UK & World News

  • 8 September 2011, 12:25

Hungarian apologises for 9/11 hoax

Peter Guzli's hoax image /Europics

A Hungarian who added a picture of a plane to a tourist snap of himself on top of the World Trade Centre has made a public apology.

The image showed Peter Guzli, now 35, dressed in a wool cap, heavy jacket, and backpack, standing on the observation deck of the twin towers.

Behind him, a jet plane can be seen flying towards the building. The digitally manipulated picture purported to be taken moments before the September 11 attacks.

Mr Guzli, an office worker and computer technician, even added in the September 11 date to the picture of himself that had in reality been taken on November 28, 1997.

It looked as if he had been standing on top of the twin towers when the plane hit the building and a viral email claimed it had been found in a camera pulled from the wreckage.

Mr Guzli then mailed it to pals - changing the sender address to make it seem as if the email had been sent from the then Hungarian police chief, Peter Doszpot.

The message read: "This man has been identified by our embassy in New York as being a Hungarian and we are appealing for help from the public in identifying him."

Ten years on, Mr Guzli says: "It was a private matter - I assumed my friends would recognise me and call me to see if I was alright, but they didn't, they posted it on to other friends and suddenly it was all over the world.

"I am ashamed that even now the police still get calls about it, I never did it for money and I never intended to cause any harm to the real victims or their families.

"I didn't really stop to consider the consequences and never thought it would go outside of my small circle of friends."

The photo became known as the 'Tourist Guy' picture. As its fame spread, other people started to use Mr Guzli's image in other 'disaster' pictures.

They included versions of Mr Guzli at the sinking of the Titanic, the John F Kennedy assassination, the destruction of Air France Flight 4590 and the Hindenburg disaster.

Other pictures featured him at disastrous events from movies, like the destruction of the White House in Independence Day or as the bus driver in Speed.

Mr Guzli added: "I would like it to end now, I want people to know I am sorry and I hope that will be the end of Tourist Guy."