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what 41 hours STUCK in an elevator looks like


TRIBE Promoter
Ive had some people ask me some valid questions.

how was this caught on security camera, yet none of the security personnel monitoring those cameras during the 4 shifts that would have spanned those 41 hours noticed

kinda fishy

le bricoleur

TRIBE Member
i'd set off the fire alarm after about hour three. the blurb above the video said that he just came back from a smoke. why not use his lighter to trip the smoke detector in the elevator?


TRIBE Promoter
le bricoleur said:
i'd set off the fire alarm after about hour three. the blurb above the video said that he just came back from a smoke. why not use his lighter to trip the smoke detector in the elevator?

The New Yorker article says that he had the alarm running for a while..


TRIBE Member
the last part of the article is the most hilarious part:

"Loading up an empty elevator car with discarded Christmas trees, pressing the button for the top floor, then throwing in a match, so that by the time the car reaches the top it is ablaze with heat so intense that the alloy (called “babbitt”) connecting the cables to the car melts, and the car, a fireball now, plunges into the pit: this practice, apparently popular in New York City housing projects, is inadvisable."


TRIBE Member
ever time I have been stuck luckly it was not right between floors
Pryed open the doors and crawled out
Still scared its gona start moving the second I am half way out


TRIBE Member
been stuck for over an hour with some floormates in uni and witnessed a complete meltdown from one...so very sad to watch unfold in front of your eyes


TRIBE Member
If I was alone for that long in an elevator...I'd lose it probably after 20 minutes.

It would be much easier with someone else there. That is of course if they didn't lose their shit first.


Well-Known TRIBEr
41 hours... fuck... do they not have security at a building that size that actually monitors the camera's? that's fucked up. can't imagine the sense of relief that dude felt when he got out.


TRIBE Member
At a certain point, Nicholas White ran out of ideas. Anger and vindictiveness took root. He began to think, They, whoever they were, shouldn’t be able to get away with this, that he deserved some compensation for the ordeal. He cast about for blame. He wondered where his colleague was, why she hadn’t been alarmed enough by his failure to return, jacketless, from smoking a cigarette to call security. Whose fault is this? he wondered. Who’s going to pay? He decided that there was no way he was going to work the following week.

And then he gave up. The time passed in a kind of degraded fever dream. On the videotape, he lies motionless for hours at a time, face down on the floor.

A voice woke him up: “Is there someone in there?”


“What are you doing in there?”

White tried to explain; the voice in the intercom seemed to assume that he was an intruder. “Get me the fuck out of here!” White shrieked. Duly persuaded, the guard asked him if he wanted anything. White, who had been planning to join a few friends at a bar on Friday evening, asked for a beer.

Before long, an elevator-maintenance team arrived and, over the intercom, coached him through a set of maneuvers with the buttons. White asked what day it was, and, when they told him it was Sunday at 4 P.M., he was shocked. He had been trapped for forty-one hours. He felt a change in the breeze, which suggested that the elevator was moving. When he felt it slow again, he wrenched the door open, and there was the lobby. In his memory, he had to climb up onto the landing, but the video does not corroborate this. When he emerged from the elevator, he saw his friends, with a couple of security guards, and a maintenance man, waiting, with an empty chair. His friends turned to see him and were appalled at the sight; he looked like a ghost, one of them said later. The security guard handed him an open Heineken. He took one sip but found the beer repellent, like Hans Castorp with his Maria Mancini cigar. White told a guard, “Somebody could’ve died in there.”

“I know,” the guard said.

White had to go upstairs to get his jacket. He demanded that the guards come with him, and so they rode together on the service elevator, with the elevator operator. The presence of others with radios put him at ease. In his office he found that his co-worker, in a fit of pique over his disappearance, had written an angry screed, and taped it to his computer screen, for all their colleagues to see. He went home, and then headed to a bar. He woke up to a reel of phone messages and a horde of reporters colonizing his stoop. He barely left his apartment in the ensuing days, deputizing his friends to talk to reporters through a crack in the door.

White never went back to work at the magazine. Caught up in media attention (which he shunned but thrilled to), prodded by friends, and perhaps provoked by overly solicitous overtures from McGraw-Hill, White fell under the sway of renown and grievance, and then that of the legal establishment. He got a lawyer, and came to believe that returning to work might signal a degree of mental fitness detrimental to litigation. Instead, he spent eight weeks in Anguilla. Eventually, Business Week had to let him go. The lawsuit he filed, for twenty-five million dollars, against the building’s management and the elevator-maintenance company, took four years. They settled for an amount that White is not allowed to disclose, but he will not contest that it was a low number, hardly six figures. He never learned why the elevator stopped; there was talk of a power dip, but nothing definite. Meanwhile, White no longer had his job, which he’d held for fifteen years, and lost all contact with his former colleagues. He lost his apartment, spent all his money, and searched, mostly in vain, for paying work. He is currently unemployed.

Looking back on the experience now, with a peculiarly melancholic kind of bewilderment, he recognizes that he walked onto an elevator one night, with his life in one kind of shape, and emerged from it with his life in another. Still, he now sees that it wasn’t so much the elevator that changed him as his reaction to it. He has come to terms with the trauma of the experience but not with his decision to pursue a lawsuit instead of returning to work. If anything, it prolonged the entrapment. He won’t blame the elevator.
The article was an interesting read. I don't know how I would have handled that at all. 41 hours is such a long time to be stuck in a box like that. My goodness. I feel bad for the guy. Getting stuck in there really changed his life. whoa.