Mike Shillaker
Mike Shillaker was a participant or observer in the following events:
A public announcement is broadcast inside the WTC Tower Two (the South Tower, which has yet to be hit), saying that the building is secure and people can return to their offices. [New York Times, 5/26/2002] Such announcements continue until a few minutes before the building is hit, and “may [lead] to the deaths of hundreds of people.” No one knows exactly what is said (though many later recall the phrase “the building is secure”), or who gives the authority to say it. [USA Today, 9/2/2002] Additionally, security agents inside the building repeat similar messages to individuals in the tower. For instance, one survivor recounts hearing, “Our building is secure. You can go back to your floor. If you’re a little winded, you can get a drink of water or coffee in the cafeteria.”
[New York Times, 9/13/2001] Another survivor recalls an escaping crowd actually running over a man with a bullhorn encouraging them to return to their desks. [Newsday, 9/12/2001] Businessman Steve Miller recalls hearing a voice say over the building’s loudspeaker something similar to: “There’s a fire in Tower One. Tower Two in unaffected. If you want to leave, you can leave. If you want to return to your office, it’s okay.”
[Washington Post, 9/16/2001] British visitor Mike Shillaker recalls, “As we got to around floor 50, a message came over the [loudspeaker], telling us that there was an isolated fire in Tower One, and we did not need to evacuate Tower Two. Again, thank god we continued down, others didn’t.”
[BBC, 9/1/2002] Despite messages to the contrary, about two-thirds of the tower’s occupants evacuate during the 17 minutes between the attacks. [USA Today, 12/20/2001]
Receive weekly email updates summarizing what contributors have added to the History Commons database
Developing and maintaining this site is very labor intensive. If you find it useful, please give us a hand and donate what you can.
If you would like to help us with this effort, please contact us. We need help with programming (Java, JDO, mysql, and xml), design, networking, and publicity. If you want to contribute information to this site, click the register link at the top of the page, and start contributing.