Wednesday, August 30, 2006

John Titor, Fake Time Traveller

In 2000/2001, someone claiming to be a time traveller began posting to several message forums on the Web. The poster went by the name of John Titor and claimed to be a time traveller from the year 2036. He posted numerous times and made a variety of claims that would be verifiable in only a few short years.

John Titor loaded pictures of his time machine as well as a cutaway diagram of the device. He answered questions about the future and told his life story as someone who grew up in the early 21st century. His predictions for the future were grim. He claimed that a civil war would engulf the USA starting in 2004. He predicted a Third World War in 2015 that will kill 3 billion people. During this war, Washington D.C. will be destroyed, China will annex Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, and Australia will repel a Chinese invasion. Most American cities are going to be destroyed and it is the rural areas of America which will survive and rebuild the nation. Universities take on a greater role in American life.

Thankfully, John Titor has now been proven a fraud. No civil war began in the USA in 2004. In late summer 2006, it is fairly easy to dismiss this claim. As the alleged time traveller has already failed in his first major prediction, it is a fair assumption that the rest will not happen either. There may be a Third World War someday, but John Titor likely has not predicted the timing or course of events of it. I guess his proponents can claim that John Titor was not a fraud and that he must have visited the past from a different alternate timeline. However, as I am only interested in the timeline I am living in, I am going to dismiss Titor.

John Titor was a major phenomenom in time travel and paranormal circles until his predictions failed to come true in 2004. As I hinted at above, some have even came up with theories that he was real despite the false predictions. I guess the lesson here is if you want to make up claims of being a time traveller, pretend to be from the far future. In this way, you can claim a lack of knowledge of 21st century history and make grand predictions of the far future with no chance of being proven a fraud.

Here are some sites on John Titor:

Wikipedia on John Titor
The Original Forum where John Titor posted
Cryptic Universe

Update 7 August 2008: Joh Titor, Proven Hoax - Yes Virginia, there were a 2008 Summer Olympic Games.


Sandro Magi said...

Not a Titor believer, but from what I've read, Titor claimed that not everyone would be aware of this "Civil War" until 2008, when it would become undeniable. So technically, the issue is still open.

M said...

"Not a Titor believer, but from what I've read, Titor claimed that not everyone would be aware of this "Civil War" until 2008, when it would become undeniable. So technically, the issue is still open."

I am sorry but I disagree. There may be a cultural war in the USA right now (like there has been since 1776 and before) but America is not in a Civil War in 2006. There are no battles going on.

And any government attacks on civil liberties pale in comparision to what the government attempted in the past with the Alien and Sedition Act, the Dredd Scott decision, the suspension of Habeas Corpus during the American Civil War of 1861-1865, and FDR sending Japanese-Americans to concentrtion camps during World War Two.

There has been no civil war in the USA from 2004-2006. It is not happening. Titor missed his first prediction and can be seen as a fraud.

t said...

Let's just say he's fake and dismiss him as not being a real citizen. But let's take his words into context in the present. You should pay attention to the present more than you are obviously paying to history, sir.

You cite FDR and not Guantanomo Bay. Or the Patriot Act.

John Titor said, "You must realize that why people are fighting is more important that what they are fighting with. The conflict was not about taking and holding ground it was about order and rights. They were betting that people wanted security instead of freedom and they were wrong. "

Pretty interesting prediction, no?

Hoax or not, he definitely brings up some great points. Call it cultural, call it civil, whatever. America is at a crossroads right now.

Mike Eisler said...

Titor is a fake because he claimed that in his future, the y2k crisis caused devastation. He then went to 1975, told his grandfather about y2k, and then went to 1998, the year he was born in his timeline, and met his parents and infant self. He waited out y2k and of course it was a non-event. He then claimed that he was the reason there was no y2k disaster. (Titorists will now say that the timeline was changed to prevent or delay the civil war that occurred in Titor's timeline.)

So how, after changing the timeline in 1975, could his parents produce a male child born on the same day as he was, and apparently the same DNA? Given the large number of genes in the human genome, how was it possible in the altered timeline for the same pair of sperm and egg cells to be randomly selected to fertilize
and produce a genetically identical John Titor in our timeline?

laserphish said...

Civil war from 2004-2008?
Your civil liberites vs. the Governement. guess who is losing?

M said...

It is clear that by laserphish's comments that since Titor failed badly in his first prediction of a Civil War in American 2004-2008, his proponents are redefining civil war to mean that generally peaceful disagreements in the USA over civil liberty issues constitute a civil war.

If civil liberty disagreements mean civil war, then the passage of the Alien and Sedition Act (which allowed President Adams to throw dissenters in jail) means the USA suffered a civil war from 1798 to 1801. It means that the Espionage Act of 1917 that threw World War I dissenters in jail like Eugene Debs was a time of civil war. It means FDR started a civil war by violating the constitution and sending Japanese-Americans to concentration camps.

Are the Patroit Act and Guantomona Bay troubling and worthy of debate about civil liberties. Yes! But this is not a new issue. Civil liberty violations by the feds are common in US history. With the exception of 1861-1865, historians do not consider any to be civil wars.

And we are not in a civil war now...Titor was wrong.

The Frederick said...

"Civil war from 2004-2008?
Your civil liberites vs. the Governement. guess who is losing?"

Well, no it's not. How many people have died?

John Titor's "prediction" was self-defeating. If there was a cibil war, everyone would know about it.

Anonymous said...

"So how, after changing the timeline in 1975, could his parents produce a male child born on the same day as he was, and apparently the same DNA?

Given the large number of genes in the human genome, how was it possible in the altered timeline for the same pair of sperm and egg cells to be randomly selected to fertilize
and produce a genetically identical John Titor in our timeline?"

How would telling his grandfather about Y2K change which sperm united with which egg?

I agree with naasking. Saying that Titor's a fake because we're not at open war is ridiculous. If anything, you could say that Titor's claim that the last Olympics were held in 2004 proves he was a fake.

Here are some quote from Titor: "There is a civil war in the United States that starts in 2005. That conflict flares up and down for 10 years."

"The year 2008 was a general date by which time everyone will realize the world they thought they were living in was over. 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 US by 2012 and end in 2015 with a very short WWIII."

World War II didn't officially start until 1941. Yet the seeds of the war were sown in 1933, when Hitler took power, and again in 1939, when Germany took over Poland.

The Civil War (1861-1865) had its origins in the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which repealed the Missouri Compromise.

In both cases, people may not have realized it at the time, but war was on the horizon. After the fact, we can look at it and see that war was coming. In the same way, I don't find it totally unbelievable that we could be a few years away from war without realizing it.

Let's not forget that Titor knew details about the IBM 5100 that were not public knowledge at the time (the ability to use the computer to access the information on mainframe computers). So if it was a hoax, it had to be some involved at IBM.

Listen, I'm not holding my breath waiting for a war to happen. I just disagree with your contention that Titor has been proven wrong.

Steve said...

Um...just for everyone who thinks that the problem is is NOT. The problem he is sent back to get a computer to help repair is known as the year 2038 problem and it is very real...not to mention much more dangerous due to its being embedded in the C programming language (and hence in hundreds of legacy machines and operating systems since then) as opposed to only being part of several database programs like y2k was. Furthermore john claimed that there WAS a civil war that ENDED in 2015 with nuclear war...and that most people wouldn't even see it coming until the end of 2008. I think it is easy to say he is full of it, and I am the least likely individual to believe something on blind faith, but find me something else that is directly conflicting before you dismiss his claims

Sigge said...

As many other "debunkers" have pointed out, you can't really attack anything Titor says, because he's not really saying anything.
But his ignorance in specifics makes him more human (and this is where, I believe, he benefits).

Most seem to agree Titor's main inspiration is this post-apocalyptic novel:,_Babylon

although others have pointed out similarities with other books, and also films such as "Twelve Monkeys".

What can we say about Titor?
- He is well-wandered in physics (he probably anticipated every question)
- He's a great social engineer
- He had insight about the IBM 5100 to the point of either being a hacker (is this feasible?) or (probably more likely) had something to do with its coming about (or had inside info)
- He's interested in what any computer nerd (read /.'er) would be
- He is re-active (back to nature, Rousseau)
- His morale is questionable
- He has captured our attention
- He accomplished his agenda (were it to entertain himself, others; to conduct a social experiment; roleplay; research for a novel.. etc)

My thoughts?
If you want to debunk Titor, please focus on the photographs and specifics (like dates) and NOT pseudo-historical "evidence".
People often ask him about music, but he does not mention ONE artist at "his present" that is popular. Even IF that artist would be popular only in his worldline, there is no reason for not mentioning it.

My thoughts re: Titor?
2036 (the year he visited from) is not far away. Remember people said we would have flying cars by 2010? I can't see any reason for dramatic changes like that.
But that's pseudo-historical.

My real problem, which hits the prospect at the core, is this: time does not exist.

Or rather; time does exist qua consciousness the same way "physical objects" and "empty space" exist qua consciousness.
Time is not a river you can go up and down or freeze as you like.
You cannot move in, or stop, or rewind or fast forward what is not there to move in, or stop etc, in the first place.
Causality is a projection posed on what is, and not part of what is. It is a helpful, useful, wonderful projection; but that is what it is.
Time has its source in two fallacies:
- the generalization from observing causality (qua projection) instantiated
- the firm (yet groundless) belief that the past exists (also the future, but since people have memories of the past, it is more fixed)

The general realization of this fact (that time does not exist) would probably help us in taking better care of the present, accumulating greater happiness for everyone, and avoiding hypothetical scenarios like that of Titor's.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes... John Titor, the one who proclaims himself as a "time traveller". I did not find out about him here, but on Wikipedia, in which a link in the article took me here. And my position on the debate?


It's not everyday in which some one out of the blue comes on out in an offician manner on a regular forum and declares him himself from the future. However, that shouldn't be a reason to dismiss him as one.

The civil war he talks can be defined quite clearly, if one has an "eye" for detecting detail. he simply implies that "not everyone would be aware of this 'civil war' until 2008." Naturally you'd think that it's definately as hoax of some sort; no one's getting killed, no huge announcement on the newsapaper, etc. However, not all "wars" have some sort of human death, nor is it very apparent. The genocide in Rwanda was rarely heard of-millions were killed and there was little help applied; until the wolrd became aware of the dire situation and sent some help. You could think of this "civil war" as a sort of "struggle", as one person put it, between civil liberties and the government. It you all havn't noticed, the U.S. government is taking giant steps to make us "safer"; phone tapping, items being prohibits on flights, etc.

So don't be quick to judge. The dates of the rest of his predictions haven't come and gone yet, so don't make any quick decisions. Anything's possible guys... even the chances are near zero.


M said...

"The dates of the rest of his predictions haven't come and gone yet, so don't make any quick decisions."

He predicted the last Olympics would be held in 2004. We just had a Winter Olympics in 2006. Titor is a fraud. Stick a fork in him.

Sigge said...

Miland, remember that you're talking to a mortified penguin.

Unknown said...

In my opinion maybe the biggest flaw proving Titor hoax is the supposed military insignia. It is strongly evident in the insignia, that it has been designed by an amateur. It is, what laymen would describe as 'futuristic', but nevertheless it lacks basically everything that the profession of graphic designers would do different. Or to be more precise, insignia represents, what an amateur would come up, when thinking 'What would my badge look like in year 2036?'

Army, if any organisation in the world, draws its force from traditions. That could be the reason, why insignias have changed very little in the history of armies. They have maybe refined their gestalt, but still have symbolic references to the landscape of homebase, animals, wings, claws, national symbols, plants, etc. Google will give you quite good spectrum about this subject. Check it out yourself. References to anything meaningful are absent in Titor's insignia. Next time do your god damn homework, hoax!

Many years ago NASA changed it's corporate identity to highly refined, futuristic NASA logotype. It was supposed to increase visibility on TV on the ailerons of shuttles (that was one of the specs, which was given to designers). End result was that new was somewhat abandoned after a while, because it was widely disliked. The old was introduced back, and problems with visibility thus disregarded. The sad part of this is, that the logotype was in fact very professionally designed. But it lacked the coziness that the old one had. BTW, the old NASA logo, which is still in use, has been designed by an employee of NASA. As far as I know, he/she had no education for that particular job. What an irony, when considering my opinions.

But my point here is, that I am not convinced that design of insignias would change in 30 years so drastically, what Titor's insignia would imply. Course of time has proved that the army is the last place to try that kind of solutions, which Titor's insignia employs. But time will tell. Unless Titor has tampered also the timeline of graphic design.

Dwy said...

Guys, I am not an expert on the works of John Titor but I don't think he is proven wrong just yet.

I feel there IS a Civil War going on in America. This war is not as "traditional" as past examples as there is no bloodshed or murder. The war is over our rights. One side believes that the government is inhumane towards its people. This side is a pacifist society and chooses to fight with words as opposed to weapons.

I know what your are thinking and you may not agree with my speculation as it is mainly my opinion. Well, every person has a bias. John Titor could have been speaking from his own feelings as opposed to giving us the whole picture.

We had a Winter Olympics this year? Oh, I guess I just didn't care enough like some other people in America...

Oh, I also heard he was right about Mad Cow Disease. Is this true? If so, score one for Titor.

Point is, there is no way to say he is truly false. At least until 2036 that is.

M said...

"I feel there IS a Civil War going on in America. This war is not as 'traditional' as past examples as there is no bloodshed or murder. The war is over our rights."

I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word is "is." And of course, disputes over rights in the USA are not new. Rights were much more severely restricted during the Civil War and World War Two. I guess Titor must claim the USA has been under a perpetual state of civil war for at least 140+ years...

Titor made several predictions and they did not happen. They only have meaning if the English language is twisted around to find new meanings for words.

How many failures of his predictions do you need? Please use your critical thinking skills. Carl Sagan spoke of the need for people to turn on their baloney detectors in his classic and last work the Demon Haunted World. How is it you can not smell the baloney yet?

holdingoutforutopia said...

John Titor defined the war beginning as a Waco type event every month.

Well you could possibly claim their is a war of sorts in the US but sure nothing that would fit that description.

There was Waco, Ruby Ridge, The bombing in Ohio, but all of that was in the 90's

Since John Titor there has been 911, Colombine and natural disasters in New Orleans and Florida, but none of those events can be viewed as a Civil War type event, even if you blame Bush for all of them.

If there is a civil war in the US, it consists of the Government screwing everyone, and everyone bending over and taking it. (with some back talk)

Fact is Americans are far too whipped to have a civil war with their Government.

Neo-Rio said...

Uh, hello everyone. America is involved in a Civil war at the moment.

It just so happens that the civil war is in Iraq, and American soliders are over there, involved in it.

Interestingly, true to Titor's prediction, it won't be until 2008 until people really call that conflict a civil war. Even today, there is reluctance to formally acknowledge it as such.

The more interesting prediction is the 2008 elections when Titor mentions that the President could either be a he or a she, despite the fact that there's never been a female president. Enter Hillary Clinton, enter formalization of the Iraq Civil War, enter the fallout as a result of whatever she does.

wtfever said...

How much do you remember from your early childhood. Say 12 or 13 and younger. If he was born in 1998, then he would be about that age in 2010. Anything he said about what happened prior to that would just be a childhood memory, or something learned later in life from his precious Universities, which may not have all of their facts straight, seeing as how just under half of the worlds population was destroyed. (most of which would probably be Chinese people, my own opinion of coarse.) Do you remember anything about Olympics when you were 8 or 10? Didn't think so. Plus his definition of Civil War might be very different then ours, being from the future and again what the historians of the future refer to what is happening now. Also, the childhood memory stands for any of his claims prior to 2010. I think all of his claims are intentionally vague and ambiguous, in order to stir up debates such as thing. Perhaps attempting to prevent such an outcome in our 'world line.' Even if he is from the future. As for his patch. I feel that any sort of time travel unit of the future would probably have a hard time relating to any previous unit, and would probably use their own poorly drawn patch. Who knows what kind of resources are available to the future military. I have spent a crap load of time thinking about how it would be possible to travel back in time. Before getting into my specifics of that, I need to explain, briefly, my view on the universe. Ultimately, in the whole of existence, everything that is possible, past, present, future, is all happening at this instant. Every possible configuration of every particle and force throughout time is existing that the same 'instance' For example, in a different configuration, Hitler won the war, at the 'same time' Hitler is currently losing the war, or Hitler never existed. But beyond that, instead of breathing in those 2 million bits of air you just did, you breathed in a different set of 2 million bits. A change as small and insignificant as that would require it's own universe. It is a huge theory of mine with really no evidence to support it. That being said, it may be possible to move through a higher spatial dimension and pop into 'another universe' I think that the computing power required would exceed the number of elementary particles in the universe. And energy level required for something like that would exceed all of the energy encompassed in those particles, probably exponentially. Therefore it is highly improbable that Mr. Titor ever made that journey 'back in time.' But given that it is theoretically possible, then it is actually happening right now. albeit, in another universe. How's that for an explanation? I know there are holes, but it was just a brief explanation, and most of my views on the universe were formulated through experimenting with hallucinogenic and psychotropic substances.

zinjak said...

Honoestly, when i first learned about Titor, which was 2005, it actually took me a lil bit to figure out that everything he had said had already come and passed and most of it didnt happen. really i was just hoping everything he talked about was wrong and that he was a hoax. rather than simply dismiss him as a hoax i wanted him to be a hoax. i hated his opinions and his beleifs and i didnt want to be in a society that he talked about. these days,heres what i think. while i will admit that i cant simply disprove he wasnt from the future (the same way i cant disprove santa clause isnt real tho) what i think is that he was actually a social experiment. several people with what i consider to be "conservative libertarian ideals" got online and they each had a certain expertise in certain areas in order to give our faceless single entity consistency and beleivability. they used this Titor figure in order to spread their beleifs (or maybe it was to scare you in to adhereing to them) of thinking that society that john came from was better then what we have and that we have to have a great social upheavel to get there. they want us all to carry guns and be at least half way efficient with them( i say after virginia tech thats the completely opposite attitude we need right now) and to have survivalist knowledge because citys are bad and rural living is good.small societies are good and big societies are government is good(using his future as a feather in the hat for more states rights). by John actually being several people he had all the answers to give and these people who played as John mustve worked very well together because he always had one consistent personality. now remember this is all opinion and theory and its all my idea. but i think its at least one logical conclusion. of course remember practically everything he say'd we'd be seeing right now...its not the very least we have had another olympics and are set up to have another one in another year from now....i think honoestly we are in the clear of any kind of terrible fifteen year long war. the united states will change in 2008 with the changing of the new administration, but not the way Titor predicted. with it already well in to 2007 and very lil of what i say "writing on the wall" to be seen, i think we are in the clear.

Dan said...

Titor is a fraud - plain and simple. Why?

Because he does what ALL people who claim to be from the future do:
They use PRESENT-DAY words/terms/phrases. They never use words that may be strange, unfamiliar to us, but everyday, common to them.

For example, It's 1977. If someone from the future year 2007 visited, it would be hard for him to NOT use such 2007 everyday words like "website, internet, DVD, iPod, email, cell phone, text message, Google, YouTube".
How could someone from future 2007 "scrub" his speech from all 2007 words, so as to sound EXACTLY like the present 1977? This is precisely the problem with these 'future boys'.

It's hard enough for TV/movie scriptwriters to write authentic dialogue for shows/movies that take place in the past.

Conversely, if the 2007 visitor to 1977 wanted to prove he was from 2007, I would EXPECT him to use - and describe - the word examples I gave above to the 1977 folks.

But they NEVER do, do they? Titor uses no presently strange, unknown words in any of his postings. In fact, his word and grammar usage sound just like...the recent PAST year 2001.

Aaron Sommers said...

I am glad to see there is a blog initiated by someone who in fact realizes what is fact and what is fiction--particularly when it comes to this hoax.

First of all there is no doubt that the creator(s) of the original "John Titor" posts had some agenda. Be it a book or thier distorted view of geopolitics or Christian ideology, they had an axe to grind. Like many opportunists they used the suggestive public as an outlet.

The people who actually believe in Titor's "predictions" are fearful, paranoid, and sadly quite stupid.

One of the claims is that of a Civil War in the U.S.A. The dates these will happen seem ambiguous, a pattern in these "predictions." But from what I have read it seems as though 2008 is the year it will happen. An all out Civil War. Although it was supposed to start in 2004. Well, here we are in 2007 and I don't see any Civil War. Of course, there are those that say "look at the unrest, the discontent, all of us living here and them living over there!" To which I say "get out more. Sunlight is healthy. As is sex."
There hasn't been a Civil War since the 19th Century, and if you know your history you will recognize the unrest before that war was palpable.

So let's suspend disbelief and reason and intellect for that matter and say Titor was a time traveller. Why didn't he warn us about 9/11?

He mentions "wars" but show me a time in recorded history there wasn't one conflict going on somewhere in the world.

If anyone agrees with what I am saying go over to Wikipedia and start editing and cleaning this phony's page up. It's time. Miland, we need an academic to edit this entry or erase it altogether on Wikipedia.

Titor is a phony, his "supporters" will use anything to rationalize extremist viewpoints. The original posts were made by cowards who didn't stick around to defend themselves. Unfortunately, they left that to the "believers."

Anonymous said...

yeah he is a hoax, big deal. these comments are way off though.

for the people saying we have no civil war build up going on... there ARE CURRENTLY waco esque events all over the country. just google ed and elaine brown.

someone said "the hoax was to scare us into owning firearms and having survival training, which is the opposite of what we need" and then cited a school shooting to support their claim. the guy who posted that is a moron. if you criminalize guns, then ONLY criminals will have them. if EVERYONE owned a gun, the school shooters would be blown away before they could even draw their weapons.

Anonymous said...

didn't believe it in the first place- what ol' johnny says about time travel reminds me of 'back to the future'.

Anonymous said...

Well its now 2008 - do people STILL defend this fraudster?

Anonymous said...

Aint the civil war going on in the ghetto's of the cities where there are many gangs (like ms13), always fighting with the police.

And now with the democractic party things between hilary and obama can i see things go wrong if hilary gets elected to run for president (but wasnt that predicted by titor also, a female president?!?)

And winter games arent official games, and more and more i hear of athletes boycoting the upcomming games in china, so we'll see by the end of the year.

Anonymous said...

Whether Titor and his predictions are real or not, it's good that we live in the world that deviates from his predictions.

For all we know it could be an elaborate marketing scheme for books(already published) or movies.

Look around the world we live in. Global warming, solar activity(which they say will peak in 2012), food shortage, water shortage, gas price etc. Anyone can go off the tangent and speculate the worst outcome. Maybe it's only natural that John Titor charactor is released out in the open in our time.

What I can accept is that warning signs are clearly visible and we need to prepare ourselves.

An amatuer weather forecaster predicted the outcome of hurricane Katrina. An early warning that people didn't take for seriously.

What if China cancels the Olympic? Does that mean Titor is right? Can we not have another Olympic in 2012?

I think it's up to us to make sure things Titor said don't come true whether he's fake or not. If bad things are going to happen and we can't stop it, well, I'll just be happy with my life now.