Time Travel: The John Titor Mystery

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Time Travel is Real

Time travel has long held an allure for us mere mortals. Wouldn’t it be great if someone from the future found a way to visit us in the present day — and tell us what we’re doing wrong?

What if that had actually happened? What then?

In 1999, someone started posting on the Internet, claiming he was such a time traveller. He first used the handle TimeTravel_0, and later gave his name as John Titor (usually pronounced “TEE-tor”).

Mmm-hmmm. Using my psychic abilities, I can sense that even the most open-minded among you are feeling suddenly skeptical. Internet postings? At the time, those reading and posting back were equally skeptical. It wasn’t until a couple of years later — after our time traveller had returned to his own time, 2036 — that people started taking him a little more seriously.

Dire Predictions

Some of the things he predicted started coming true.

John Titor Time TravelTitor on the origin of time travel: “The basics of time travel will begin for you at CERN in about a year when they announce their ability to create microsingularities, and end in 2034 with the building of the first ‘time machine.’” He got the year wrong (worldline variation?), but the prediction is spot-on: CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, which does indeed create tiny black holes (micro-singularities), has been operational since 2008. Whether this forms the foundation of time travel remains to be seen.

Titor on the rising problem of Mad Cow Disease: “A great many people are still dying from CJD [Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease]. I want to emphasize how devastating this disease will be for you in the future … [t]he ‘Mad Cow’ story here is yet to begin.” The U.S. public knew almost nothing about Mad Cow in 1999, and no incidents of the disease had appeared on U.S. soil. Today, there have been many Mad Cow cases here in the States. It is well known that there is terrific danger in eating a Mad Cow.

Titor on the decline of American freedom: “The President or ‘leader’ in 2005 tried desperately to hold the country together, but many of their policies drove a larger wedge into the Bill of Rights.” It may not have been 2005, but I think the GWB administration alone lends some credence to this prediction.

The theory in Physics in which multiple worlds simultaneously exist is right. “The universe is made up of infinite worldlines,” says John, “where everything is possible and has a 100% chance of happening. Therefore, there are no paradoxes. The Everett-Wheeler Model is correct.”

Titor on the Chinese space program: “[T]hey are pretty close to putting a man in orbit. It shouldn’t surprise you if they do that soon.” China first put a man into orbit in 2005.

As time has passed, some of his reports were proven to be wildly inaccurate. To wit:

War will slowly escalate over the coming years, culminating in World War III in 2015: “… Russia launches a nuclear strike against the major cities in the United States (which is the “other side” of the civil war from my perspective), China and Europe. The United States counter attacks. The US cities are destroyed along with the AFE (American Federal Empire) … thus we (in the country) won.”

Omaha, Nebraska becomes the new U.S. capital after the World War.

The U.S. will be divided into five regions, and the U.S.–still a viable entity after the war–considers changing its flag from 50 states to five.

John Titor disappeared from the ‘net in April 2001, saying he had to go back to 2036. Since then, he’s been the inspiration for several websites, books, scores of YouTube videos, a stage musical, and now—get this—an award-winning indie film, TimeTravel_0.

Will we see him again in our worldline? Perhaps; according to John, his younger self was born in 1998 and is here with us now–awaiting the apocalypse.

177 Tempus Edax Rerum


Weird science researcher, mystery investigator, cockeyed optimist. If what you see in front of your eyes every day is the sum of things, why the hell get out of bed in the morning?
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