Rumor Has It

rumors.jpgWith yesterday’s scare, one thing I took note of was the way rumors spread rampantly before anyone knew what was actually going on. At around 6:15, I walked from work to Grand Central, without knowing about the pipe explosion. Within minutes, we were being evacuated. Still in the proverbial dark, I asked a guy nearby what had happened. The conversation went something like this:

Noah: Hey man, do you know what is going on?
Dude: Yea, 11 buildings just exploded right outside!
Noah: Really? Do they know what happened?
Dude: They think it was terrorists. The President has shut all transit down. This is a mess! Get out while you can!

Stupidly, I believed every word the guy said. Once I got out and was about 150 yards from the steam billowing out from Manhattan’s cavernous underground, I asked a guy wearing one of those surgery masks what was going on (believing that the mask somehow made him official), and he told me that there was a train crash on the 6-line. That was when I realized the guy didn’t know anything, since I already knew the explosion was a good block from the subway tunnels.

It is truly amazing how rumors start, and how they spread. Did you hear any ridiculous stories before you knew the truth?

[photo courtesy]

2 Comments so far

  1. Kathleen (unregistered) on July 19th, 2007 @ 12:58 pm

    I heard that a building had exploded and collapsed. Then I turned on the news.

    I could see the steam from my window though (23 blocks away) rising up above the buildings so I knew something had happened, but since the color was white I figured it was steam and not a fire.

  2. mamababoo (unregistered) on July 19th, 2007 @ 8:46 pm

    It is always scary when something large and unexpected happens. It takes awhile for observations or perceptions to be reconciled into fact. My bet is that everyone responding immediately was giving the best advice they could based on information they had at the time.

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