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Posts Tagged 'Hot Air Balloon Tragedy'

Unseemly and unhelpful speculation from the Herald on balloonists’ last moments

 

It is entirely appropriate that every possible effort should be made over the coming months to determine what exactly led to the ballooning accident that claimed 11 lives on Saturday. That knowledge may make a similar accident less likely in the future.

Less appropriate is ghoulish speculation on the victims’ last moments alive – were they electrocuted, incinerated or killed when they plummeted to earth? The events are simply too raw for the relatives and friends of those who died to see such horrific scenarios canvassed in the media.

The Herald, however, had no such qualms, sending its reporter Amelia Wade off to interview a clinical psychologist, one Barry Kirker, on what might have been going through the minds of the eleven people as they faced certain death.  

Mr Kirker of course doesn’t know the answer to that question. No one does. But he was willing to speculate at length not merely on what would have been going through the victims’ minds, but on how their friends and loved ones must be feeling as well.

Mr Kirker’s speculations, the Herald tells us, included the observation that “the scenario was similar to that of the 9/11 victims, and the terror attacks might have put the thought to jump in Chrisjan Jordaan’s and Alexis Still’s  minds.

“A bit like the people who jumped from the Twin Towers in New York, they might have thought, ‘What the heck, we’ve got nothing to lose – if we don’t jump, we’re definitely going to die.’”

And he had another fascinating piece of psychological ephemera to offer:

“Mr Kirker said it would usually be the man who would take the lead in that situation and would suggest jumping from the basket to the woman.”

Mr Kirker doesn’t actually know who told whom to jump or indeed whether  any “telling” was involved, but his  theory will certainly give the couple’s parents pause for thought.  Read the rest of this entry »

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