John Titor

tempus edax rerum

John Titor is the name used on several bulletin boards during 2000 and 2001 by a poster claiming to be a time traveler from 2036. In these posts, Titor made numerous predictions about events in the near future, a number of them vague, but some quite specific, starting with events in 2004. He described a drastically changed future in which the United States had broken into five smaller regions, the environment and infrastructure had been devastated by a nuclear attack, and most other world powers had been destroyed.

In his online postings, Titor claimed to be an American soldier from 2036, based in Tampa in Hillsborough County, Florida, who was assigned to a governmental time-travel project. Purportedly, Titor had been sent back to 1975 to retrieve an IBM 5100 computer which he said was needed to ‘debug’ various legacy computer programs in 2036; a reference to the UNIX year 2038 problem. The IBM 5100 runs the APL and BASIC programming languages. Titor had been selected for this mission specifically, given that his paternal grandfather was directly involved with the assembly and programming of the 5100. Titor claimed to be on a stopover in the year 2000 for ‘personal reasons,’ to collect pictures lost in the (future) civil war and to visit his family, of whom he spoke often.

Titor also said he had been, for a few months, trying to alert anyone that would listen about the threat of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease spread through beef products and about the possibility of civil war within the United States. When questioned about them by an online subscriber, Titor also expressed an interest in mysteries such as UFOs, which remained unexplained in his time. Titor suggested that UFOs and extra-terrestrials might be travelers from much further into the future than his own time, with superior time machines.

The first posts appeared on the Time Travel Institute forums on November 2, 2000, under the name ‘TimeTravel_0.’ At the time the posts had nothing to do with future events and the name ‘John Titor’ was not being used. Instead, the posts discussed time travel in general, the first one being the ‘six parts’ description of what a time machine would need to have to work and responses to questions about how such a machine would work. Early messages tended to be short. The name ‘John Titor’ was not introduced until January 2001, when TimeTravel_0 began posting at the ‘Art Bell BBS Forums’ (which required a name or pseudonym for every account). The Titor posts ended in late March 2001. Eventually, a number of the threads became corrupted; but Titor’s posts had been saved on subscribers’ hard drives and were copied to, along with new discussions of the science behind Titor’s time traveling as well as his predictions. It was later stated in an article that ‘many people are [still] counting down the days until world war 3.’

Titor described his time machine on several occasions. In an early post, he described it as a ‘stationary mass, temporal displacement unit powered by two top-spin, dual positive singularities,’ producing a ‘standard off-set Tipler sinusoid.’ The earliest post was more explicit, saying it contained: two magnetic housing units for the dual micro singularities; an electron injection manifold to alter mass and gravity of the micro singularities; a cooling and X-ray venting system; gravity sensors, or a variable gravity lock; four main cesium clocks; and three main computer units. According to the posts, the device was installed in the rear of a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette convertible and later moved to a 1987 truck having four-wheel drive. Titor shared several scans of the manual of a ‘C204 Time Displacement Unit’ with diagrams and schematics, and posted some photographs of the device installed in the car.

Titor claimed that the ‘Everett–Wheeler model of quantum physics,’ better known as the ‘many-worlds interpretation,’ was correct. The model posits that every possible outcome of a quantum decision actually occurs in a separate ‘universe.’ Titor stated that this was the reason the grandfather paradox (traveling back in time to kill one’s own grandfather) would not occur; following the logic of the argument, Titor would be killing a different John Titor’s grandfather in a timeline other than his own. According to Titor: ‘In fact, all paradox is impossible. All possible quantum states, events, possibilities, and outcomes are real, eventual, and occurring. The chances of everything happening someplace at sometime in the superverse is 100%.’ However, Titor also expressed assurance that the differences among the many worlds were minimal. As such, his descriptions have been interpreted as predictions and compared with historical events since 2001.

He wrote: ‘As far as I can tell right now, you are headed toward the same events I would call ‘my history’ in 2036. However, the very nature of time travel states that every worldline is unique and you are very much in control of what you do and how you get there. You are able to change your worldline 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. Yes, it’s very possible that what I say would spin your future off into a different direction.’

Titor predicted: ‘The civil war in the United States will start in 2004. I would describe it as having a Waco type event every month that steadily gets worse. The conflict will consume everyone in the U.S. by 2012 and end in 2015 with a very short WWIII. There is a civil war in the United States that starts in 2006. That conflict flares up and down for 10 years. When the civil ‘conflict’ started and 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. Our home was searched once and the neighbor across the street was arrested for some unknown reason. That convinced my father to leave the city.’

He continued: ‘Real disruptions in world events begin with the destabilization of the West as a result of degrading U.S. foreign policy and consistency. This becomes apparent around 2004 as civil unrest develops near the next presidential election. The Jewish population in Israel is not prepared for a true offensive war. They are prepared for the ultimate defense. Wavering western support for Israel is what gives Israel’s neighbors the confidence to attack. The last resort for a defensive Israel and its offensive Arab neighbors is to use weapons of mass destruction. In the grand scheme of things, the war in the Middle East is a part of what’s to come, not the cause. I’m glad to see it’s so easy for to dismiss the Middle East. Yes, I suppose it is a no brainer but pretty soon it will be a ‘no arrmer’ [sic] and a ‘no legger.’

According to Titor, the War begins with hostility by China: ‘Taiwan, Japan and Korea [are] all ‘forcefully annexed’ before N [uclear] Day. The West will become very unstable which gives China the confidence to ‘expand.’ I’m assuming you are all aware that China has millions of male soldiers right now that they know will never be able to find wives.’ This civil war, according to Titor, will end in 2015 with a brief but intense World War III. Titor refers to the exchange as ‘N Day.’ Washington, D.C. and Jacksonville, Florida are specifically mentioned as being hit. After the war, Omaha, Nebraska is the US’s new capital city. Titor is vague as to the exact motivations and causes for World War III. As a result of the war, the United States splits into five regions based on various factors and differing military objectives.

He writes of the Post N-Day world: ‘Yes I believe in Jesus Christ and we pray to God in churches. There are some differences you may be interested in. Religion is a major part of peoples life in 2036. Pain and change tend to bring people together and closer to God. However, religion is far more personal than it is now. There are no huge, centralized religions and people talk openly about their beliefs. It might also interest you to know that the day of worship is Saturday, the day God meant to be the Shabbat and the 10 commandments have been restored to the ’10’ that God gave us. 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.’

Numerous commentators have pointed out the extensive similarities between the Titor story and Pat Frank’s classic post-apocalyptic science fiction novel ‘Alas, Babylon.’ Among other similarities, Frank’s story takes place in a small river-side town in Florida just before and after a nuclear war and describes the struggle to survive as a family in the aftermath. In the book, the protagonist lives in the fictional town of ‘Fort Repose,’ while Titor claimed to live in the ‘Fort,’ formerly the University of Florida. The use of an automobile as a time machine has been a plot device in many popular pieces of fiction, from Disney’s ‘Bedknobs & Broomsticks’ to the DeLorean sports car in ‘Back to the Future.’


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.