The last picture from atop the World Trade Center-Fiction!

The Last Picture Taken From the Top of the World Trade CenterFiction!

Update!      There are reports that “Tourist Guy” has been found!-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

This is a photo of a young tourist at the top of the World Trade Center…with a jetliner closing-in in the background.  The eRumor claims that the camera that took the picture was found in the rubble and the film was developed, revealing this shot just seconds before the tower was struck by the plane.

The Truth:
This is a hoax…but has generated more mail to than any of the eRumors resulting from the terrorist attacks.
Update!  According to an article on, the face in the picture of “The Last Picture” is a Hungarian named Peter who has declined to reveal his last name, but provided other pictures of himself from the same day on top of the World Trade Center to authenticate his claim.  He said he created the version with the jetliner using Photoshop and emailed it to a few of his friends as a joke.  It took off from there.  A young man in Brazil has previously claimed to be Tourist Guy and has gotten quite a bit of visibility as a result including an advertising contract with a major car manufacturer.  Some of Peter’s friends thought the record should be put straight and revealed his identity on a Hungarian news site.

It’s kind of become a form of recreation to figure out all that is wrong with the picture.

Several things to say about it, including some comments from our readers:
1. The most significant is that of the two towers of the World Trade Center, only one of them had an outside observation deck, tower #2, also called the south tower.
2. The south tower was struck by a United Airlines plane, not an American airlines plane.  The aircraft in this picture is an American jet.
3.  We’ve discovered what we think may be the source of the picture of the
airliner in this photo.  It is from
CLICK HERE to see the a thumbnail of the picture.
CLICK HERE to see a larger version of the picture.
Photo by Jonathon Derden
Our thanks to
4.  The picture of the aircraft in this photo is a Boeing 757.  The actual American Airlines plane that was hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center was a Boeing 767.
5. If such a thing as a camera with film had survived the collapse of the building and there were a picture of an airliner moments before impact, do you think the only way you would hear about it would be through a forwarded email?  Such a picture would be astonishing and showcased by media world-wide.
6.  We’ve had several emails from readers commenting that the date on the picture appears to be wrong.  The date doesn’t show up well in our reduced version of the picture, but the original does have “09-11-01” on it.  Here it is enlarged.  Some of the pixelization in and around the date is thought by many to be evidence that it was pasted into the picture.

7.  Numerous readers have pointed out that it was a nice September day on the eleventh and the person in this picture appears to be braced for the cold.
8. reader James O. looked up the weather for that day from Accuweather.  The temperature was headed for a high of 81 degrees.
9.  Several readers pointed out that the angle of the shadows on the tower doesn’t seem to be evident on the airplane.
10.  James O. also pointed out that neither of the jetliners was in level flight when hitting the towers.  They both struck while in a banking turn.
11.  Reader Walter H. notes that the airplane seems to be too high compared with where the American jet hit the building.
12.  According to the former website, the observation deck did not open to tourists until 9:30a.  The airliner attacks took place prior to that
13.  Many have written that if this picture had actually been taken at the World Trade Center, there would not be such a short railing.  Most high buildings have restraints to keep people from falling or jumping off.  On WTC 2 however, the observation deck did not go to the edge of the building.  If anyone went over the railing, they would fall to another deck below.
14.  Many have written to say that this picture appears to have come from a low-quality camera that would not have been likely to catch an airliner that is traveling at 300+ miles per hour without blurring.  We haven’t looked into that.
15.  Other emails ask whether both the tourist and whoever took the picture wouldn’t hear the jetliner approaching.