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Disaster Walt

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That's me: 2nd man in the lifeboat

Days of Yore

The truly bizarre phenomenon of individuals associating themselves with calamitous historical events. Contrary to popular belief, this is nothing new. There were more attendees at a gala reunion dinner of Charge of the Light Brigade survivors than actually took part in that disastrous folly.

Likewise, there were several cases of Titanic survivors who were anything but, no doubt telling awed listeners of their ordeal for a few shillings admission in church halls in those far off pre-internet days.


The advent of air travel has somewhat diminished the opportunity for surviving disaster, though there are still those who claim to have been involved in specific incidents - Pan Am 103 not being one of them usually.

If anyone should appear telling of the time they cartwheeled through the chilly Scottish night before crashing through the roof of the Lockerbie branch of the Discount Bed Centre, then they should be treated with much scepticism, as there is no such warehouse in Lockerbie. In any case, the PA103 annual survivors dinner is notably unattended.


By far the biggest draw for Disaster Walts are the events of 9/11. There are no shortage of genuine survivors and therein lies the problem. It is the perfect opportunity for deceit.

Tania Head emerged from the aftermath of the Twin Towers' collapse as something of 'the face of 9/11'. She ticked all the right boxes: one of only nineteen survivors from the floors above impact. She was feted and applauded wherever she went. She was courted by the Mayor himself and appeared on TV regularly raising the profile of those who'd survived the tragedy. All very well apart from one slight snag: Tania was a Disaster Walt!

Incredible as it may seem, the woman was not even in the country at the time of the event, as she was attending something or other in Spain. The wheels rapidly came off the lie and it all went Pete Tong for Tania. Altogether now... AAAAAGH!


It should therefore be assumed that anyone claiming to have been involved in any kind of disaster of significant magnitude should be viewed with suspicion, as most prefer to forget such involvement.

Quite why anyone would wish to associate themselves with great tragedy is beyond me, but I'm sure it's something to do with being reamed up the hoop by daddy whilst in diapers - in common with most Freudian explanations for odd behavior. Funny ol' world, eh?

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