Graham Rayman wrote this article in August of 2011. He covers damn near everything including lawyers’, non-profits’, the WTC memorial and even the truth movement (the parts that make money at least) profits from 9/11. About the only thing he does not cover is the defense industry and Wall St.
by Graham Rayman source: Village Voice Feb 29, 2012
For the past ten years, a former volunteer firefighter named Vincent Forras has turned 9/11 into a high-profile career that has taken him on overseas trips, gotten him photographed with mayors, governors, princes, and pro athletes, had him interviewed by national television personalities, has yielded a range of financial benefits, and an endorsement from none other than Don Imus for U.S. Senate.
Forras, now 54, of Ridgefield, Conn., certainly tells a compelling story. In an account he has told to dozens of reporters over the years, he claims that as a South Salem N.Y. volunteer firefighter, he rushed to Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001 and toiled there for weeks, leaving only once to celebrate his daughter’s birthday. He claims he got trapped under the rubble for two hours and only a vision from God illuminated his escape, after he promised to devote his life to charity.
He goes on to say that he got sick from the air at the site almost immediately, and became desperately ill to the point where he could barely make it up the steps of his own house. He has many times been sought out by the media as a kind of spokesman for ailing responders.
The problem is that while Forras’s general account remains somewhat consistent, the details seem to change from interview to interview, and among former associates, there’s no small amount of skepticism about his claims.
“He was a phony,” says Donald Hayde, a distinguished FDNY battalion chief with the elite Rescue battalion, “one of those guys who manipulate half-truths to put himself in a good light.” In addition, several of his former colleagues at the South Salem fire house tell the Voice that they simply don’t believe his story of being trapped.
Forras, however, is just one of a range of people, companies, charities, and agencies who have found ways to benefit from one of the nation’s worst disasters.