Tech blog site Gizmodo set the Internet on fire on Monday when it released photos and spec details of what they said was Apple’s next-generation iPhone.

Speculation ran rampant over how this whole scoop came about, including questions over whether the site paid money for the device. Gizmodo’s Nick Denton confirmed that they paid $5,000 for access to the phone. Other questions being bandied about: Was the whole thing an Apple plant so the company could gauge user reactions to the redesign? Will Apple or analysts mention the leak during their earnings conference call today?

The site has shared their version of how Apple lost the next iPhone, including tidbits on the poor Apple employee unwittingly involved:

From Gizmodo: “I underestimated how good German beer is,” he [Gray Powell] typed into the next-generation iPhone he was testing on the field, cleverly disguised as an iPhone 3GS. It was his last Facebook update from the secret iPhone. It was the last time he ever saw the iPhone, right before he abandoned it on bar stool, leaving to go home.

Gizmodo goes on to write that the guy who first found it at the bar even tried to give it back to Apple, but “no one took him seriously and all he got for his troubles was a ticket number.” Gizmodo got their hands on the bricked phone weeks later and the rest is history. Or is it?