In 2004 on E!'s 101 Best Kept Hollywood Secrets they played a clip of Mark Wahlberg on the Tavis Smiley saying for the first time he was supposed to have been killed on 9/11. Pretty heavy stuff, but why did he wait so long to talk about it? I decided to look around and see what was out there. Mark just escaped death, he changed plans at the last second, he was going to be on Flight 93 and was even in a TV special about it. The more I looked, the more I found wasn't true. Here's the original quotes:
Tavis Smiley Show 3/15/04
Mark: I actually had, not to cut you off, but I had a reservation on one of those flights and decided to drive up to New York and then ended up being in New York and ended up...
Tavis: You had a reservation on one of the 2 planes that took off from Logan?
Mark: Yeah. I never mentioned it before, but I drove to New York instead, and then I flew up to Toronto. The film festival was happening. And I went up to visit a friend, so we chartered a plane from New York to Toronto, but I had been in Boston that week, and I was gonna fly back to L.A., so I had, uh...
Tavis: So you would've been on one of those planes?
Mark: Yeah. Yeah, I don't like to think about it like that, but...
So this dispels the myth that he was almost killed. He was not. He was in Toronto on 9/11 and the festival started on 9/6. This also destroys the myth he changed his mind at the last second. He had changed his mind at least a day and a half. It also really puts to rest another myth that he was to be on Flight 93 which is widely reported and requoted. Some even go as far as to say he was in the TV special I Missed Flight 93, he was not. His plane would've left from Boston, United 93 left from Newark, NJ.
Then I came across the smoking gun. Entertainment Weekly mentioned on their site a few days after 9/11 that he was almost killed in a story remarkably similar to what he said in 2004. This got people asking about it on his official website forum. Here's what I found:
Markwahlberg,com forums 9/15/01
"I am not trying to start anything but I just heard on the Joe BBS that Mark was supposed to be on one of the flights from Boston to LA that got hijacked, but decided to take another plane because he wanted to stop in NY. Is there any truth to this?."
"NO TRUTH" - Mark's Assistant Eric 9/16/01
to the forum page
Screen shot in case it gets removed
Instead of getting to the truth, I find none of it's true? One of his best friend's from his entourage, just like E from the HBO TV series of the same name based on Wahlberg's group denies it emphatically so. He doesn't say, well that's partially true he drove to NY then flew. He says no truth to any of it. This is a guy that was with him. This leads me to believe the whole story is a hoax, but to what gain? Why mention it on some little show no one saw? If anyone on the board mentioned the story, they would point them to this quote.
Two years alter came this quote which explains where the mistake about Flight 93 came from:
World Entertainment News 5/10/06 "We certainly would have tried to do something to fight. I've had probably over 50 dreams about it."
Since only the people on Flight 93 fought back, what else would dome reporter who doesn't fact check think? If he was flying from Boston, then there would've been no fight, just a quick death.
Here are the only other quotes I could find:
PageSix.com 9/11/06, "I just cancelled the reservation so we could all go visit my childhood friend 'Rasta' Phil, who's more like my brother, in Toronto. We hang out together. He's working with me now on The Shooter in Vancouver. Don't tell him he saved my life or he'll want a big check. Actually, I never bring up 9/11 with him...I can't."
TheStar.com 3/24/07, "We chartered a plane to Toronto and we had a lot of fun that night (9/10/01) drinking Canadian beer, which is much stronger than U.S. beer. I woke up in the morning, in this very hotel (the Four Seasons) and people were calling and beating on my door. It was hard to wake up that morning. But then there was the shock of seeing the television."
In 2007 on E!'s 25 Celebrity Near Death Experiences the story was mentioned again. So what is the truth? Was it just a route he flew often enough to associate himself with? Why did his friend say there was no truth to it because there wasn't. Why did his story years later match the one EW originally reported. Does he have survivor guilt? Seth McFarlane, the Family Guy creator was to be on one of the planes leaving from Boston, he was actually there in the airport at the time because he just missed the flight because he was told the wrong time to arrive. Unless Mark can produce an original ticket or explain why the story changed, I'll have questions.
Quotes © their original publications.
The rest 2007 Alex Thrawn