Time Travel: John Titor's Startling Predictions Is it possible
to travel back in time? A man calling himself John Titor claims
it is. In fact, Titor says that he is a time traveler from the
year 2036. These pronouncements and others were made on various
Internet forums and chat rooms from November 2000 to March 2001,
ending when Titor went back to the future—or so the story goes.
Since then a cult industry has sprung up, attracting the attention
of tens of thousands of Web surfers, both true believers and
Why are you posting messages on the Internet?
JOHN TITOR: I’ve been trying to alert anyone to the possibility
of a civil war in the United States. To see it unfold is very
interesting. I realize no one will actually believe me, and
I’m not sure you should.
Tell us how the war started. Who was involved? Who won?
Civil war in the United States will start in 2005. The conflict
flares up and down, but the year 2008 was a general date when
everyone realized the world they were living in was over.
Time Travel: John Titor's Startling Predictions When the civil
conflict got worse, people generally decided to either stay
in the cities and lose most of their civil rights under the
guise of security, or leave the cities for more isolated and
rural areas. The conflict consumed everyone in the U.S. by 2012
and ended with a very short World War III.
How can we survive the war?
If you want to survive the coming conflict, learn to let fear
keep you alive. Too many of you turn off the life-saving natural
instincts and premonitions when it’s convenient. The same person
who has five dead-bolt locks on their door will think nothing
about getting into a parking-garage elevator with a total stranger.
If you want to live, keep your eyes open.
How does your time machine work?
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.”
The unit I have is called a GE C204 gravity-distortion unit.
It’s about 5-feet-long and 2-feet-by-2-feet square. The C204
unit is accurate from 50 to 60 years a jump and travels at about
ten years an hour at 100% power.
During operation the C204 is usually placed inside a vehicle.
The gravity field generated by the unit overtakes you very quickly.
You feel a tug toward the unit similar to rising quickly in
an elevator, and it continues to rise based on the power setting.
Outside, the vehicle appears to accelerate as the light is bent
around it. After that, it appears to fade to black and remains
totally black outside the vehicle until the unit is turned off.
Can you travel to a place and time of your choice?
The distortion unit has operational limits. The unit I have
begins to “break away” at about 60 years. In other words, if
I wanted to go back 2,000 years and meet Christ, there is a
good chance I would end up on a worldline where he was never
What would happen if you met yourself in another timeline?
Nothing would happen. The universe is made up of infinite worldlines
where everything is possible and has a 100% chance of happening.
Therefore, there are no paradoxes. The Everett-Wheeler Model
is correct. [There exist parallel universes in which anything
that can happen does happen.] It has always surprised me why
that concept is so hard for people to imagine and accept. I
have met or seen myself twice on different worldlines. I was
born in 1998; so the other “me” is two [years old] on your worldline.
How does your original worldline differ from ours?
The fact that I’m here makes it different. I would guess the
temporal divergence between this worldline and my original is
about 2%. Of course, the longer I am here, the larger that divergence
becomes from my point of view. I get home by going back before
I arrived and then going forward to 2036. If I go forward to
“your” 2036 now, it would probably look nothing like mine. Under
multiple-world theory, there are an infinite number of “homes”
that I could return to that don’t have me there. I can never
get back to the exact worldline I left, but I can get back to
a worldline that is so close, no one would know the difference.
Why do people travel in time?
The reason we use time travel in 2036 is to get information
or items that would be helpful in 2036. Right now most of our
practical missions are from 1960 to 1980. I was sent to 1975
to get an IBM computer system called the 5100. It was one of
the first portable computers made with the unique ability to
read older IBM programming languages. We need the system in
2036 to “debug” various legacy programs that are used in larger
Can you tell us what 2036 is like?
In 2036 I live in Florida with my family, and I’m currently
stationed at an Army base in Tampa. I was born in 1998; so I
do share some childhood memories with all of you. Life is centered
more on the family and then the community. I cannot imagine
living even a few hundred miles away from my parents. People
spend more time talking to each other and their neighbors. I’ve
noticed the same effect here when the power goes off.
There is a lot more personal trust and less paranoia. There
is no large industrial complex creating masses of useless food
and recreational items. Food and livestock are grown and sold
locally. People spend much more time reading. Religion is taken
seriously, and everyone can multiply and divide in their heads.
What can you tell us about our immediate future?
Since I will eventually be leaving this worldline, I could
easily tell you all sorts of things that would happen in the
next few years. Unfortunately, your worldline is already 2%
different from mine, and there’s no way to give you absolute
facts about future events. When the day comes for my “prediction”
to be realized, it may happen or it may not. In fact, the information
I give you will allow someone to affect the outcome based on
the prediction itself. If what I say does happen, then your
ability to judge your environment is crippled by your acceptance
of me as a prophet. 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.
You are able to change your worldline just as I am. Can you
stop the civil war before it gets here? Sure. Will you do it?
What are the major health concerns in the future?
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. We only eat meat that we raise ourselves.
Do not eat or use products from any animal that is fed and eats
parts of its own dead. The “Mad Cow” story here is yet to begin.
What does time travel do to religion?
Since every possible outcome, event and possibility is happening
and will happen, then all good and all evil must balance out
in the universe. After the reality of multiple worlds sank into
our collective thought, the one basic change to all religious
dogma is the concept that good and evil does not exist as an
organized force in our lives, nor can it be used as a useful
way to judge what God may think of a situation.
Good and evil are personal experiences that can only guide
what we do as individuals and how we relate to others. This
outlook also makes it impossible for me to judge any other person
or event. Since we cannot see the entire universe as God sees
it, we will never be gods or be capable of accurately judging
anything outside of ourselves. My actions can only be judged
as good and bad by me and my God.
Does the ability to know what’s going to occur help convince
people you’re a time traveler?
Consider that you are a time traveler who goes back in time
to the first week of February 1970, and you are confronted with
the same problem. What do you remember right now about the second
week of February 1970?
Naturally, the conflict in Vietnam and the Middle East came
up, but as someone has already stated here, that wouldn’t be
any more convincing than it is now. I suppose I could predict
the failure of the Apollo 13 spacecraft, but since time travel
is ridiculous, I would be blamed for sabotage.
What surprises you the most about our time period?
I like the incredible freedom you have, but I see it as a trap.
The cost is the loss of your sense of connection with family
and community. Yes, you can self-actualize your ambitions, but
at what cost to the people around you or yet to be born? The
incredible availability of art, literature and limitless resources
is hardly taken advantage of as you sit in front of your TVs
What would our government do if they found you?
I would probably end up in a nice little padded cell while
they poked at my machine with a screwdriver. I’m really not
that worried. First, they would have to believe in time travel;
and second, stupidity and greed are fairly predictable. In my
experience, evil may be powerful, but it isn’t very bright.
How did you feel about the President in 2005 and 2009?
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. The President in 2009 was interested
only in keeping his/her power base.
Do you think that war is immoral?
I disapprove of murder. Man as a species is incapable of changing
his nature through will alone, and war is a tool of biology.
The ability for war sleeps in each one of us, and we must decide
what we will do before it awakens. As for morality, again I
point to the universal balance of good and evil. For every worldline
where there is peace, there is a worldline that has destroyed
It sounds as if you think a war would benefit us.
I have an example that’s closer to my situation: You are a
time traveler who wishes to go back in time to 1941 because
your grandparents live close to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. You
realize you can’t stop the war, but you may be able to help
them prepare for it. Strangely, December 7 comes and goes with
no sneak attack. As the war in Europe rages on, Japan fails
to join the Axis power, there is no war in the Pacific, and
the United States remains neutral. Then you watch as Germany
begins to develop the atomic bomb all by itself. What would
As far as war goes, I have faith you are quite capable of starting
one all by yourself. I am hard pressed to accept any criticism
of my outlook on that subject. Personal responsibility, determination,
honor, friendship and self-reliance are not just words we fantasize
about in the future. I watch every day what you are doing as
a society. While you sit by and watch your Constitution being
torn away from you, you willfully eat poisoned food, buy manufactured
products no one needs and turn an uncaring eye away from millions
of people suffering and dying all around you.
Perhaps I should let you all in on a little secret. No one
likes you in the future. This time period is looked at as being
full of lazy, self-centered, civically ignorant sheep. Perhaps
you should be less concerned about me and more concerned about
that. I think a war would be good for you and your society.
I don’t want to stop it, nor would I if I could.
Is there anything you want us to know before you return to
One very disturbing thing I have noticed about your society
is your blind acceptance of what you are told. Do you really
think the news industry doesn’t have an agenda? Do you really
think those hamburgers you stuff into your body are safe?
Do you really think your government is telling you the truth?
What proof do you have of any of that?
I often hear, “If time travel is real, where are all the time
travelers?” Quite frankly, you all scare the hell out of us.
In trying to help you, we put ourselves at great risk, and there’s
really no point to it. Since worldlines, outcomes and events
are infinite, we have better things to do.
TIME ON HIS SIDE?
Despite John Titor's repeated assertion, "My goal is not
to be believed," the Internet is rife with skirmishes between
ardent disciples and skeptics. Here are the main bones of contention:
In 2000 Titor declared, "The basics for time travel start
at CERN in about a year." Six months later, news stories
emerged announcing that scientists at CERN (European Center
for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland were confident that its
new atom-smasher would create mini-black holes, the same kinds
of singularities John Titor claimed to use. As Titor was posting,
it was known that CERN's colossal particle-accelerator would
soon be brought online and that scientists there intended to
make artificial black holes.
In 2001 Titor said there would be a "devastating"
breakout of Mad Cow in the U.S., leading to widespread death
from Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), the human variant of the
brain-wasting malady. In 2003 the USDA announced the first documented
case of Mad Cow in the U.S. amid claims that the government
was suppressing the true extent of the problem. On that note,
Johns Hopkins researchers have recently estimated that 10% of
Alzheimer's cases may actually be CJD. Debunkers say that a
wave of Mad Cow wouldn't have been hard to predict, since Europe's
epidemic was already under way, and it was just a matter of
time before it hit the U.S.
Titor maintained that he went back to 1975 to retrieve a vintage
IBM 5100 computer that had a secret code-reading capability,
which IBM kept under wraps. A former company programmer has
since confirmed that the 5100 had an interface between the assembly
code and the emulator beneath it, allowing programmers access
to all IBM code. The function was allegedly suppressed to protect
it from competitors. Some have speculated that John Titor is
simply an IBM programmer with inside knowledge.
In 2001 Titor forecast that China was "pretty close to
putting a man in orbit; it shouldn't surprise you if they do
that soon." In October 2003 China became the third nation
to put an astronaut into Earth orbit.
Titor implied that weapons of mass destruction would not be
found in Iraq. "Are you really surprised that Iraq has
nukes now, or is that just BS to whip everyone up into accepting
the next war?" he wrote in early 2001. Of course, he's
not the only one who thought it was BS from the beginning, but
this Titor posting preceded both 9/11 and any public discussion
of an invasion of Iraq.
Titor predicted "a series of Waco-like incidents,"
but didn't say anything about 9/11. Some speculate that this
omission was because the coming civil war and subsequent nuclear
world war dwarfed an event like 9/11. "Does anyone today
talk about the sinking of the Reuben James?" asked one
post. Titor did say that there were occurrences he refused to
warn about. Plus, divergence between worldlines could mean that
he didn't know about 9/11, since it never happened on his worldline.
Some have also pointed out that John Titor was simply using
a reference point that people were already familiar with-in
this case the Branch Davidian inferno in Waco.
Titor carefully pointed out that, according to the many-worlds
theory, if his predictions don't come true, it just means that
our worldline is slightly different from his and that ours can
change at any time.
Some physicists have said that Titor's time machine would not
work since he did not have enough mass to create the microsingularity
he claimed he had. Titor countered by saying that the theory
of general relativity works for mass too and that his double-singularity
only simulated the effects of a black hole. Time travel doesn't
need a total theory anyway, he wrote; it just needs to use the
parts of quantum theory that work in the real world.
Some physicists maintain that John Titor's time machine would
never be able to overcome Hawking Radiation, which would fast
exceed tolerable levels and cause the singularity to explode.
John responded in 2001 that Hawking Radiation could be adequately
controlled. In 2004 Stephen Hawking himself conceded that he
was wrong about his black-hole paradox and that black holes
might allow information within them to escape after all.
In 2003 Duke University physics professor Robert G. Brown posted
a spirited refutation of John Titor's physics, focusing primarily
on the impossibility of Titor carting around mass-heavy black
holes in an automobile and shooting them up with electrons.
Brown makes a strong case that Titor's physics and engineering
claims are preposterous.
The picture of the bent laser that Titor posted online is a
fake, some experts insist. If the gravity outside the car were
bending it, as Titor claimed, then all the light would be bent,
not just the laser. Titor never addressed this issue, apparently
since the paradox was pointed out after his supposed return
to the future.
Representing John Titor's supposed family is Larry Haber, a
pricey entertainment lawyer based in Celebration, Florida. Also
the location of the headquarters of the John Titor Foundation,
Celebration is a master-planned community on Disney-owned real
estate outside Orlando. Haber, one of Celebration's first residents,
has been a Disney attorney. Some suspect that Haber or his teenage
son may have originally propagated the hoax as a merchandising
scheme or as a way to bring traffic to TimeTravelInstitute.com,
where Titor's first postings appeared. Interestingly, the Web
site originally had the same bulletin board administrator as
the town of Celebration. Oliver Williams (the current editor
of JohnTitor.com and compiler of our accompanying interview)
is also suspected of being the supposed time traveler, using
the John Titor Foundation as a cover.