The difference between daily life today and a hundred years ago is that now you are always being watched. If you went missing, it would not be long until your buddies noticed you were no more updating Facebook or even Instagramming your lunch, and within hours the cops would find that the security camera footage of you getting buried under a pallet of dog food in Costco.
The simple truth is that even in today’s world, people just fall through the cracks. The stories are more frequent and more dreadful than you’d think. And be warned: The entries on this record start escalating in severity fast.
5. Nicholas White Was Stuck in an Elevator for 41 Hours
On the evening of October 15, 1999, Nicholas White was Operating in the McGraw-Hill Building in New York City and went down to the ground level to have a smoke. Following a refreshing nicotine hit, he headed back up to his 43rd floor office through an express elevator which skips floors 1 through 39.
White hit the alarm and waited. Nothing. He investigated his surroundings there was nothing in his 6-by-6 box. No warning, no lift emergency telephone, not even a mirror with which to have a look at his lovely ’90s mullet. He waited some more. After all, how long can it really take for somebody to see that the elevator had never arrived? Half an hour? An hour?
Time passed. No one arrived. Starting to become desperate, White attempted to pry the door open, presumably likely to scale down the elevator shaft like in Die Hard. Instead, he had been met with a solid concrete wall using the number 13 stenciled onto it. That’s the thing about a state elevator it doesn’t stop at those floors, so there were no openings. It was 39 flooring of strong concrete shaft. And into the night. And overnight. Then all day the next day.
No food, no water, no toilet, and no sign that anybody was making any effort whatsoever to catch him out. All he could do was pace around in dead silence (he maintained the alarm going for as long as possible, however, the constant ringing caused him to have auditory hallucinations). This is where you have to wonder if perhaps your employers do not care about you quite as much as they state they do.
“That’s horrifying,” you say, “Why don’t they have cameras or something in those elevators?” Oh they do. Here is his entire ordeal, compressed into a three-minute clip and uploaded to YouTube:
Click to WATCH: 5 Horrifying Places Real People Got Trapped And Forgotten
At two minutes in, you see him attempt to climb out of the hatch at the top (it was locked) and repeatedly open the doors like at some point he’d magically see something other than concrete there (some of the times, he is pissing down the shaft). So, yes, you finally understand the really disturbing part of the narrative: None of the safety guards paid close attention to those video feeds to notice there was a man frantically trying to escape Car 30 for nearly two days. Five different shifts went, this man trapped in plain sight, until eventually someone noticed this, wait a second, there’s a dude sleeping on the ground of one of the lifts.
At first a safety guard thought a buttocks had escalated to the building, so that he buzzed the intercom to inquire what was happening. After White decided that it was not God speaking, but an idiot safety guard, he showed his ID into the camera along with a mechanic was delivered to spare him from his prison.
Nevertheless the building staff could not even get that right if the elevator doors opened and White could see farther than 6 feet in any direction for the first time in 41 hours he burst out into the hallway, only to understand that the maintenance crew was awaiting him at the incorrect elevator doorway down the hall.
White sued, and found himself embroiled in a much longer ordeal. The situation dragged out for four years, before a homeless, penniless, and jobless White settled for a small undisclosed sum. That also means he can not even sell his narrative, like this man who got stuck in the airport whose story has been made to a Tom Hanks movie.
4. A French Grandmother Got Stuck in the Bathroom for Three Weeks
You might argue that it is better to be stuck at a bathroom in relation to a elevator there you can ease yourself, and you’ve got water to drink. But what if instead of a healthy young man, it was an older woman?
This one happened at a Paris suburb where, after using the facilities and trying to depart, a French grandma discovered that her door lock has been broken. While breaking down jammed doors may simply be an inconvenience for burly Olympic athletes, it is a far harder job for a 69 year old grandmother with zero hefty sled pushing experience, especially a French one. We assume she could have surrendered to the door, but in this scenario that probably would not have helped.
Days passed. Without a telephone (an unthinkable prospect for most people going to the bathroom nowadays), she tried to alert neighbors for her distress by banging the pipes at night, but all it did was annoy them. They had no idea the sounds were a cry for help, and rather assumed that the apartment complex was undergoing late-night construction.
At one point a group of tenants began a petition to finish the presumed maintenance job, as it had been keeping them alert. To be fair, after they discovered what had truly happened, they had been appropriately horrified at the prospect. After nearly 3 weeks of noise, someone finally caught on if they noticed the woman’s lack and a heap of collecting mail.
From the time French firefighters broke through to spare the woman from her apartment turned jail, she was immobilized for 20 days. If you’re insisting to yourself that you wouldn’t let a flimsy bathroom door save you from kicking your way to liberty, even in older age, could you say exactly like a bank vault?
3. A-91-Year-Old Got Locked Inside a Bank Vault
A 91-year-old Frenchwoman residing in Rennes had some business to attend at her closest BNP-Paribas bank as part of her Saturday errands. The bank employee locked the vault after leading the woman inside to her security deposit box, which will be most likely bank protocol. What was not bank protocol, however, was having an epic brain fart and forgetting about the customer, leaving her in there for the rest of the day.
You undoubtedly ask. Nope, they just left her in there and turned out the lights, leaving her without any way to alert anybody of her predicament, because she had been 91 freaking years old and did not have a cellphone.
And when she was only facing the prospect of an overnight stay in the vault before the team came in the following day, that could be something. But remember, this is a Saturday, that meant the lender wouldn’t reopen until the following Tuesday (hello, it is Europe), which will be a hell of a lot of time to be stuck in a vault for anyone at any age, but did we mention that she was 91? Yeah, if nobody cried, they were going to open that door on Tuesday and locate a goddamned corpse.
Luckily, her son was stressed after not hearing from his mom for a complete afternoon and called the authorities. After retracing her steps and seeing each of the elderly girl hotspots she frequented, they wound up at the bank. After some frantic calls, the bank manager came and has been at long last able to get the vault open … the next morning, at 10:00 a.m. Fortunately the girl was unharmed, with just a bit of dehydration. And, we imagine, seething with 91-year-old-woman rage.
WARNING: The stories get much, much worse from here.
2. People Keep Getting Forgotten in Solitary Confinement
We said that the men and women in the preceding entries were “imprisoned” in those rooms or elevators, but of course that isn’t really true you’re never more watched than when you’re in prison. You’re meticulously supervised by staff, you have a lawyer you may call if things go sour, and everyone is working under an umbrella of laws meant to maintain your rights. Is really just a humorous figure of speech.
Usually, But we have stories like Daniel Chong’s. Chong, a college student, was hanging with his buddy, who happened to be the friendly local drug dealer. While Chong was chilling on the couch, police crashed the friend’s home and took everybody to jail. After questioning, Chong was quickly identified as just a visitor and has been put in a solitary cell to be taken care of later.
And they completely forgot about him. Literally it was like how sometimes you will stick something in the microwave and then get distracted and forget about it till hours later. Only it was a human being. Plus they forgot about him for a couple of times.
That’s four days through which Chong was stuck in a windowless cell, without food or water, still handcuffed (he started having hallucinations on Day 3).
Convinced that he’d been left to die and educated at not being able to speak with his family one more time, Chong attempted to split a message to his mother to his body. In the end, officers became curious about the bizarre banging what was supposed to be an empty cell, and likely only investigated because they thought that the prison was postponed.
He had been hurried to the hospital and spent five days recovering from dehydration, kidney failure, cramps, and a perforated esophagus. He was likewise 15 pounds lighter. The DEA issued an apology and gave Chong a $4 million payoff for a type of “Sorry for almost killing you” coupon.
And yet his story is nothing in comparison to Stephen Slevin’s.
Normally this implies an overnight stay while you sober, but Slevin revealed signs of psychological illness, and also the authorities feared he was a suicide threat. Consequently, they stuck him in solitary confinement. And, once again, they sort of just left him. Days passed, and weeks. Slevin’s pleas for information regarding his case fell on deaf ears.
Slevin wasn’t allowed to shave and was only seldom permitted to shower. His garments were rotting off his entire body, along with the prison staff refused to give more. Every single day, prison staff walked by his mobile and gave him food, but ignored his increasingly desperate efforts to find help. Following his tooth started to rot, they denied him a visit to the dentist, therefore Slevin had to pull it out himself.
So, how long do you think a man could be abandoned in solitary before someone a prison officer, a attorney, someone ceased to ask why this dude’s overnight remain turned into an indefinite detention? A couple of months? Three?
Attempt nearly two goddamned years.
At the point they simply dropped the charges and set him free. The county appeared to have no excuse for why Slevin was left (at one stage he had been transported to a mental hospital, then inexplicably returned to solitary), and if he sued, he won $22 million, but settled for a lesser sum on charm (shit, we hope it was not much less).
1. A Man Was Imprisoned for 53 Years Because No One Could Speak His Language
Obtaining sent to a POW camp isn’t a fun, regardless of the war or which military took you captive. But there is 1 advantage — despite what Rambo would have you think, usually you have to go home when the fighting is over. But sometimes, in the bulk confusion following a horrific conflict, folks just … fall through the cracks.
Take Hungarian Andras Tamas, that was one of millions of POWs in World War II. He’d fought for the Germans and was seized by the Soviets in 1944. The difficulty was that Tamas went nuts while at the gulags (they will do that to someone), and thus lost the capability to tell anyone who he was or why he was there. And after he got transferred to a hospital, the Soviets (whose system wasn’t just a model of efficiency) finally forgot, too.
With the war long over, the team who understood the truth — that he had been a Hungarian POW who did not speak Russian — moved on to various assignments or simply retired. Years passed, and there was no one left that knew Tamas’ case history, and they were too lazy to check his files. For half a century.
Cracking open his medical file for the first time in decades, the doctor found Tamas’ case background and quickly notified the authorities in Budapest. That is a wonderful name, but we’re trusting somebody in Russia is checking to see whether there are more.
Yosomono writes about being forgotten and locked out in the nuclear wastelands of Japan.
Of course, things are not ALWAYS this frightful. To your own relief, check out 25 Actual Truth That Produce Common Fears Way Less Expensive.
Related Reading: If you think it’s crazy these folks got trapped, you will flip out once you realize all of the essential things which have been lost. . .like these expressions from Jesus. And then there’s the Gospel of Eve, which made semen-eating into a religious act. And when those RFK assassination photos hadn’t been lost, we might have a REAL distinct comprehension of history.