BOP 9/11 Archive: Part One

By BOP Staff

September 12, 2011


New at BOP:
Share & Save
Digg Button  
Print this column
“Uhh…We don't have any Prophets in the World Trade Center, do we?”

With these words by John Tree, one of the founders of the web site you are currently reading, our international shared experience of 9/11 began.

Those of you who are you are younger or newer to Box Office Prophets may not be aware of this, but the genesis of our site dates all the way back to 1998, the Jurassic Period of the Internet. At the time, we were a series of people who found one another on a message board forum and formed a group that would eventually become BOP. We began archiving our conversations on a fledgling service named Topica although we referred to our messages as what they were, Spam.

In the early days of (pre) social networking, this was the easiest way for chronicled communications between a large compilation of people. At the time, roughly 40 people spread over three continents participated in the list and the average day witnessed 350 emails exchanged among these contributors. Most of what was said then is irrelevant today, but what happened on 9/11 supersedes our other interactions. For this reason, we are posting the discourse for others to read.


What I find remarkable as I look back at these discussions is that I remain in contact with almost every single participant in the archived conversation posted below. Thankfully, the tight-knit group formed in 1998 has for the most part sustained its communication to this day. One of us unfortunately passed away and a couple of others disappeared over time but the rest have maintained this friendship of kindred spirits from disparate backgrounds. Given the novelty of our compositions and interaction, the tenth anniversary of 9/11 feels like an appropriate time to reflect upon how we as a group shared the experience on that fateful day in 2001.

Please note that some of the names have been edited to reflect nicknames or pseudonyms. The saltier language has been left as is rather than whitewashed to create a family friendlier read today. The reality is that emotions were raw at the time as we all desperately attempted to gather information and to an individual, our outrage was total.

The quote above was the first signal that something shocking had happened in New York City. That post went live at 9:13 a.m. on September 11, 2001, roughly ten minutes after the second plane crashed into the World Trade Center. To its credit, Topica maintained stability throughout the day, something few web sites could claim as servers were overwhelmed and resources were rerouted for security purposes. Still, some of the time stamps are questionable in that a delay was frequently involved between the submission of a Topica post and its actual publication. As such, the exact chronology of some of these posts is indeterminable.

Our belief is that John’s World Trade Center query was made after the first tower was attacked. Moments later, Martyd27 responded, “Holy shit! Take a look at the news.” And the nature of everyone’s day, week, year and decade was fundamentally altered from that moment forward.

Continued:       1       2       3       4       5       6



Need to contact us? E-mail a Box Office Prophet.
Sunday, May 19, 2024
© 2024 Box Office Prophets, a division of One Of Us, Inc.