September 11, 2001
Almost everyone who has memories of 2001, knows where they were and what they were doing on September 11.
Many say it is the Pearl Harbor or JFK assassination of Generation X.
But what about those people in the air on that fateful day?
Reddit user n8th8n0101 asked "To the people on a plane on 9/11, what did your pilots tell you when they grounded all flights?"
Here are their stories.
London to Los Angeles
My wife and I were flying from London to Los Angeles - about three hours into the flight my wife asked why the flight map on her video screen showed the plane flying east instead of west (apparently the 747 had just completed a slow turn). At that exact moment the pilot came over the speaker and told us the plane would be going back to the UK because there had been an incident in New York and that US airspace had been closed down. All passengers were requested to remain in their seats and the air phones were turned off. We ended up landing in Cardiff, Wales -- there were several 747s at the runway by the time we arrived.
The minute the plane landed dozens of cell phones were ringing. All the events of the day came all at once -- towers hit, towers collapsed, Pentagon hit and another plane crashed in PA and worst of all thousands had died. People were just stunned learning all these details. The airport terminal was just overwhelmed -- there were thousands of people and the support staff were doing their best to assist us but they had little information or resources. First they said that flights would be departing the next day so we could be getting overnight accommodation. My wife said there was no way that anyone would be flying anywhere in the near future and our best bet would be to catch a train back to London. Fortunately there were several passengers that had the same thought and somehow they arranged to get a bus chartered to take us back to Heathrow. While waiting for the bus we found a television and were able to see the images of the day. People were watching in stunned silence and many were weeping. Upon boarding the bus my wife and I shared a set of earbuds which was plugged into a radio that had a US feed going through local UK stations -- the news just kept getting worse and it was clear that the world had changed while we had been in the air. At about 1am the bus arrived at Heathrow which was absolutely deserted. Eventually we made it back to our flat in Weybridge -- we stayed up watching CNN International for the next few hours and as the sun came up we finally got some sleep.
It was a day we have spoken of often since that time and one we will never forget. I still have the boarding passes in my desk.
Singapore to Seattle
A friend of mind was a pilot for Singapore Airlines flying Singapore to Seattle. He was diverted into Canada, but only told the passengers the bare minimum that they were being diverted to another airport. It wasn't until they got inside the airport terminal and saw the TV that they understood why they were diverted. (Even he was surprised at the scale compared to what ATC told him.)
He was also the pilot in command of the first commercial aircraft to enter US airspace when it was reopened, and he recalled being terrified of deviating from his planned track. He had an uneasy feeling in the back of his mind that there was likely an F-14 a few thousand feet above him ready to vaporise them if he moved unexpectedly.
Dallas to Boston
Not me but my mom, who was and still is a flight attendant. She was working a flight from DFW-BOS that morning, they were approaching the northeast when they were diverted to Akron, OH. I'm not sure what she was specifically told but I know they knew something was up. Their flight communications are even included in transcripts from that day.
By that time both towers had been hit and they were headed west over Pennsylvania to land. My mom said they were all on edge not really comprehending the severity of the situation and wondering whether they might be hijacked themselves. They were communicating with Cleveland on the ground when the hijacking of United 93 began over western PA, so there was communication between both flights and ground trying to confirm that the screaming etc they heard on the frequency was really a hijacking? Apparently United 93 was right behind them and my mom says the crew was back and forth up in the cockpit and in the galley looking out the windows trying to see the plane, while trying not to scare passengers.
She was stuck there for a few days until finally renting a car with some crew and driving back to TX. Was supposed to be a simple turn around run that day and she didn't bring any luggage. She always carries an overnight bag now just in case and was the first person in my family to get a cellphone immediately after this.
The airline gave crew optional 6 month leave in the months following. Where I grew up there were many airline families, some took leave and some didn't but my mom said she had to go back to work without interruption or else she'd never be able to get back on a plane afterwards.
Me and my brother were on our way to NYC this day. Our flight had barely left Paris (CDG) when we suddenly went into a descent. The Captain made an announcement that they had been ordered to return to Paris but couldn't comply due to the by then already crowded airport. So we landed in Dublin.
The airline told us that we were to be flown back the next day, but nobody really believed that, news to the why and how still being scarce.
We were free to leave the airport though, so me, my brother and a couple of guys from our flight shared a cab into town, going for a pub crawl. When in Ireland...
Where I met a girl whose flight got grounded too. Long story short:
Our kids are 6 & 9 and remind us every day: Nothing in this world is so bad that it doesn't have an upside to it.
Hong Kong to London
I was flying Hong Kong to London, so wasn't subject to the flight groundings, but the pilot told us there had 'been an incident' in New York and there would be increased security at the terminal.
Arrived at Heathrow and there were dozens of police walking around with sub-machine guns (English police might not be regularly armed but they do not mess around when they feel they need to be.) Still not sure what's up, but definitely something serious.
My parents grabbed a newspaper to try and figure out what happened and flipped through the very scanty initial reports with the big picture of the burning towers on the cover, while queuing for security . Person behind them asked if they could have a look and you could subsequently hear people gasping one by by one as the paper made its way down the queue.
Atlanta to Denver
I was flying from Atlanta to Denver. Our flight was forced to land in Tulsa, OK. We were told that there was a terrorist attack in NY and that our aircraft had been ordered to land. The pilot did not mention that ALL aircraft had been ordered to land. As the only brown person on board I thought: Great, they must think that I am a suspect and now we have to land.
Once we landed and I saw all the planes jamming the tarmac, I realized that it was something really big.
Newark and the Museum
My dad flew on 9/11 from Newark to Boston for work. He was on an earlier flight than any of this. Once he touched down in Boston and heard what happened, him and his coworker drove home (back to NJ) from Boston. Typically it's about a 4 hour drive. It took them almost 9. They didn't have to drive home but wanted to know we were okay. There was also barely any cell coverage on my home town end since we were so close to NYC.
I know this doesn't answer your question directly, but man this day hits home for me. It eats my dad alive to this day how he still believes he saw those guys in one of the airports and didn't know it.
I could see the smoke rising from my middle school like no tomorrow was in sight. No one went back to school for about 2 weeks. A lot of kids I went to school with had family members pass away. The anniversary always haunts me. I visited the 9/11 memorial and museum in NY a few years back with this girl I was seeing. She had never been to NY before and I felt crazy when I honestly started to cry inside (the museum). All the emotions got to me at once.
It's a day I'll never forget. And definitely a day that many more people other than myself will never forget for even worse reasons. I feel incredibly lucky to have a dad that's still alive today, when many of my friends do not have parents or relatives that are so lucky.
~ The 9/11 museum is very well done but I wish I was a little more mentally prepared before visiting it. I expected it to be more "cold statistics" and maybe lists of names but it's not that at all. For anyone who hasn't been, there are videos and pictures and stories of all the people who died that day, memories from their families, voicemail recordings of calls from the day. The last phone calls from people who were in the buildings and realized they weren't getting out. Stories from people who weren't in the office that day and in a blink of an eye lost every one of their coworkers. It's haunting and tragic.~
*We were told when we went in to expect it to take 2 hours to see everything. 7 hours later I walked out. I cried. A lot. I'm a 33 year old guy from the UK.
Nothing can prepare you for the room with the Pennsylvania crash calls. Nor the room with the jumpers from the WTC.
I was more emotionally exhausted than I have ever been after finishing.*
Orlando to Kansas City
I was 9 when 9/11 occurred and my family were returning home from a birthday trip to Disney, (my birthday is September 12th, 1991, so I was turning 10 that very next day) so Orlando to Kansas City. I don't remember the specifics but it didn't feel like we were in the air long at all (our flight had been at 8:20) before the captain had come onto the overhead speakers to tell us that there had been some pretty serious incidents occurring in New York City and that they were told to land as soon as possible and that we'd be diverted to Houston.
As soon as we landed, my dad had called my uncle (who lives in Hackensack, but worked in NYC) and my uncle had told him everything. My dad literally exclaimed into a kind of gasp-sob and that was the first and only time I've ever come close to seeing him cry. When we got off the plane, it was all over the televisions throughout the airport. My mom and dad practically clung to us the entire time from the airport to our hotel nearby.
The whole thing is something I cannot and will not ever forget.
My step dad was a pilot flying small private jets, and was in the air when it happened. He said they just told him to land immediately and he had to go into the airport to find out why, and what happened, and go back to the plane to tell the passengers.
I used to work with someone who owned a small plane. He was grounded for months, because his plane was parked in a no-fly zone. I don't recall what he was too close to -- whether it was a major city (Seattle), major airport, or military base.
Same thing happened with my dad, he was riding a chartered business flight from the Midwest toward the east coast. Had to land somewhere in the middle. Dad & coworkers got a rental car to keep going, but the pilot had to stay with the plane for weeks.
Air Traffic Control
It's so surreal to see the US airspace completely empty.
Here is a time lapse of the day.
Toronto to Montreal
(The pilot said) nothing...complete silence about it. I was flying from Toronto to Montreal. I noticed that the breakfast service ended abruptly and the stewards were acting funny, standing at the bulkheads and visually scanning the passengers. I listened to hear if the plane sounded funny or was behaving oddly...nothing was out of the ordinary so I went back to reading my paper.
Disembarked into a sea of people in Montreal, when I came down the escalator I didn't know where I was going to stand...that many people.
Many, many Americans that had no idea they would be visiting Canada that day. They were on the PA asking for people with extra rooms to lend, and Montreal'ers took them all into their homes...within an hour they were saying they had enough available rooms.
Not entirely plane related, but my Dad worked near the towers and got off the train to see the second plane crash. It really messed him up inside. We lived in the Bronx, and everyday he went to the Park Avenue Armory where people lined up to find out about their loved ones.
My Dad noticed that many didn't speak English and they were having a hard time communicating. He wrote Translation Services on a piece of paper and stapled it to his shirt and spoke Spanish, French, and Russian. He got the relief effort to spread the word to get translators. It was all over the radio and TV.
The Japanese government heard and sent their best translators by special permission on a direct flight to New York (one of the few planes that could come to New York.) A Japanese bank had work space in the towers, and the relatives of the workers also came.
By the end, hundreds of people came, even those of more obscure languages from Algeria and Azerbaijan, among others. There was a fleet of Punjabi, Afrikaans, Creole, Korean, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Polish, Chinese. It's wondrous to see how something as simple as talking binds all of us. The City began implementing translation services everywhere since.
I was 12 years old at the time and didn't understand the impact. Today at age 28, I know my Dad was a hero.
Link to: an article translated from Spanish to English from El Diario about my father.
Link to: the original Spanish article
Washington DC to Miami
My dad was an armed high ranking federal agent. He was flying from DC to Miami. He usually sleeps on flights but was woken up somewhere over Southern Virginia, and asked to come to the cockpit. The pilots told him to guard the cockpit, and that he was authorized to shoot - he spoke to someone over the cockpit communication system confirming the authorization. He was given the jump seat next to the cockpit during landing, so he could see if anyone stood up. He told me later that the reason they were allowed to continue to Miami instead of putting down in the Carolinas was because he was on the plane.
When he died in 2010, my mom showed me the piece of paper he had kept, with his notes from that radio transmission. I think my older brother has them now.
When he landed, he was met by the three guys he was flying down to meet with, and they all drove back overnight, getting back just in time to help oversee the search at the Pentagon, where he worked.
I've never seen him as shaken as the day he brought home a piece of the desk from his office.
Los Angeles to Melbourne
I was on a plane from LA to Melbourne, with a stop-over via Auckland, and 9/11 happened while we were in the air.
Halfway through the flight, all the flight attendants got really nervous, and the pilot told us that due to a safety issue, the seatbelt sign was kept on throughout the flight, which we all found really confusing.
When we landed in New Zealand, there were armed guards with machine guns to greet us - which is very out of the ordinary for New Zealand. The first reports the flight attendants gave us was that it was the Empire State Building that had been attacked, that was how confused initial reports were. We were luckily allowed to fly on to Melbourne, but after that all international flights in Australia were grounded for a few days.
My parents were flying the morning of 9/11. I dropped them off at the airport and drove to work. First tower was hit as I pulled into the parking lot. Radio people thought it was just a fire at the tower. As I went into work and checked the news, it became clear a plane hit it. As I was on the phone with my buddy, the second plane hit on the live TV he was watching. That's when it was clear this was intentional.
Started to tell my boss I needed to pick up my parents, but he cut me off and said, "GO!". I called my parents as I ran to the car. The TVs at the gates had all been turned off and they announced no flights would be taking off. I raced to the airport, picked them up, and drove home to eerily empty roads and sky.
Also weird was suddenly seeing a lot of planes really low as they headed to the airport near us to get out of the air.
And what made it even more surreal was that it was such a gorgeous day. It was so clear and the blue of the sky was beautiful. It felt almost inappropriate or irreverent.
I remember when they let planes fly again, I was a little traumatized every time one would fly over. It took me months to break the habit of staring at each one, making sure it wasn't crashing.
My father worked for Delta at the time as a supervisor in the airport. He was working a flight that was about to push back when everything shut down. He had the final paperwork for the flight crew and ran down to let them know they weren't going anywhere. Air Traffic Control had just announced the shutdown to all aircraft on the ground.
No details were given over the radio, just that an incident had happened in NYC and all flights were grounded. He announced over the plane's PA that the flight was canceled due to an unknown incident and everyone could retrieve their luggage in a few minutes.
There were no TVs in the gate area back then, but a few of the shops and snack bars had TVs in the ticketing area. As people got near a TV the word spread. Everyone collected their bags and left the airport. From about 11:00 on, the airport was deserted except for airline employees.
New Jersey to Georgia
I was on a United flight from Newark to Atlanta that morning. We were in the air when everything happened and were supposed to land about 9:00. Just before landing they held us in a"holding pattern" in the air. At about 9:30 we landed. No announcements were made on the plane.
Just as we got to the gate and people started turning their phones on, I hear phones start ringing everywhere.
"What happened...." "A plane hit what..."
At that point my phone started to ring as well. It was my wife wanting to make sure I wasn't on one of the planes. And she filled me in on what was known then. The pilot and cabin crew did not say anything about what happened in the air.
There was an eerie silence in the terminal. I did not see any TV screens. I went directly to the car rental company, got a car and started driving north, back to NY. Listening to the radio as much as I could the whole way back...
Across the Atlantic
London to Chicago. Pilot told us there had been a major incident and US airspace was closed. Asked us not to talk or speculate with other passengers about the incident (to minimize panic).
We turned our phones on as we taxied on landing in Montreal. Both towers were already down and phones were going crazy, people who had managed to get a call through were sobbing and trying to explain to those whose phones wouldn't connect what they had just heard. Absolute sense of disbelief all round and it didn't really hit until I saw it on tv in the hotel.
One thing we were told at the time by the pilot was that the pilot was out of direct contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC) in both London and the USA at the time, so they were talking to the plane behind them, who was talking to the plane behind them, who was talking to ATC somewhere. So they were getting garbled second or third hand information from multiple sources about planes crashing and hijackings and trying to inform their passengers while not being sure of the information they had received themselves.
When you fly over the Atlantic there is no regular direct contact with Air Traffic Control except through high frequency radio which is only used sparingly in absolute emergencies. On 9/11 they would have wanted to keep radio traffic to a minimum in case of another hijacking.
Logan International Airport
My father was the Air Traffic Control supervisor for Logan Airport on 9/11 which is where the hijacked planes originated from. Before they hit the World Trade Center (WTC) my dad knew they had been hijacked. They lost contact and then saw on the news that a plane had hit the WTC. He called Federal Aviation Administration headquarters and they thought it was a prank. By the time the second plane hit NORAD was telling him to ground every aircraft in their airspace.
He said the hardest part was not being able to watch the news. All of his controllers desperately wanted to watch, but they had to get all of those planes down. There were several times when they thought more planes had been hijacked. He told me it was the absolute worst day of his life.
Link to: Recordings of ATC communications from that day on YouTube - at the end of the recording you hear a controller warning incoming flights to increase their cockpit security, and the controller sounds so broken and exhausted.
Our Neighbors to the North
I was flying from London to Dallas and was diverted to Gander, Newfoundland in Canada. We estimate we must have been very close to Manhattan when the first plane hit. None of the crew would tell us what was going on, only that the USA had closed it's airspace due to an aviation incident and we would be redirected to somewhere in Canada. We landed at Gander, Newfoundland along with (eventually) 37 other jumbo jets; all 38 of those planes almost doubled the population of the town.
~This small Canadian town on an island in the North Atlantic Ocean took in nearly 6,700 people with no prior warning. Their hospitality to the unexpected house guests, from nearly 100 countries, drew worldwide accolades and inspired the Broadway musical: _Come From Away. _The airport there marks the closest point between Europe and the U.S. and is a preferred emergency landing spot for medical and other emergencies. The 38 planes came "fast and furious" into the airport. Officials spent the next 31 hours unloading luggage and people.~
After we had landed, the captain told everyone what had happened and there was of course utter shock on the plane, lots of tears (most poignantly from two middle eastern gentleman sitting across the aisle from me) and conversations. After several hours waiting on the plane eventually we were moved into the airport where we officially entered Canada as refugees(!) We were allowed our cabin bags but there was no access to the luggage in the hold.
There was hot food waiting for us in the airport and we were then moved onto school buses and driven to various places around the town, I think it was about 22:00 (10pm) by this time. Spent three nights sleeping on a church hall floor with mattresses, pillows and covers donated by locals, others slept on the fire station floor etc, wherever there was room, and were fed three meals a day by volunteers. There was just one hotel in town and the flight crews and those too infirm to sleep on the floor, were put into that. The local University opened it's computer rooms so people could email home and the local phone company put loads of phones out on the pavement to try and ease the massive queue to what we think was the only payphone in the town.
If anyone from Gander is reading this, you all have a heart of gold, the way we were all looked after.
After those three nights, we were woke up early by a British Airways member of staff about flying back to London. We were all moved onto a school bus where we sat for a long time before we were driven back to the airport. Went through the usual security procedures at the airport, reboarded the plane and took off for England.
Plane took off, everyone applauded once we were up in the air (first and last time I've ever seen that happen after take off instead of landing!) and we landed back at Heathrow. Declined British Airways' offer to book new flights to Dallas and instead accepted a refund. We decided we'd only have about two weeks of what would have been a three week holiday left and also we'd rather Americans trying to get home had the seats.
Link to: Operation Yellow Ribbon - Canada essentially became a giant aircraft car-park, 238 aircraft were diverted to 17 different Canadian airports, 33,000-40,000 people.
When we go to sleep, we slip into one of the most vulnerable positions we can possibly embody. And we do that every single day.
So it's hardly surprising that, at least a few times throughout our lives--maybe more than a few--we find ourselves snatched from slumber, and left sitting started and defenseless against a threat we can barely make out in those first few seconds.
But for all the vagueness of those first few sensations, we sure do remember those horrible awakenings rather vividly.
And recently, some folks on the internet shared their most memorable experiences.
Redditor ScoopySnacks829 asked:
"What's the worst thing you woke up to?"
Many Redditors encountered animals in the dead of night. The creepy crawling hands and mouths were enough to make their skin crawl.
"My grandmother had a filthy house and made me and my brother sleep on the floor whenever we were over."
"Once I woke up with a rat tangled in my waist length hair. I was 8"
"Another time I woke up to see a giant roach crawl. Out of my brother's mouth as he was sleeping. (I never told him as I figured he would rather live in blissful ignorance.) I was 9."
"To this day have a fear of Rats, roaches, and sleeping on floors."
"A dog's paw in my mouth and getting stepped on the balls at the same time" -- Lower_Environment774
Only Thin Nylon Between You and It
"The sound of a bear outside my tent. Got my heart racing." -- SingLikeTinaTurner
"Oh fu** okay, so I once was woken up by a bear paw to the head. It was just fu**ing around with our tarp but I'm tall so the top of my head stuck out just a tad. It felt like being brained with a sandbag."
"It was a black bear and ran off when we made a bunch of noise, but I'll never forget the few moments of sheer terror, head reeling and seeing that bear paw slide next to my face." -- Cthulhu_sneeze
"Blood all over the bed that I was in. Then I saw the flyscreen had been torn open. Then I heard a crunching noise. And then I saw the cat with the remains of a magpie."
Others shared the times they encountered a personal tragedy immediately upon waking up in the morning.
"woke up to the news one of my best friends family had been murdered in an arson attack and that he had tried to save them and had 3rd degree burns over 70% of his body..."
"I woke up to my dad telling me my mom had a brain tumor."
"It was during a sleepover with my best friend at the time. I knew they were going to get her an MRI because she had been having really bad chronic headaches, but none of us expected brain cancer."
"When they removed the tumor two weeks later they removed a baseball and a half sized mass of tumor from her right frontal lobe. She's alive and well now 15 years later, thank god, but that was an awful time for everyone in our family."
The Worst Reason to Get Up and Go
"My uncle calling me in the middle of the night to tell me my mom was in the hospital, and that I should fly out as soon as possible if I wanted to be able to say goodbye."
Finally, some people discussed the times they felt threatened by other human beings that clearly did not have their best interests at heart.
Just What Did They Want
"Someone jiggling the handle on my door, trying to get in to my apartment. Scary as fu**. I don't know if he was drunk and thought it was a different apartment, or if he was just going door to door, seeing if any were unlocked."
"My ex-girlfriend pointing an unloaded gun (I thought it was loaded) at me. She pulled the trigger and she wanted to scare me, she thought I was cheating on her with a friend of mine (a female)."
It Gets Worse and Worse
"When I was like 16, the landlord and a couple of other men (LEOs of some sort, presumably, but I didn't get a good look at them) came in to physically evict my mother and I from the duplex we lived in at the time, something I had no idea was in at all."
"Like, we apparently went through the entire eviction process without me getting even a slight sniff of it. I slept naked even back then, so basically, I was awakened by two or three strange men coming into my bedroom."
"I threw on a cream-colored dress and got the fu** out of there, having no other option obviously, and went to my mother's workplace in a panic...where one of her coworkers gently pointed out that I had started my period, which was obvious from a distance, apparently."
Here's hoping this list won't give you trouble falling to sleep tonight.
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Simply put, the line between needs and desires becomes blurry without us even realizing it.
That is, until we look at our bank statement at the end of the month, suppressing the tears and horrified shrieks that want to leap out of us.
But with the help of a recent Reddit thread, perhaps there is hope. Maybe taking stock of exactly which unnecessary places that money is going can help us dial it in.
Redditor Rice_Liar asked:
"What is the biggest waste of money?"
Of course, many people mentioned the common vices that have long been dubbed the easiest way to throw your earnings right down the tubes.
The Next One Will Hit, I Know It
"Scratch off lottery tickets. I visited my uncle, and he asked me to help him sort the scratch tickets he had bought that year (I guess if you collected enough non-winning ones you could turn them in for a small prize?). He had stacks and stacks of tickets. Took us forever to sort them."
"He was proudly telling me about the times he'd won 50 or 100 bucks, but it clearly didn't even begin to break even with the total amount he paid for them."
"I still buy one every once in a while for fun, and know that a lot of people enjoy the thrill of them and don't mind spending a few dollars for it, but seeing how many he had with no worthwhile return except a rare win has definitely stuck with me."
"I just quit smoking and I have to say tobacco, in the Netherlands the pack of tobacco I used to smoke (John player special) costs 14,40 euros or $16.95 dollars according to google u pay that much multiple times a week for something that kills you."
"Any smokers here wanting to quit but can't, just buy a vape pen it makes it so much easier."
Designed to Fail
"Gambling. Most of the time it goes tits up and has ramifications for other people in your life." -- Mgreengo
"Worked at a casino. I saw behind the curtain. You will lose. The only way to win is to accidentally win a jackpot (that you somehow didn't spend over the jackpot amount to win) and walk away never to return." -- Femmefatele
Others discussed those unneeded luxuries that we get lulled into thinking we absolutely need.
For Olympians Only
"buying a house with a swimming pool. Unless you're an avid swimmer, you'll only use it irregularly 2-3 months a year. Requires constant maintenance that cost up to 5k a year."
"If you build the swimming pool after you've bought the house, that's around 30k for a 600 sq2 ft pool. And it most likely will not increase your house' price at all."
"Stupidly expensive weddings" -- FairySpice12
"Napkins - $1"
"Baby Napkins -$5"
"Wedding Napkins- $20" -- OntarioIsPain
How Did They Do That?
"Starbucks. $6 for an iced coffee that usually isn't that great." -- kdub1523
"The $6 'coffees' are usually a drink with a million things added so it doesn't taste like a coffee" -- Main-Argument-5898
And many people took notice of all the money they spend on transactions surrounding our online lives and our relationships to all the new gadgets that make our heads spin.
Monthly Black Holes
"Subscriptions to stuff you don't use anymore." -- StructureMoist
"I feel like you don't need all the streaming services. For me, I have netflix, prime, Disney and Spotify. I pay for prime and Spotify and my boyfriend has Disney and netflix. We share the accounts. I use all of them about about same amount, Spotify the least but I miss it a ton when I don't have it." -- Zanki
Money From An Unseen Source
"Donating to popular streamers they have so much money and they are most likely to not read your donation" -- fiskars12345
"I much prefer to give my money to smaller streamers because they're always so sweet and I like supporting them" -- mintmoonstone
Give It a Few Years
"Latest mobile phones every year with allegedly 'revolutionary' must have new features!" -- MarcDarcy
"I generally skip 3 or 4 generations. Then buy a new phone after I've wrung every last ounce of life out of the old one." -- Majik_Sheff
But It Seemed So Fun For Those Few Seconds...
"buying video games that you'll never play" -- Zack4044
"But it was 75% off, how could I pass up those savings" -- 98raider
"There goes my angry upvote of the day." -- Nidrew
So maybe it's time to face the harsh realities of the monthly statement and see where the big omissions can be.
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You've probably stayed up late watching some television special about a criminal in your area and seen the announcement near the end: "If you have any information, call our tipline." The authorities might even offer a reward of some kind. But what are the chances that you might actually know of the person they're looking for?
People shared their stories after Redditor Renzot56 asked the online community,
"Has anyone here ever actually called into one of the FBI rewards for information on criminals and won the money?"
"My neighbor down the road..."
"My neighbor down the road growing up was always getting into trouble. One day someone robbed a gas station with a gun, and accidentally shot the clerk (so he claimed), and the police didn't know who did it. After about a month, they offered up a small reward for information. The guy arranged to have his wife turn him in to collect the reward, because she would need it since he knew he was going away for a long time."
A likely story!
"I felt pretty good..."
"Ten years ago I'm working front desk at this third rate motel and I'm the only employee on property until 7am.
So I get this report of an unruly guest and check it out. Dudes whacked out on something, threatening other guests and I call the cops to remove him. On their way out they tell me he's got active warrants in another state.
I don't think anything of until three months later I got a check sent to me at work from a sheriff's office two states over. Turns out the guy was wanted for a double murder and I got the reward when he was convicted. I felt pretty good about that."
"My sister has a pretty weird hobby - she solves cold cases by helping match descriptions of bodies that have never been positively ID'd to missing persons matching the body's description. She's solved several cases and submits them to the FBI tip line. Twice now, she's gotten phone calls from law enforcement as a result, one from the FBI and one from a local police department. One had reward money tied to it from long, long ago. She turned it down.
Both times, she's informed the agency calling that the missing person disappeared before she was 10 years old (that's her limit, she doesn't look at recent cases to avoid potential problems), and they just kinda shrug and move on. That's all."
I think I'd be pretty proud if I had Nancy Drew as a sister. Well done!
"I made an anonymous tip..."
"I made an anonymous tip to a local library about someone posting online about wanting to do something sexual in the bathroom of the library.
Local police and FBI gave me a call on my actual number (not the one I used to call in the tip) and asked me a few questions.
Turns out they set up a raid and caught some 19-year old who was trying to meet kids online. Got $500 and they offered to pay me to go on apps/websites like Craigslist and such to find the same kind of people. Was pretty cool."
I'm sure that child's parents were rermarkably grateful.
"In college, we had a drive-by shooting on my block. The police showed up and asked all the neighbors if they had any information. I had just heard the shots from my house and wasn't able to help.
A few days later I was walking home from class and I found a shell casing the in the grass near where the shooting was. I didn't want to touch it so I got home and called the police. I was very very specific about exactly where the shell casing was, and that I DO NOT want the police to come to my door. The neighbors were pretty sketchy people and I just didn't want to be seen being involved.
Well, these cops walked right to my door and asked for me. I told them exactly where to find it (again), they walked to the general area, looked for maybe a minute, then walked back to my front door and asked if I could show where it was. Goddamit. So I led them to shell casing while the sketchy neighbors stood on their porch and watched (looking very displeased).
Apparently, the fingerprints on the casing matched one of their suspects and he was arrested and went to jail. The cops stopped by a few months later with a $20 gift card to a sub shop."
All that for $20?
"When living in Minneapolis..."
"When living in Minneapolis, I saw a Craigslist ad looking for a roommate that specifically worked at Minneapolis-St. Paul international airport and had a badge that allowed them to access beyond security.
I alerted the FBI and Minneapolis police through their tip line. Never heard from either of them."
"I'm sure a bunch of people..."
"I called CrimeStoppers once. The local news released a video of someone violently robbing a store. They beat up the cashier pretty badly.
I knew it the second the video started who it was—a guy I used to party with and had spent the night with a few times.
The CrimeStopper folks gave me a number to write down to claim the money if he was convicted. I wrote it on my hand then washed it off accidentally like an idiot. It was on the smaller side, I think around $1k, but it would have made a big difference at the time. And the guy did end up getting convicted and is still in prison now.
I'm sure a bunch of people called in, though, so I don't know how much I would have gotten. Anyone who grew up in my area who was around my age would have known the guy."
A long time ago..."
"A long time ago, 20+ years, a nearby bank was robbed at gunpoint. The article had a very good photo of the guy. Turns out, he was my sketchy neighbor. Saw him that morning, he was still wearing what was shown in the photo.
Long story short, cops bust him, he goes away for a long hitch, they said a small reward is available. Told them to donate it to a nearby animal shelter. Everyone wins! Well, almost everyone."
The animals certainly won this one! Good for them.
"I've sent a few..."
"I've sent a few tips to the FBI over Internet fraud over the years and have never gotten anything other than an automated response and certainly no rewards."
The FBI might want to do something more than just leaving automated messages for their tip line. Who knows? The answer to some long-unsolved cases might be out there... just a phone call away.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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Often, high school is where students become rebellious. They're learning about themselves, they're testing boundaries, and they realizing that they can break the rules and sometimes get away with it.
Sometimes they're doing it to mess with a teacher who's treating students unfairly, sometimes they're doing it because they're standing up for the very little autonomy we afford kids in the first place.
Redditor CloudWoww wanted to know about those moments that are unforgettable defiance of authority.
"What was the most legendary thing a student did at school?"
These stories will amaze you!
"My friend once was pissed off at the rest of us guys (5 of us). He chased us into the bathroom because he wanted to be a tough guy and thought one of us was hiding in a stall. He says 'peekaboo I see you!' And kicks the stall door in on a teacher we all knew, taking a crap. The teacher said, 'I see you too Nathan, now close the door.' I will die the day I forget about that lol."
"The teacher's response was legendary!"
"Agreed. Honestly, at that point, what else are you going to do? Invite them in for a cup of tea? Challenge them for the seat? Model the proper way to greet another on the toilet?"
"Teaching is great."
"This kid in my class put the school for sale on Craigslist. He provided the school's attendance office number as a point of contact because everyone hated the receptionist there. They were getting calls from interested buyers for days who wanted to buy a multiple acres of property with a big swimming pool and a track."
"Some kids put up Craigslist ads for free brand new TVs with my school's number listed as the contact and they received thousands of calls by like 10 AM. It was legendary."
A teacher with poor eyesight.
"My English teacher was close to retirement & had really poor eyesight."
"A mate started the lesson on the right side of the classroom & managed to shuffle both himself & his desk to the back of the room and then over to the left."
"He then managed to climb through the window, sauntered round the building, came back into the room & apologized for being late."
"Not even to leave, just to see if he could."
"Yeah, teachers who can't see properly can be pretty funny. I had a teacher like that. During that class, a classmate from our year had a free period and lived too far away from the school to realistically go home. But he had friends in that class, so he just came to that class."
"In the teacher's defense, it was a fairly big class, at least 25 kids, and the kid wasn't disruptive or anything. He didn't actually participate or anything, he just sat there and occasionally talked to his friends while they were working on tasks. It took the teacher several 'visits' to notice that 'visitor,' he seriously didn't notice for several lessons that there was a kid he didn't know."
Teaching the teacher a lesson.
"Teacher everyone hated just cause he was a pure bully. We had a fair snow fall and he was on yard 'patrol' this shy kid launched the perfect snowball 40ft+ and it went in his cup of juice. Splashing out and soaking him. Kid went from 0 to hero real quick! This was approx. 15 years ago and we still talk about it today when I'm with a friend from school."
"Kid is going places."
Someone lost their marbles.
"This kid once brought a backpack full, and I mean completely full of marbles to school. He went to the main staircase near the front up the third floor and dumped the whole bag over the stairwell. How those marbles didn't break the glass trophy case at the bottom is beyond me but marbles went everywhere. Surprisingly he never got caught. He either managed to run to one of the stairwells at the end of the hall and get to the bottom before teachers had time to react or he hid somewhere until the first bell rang."
"This happened back in like 2005. Kid went on to disgrace himself and be sentenced 16 years in prison for military espionage....so."
"Did he blame it on losing his marbles?"
The fire alarm.
"A kid hit the fire alarm when the mayor was visiting our school. For context, we had an assembly the week before where we were specifically told not to hit the fire alarm during the mayor's visit unless there was an actual fire, as it was a common occurrence at our school to just hit the fire alarm whenever."
"'Hey Bob, do you have any plans before school?'"
"'Hey Bill, yeah, I'm just going to pull the ol' fire alarm again.'"
"'I have a study hall around then, I'll pull the ol' alarm for you.'"
"We had a kid do this when our state's Supreme Court was doing a presentation or visiting or something. The staff was FURIOUS, everyone knew he did it, and they tried to prove it was him, saw LEOs dusting the handle for prints. There was an old rumor that when you pulled the handle it sprays like an invisible ink visible to black light on your hand, idk if that's true, but I know the kid used his shirt sleeve to cover his hand when he pulled it, so there weren't any prints."
"There was an old rumor that when you pulled the handle it sprays like an invisible ink visible to black light on your hand, idk if that's true."
"This is definitely not true."
"Source: I am a commercial fire alarm technician.
The rumor that we all believed to scare us as kids, turns out was just that: a rumor.
Senior prank that everyone loved.
"The senior prank one year was hiring a mariachi band to follow our principal around all day. He loved it--went classroom to classroom so everyone could see it and take pictures/videos and have a fun break from class."
"A señor prank?"
Standing up for what was right.
"A special needs kid got a two day in school suspension because he threw a sharpened pencil into the drop ceiling tile. He saw a friend of mine do it and thought it was the coolest thing ever."
"A kid on the football team heard about what had happened and protested the suspension directly to the assistant principal. The a** principal stuck firm to his decision and threatened 'and if anyone else gets caught, it will be out of school suspensions….'"
"The following Monday the entire second floor was closed down for the morning. Come to find out the kid and the football team got into the school over the weekend and just blanketed the entire second floor ceiling with sharpened pencils. The video of it was stellar."
These are some legendary moments that every student will remember and can look back on fondly. What we may never know is if they peaked in these moments or went on to do incredible things.