Tourist Guy

What Does Tourist Guy Mean?

The Tourist Guy is a photograph of a tourist on the World Trade Center that shows an airplane in the background, heading toward the building. The Tourist Guy photo became a viral Internet phenomenon following the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.


Although the photography was originally reported to have come from a that was camera found in the debris following the attacks, it was later declared a hoax after it was proved to have been taken in 1997; the image of the airplane was added later through photo manipulation. The Tourist Guy is one of the few viral Internet memes that is not based on humor.

The Tourist Guy is also known as the Accidental Tourist, the Tourist of Death or the WTC Tourist.

Techopedia Explains Tourist Guy

In the days following the photograph’s circulation online, many people began pointing out inconsistencies that pointed to a hoax. For example, although September 11, 2001, was a warm day, the man was wearing a heavy coat and winter hat. In addition, the airplane approaching the tower was coming from the wrong direction, and was a Boeing 757, rather than the 767 that was actually involved in the crash.

In November 2001, a Hungarian man named Peter came forward as the man pictured in the photo and the one who had manipulated the original image. Although he did not reveal his last name, it is generally believed that he is the perpetrator of this hoax because he provided other photos of himself in New York that show him wearing similar clothing and appear to have been taken around the same time.

The photograph is likely to have been so widely circulated because it emerged only weeks after the attack on the World Trade Center. The Tourist Guy’s photo appeared to be an image of a man’s last moments, providing a grim reminder of the number of people who were killed on that day.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…