Forbes Writer Denies Snapping Viral Photo of Duct Taped Passenger

Duct tape can solve a lot of situations, but how about when the person sitting next to you on an airplane is downing a whole bottle of duty-free liquor and choking and groping other passengers? That’s what some passengers and crew did to Gudmundur Karl Arthorsson on an Icelandair flight from Reyjavik to New York last week. Someone sitting next to Arthorsson snapped the photo, and it became a viral sensation.

Even though duct tape is one of the sturdiest material out there, it doesn’t fix the problem of mistaken identity. Many news sources named Andy Ellwood as the passenger who witnessed and photographed the drunken man restrained with duct tape. Unfortunately, Ellwood, a contributor for Forbes magazine, wasn’t on that Icelandair flight to New York.

In a Forbes piece, Ellwood said that hundreds of news sources tagged him as the man who sat next to the drunken passenger and received more than 30 press inquiries regarding the bizarre Icelandair incident. It turned out it was his friend who actually snapped the photo. On the bright side, he said that his blog doubled in pageviews from last month in only three days. Yet, all of this happened because of “a flight I wasn’t on and a photo that I didn’t take.”

Still, Ellwood cautions: “While ‘going viral’ is something that scares promiscuous college kids and thrills marketing executives, I learned this weekend it is definitely not for the faint of heart.”