Oct 13, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

'Last Man on Earth' Time Traveler Reappears and More People Spot Cell Phones in Ancient Paintings

There are serious students of time travel who point to the physics of special and general relativity, spacetime, closed timelike curves, wormholes, quantum mechanics and other scientific theories to justify the possible existence of the ability to move forward or backward in time. There are serious science fiction writers who have created believable examples and thought-provoking scenarios of the thrill and consequences of time travel. Then there are the “TikTok time travelers” who post video messages and warnings allegedly from a future time – from a few years to millennia from now – in attempts to scare an already terrified general public into changing its ways and preventing a dystopian future. Unfortunately for the TikTok time travelers, these pronouncements usually contain specific dates which always pass without the forecast results happening. This week, a favorite of these ‘time travelers' – one who claims he's the last human in a future just a few years from now – has resurfaced with new videos. This occurred just in time to complement a slew of findings in old photos and older paintings which appear to show people holding cell phones long before their invention. Get ready for a time-travel-palooza of trips to the past and future!

“I just woke up in a hospital and I don't know what happened. Today is February 13, 2027 and I am alone in the city.”

For those not up on their TikTok time travelers, ‘Javier’ (a.k.a. @unicosobreviviente or lone survivor) first appeared in 2021 claiming he woke up in 2027 in a hospital in Valencia, Spain, and, upon getting up out of his bed and wandering around, found he was completely alone in a deserted city that somehow still had electricity, cars from 2021, food and all the amenities of a modern city … except people and animals, who seem to have vanished right before Javier appeared. Javier posted many, many videos of deserted locations in Spain, showing everything but himself, and, while sounding anguished about his plight, never seemed to try to get back or attempt to contact anyone via the phones or other equipment which seemed to be still operational in 2027 (now 2028). Speaking of ‘now’, Javier’s latest videos show him at what appears to be a deserted military base which he identifies as Base Militar “Jaime I.” Before you run off to Google it, that is a real military base in Bétera (population in 2022: 14,000) in the Valencia autonomous community, located approximately 20 km (12.4 miles) from the city of Valencia. In 2022, it is the location of the High Readiness Ground Headquarters Battalion. In 2028 …

“Entra en una zona military si entras te creo.” (Enter a military zone if you enter I believe you – Google translation)

Javier receives challenges from his TikTok followers regularly to demonstrate that he really is in the year and location he claims, and especially that he is the ‘lone survivor’. Most ask for something with a date on it, or a picture of a 2027 Chevy, or that he destroy something on the street to show that he truly is alone. Javier generally chooses easy challenges, but the latest one could have been consequential – he was asked to enter a military zone or base. Javier chose Base Militar “Jaime I” and, like all other places he allegedly records on his cellphone (with a limitless battery running on 2028 electricity generated by no one … just saying), it is completely devoid of human activity. Javier seems to walk around an empty runway and hangar, then walks around an open helicopter and records himself (or at least his legs) sitting in the pilot’s seat. This illustrates the biggest and toughest questions for skeptics who think he’s a 2022 hoaxer – how does he arrange to tour what should be busy places, or how does he so cleanly eliminate people from his videos. Is he a security officer or police officer with after-hours access to buildings? Is he the world’s best CGI specialist? One thing is for certain – he is definitely an expert at getting TikTok views and followers … and that seems to be the primary goal of Javier and all of the alleged time travelers on TikTok. Javier is still the most clever, but what will happen when the rest of the world catches up to 2027? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, at the art museum …

“The online community is perplexed by a painting from 1860 that is making the rounds. The Expected One was initially made public by retired UK government worker Peter Russell, who discovered it while visiting the Neue Pinakothek Museum in Munich.”

Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller’s “The Expected One”

Why is the online community perplexed? According to The Economic Times of India and other media sources, it appears the woman is scrolling on a smartphone while strolling on a path – a thoroughly modern scene – especially since the oblivious woman is about to blindly stumble over some rocks … except it was painted in 1860. Art experts around the world are baffled by how many online netizens are baffled by this photo – which they point out is obviously a woman reading her prayerbook and praying … either that she doesn’t trip over the rocks or that the man hiding behind the bush is a suitor and not a mugger. This painting has made the rounds before but continues to fool many, as does another also popping up this week – 'Man Handing a Letter to a Woman in the Entrance Hall of a House' by Pieter de Hooch.

 'Man Handing a Letter to a Woman in the Entrance Hall of a House' by Pieter de Hooch.

Painted in 1670, long before the invention of the cellphone, it continues to fool those who ignore the painting’s title – apparently believing de Hooch was in on the ruse. This is obviously a variation of pareidolia – the tendency to impose a familiar meaning to a puzzling visual image. The age of these paintings pushes this form of pareidolia into the realm of time travel, where it resides with the many old photos that look like they contain images of modern famous people who obviously traveled back in time to escape modern paparazzi photographers … only to encounter ancient paparazzi photographers. The New York Post does a great job of featuring the latest ones of Matthew McConaughey in the 1800s (debunked by the great grandson of the man in the photo), climate activist Greta Thunberg in an 1898 photo of a girl who even has a matching braid, and the many appearances of the ancient photographic doppelgangers of Nicholas Cage and Keanu Reeves.

What do these obvious and not-so-obvious hoaxes mean? As Viktor Frankl’s book title illustrates, “Man’s Search for Meaning” often blinds humans to reality and science when it conflicts with emotions and desires – causing us to not ask ourselves the questions like “Would you spend your time traveling to the past posing for photos?” or “If you were stuck in the future all alone, wouldn’t you blow up a Chevy?”


Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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