John Titor: 15 Years Later

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.

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


Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions. Might be a robot.

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