Aug 17, 2020 I Nick Redfern

Taking a Look at Time-Travel, Part 2

Part 1 of this article began as follows: "From 2000 to 2001, the world of conspiracy-theorizing was rocked when someone using the name of John Titor came forward, claiming to be a time-traveler from the future, specifically from 2036. Such was the fascination with Titor’s story, conspiracy researchers took deep notice of what he had to say, to the point that what began as an interesting series of claims quickly became a veritable phenomenon. But, was Titor all that he claimed to be? Was his story of being a member of the U.S. military true? Was he really a man from the future? Or, was the whole thing a strange hoax? Before we get to the matter of answering those questions, let’s first take a look at the history of time-travel in both reality and fiction."

With that said, onto the saga of John Titor. There is absolutely no doubt that John Titor’s claims stretch credulity to the absolute max – particularly so because many of his claims did not come to pass. For his supporters, though, that’s not a problem: they suspect that there may be multiple, alternative timelines, rather than just one – which, admittedly provokes even more controversy. It all began at the dawning of the 21st century. It was just one year before 9/11 that John Titor turned up on various online forums, claiming to be one of Uncle Sam’s warriors – but from 36 years in the future. The story that Titor told was not a good one. In fact, it was downright grim and disturbing. Some might even say bone-chilling.

It’s important to note that we don’t even know if  "John Titor" was the man’s real name. Initially, his claims that were posted online went nameless. That changed when, in early 2001, Titor began posting extraordinary stories to the late Art Bell’s BBS forums. Since the site required users to provide a name, our alleged time-traveler chose "John Titor."” According to his story, Titor – in 2036 – lived and worked in Tampa, Florida. He had a mission to travel back in time to 1975 – ostensibly to access certain computer-based technologies that could, in some unclear fashion, help the people of the future with their very own computers. It is hardly surprising that Titor’s claims became big news – and very quickly. And particularly so at the late Art Bell’s site. When Titor’s claims and predictions were made in the 2000-2001 period, they understandably shook up a lot of people. After all, he was talking about nuclear war, the collapse of much of civilization, a future that was both dangerous and dark, and a world very different to ours – in many respects, even unrecognizable. Let’s see what, exactly, Titor had to say.

Time traveler

John Titor loudly proclaimed that a civil war would begin in 2004, and which would progress until it really blew up big time in 2008. Such was the scale of the civil war, said Titor, the United States fragmented into five, separate regions. Things got worse: in 2015 Russia launched a number of nuclear missiles at the United States, something which caused massive death, destruction and turmoil. Titor said that the people of 2036 referred to this brief, terrible exchange between the United States and Russia as "N Day." Of course, it’s important to note that none of this ever happened. And, more significantly, Titor made no mention of 9/11. Titor, however, had a get-out clause for this highly problematic part of his overall story. Namely, he explained that the future was not set in stone: traveling back and forth in time could result in the creation of multiple timelines. In other words, Titor implied, his future and our future might be radically different. In his world, there was a brief Third World War, but no 9/11.

Titor himself acknowledged this problem with his story: "When the day comes for my 'prediction' to be realized it will either happen or not. If it does happen, then your ability to judge your environment is crippled by your acceptance of me as a 'knower of all things' and gifted with the ability to tell the future. If I am wrong, then everything I have said that might possibly have made you think about your world in a different way is suddenly discredited. I do not want either. Although I do have personal reasons for being here and speaking with you, the most I could hope for is that you recognize the possibility of time travel as a reality. You are able to change your world line for better or worse just as I am. Therefore, any ‘prediction’ I might make has a slight chance of being incorrect anyway and you now have the ability to act on it based on what I’ve said. Can you stop the war before it gets here? Sure. Will you do it? Probably not."

John Titor mysteriously vanished in 2001; his claims, however, still intrigue and entertain thousands of dedicated followers. They believe that he is not the hoaxer that many believe him to be, but someone whose claims of multiple timelines in our future can explain the inconsistencies in Titor’s tales. My view is that because there are inconsistencies in the story it all amounts to one thing: bullshit. Does that mean time-travel - as we largely interpret it - is impossible? No. But, we need far more evidence than we have right now - which is hazy, theoretical and speculative.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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