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  • Writer's pictureJohn Wick

Strange Cases Of Time Travel To The Past

In previous posts, we have analyzed cases in which people have allegedly traveled through time. But these cases come with common inconsistencies that are all too often associated with the reporting of such incidents. Perhaps in a far distant future, humanity might have discovered the means to journey back to its distant past. Or are we so infatuated with this concept that it somehow blinds us to reason and logic?


Stories of individuals traveling through time, either of their own volition or through some misfortune, can be traced back in various forms for several centuries. But amongst the wider field of unexplained phenomena, much like UFOs or Shadow People, detailed and documented instances of time travel remain a relatively recent concept.

In the oldest of such examples, many cultures possess similar tales in which notable figures have fallen into a deep sleep and have somehow being propelled into their own future or dragged into the past to commune with themselves or their ancestors. For the vast majority of these stories, the time traveler is relatively helpless, finding themselves unable to influence the strange force being exerted upon them. They end up spending the duration of the tale acting as an unwitting pawn, moving around at the mercy of some higher power.

It would not be until the turn of the 19th century that protagonists in such stories would be presented as having some degree of control over their own fate. The idea of humanity developing the ability to visit a specified point in time under controlled circumstances quickly became popular in literary circles.

Gradually, stories of time travel involving the use of arcane spells or magical totems came to be replaced with the construction of the machine or electronic device. From this point onwards, mankind would utilize science rather than magic in order to achieve its desired goal. And this notion would come to a head in 1895, with the publication of an iconic novel by British author HG Wells. The description of the device utilized in 'The Time Machine' changed public attitudes towards the concept of time travel virtually overnight.

Suddenly, readers began to believe that such technology might one day become a reality, like so many of the author's other predictions. In time, the line between fact and fiction has begun to blur, as rumors and reports of people who have apparently been encountered outside of their own timeline have found their way into the mainstream media.

Many of these stories have now been accepted as genuine examples of time travel, only for closer scrutiny of them to suggest otherwise. But it was with the advent of internet forums and chat rooms that belief in time travel and the visitors from the future finally achieved a foothold in society's perception of such things. In this post, we will examine three of the most famous examples and try to divine how much, if any truth there is an each of these cases.

John Titor's Case

In the closing months of 2000, internet chat rooms became saturated by rumors of a time traveler from the future, who was visiting modern-day Florida in order to recover legacy technology. As more and more people began to search out his work, in February of 2001, this enigmatic stranger finally revealed his identity to the world as John Titor. Titor's description of the future he had travelled back from was bleak, to say the least.

Towards the end of the noughties, America would be consumed by a vast political Civil War. This would rage on for several years, finally culminating in a global conflict, during which the US and Russia exchange nuclear ordnance. With large parts of the United States subsequently rendered uninhabitable, the survivors form new city states, with the nation's capital relocating to Omaha in Nebraska. As the conflict had been coming to an end, Titor was fighting as an infantryman for the state of Florida, but then went on to join the newly formed National 177th Temporal Recon Unit. Career soldiers such as Titor had been selected by the authorities to utilize newly created technology in order to return to the past to collect essential resources. These would then be used to repair and update what hardware and devices had been salvageable following the end of the war.

At the time of his writing, Titor explained that he had initially traveled back to the year 1975, as at that time, his grandfather had been working at IBM, as part of the team developing their 5100 computer model. This particular device contains several unique features, which could be used to cleanse and repair similar technology in the future. As more and more people began to question his account, Titor gradually revealed more detail. He explained the having acquired the device, he had chosen to stop off in this timeline to collect personal belongings and photos from his old family home, but would soon go on his way.

When asked about his time machine, Titor replied that he was a soldier and not a scientist. Although he did not know the specifics of the science behind the device, via his training, he did possess a working knowledge of it and some understanding of its component parts.

Amongst these, he listed cesium clocks, an electronic injection manifold and magnetic housing units. During the course of a four-month period, Titor posted somewhere in the region of 570 replies, before announcing that he was finally ready to return to 2036. After this, all further contact with him ceased and in the years since his apparent departure, elements of his story have gone on to provoke fierce debate.

Experts have come forward to confirm that the components described by Titor as being part of his device were consistent with scientific theory about time travel. Alongside this, the intricacies he described in relation to the IBM 5100 do exist and would not be familiar to anyone outside the computer industry. In addition to these findings, several incidents mentioned by Titor in his account of America's future have also come to pass. His description of an imminent pandemic in the country was quickly followed by an outbreak of Mad Cow disease, although some believe he may have been referring to a more obvious candidate.

He also identified that no evidence of atomic weapons would be found following the fall of Saddam Hussein, as well as predicting a high-profile Chinese space launch in 2003. But critics are keen to point out that in the 20 years since the Titor messages were posted, many more of his predictions have not come true. These include the Olympic Games being indefinitely cancelled in 2004, the outbreak of the US Civil War in 2008, and a nuclear conflict in 2015.

So, is this proof that this alleged time traveler was nothing more than a fabrication? Proponents of his writings point out that by choosing to post his glimpses of the future, Titor may well have changed the timeline himself. They also argue that other incidents such as a disputed general election and a rogue US president-whether you believe that refers to Trump's unpopularity with the mainstream media or alleged controversies around Biden's win in the last election- indicate that Titor may simply have been mistaken about the dates he gave.

Several high-profile investigations into John Titor have been funded over the years, with the number of individuals identified as potentially having pretended to be him, although nothing has been conclusively proven. As more time passes since he made his predictions, Titor's believers have gradually dwindled, even though America has not been so politically divided since the Civil War. It may just be that his prediction of a new Civil War is not as far-fetched as originally thought.

Andrew Carlssin- The time traveler from the future

In March of 2003, a number of media outlets in the United States broke the story of how Federal Investigators had arrested and charged a stock trader with fraud. It was alleged that the man in question had managed to accrue a 350 million dollar portfolio from an initial investment of just eight hundred dollars. Naturally, this eye-watering level of profit had alerted the US Securities and Exchange Commission, who would in turn contact the FBI.

As a result of their investigation, Federal officers have been managed to identify the individual concerned as 44 year-old Andrew Carlssin. It was reported that on the morning of January the 28th, FBI agents had conducted a raid at Carson's home address, where they had detained him and then removed him in handcuffs. After a four-hour interrogation at the local field office, the trader has subsequently been charged with fraud, and remanded in custody for a court hearing.

The reason this story was more widely reported than other such crimes lay in the alleged testimony offered by Carlssin during his interview with the agents. When asked how he had successfully made so much money, his reply was that he had traveled back in time from the year 2256 and had used historic financial records, which he had memorized to make his vast fortune.

It was further reported that in an effort to have the charges against him thrown out, Carlssin had made a number of spectacular offers to the investigators. These included divulging the location of Osama Bin Laden to the United States government as well as revealing cures for certain viruses.

With his attempts to gain freedom falling on deaf ears, elements of the media readied themselves for what promised to be a spectacular court hearing on the 3rd of April, only for further apparent intrigue to take place. The hearing had been cancelled, as the defendant was now nowhere to be found. It was claimed that a mysterious individual had come forward fronting Carlssin's 1 million dollar bailout bill, and no sooner had he been released from custody, that the alleged time traveler then immediately disappeared from the face of the Earth.

During the 17 years which have elapsed since the incident, it has proven impossible to verify any of the elements concerning the case. There is nothing to confirm Andrew Carson's birth or death, with no documents to be found pertaining to his alleged arrest or arraignment. Many believe the story was a work of fiction, crafted by a smaller news outlet and then unwittingly amplified by larger media organizations. And yet, there is still a significant number of believers who state that there is an explanation for this lack of evidence.

If Carlssin had traveled back from the future, there would be no record of his birth, as he had not yet been born. And if the US government had accepted his offers of information, it's quite possible that they secretly liberated him from prison or even killed him, ensuring they had hidden any possible evidence that he had ever existed in the process.

Mike Marcum's alleged journey to the past

Whilst doubts over the existence of our first two alleged time travelers exist, the same could not be said for the third and final case study, a Missouri resident named Mike Marcum.

He achieved notoriety when, in 1996, he claimed to have created a working time machine, but his movements and ultimate fate following this remain an enduring mystery. There is no question that Mike Marcum and was a real person, with birth and banking records for him easily accessible, as well as documents detailing his subsequent brushes with the law. During the early 90s, he was to be found residing in the city of Stanberry, where he was studying to be an electrician.

Then in January 1995, Marcum was arrested by officers from the Gentry County Sheriff's department, following the recovery of stolen property, which had been located during a search of the 21 year old's home address. The items in question were six powerful electrical transformers, which had been stolen from a power station in neighboring King City.

Upon being released from prison several months later, Marcum had proceeded to give an interview to a local radio station, where he had admitted to stealing the transformers. Whilst he had been using them, it inadvertently caused a localized power outage. And it was this that brought the police to his door. He went on to explain that prior to the incident, he'd been experimenting with a modified CD laser to reduce the air resistance between two poles. As he had done so, he had noticed a circular vortex of heat forming in the continuous arc which was now passing between the two points.

Mystified as to what this manifestation could be, he had tossed a metal screw into it. The item had promptly disappeared, only to rematerialize a few feet away. On making further efforts to replicate the phenomenon, Marcum's equipment had overloaded and caught fire, which is what had prompted him to steal the higher spec transformers. Mike Marcum used his interview to announce that he believed he was close to achieving time travel, asking for help and financial support from the audience, so he could travel back in time and win the lottery to benefit both himself and his backers.

A year passed, before Marcum was then invited back onto the radio show to provide an update. Emboldened, he explained that he had used donations from listeners to successfully replicate a rotating magnetic field within his machine, and that he was not far off using it to make his first attempt to travel back in time.

Not long after this, Marcum was reported missing, and the search of his home address by the police found no trace of him, apart from a large amounts of electrical equipment. For several weeks, local residents puzzled and speculated over the fate of the missing student, before an unknown caller contacted the same radio show with some intriguing information. They claimed that in the 1930s, an unidentified corpse fitting Marcum's description had been found lying on a beach in California.

The body was that of a young male, who was apparently crushed to death inside some kind of metal cylinder. When the authorities have managed to free the remains from inside, they had located what sounded very much like a 90s era mobile telephone, clutched in one of his hands. It is indeed an intriguing theory that Marcum somehow successfully managed to travel 60 years into the past, only to die in the process. But more rational explanations have been put forward, with some claiming that he fled public attention to live elsewhere in the country under a newly assumed identity.

More recently, a number of users of internet forums, claim to have seen him living homeless on the beaches of Hawaii, begging for money to get back to the mainland and to help fund his continuing experiments. Certainly, in Marcum's case, as opposed to those of Titor and Carlssin, there seems an outside chance that the mystery surrounding his disappearance may perhaps one day be solved.


The overwhelming lack of tangible evidence surrounding the cases of alleged time travel that we have already examined, such as the Zanetti train, seem to be in keeping with the overall subject matter itself.

Few scientific ideas have produced as much fierce debate, or oppositional theory as time travel. From the exact mechanism of how such a feat may be achieved, to the potential consequences or side effects of accomplishing a successful trip to the past, it seems that the scientific community is still no closer to agreeing on the finer detail of the concept. The inclusion of propositions such as wormholes and infinite dimensions only add further argument to the debate, raising yet more questions than answers.

And it is argued that the fact that has never been any definite proof of the visitor from the future successfully arriving in the past is clear evidence that the technology does not and will never exist. It could be that such visitors have already arrived but have gone unnoticed by society or perhaps choose to keep a low profile out of fear of their presence altering too much in the future. Perhaps in the fullness of time, we will know one way or the other.


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