History has shown us several moments which have stayed with us over time. Represented in these images are moments of great tragedies that have shaped the world into what it is today. Their aftermaths are not only of great impacts but also far-reaching. Though the media had gone to great lengths to paint the moments right before the occurrence of these events with the best possible accuracy, there are still some points yet to touch. In this piece, we take a look at these frightening calm that came before the thunderous storm.
There is nothing ordinary about a plane that descended rapidly from 33,000 feet over the Ukrainian nation, crashing in a war-ravaging part of the country and taking away all souls on board. Though the exact source and the intentions (if any) remain unknown, it was largely agreed that the aircraft was shot down by a rocket.
Is this a case of misidentification of the plane? Or a stray missile coming from nowhere? Or an aggrieved party sponsoring the weapon attack? While these questions keep begging for answers, we have this photo that was believed to be taken by a father, showing his wife and their daughter, who boarded the flight with the hopes of enjoying a family vacation in Europe. They never knew their journey would never be completed, with investigations into the crash revealing that the people onboard were practically alive throughout the drop that resulted in the crash, and which lasted for a ¾ minute.
The Assassination of John Lennon
John Lennon is exceptionally popular. A successful song writer and solo musician, the former Beatle was renowned for the peace campaigns he spearheaded in his lifetime. However, on the 8th of December, 1980, he lost his life at the age of 40.
He met his untimely death on returning to his New York apartment, where a “crazed fan” out on the mission to execute the most famous assassinations of all time, shot him four times in the back. Mark David Chapman, the killer, had waited at Lennon’s apartment, with a single wish to have a copy of the Double Fantasy album autographed for him by the superstar. The album, made by John Lennon and his wife, was the trend then, after its release earlier that year. In this picture, John Lennon is shown signing the album for his eventual killer.
The Last Broadcast of Budd Dwyer
Having served as the Treasurer of Pennsylvania for six years, Rober Budd Dwyer is not an entirely new name in history. In his service between 1981 and 1987, the state he was representing found out that the federal taxes paid by their workers were more than the usual. This was the result of errors in state withholding. He had several accounting firms hustling to win a multimillion-dollar contract, which will help know the compensation each employee deserves.
He was later convicted in 1986 of receiving a bribe from the eventual winner of the contract. Though he stood his ground on being innocent, he was in line for a sentence. However, on the day before his sentencing, things took a drastic turn. Dwyer invited pressmen over for a press conference. While the conference was going on, he produced a revolver and took his own life, right in front of the TV cameras, broadcasting his own death throughout the state. This photograph was taken moments before he shot himself while he was asking others close to him to stand back.
The year 1999 remains unforgettable in the history of Columbine, Colorado. That year witnessed the most gruesome high school shooting in the history of the US. The incident led to debates over goth culture, gun control, and other related delicate subjects. The extent of the shootings, however, remained that way due to the timely intervention of teacher David Sanders; otherwise, it could have been far worse.
David Sanders took it upon himself to warn every one of the impending danger. Shouting and at the same time rushing, he headed to the cafeteria and kept warning people about the two gunmen who were on the loose. This saved several souls who made a run for it. He was on his way into the hallway to inform others when he was gunned down by the gunmen. Shown in this photograph was the moment he was leaving the cafeteria after warning the people present.
The Last Picture of the President
Having risen into power as a result of his reform policies and fondness by people, President John F. Kennedy was eventually assassinated right in the open. In the company of his wife, he was driving through Dallas, Texas in an open-top car, as part of a motor procession.
Things were going well until the President was shot at from a school book depository window by Lee Harvey Oswald. And the bullet eventually killed him. This picture is the last known image of President John F. Kennedy alive. Since the incident, no President of the United States has ever driven around in an open-top car.
A Whole Team Lost
It was 1961 and the time for the World Figure Skating Championships, hosted in Prague. The entire USA figure skating team was onboard the Boeing 707 – the airplane that would later crash on its way from New York to Belgium. 73 people died, including an entire generation of national figure skaters. This picture is the last group photograph taken by the team before boarding the last flight of their lives.
The First Ebola Outbreak
The year 1976 was the first time Ebola was identified. Two simultaneous outbreaks had been reported in Nzara, Sudan, and Yambuku, Congo – a village close to the Ebola River, which is the source of the disease’s name. It killed 280 people during this time. In this photo is Nurse Mayinga N’Seka who was eventually overpowered by the virus, after fighting it for days.
Bombings in Oklahoma City
168 people were killed in the bombing at downtown Oklahoma City in 1995. The attack, carried out by domestic terrorists, Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh, was aimed at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. A rental truck was used to move the explosives to their destination by the militiamen, and the vehicle was captured by the surveillance footage, moments before the bombs detonated. Until 9/11, this remained the deadliest domestic terrorist attack in the US.
The Hindenburg Crash
36 people were killed when the Airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and crashed while preparing to dock with a mast. This dreadful air disaster happened when the airship was on its way from Germany to New Jersey, USA. It brought an end to the reign of the passenger blimps, after newsreel footage showed the disaster how it happened, thereby erasing any public confidence in the air travel system. This photo shows the aircraft while preparing to fly.
Ayrton Senna is popular for his Formula One racing gift, especially his daring moves on the track. He was participating in the Monaco Grand Prix of 1994 when his car ran into a cement separating barrier. The aftermath of the injuries led to his death. Senna is shown in this picture while surveying the starting point from the cockpit of his car before the race started.
Southeast Asian nations witnessed a destructive tsunami across their coastlines on December 26, 2004. The 98-foot waves led to one of the biggest earthquakes of all time, and it claimed the lives of 230,000 people. Deborah Garlick, 31, who was on a romantic Christmas holiday with her boyfriend, was among the lives lost. They were relaxing on Thailand’s exotic Phi Phi Islands. Even after a decade of her demise, her parents – Margaret and Bryson – while speaking to a British TV confessed how they still missed their daughter, especially during festive periods.
However, the Garlick’s received a remarkable package just five months after Deborah died. The package had in it a roll of film belonging to their daughter, and which was handed to a local Thai police station. The roll contained several holiday pictures, one of which is this photo showing Deborah posing amidst the captivating Maya Bay backdrop. The Beach – a popular Leonardo DiCarprio movie – had been shot at the same location. Having been found on the last roll of film, it is most likely that the shot was taken just moments before the inexplicable tsunami took her life.
Paul Walker’s Car Crash
Paul Walker was renowned for his role in the popular movie series – Fast And Furious. This picture showed Walker, 40, with his friend, Roger Roads, minutes before he went on to die in an auto crash where he collided with a pole and tree. Against the first thoughts that Walker was speeding at over 94mph (over two times the legal speed limit), a successful lawsuit, filed by Meadow Walker, Paul’s daughter, showed that the accident was a result of the absence of “the safety features” required for a car of such speeding ability. An undisclosed payout was later paid to his family.
The Last-Known Picture Of The Titanic Afloat
The sinking of the Titanic is one of the greatest tragedies in history and signified the ending of the British Empire. Apart from shocking the world at the time of its occurrence, the incident still baffles people, even after over a century of its happening. This photo is thought to be the last one taken before the ship sailed and collided with a fatal iceberg four days after. It is a reminder of a terrible disaster that claimed 1,503 lives.
The Murder of Sharon Tate
Charles Manson’s directives to his “family” of followers to kill Sharon Tate ended her exciting life at that time. Sharon had married Roman Polanski, a renowned film director, and was eight months pregnant with his child when she met her untimely death.
Charles Manson was indirectly responsible for seven murders, including that of actress Sharon Tate. Though he did not participate in the killings, he was held responsible for the instructions to act, given to the eventual killers – Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkle, and Leslie Van Houten. By killing residents in the wealthy and largely white L.A. suburbs and blaming it on black group, Manson was hoping to start a race war between the white people and African Americans. He spent over 40 years in prison and later died at the age of 83 in a hospital situated at Bakersfield, California. This photo is thought to be the last taken shot of the beautiful star alive, before Manson’s cult took her life.
Amy Winehouse’s Last Public Appearance
Amy Winehouse was a famous but troubled singer. She had deep drug addictions which eventually led to her death in her home in London, at the age of 27. She was found to have taken more than five times the legal drink-drive limit. In this picture, she appeared better, compared with her past photos where she looked gaunt. However, even at that stage of her life, everyone knew that the Grammy-winner was losing her battle against drinks and drugs.