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The documentary “The man who predicted 9/11” tells of Rick Rescorla’s story. It was first shown in the UK on Channel 4 in 2005. It was repeated on More 4 yesterday evening triggering the opportunity for the next 28 days to watch it via the Channel 4 On Demand service.

Click on the image below to watch. You will need to register for the service if you haven’t already done so.

Welcome to One-Place Studies in focus brought to you by oneplacestudy.org

This is where the spotlight can be shone on individual studies, individual one-placers or aspects of one-place studies you may wish to explore further

Sunday 23 August 2015

Issue 10

‘In focus’ is intended to shine the spotlight on individual studies, individual one-placers or aspects of one-place studies you may wish to explore further.

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Copyright © 2014-2015

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With special thanks to John Smith

Courage came readily to Rick Rescorla, the man who enabled thousands to escape from New York's World Trade Center on that fateful day.

Cyril Richard "Rick" Rescorla was born in 1939 at Hayle and grew up there, unaware the woman he called his sister was actually his mother. He never knew his father.

For all his success in the US, Cornwall was never far from Rick's heart and he returned regularly.

Best platoon leader

He left home for military service, and when Vietnam came, he managed to get involved as a GI in the US Army, enlisting in 1963.

He was a hero of the 1965 Ia Drang Valley battles described in the book and hit movie "We Were Soldiers Once...And Young," and co-author, Lt. Gen. Hal Moore described him as "the best platoon leader I ever saw".

Hard Core

His men nicknamed him "Hard Core" for his bravery in battle, and revered him for his good humour and compassion towards his men.


After Vietnam he secured US citizenship, and as an ex-GI, was able to take up a college place. He earned a master's degree in literature, then studied law, while continuing to serve in the Army Reserve, before retiring in 1990 as a Colonel.

He hid his medals in the attic, and settled down to life as a professor of criminal justice at the University of South California.

Corporate Security

In 1985 he began working in corporate security for US investment giant Morgan Stanley.

Warning ignored

When the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993, he was instrumental in evacuating the building, literally being the last man out.

After more research, he warned authorities that he expected another attack, but his warning was ignored. However, he insisted that all employees practice quarterly emergency evacuations, a practice that would ultimately contribute to saving many lives.

Orderly evacuation

On September 11, 2001 hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 hit World Trade Center Tower 1 at 8:48 a.m.

Rick ignored officials' foolish advice to stay put and began the orderly evacuation of Morgan Stanley's 2,800 employees on 20 floors of WTC2 and 1,000 employees in WTC5.  

Sang songs

Rick reminded everyone to "be proud to be an American," and sang songs, both American and Cornish, over his bullhorn to help evacuees stay calm as they left the building and had most of Morgan Stanley's 3,800 employees and others working on other floors of WTC2 safely out of the buildings by the time United Airlines Flight 175 hit WTC2 at 9:07 a.m.

C.R. "Rick" Rescorla, 62 evacuating the 42nd floor of WTC2 September 11, 2001


After having reached safety, Rick returned to the building to rescue others still inside. He was last seen heading up the stairs at the tenth floor of the collapsing WTC2.

His remains have not been recovered. He leaves a wife and two children.

On that fateful day, Rick Rescorla saved the lives of more than 2.700 people!

The monument in Hayle erected in Rick Rescorla’s honour.

Hero from Hayle

Rick Rescorla

by John Smith


2Lt. C.R. "Rick" Rescorla, 26, Hero of the Ia Drang Valley (Vietnam) Battles, November 16, 1965

Close up images of the memorial

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Article originally published in 2014

Re-run now as new 30-day opportunity for UK viewers to watch the documentary about Rick first aired in 2005

<< Previous issue

In this issue, one-placer John Smith tells us about Rick Rescorla, the man from Hayle in Cornwall, England who later became a hero, first of the Vietnam War and then of 9/11. Rick warned of the possibility of airplanes being deliberately flown into the Twin Towers and ensured escape drills took place regularly to ensure workers could evacuate the building quickly and calmly in the event of fire.