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Woman's Haunting Story Of Surviving 9/11 Was All A Lie

Anish Vij

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Woman's Haunting Story Of Surviving 9/11 Was All A Lie

Alicia Esteve Head's tale of how she survived 9/11 haunted the public imagination - but not a word of it was true.

Head, who was calling herself Tania at the time, said she escaped from the south tower of the World Trade Center in 2001.

She said she was on the 78th floor and while escaping, she encountered a dying man who handed her a wedding ring and asked her to give it to his wife.

A 'man in a red bandanna', who others later came to think was Welles Crowther, then led her to safety after losing his own life rescuing others.

Her arm was said to be semi-detached from her torso, and she had to use her other hand to support it.

Alicia Esteve Head was found to have lied about surviving 9/11. Credit: Investigation Discovery
Alicia Esteve Head was found to have lied about surviving 9/11. Credit: Investigation Discovery

After waking up in a hospital burn unit six days later, she said she found out that her fiancé Dave was killed in the north tower.

Due to her heart-wrenching tale of survival, Head became the President of the World Trade Center Survivors' Network.

However, something didn't quite add up about her story.

It took years for anyone to figure out she was lying and in 2006, two reporters at the New York Times, Serge Kovaleski and Dave Dunlap kickstarted the allegations.

The two journalists kept asking Head for an interview yet she continued to dodge their calls.

Twin Towers
Twin Towers

She eventually went to a lawyer to draw up a statement as her story began to fall apart.

Attempting to save herself from being humiliated, she conceded that Dave was in fact not her fiancé and they'd only been dating for a few weeks.

It turns out even that wasn't true - Dave's family had never even heard of her.

Incredibly, it was revealed that Tania wasn't even in the country at the time of attack. She was in her native Spain, taking classes as a student in Barcelona.

The scars on her arm were, in fact, from an accident she suffered as a teen.

The story of the man in a red bandana was copied from a real survivor's story that featured a person named Ling Young who was in the sky lobby when the second plane hit.

A documentary by Angelo Guglielmo, titled The Woman Who Wasn't There, as well as a book of the same name co-written with Robin Gaby Fisher, delve deeper into Alicia's deception.

Head's current whereabouts are unknown, with some rumours suggesting she fled back to Spain.

Featured Image Credit: Investigation Discovery

Topics: 9/11, World Trade Center, New York

Anish Vij
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