John Titor: 15 Years Later

By on November 2, 2015 // Time Travel // 9 Comments

Image: ESA/Hubble & NASA via CC by 2.0
Image: ESA/Hubble & NASA via CC by 2.0

I remember when I first learned about John Titor. I’d just finished watching the movie Somewhere In Time – I’d never seen it before – and found it so haunting that I immediately jumped on the Internet. I just wanted to see. To know. Could anyone ever really travel through time? Was it possible?

Of course, I’d thought about time travel before then. Back to the Future was and is one of my favorite movies. But there was something about Somewhere In Time that felt real to me. Possible, even. I think Richard Matheson’s work has that effect.

What I found that night were the forum posts by John Titor. I don’t remember where I started. Maybe archives of Art Bell’s Post2Post forum. I spent a lot of time reading message boards, and visiting, and searching for clues. This was around 2003-2004, so the events were still somewhat fresh, and the important dates – 2005, 2015 – were still in the future.

John Titor cut-a-way

“Before I leave, I do plan to send out a few more pages of the manual and a video of my departure.” – John Titor, February 28, 2001

I’m not sure if I’ve ever truly believed he was a time traveler, but I think I’ve said this before – it doesn’t really matter. If he was, given the possibility of Many Worlds and worldline divergence, there’s no way we’d ever know. Our future is not his, and was never going to be. And if he wasn’t a time traveler, then at the very least Titor’s story has provided countless hours of entertainment.

Tempus Edax Rerum

John Titor's Insignia

John Titor’s Insignia

So where does that leave us, now? I don’t know, really. Fifteen years on and we still don’t know who John Titor was, hoax or not. But I thought it was appropriate to at least acknowledge this strange anniversary.

If you’d like to read Titor’s original posts, has them available on their website (here’s another version with better formatting).

Also be sure to check out my own archive of John Titor articles. Here are a few highlights from over the years:

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About the Author

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. He manages Stranger Dimensions in between changing aquarium filters and reading bad novels about mermaids.

  • luke

    I keep hoping that Titor will pop up again. Especially now that Art is back.

    • Rob

      It’d be really cool if Art Bell got another mysterious message from Titor, or even just from someone claiming to know who he is.

      I mean, that’s one of the biggest things about this story that gets me — if John Titor is a hoax, then whoever did it has spent the past 15 years just watching the reactions. That’s some dedication.

    • That’s the thing that gets me as well. If it is a hoax, what happened to the hoaxer? As far as I know, John Titor, or whoever he was did not profit off of this. No one, as far as I know, has come forward and claimed responsibility. Whoever this was/is simply ‘vanished’ as if into thin air. My experience has taught me that if someone is pulling a hoax, they continue until they confess or are caught. Then there are the predictions that, at first glance, would prove this is a hoax. No civil war. No nuclear war. (yet, with 2 months to go). But, look at those again. Are they really failed predictions, or, did something affect our timeline? A civil war is certainly within the realm of possibility, based on current events in America. Nuclear war seems to be closer than it has been in decades. All of the seeds for Titor’s predictions to come to pass are certainly there. Could they be delayed for some reason? Could it be that if he was a Time traveler, the fact that he revealed himself to us, changed something ever so slightly to cause these predictions to be delayed? CERN is ramping up, and, China has revealed its plan to build a super-collider ten times more powerful than the LHC.

      Of course, if Titor was a Time Traveler, why have we not encountered others? Let’s face it. It more than likely is a hoax, but, there will always be that nagging thought that maybe, just maybe, John Titor was the real deal.

    • Mike

      maybe they died or became incapacitated.

  • Alyx

    I have been on this site for hours reading xD

    • Rob

      That’s very cool. I’m glad you like the website!

  • Annony

    The Complexity of being able to come forward with the knowledge you posses. We have met before and shall meet Again.

  • Jim G

    If John Titor did travel back in time and live with his parents and a younger version of himself, there should be DNA evidence that the younger John and the older John are the same person.

  • Khaaine

    I do believe that “The Traveler” John Titor is real and he came from another world line that is in the future to us. Look at the world now it really resembles the world line Titor told us about. We are on the brink of a possible nuclear war between the USA and Russia and there is a rising unrest amongst the people of America that can escalate to a civil war because the elections. Yes there was a 2% difference between the two world lines but as things go now this is almost 0% and the two world lines can become one or almost the same. He was right! Time and the happenings in this world has proven it.