Elan Gale's Viral Airplane Twitter Fight May Have Been A Hoax

Viral Thanksgiving Twitter Feud May Have Been A Hoax

The entertaining story of a TV producer's airplane feud with a passenger may have been a hoax.

The saga began when Elan Gale, who says he's a producer of "The Bachelor," was allegedly aboard a delayed flight to Phoenix on Thanksgiving. Gale, who was supposedly annoyed by a passenger named "Diane" for complaining to flight attendants about missing Thanksgiving, began telling an elaborate story about how he shamed the passenger for being rude and ended up getting slapped in the face.

The story quickly went viral, getting picked up by news sites around the world and sparking a heated debate over bullying, sexism and proper airplane etiquette.

But on Monday night, Gale took to his Twitter account, @theyearofelan, to say he was going to resolve some unanswered questions about "Diane."

So many questions unanswered about Diane. In 15 minutes I will post the photo and hopefully we can resolve all this

— elan gale (@theyearofelan) December 3, 2013

Fifteen minutes later, Gale tweeted this:

Here is Diana sitting in a chair pic.twitter.com/OE5q7j8dhr

— elan gale (@theyearofelan) December 3, 2013

(Minor detail: Gale misspelled her name. That should have said "Diane.")

Shortly after the mysterious Clint Eastwood-esque photo, Gale posted:

I conclude by saying hopefully a few people got a few laughs over a slow Thanksgiving weekend

— elan gale (@theyearofelan) December 3, 2013

And this:

Don't forget to tip your bloggers!

— elan gale (@theyearofelan) December 3, 2013

While Gale is being coy, and it's still unclear how much (if any) of his prolonged social media tirade actually happened, Gale's history might suggest he has a penchant for comedic hoaxes. As Grantland points out, he live-tweeted a hilarious blind date last year that was apparently imagined.

Moreover, Gale's retweets shortly after the empty chair photo seem to celebrate him having "tricked the Internet:"


— Adam Wilson ★★☆☆☆ (@theleanover) December 3, 2013

If it's true that Gale made the whole thing up, the only thing left to be resolved is who wrote the heart-breaking comment on Storify saying Diane was a relative who had stage IV lung cancer and was on her way to her final Thanksgiving.

It's still unclear, but Gale had a message for the commenter, too:

Please forward all future complaints to anyone who told you Diane had cancer

— elan gale (@theyearofelan) December 3, 2013