Feb 7, 2023

15 People Whose Dire Warnings Really Should Have Been Heeded

You can never tell when someone is giving you the best advice in the moment – it could be great or it could be terrible, but usually the choice to follow it or not comes down to whether or not we want to hear it.

In these 15 cases people

might not have wanted to listen in the moment, but time has proved them right.

15. That’s awkward.

Ignaz Semmelweis often described as the father of hand washing. In the 1800s he discovered that infant maternal mortality could be drastically reduced by doctors washing their hands between patients.

He was largely ignored and his book got absolutely slated. This is supposed to have contributed to him having a mental breakdown and he died in a psychiatric hospital.

14. Sometimes your kids do know.

Tried to tell mom she was sick 5 years ago

Miss you mom.

Had her convinced to go to the hospital on Wednesday, sister talked her out of it.

Thursday she went but had to leave due to sitting so long in the waiting room. She suffered from chronic pain.

Friday, her home nurse ignored the fact that she couldn’t get a blood pressure to register, that she was confused, and her skin was turning yellow.

Saturday I got home, I had left Wednesday night for business, and she was in the hospital. I sat with her until I had to go home to leave Sunday morning.

She died that Sunday from sepsis due to an untreated uti that moved to her kidney and then her blood.

13. A whole other tragedy.

12 TRW Engineers resigned their positions the morning of the Challenger incident in protest against risking the flight.

NASA launched anyway. Should have listened.

12. Well that’s terrible.

They were building a big baseball stadium in Wisconsin and it was a considerably windy day. The crane operator was tasked with lifting a large structure but refused stating dangerous gusts.

The site foreman dismissed the crane operator and called in one who would do the job with no pushback. Well the crane tipped over with a load and workers were killed.

Foreman and second operator were arrested, and iirc the first operator won a wrongful termination lawsuit.

11. Ferdinand again…

French general Ferdinand Foch reportedly called the Treaty of Versailles a “twenty-year armistice”, ie not conducive to lasting peace.

WWII broke out approximately twenty years later.

10. Third time wasn’t the charm.

Harry Marcopolos notified the SEC 3 times that whatever Bernie Madoff was doing wasn’t legit and should be investigated, and all 3 times he was ignored. He talks about it in his book No One Would Listen.

Check it out if you want to see a real facepalm example of government incompetence.

9. A bit late.

Colleen Rowley–warned her FBI superiors in June 01 that names on their jihadi watch list were taking flying lessons but not interested in learning how to land

Her report didn’t get read until October

8. I would hate to be that guy.

Rick Rescorla, Director of Corporate Security for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, published a report in 1990 detailing the vulnerability of the World Trade Center parking garage. He and a colleague found they were able to freely walk into the garage, which contained many structural support columns, unchallenged by any security. Additionally no ID checks or screening was done on any of the entering delivery vehicles. Three years later a truck bomb was driven into the garage and detonated in an attempt to damage the buildings structure.

Later he and his same college would correctly predict the next attack on the building would come from the air. The evacuation plan and drills he put in place are credited with saving over 2,600 lives on September 11th.

Edited for a bit of clarity: Some are saying “but if he evacuated people, doesn’t that mean we listened?” Rick worked for one company in the building, not the Port Authority who managed the buildings overall safety plan. After the first plane crashed, the announcements from the Port Authority told everyone to shelter in place, and not evacuate. He had developed his own evacuation plan for his employees and put it place before any official word to evacuate the building was given.

7. It would be fair.

H G Wells said he wanted his epitaph to be “I told you so. You damned fools!”

In The Land Ironclads (1903) he had written about a stalemated war fought by trench warfare that was broken by the invention of tanks, predicting what would happen in WW1.

In The War in the Air (1907) he predicted how airplanes would be used in war, including aerial bombardment of cities, and saw his predictions come true in WW2.

6. And he was punished for it.

Roger Boisjoly – Engineer involved with the Space Shuttle program who warned his superiors for months prior to the Challenger disaster that launching in cold weather could cause the O-rings to fail.

Care to guess what caused the Challenger disaster?

5. Of course he did.

Li Wenliang, a Chinese doctor who tried to warn people through his private social media about Covid-19 in December 30 2019. Was summoned by the police in China for ‘spreading disinformation.’

The Chinese government had been the first Covid deniersduring the virus’s earliest stage and contributed greatly to the global pandemic. Li died of Covid in Wuhan on February 7th 2020.

4. A whole memo.

Turkish Airlines flight 981 would never have happened if McDonnell Douglas and Convair had heeded Dan Applegate’s warning about the cargo doors coming open during flight. He wrote a memo after the nonfatal American Airlines flight 96 advising that the doors had design flaws which would cause them to show as properly latched even when they weren’t.

If nothing were done, he said it would lead to catastrophic failure that would likely result in the loss of the plane. However, the fixes would be expensive and no one agreed who would eat the cost, so proper upgrades were put off.

Instead, they tried implementing cheaper band-aid solutions that would ultimately prove ineffective.

3. Math is hard.

Harry Markopolos.

He figured out what Madoff was up to, and the SEC still blew him off for years, presumably because the proof he was presenting required math to understand.

2. It can always get worse.

After the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, Rick Rescorla grew concerned about a potential terrorist attack on the WTC.

He asked an old friend of his who had counterterrorism training, Daniel Hill, to visit and assess the security of the WTC.

When asked how he might attack the building, Daniel asked to see the basement. Him and Rick made it to the basement parking garage without security so much as sneezing in their direction. Daniel pointed out a load-bearing column that anyone could get to and said he’d drive a truck full of explosives up to it, walk away, and set it off.

Rick told the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owned the site, about what he found. The suggestions would have been expensive to implement, so it was ignored. The 1993 WTC bombing happened right where Rick and Daniel had visited.

It gets worse.

After that bombing, Rick and Daniel both felt the WTC was still a target for further terrorist attacks. Rick tried to tell those above him at Morgan Stanley that they should go to an office space in New Jersey. Labor costs were lower and the employees and equipment would be safer.

Rick was again ignored because the company’s lease at the WTC wasn’t up until 2006. Rick decided to get all employees to practice emergency evacuations every 3 months going forward. He would time everyone, and trained them to meet in the hallway between stairwells and go down the stairs two by two to the 44th floor.

When the north tower was hit at 8:46 AM, there was an announcement that people should not evacuate. Rick ignored this announcement and began evacuating the near 2,700 Morgan Stanley employees in addition to approximately 1,000 people in WTC 5.

Including himself, his deputies Wesley Mercer and Jorge Valezquez, and security guard Godwin Forde, who all stayed behind to help, 13 Morgan Stanley employees died in the 9/11 attacks.

Rick’s body was never recovered.

1. No way out.

Pearl Jam warned us about Ticketmaster years ago. Nobody listened, now we’re stuck with them…and only them.


Yeah, there’s no arguing with these now.

Maybe next time we’ll finally take some lessons from the past.

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