Continuing with 9/11 week here, I bring you Rick Resorcla, a badass across two centuries, but mostly this one. Badass of the Week- a site of far greater caliber than my blog- did an article on Rescorla a while back, but didn’t really mention his later heroics. Basically, he was the closest thing the human race has had to a credible future-seer since the dude who predicted Caesar’s assassination.
But what kind of history blog am I running here if I don’t touch on his backstory? He was born in Cornwall in 1939 and quit school to join the British Army when he was sixteen. You know what I was doing when I was sixteen? Writing this blog post. Whoa… that sounded a bit mind-screwy…
He did over the course of many years some badass shit with the Military Intelligence on Cyprus and in Rhodesia, uncovering asshole commie plots to make life miserable for people.
Then he wound up fighting commies in Angola and Zimbabwe in the British South African Police in the sixties. Basically, his entire early career was a cross between Skyfall and District 9 with less aliens and more communists.
Shortly thereafter he switched nationalities from James Bond to Jack Ryan and went to fight in the Vietnam War.
As Badass of the Week excellently demonstrated (if you want double the humor for this post, I’ll post a link to the article at the bottom for youse guys) while dudes over here, in America, were burning draft cards and bras and draft card bras, running to Canada with peace signs in the hippie buses to not go fight for their country, this fine man fucking volunteered to fight for us. As in completely optional, voluntary I-demand-you-give-me-commies-to-grease-my-rifle-barrel-with.
And yes, he fought in the Battle of la Drang; the first major battle in the war. The one where Sergeant Major Basil Plumley shouted “GENTLEMEN!!! PREPARE TO DEFEND YOURSELVES!!!” The one they based the movie We Were Soldiers on. Sadly, and much to his own chagrin, his story was omitted from that movie. I still recommend it though.
He also basically single-handedly saved the battalion from being overrun in a night ambush. Also, his call sign was Hard Corps One Six, which means he was essentially the semi-inspiration for this song:
As I said, Badass of the Week goes into much greater detail on his military career than I wish to here. I wanna talk about his 9/11 heroics.
He… how do you say this? He took shit fucking seriously, working for Morgan Stanley/Dean Witter in corporate security in the World Trade Center.
After the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Scotland…
… he got worried about a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. So, he called in his old friend from Rhodesia who was trained in counterterrorism, Daniel Hill, to assess its security. They also probably bullshitted about some battle they got involved in in a city that started with a “B.”
Rescorla asked Hill how he would attack the building if he wanted to bring it down, and the two went on a trip down to the parking garage, without getting stopped by any security, to assess the towers’ weakpoints.
The spot Hill picked was a very easily reached load bearing column and basically said that if he were a terrorist, he’d shove a bunch of dynamite up a truck’s ass, ram the pillar, run away and set it off.
In light of this, Rescorla and Hill wrote a report to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, insisting they needed more security down there.
But, the Port Authority gave them a big, fat wad of bureaucracy and said it was too damn expensive.
Cut ahead to 1993 and they ate their words. As you know, the exact scenario Hill predicted happened, only it didn’t take down the tower.
Rescorla, saying “fuck the authorities, they’re hopeless!” decided to take matters into his own hands and hired Hill as a security consultant to analyze the building’s security. In case you haven’t noticed, he was really determined to not have shit hit the fan on his watch, or at least have a plan of action if it did.
So- and no arrests had been made as of this point- Rescorla deduced that the bombings were probably planned by Muslims, either Palestinians or Iraqis. Hill went full undercover and fucking infiltrated the fucking Muslim religion after letting his beard grow out and attend services at several mosques in New Jersey under the guise of an anti-American radical, speaking fluent Arabic to flawlessly infiltrate them, probably constantly humming Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” under his breath so the whole thing wouldn’t backfire and actually turn him into a radical anti-American.
If that doesn’t motivate you to fight your enemies, nothing will.
So Hill- legally not even a mall cop– got followers of the radical Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman convicted of the bombing.
You know, one of the lovely things about real life is that it’s so much more insane than fiction, so I’ll tell you right now that I made approximately zero percent of the following up.
After the bombing, Rescorla thought that Morgan Stanley should move out of the Trade Center because he thought it was still a prime terrorist target, and thought the next one might involve planes.
Again though, his words went ignored, although he did get everyone from the top executives to the lowly cubicle drones to practice evacuation drills every three months. Rescorla understandably thought that the authorities were fucking useless after they failed to listen to him in 1990, so he didn’t believe first responders would be very reliable in an emergency. As such, he planned surprise fire drills at random intervals to keep everyone on their toes for the real thing.
Obviously, all of the higher-up executives despised him for getting in the way of their work with his super-secret birthday surprise party fire drills, but those fucks should be grateful now. Also, he timed them, as if he couldn’t get any more badass.
Also, Rescorla and Hill were no fan of the police response at Columbine. Honestly, they seriously said this: The police were sitting outside while kids were getting killed. They should have put themselves between the perpetrators and the victims. That was abject cowardice.” Rescorla felt that if he and Hill were younger, they “could have flown to Colorado, gone in that building, and ended that shit before the law did.”
When the first plane hit the North Tower on September 11th, Rescorla was just sitting in his office, probably fiddling with a pencil or brandishing his Bowie knife when he dramatically turned to see the explosion just across the street.
His higher-ups ordered him not to use his evacuation plan, because, well, he said it best over a quick phone call to Dan Hill, who was watching it on TV: “The dumb sons of bitches told me not to evacuate. They said it’s just Building One. I told them I’m getting my people the fuck out of here.”
This not-so retired badass said “fuck that shit” and jumped into action, his crazy Nostradamus shit suddenly not so crazy as he evacuated two-thousand and seven hundred people out of the tower within seventeen minutes of the North Tower being hit. All those people were long out before the South Tower was hit. His executive-annoying antics had lowered the casualty rate by almost 3,000.
He sang old Cornish folk songs to calm the people as he evacuated them, and gave a tearful goodbye to his wife, saying “Stop crying. I have to get these people out safely. If something should happen to me, I want you to know I’ve never been happier. You made my life.”
One of his friends- not Hill- said that everyone had to get out NOW, Rescorla refused. “As soon as I make sure everyone else is out!” he assured, running back up.
He was last seen on the 10th floor heading up, shortly before the South Tower collapsed at 9:59am.
He died saving innocent people’s lives. He fought for us in Vietnam; he died for us on September 11th. Let that sink in.
God Bless, and…