Both men suffer from mental problems and neither can recall where he was on the morning of Sept. 11. One man, who suffers from amnesia, was under treatment at a Manhattan hospital. The other was under care at a psychiatric facility.
Albert Vaughan's family was sure he died on Sept. 11. Sure because he was last seen in the subway station below the World Trade Center, where he would occasionally sleep. And sure because no one had heard from him since.
Then a social worker called the Vaughan family with some wonderful news nine months after the attacks: Vaughan, 45, wasn't dead after all.
"Tell everyone I'm alive and in good health," he said by telephone Tuesday from the Rockland Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg, N.Y., seemingly unaware that his family had feared him dead.
Vaughan is not the only person who had been feared killed in the attacks but later turned out to be alive. City officials said Tuesday that at least seven people fall into that category — a change that will be reflected in a revised list that is expected to be released next week.
The discoveries come after the city made public its first overall list of those who were still missing in the attack. The list contained 2,819 names.
Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the city medical examiner, confirmed that a second man, George V. Sims, of Newark, N.J., has been discovered alive at a Manhattan hospital. The other names included on the list have not been released.
"They're constantly reevaluating the whole list," Borakove said of investigators, who have removed Vaughn and Sims from the city's official list of people missing after the attacks.
Vaughan's sister, Claudia Benjamin, said her brother had been suffering from mental illness. She said he had been homeless for the last few years, moving in and out of hospitals and shelters. So she was not surprised by the news that he did not remember where he was on the morning of Sept. 11.
Benjamin said her family notified authorities shortly after the attacks about her brother's disappearance. She said he had been homeless for years before the terrorist attacks and had recently been spending time in subway stations in Brooklyn and lower Manhattan.
The last time anyone in her family had seen him was in the subway station below the World Trade Center about a month before Sept. 11, Benjamin said.
"My daughters go to work about 8 in the morning and they'd always say, 'Mom, I saw Albert,'" Benjamin said. "But after the World Trade Center thing, they didn't see him no more."
Sims was found alive in an undisclosed New York City hospital, his family said. His mother, Anna Sims, said her son may be suffering from amnesia, though he did remember his birthdate and enough of his Social Security number for authorities to contact the family earlier this month.
"He doesn't even know where he's at," Sims said. "He calls me 'Mrs. Sims.' He doesn't even know me as 'my mother.'"
She said the family reported him missing Oct. 7 after hearing he might have been near the twin towers.
Borakove said Sims was removed from the official list after the New York Police Department advised the medical examiner's office on Aug. 20 that Sims was alive.