By Phillip Leno Wright, Ph.D.
I had recently moved to New York City from Miami Florida during 1968. I had just joined Aretha Franklin’s Recording Band called King Curtis and the Kingpins. I had to take the train from my apartment to the Empire State Building to get a Passport to start traveling to Europe with the Kingpins. We were booked for two shows a night for 45 days. I took care of completing what was needed to receive my very first Passport.
I preceded to walk down the steps leaving the Empire State Building. I turned and looked to my left where I saw some construction going on. I could see the bottom layer of concrete with some iron connections around the beginning of the construction. It looked like it was going to be an extremely large building. Years later, when that construction was completed, it was the Twin Towers. Something caused me to look up to the sky that day. I thought what I was seeing in the sky was so real. It didn’t look like a vision. It was really scary to me. I could see in the vision an airplane crashing into the Empire State Building with fire and smoke with parts of the building and the airplane falling down to the ground.
I don’t know why, but I placed my hands over my head thinking this was really happening. I then removed my hands from over my head and looked around to see if anybody saw what I just did, wondering why I reacted that way. By then I knew it was just a vision I had just experienced. I tooked the train back to where I lived at 9 West 110th Street Central Park North. I thought maybe I should tell my friend and neighbor James Baldwin, the activist and famous celebrity writer of many books. 4 or 5 years later I had moved from New York City to Boston Mass, then back to Miami.
The morning of September 11, 2001, I was watching the news on TV. I was hearing that an airplane had just struck one of the Twin Towers buildings in New York City. My television was continuing to show the airplanes crashing into the Twin Towers. I immediately thought we were being attacked by terrorists. I also began to have that flashback that I had during 1968 as I was leaving the Empire State Building. I was somewhat shocked of what I had just seen on my TV. It was precisely what I experienced that day during 1968 33 years earlier. Currently during September 11, 2021, I remember 911. My youngest son was there in New York city. He was supposed to go to the Twin Towers to get a Picture Identification, but he didn’t have any money that day so he couldn’t go. I said to him by phone, You should thank God for being broke, and not having any means to get the money for the train and for the picture ID that day”.