This is a time-lapse security video of his ordeal:
I can barely watch past the 24-hour mark. And when he emerged, he would never be the same. The experience literally drove him insane, ruining his career, his finances, his happiness, his sense of security--basically, his life. You might think that an experience like that would offer perspective and result in mental or spiritual clarity...but for Nicholas what could have been a chrysalis ended up being a crucible, cooking a rage that would retain its heat long after he finally emerged into the cool, fresh air of his building's lobby when the doors finally opened and he simply walked out, as if nothing unusual had happened.
For the complete story, read Nick Paumgarten's essay "Up and Then Down," published in The New Yorker.
It makes me wonder...when the apocalypse finally does come, whatever form it might take (nukes? virus? asteroid? giant wave of hot molasses?), someone will experience it from inside an elevator. And they'll be stuck. And no one will come rescue them. And they'll want to get out and help or say goodbye or something really badly, because the Captivate network will tell them that the apocalypse is happening, but they won't be able to. It's terrifying. I'm taking the stairs on Monday.