| In addition
to the terrorist attacks, the accidental tourist unwittingly witnessed
the Hindenberg explosion and the ravaging of New York by the Stay-Puft
Marshmallow man. photos from www.touristofdeath.com
How one man
witnessed the greatest tragedies in history
It arrived as an email attachment: a startling picture of a deadpan-faced
tourist standing on the observation deck at the World Trade Center with
an American Airlines jet gleaming below, milliseconds from collision.
The story that preceded the picture was that the photo had been downloaded
from a digital camera found in the WTC rubble. Of course anyone with
half a brain could figure out that this was a Photoshop-fueled hoax.
The picture, the story, the man - nothing was right.
But the hoax, of course, spread like a Wyoming brushfire. Some forwarded
it because they appreciated the dark humor in the days following the
tragedy. Some people, the types who still open strange attachments from
people they don't know, probably fell for it and needed to share this
amazing discovery with the world.
The Net, as it often does, picked up the meme and ran with it, inserting
the man who came to be known as "Tourist Guy" into other familiar
disasters. It was the biggest web theme since the heady days of "All
Your Base Are Belong to Us."
An entrepreneurial webmaster went so far as to build a web page at
to show the dozens of images that came from across the web. But the
question remained: Who is this guy?
A Brazilian man claimed the man was him, but in late November a Hungarian
named Peter wrote to the touristguy.com webmaster and provided the original,
non-altered picture, and other angles for proof. Tourist Guy had been
found, very much alive.
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