Below, I answer some questions about my experiences with the John Titor story.
I provide them here as a permanent and complete record as well as to hopefully move people to think about the possibility of time travel in a new direction.
I guess my first question would just be how you got interested in the whole John Titor thing? Where did you first hear about it? What drew you to it?
Before delving into your first question, I am happy to discuss nearly anything regarding the topic. As you might imagine though, there will be certain red-lines that I place for myself. These red lines are in place to protect
2) Others currently living here now and
3) My own investigation into the larger question of TT.
I am sure you will understand my stance in this regard. Feel free to ask anything you like. I’ll tap the brakes if I feel a certain question would be detrimental to any of the above three constraints.
I honestly cannot remember the very first time I heard of the John Titor story. Trust me, in recent months, I have been racking my brain trying to remember. But, suffice it to say, I likely heard about it as it was going on in 2000. I do have the vaguest of memories of someone mentioning it to me that there was a man “on the internet” that was claiming to be from the future, but I can’t really remember any more detail than that. Well, no more detail other than the fact that I completely disregarded any claims of time travel at the time, anyhow.
If I were a historian, and from my current perspective, I would call the state of the Internet in 2000 as the “tail end of the early days.” Granted, from a larger perspective, we may yet still be in the “early days” of the Internet! Just imagine what the Internet will look like with speeds of 100 Gigabits/sec.
But because the Internet was so new in 2000, really only a few years old at the time, it wasn’t the go-to source of information it is now in 2013. As a point of comparison: today, one can find literally any perspective on any topic conceivable from a wide variety of sources; sources as “trustworthy” as the legacy media outlets or as outlandish as….well, take your pick.
But in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, it was definitely not that way. In my humble opinion, I would say the Internet didn’t come into its own until maybe 2003 or 2004 where it began to really resemble what we see today. Not so in 2000.
In 2000, I can specifically remember people saying that you couldn’t believe anything that was on the Internet. Why? Because anybody could post anything online. There was no control. Truly incredible the way we thought back then; how tightly we clung to the gilded cage of “controlled” access to information.
And please don’t misapprehend me. I was just as caught up in this illusion of perfect and complete information as anyone else. I really thought that because I watched the nightly news, I was informed. So when somebody mentioned to me that there was a man online claiming to be from our future, as you might imagine, I dismissed it. I believe, maybe in the years that followed, I might have looked into it once or twice, but when faced with the sheer volume of posts (from Titor and others) that I would have to wade through, I simply wasn’t prepared to put that kind of work into trying to pull out a cheap prediction or two. A prediction that likely would be as vague or inaccurate as any that Nostradamus would give. So, again, I dismissed it.
But age has a way of instilling patience and perseverance. So, sometime in late summer of 2009, I remember watching the news one night and some talking head was discussing the loss of liberty, personal freedoms etc. It was then that I was again reminded of somebody, years ago, that had made a prediction about how the US was going to go through a period of diminished freedoms, something about a second Civil War, rebirth…what was his name? John something? Oh, I remember now: John Titor.
So, with my girlfriend sitting beside me watching television, I quietly began searching for the posts of a man who claimed to be from 2036. [It had] been nearly 10 years since he posted and what I’m [was] currently seeing [did] seem to parallel what I remembered of Titor’s topics of discussion. Maybe in 10 years, some of his predictions might have come true? As you may already know, that question was answered, immediately, and in spades.
I can honestly say that until that time (as far as I can remember), I had never considered the possibility that time travel was anything more than a topic in science fiction. After all, wasn’t it already proven that time travel is impossible? That damnable Conventional Wisdom will get you every time.
As I looked deeper into the Titor story, my previous certainty slowly gave way to a, “uh-oh, wait a minute…” perspective. I would have to say that the more I discovered, the more evidence that piled up. The more evidence that piled up, the deeper I dug. Early success plus curiosity only breeds more of the same.
How could I be the only one discovering this?? Surely others have found the same things I did, right? Wrong. And, as it happens, this should have been expected. The reason was because we are specifically talking about time travel and predictions. How could anyone make any conclusion (either pro or con) if none of the predictions happened yet? It actually took a full 10 years of events to culminate in the arguments and evidence that I presented in COATT. Is that by design? One wonders. The topic obviously gets a bit more complicated at this point.
I would say that, in my short time looking into the John Titor story initially, I have since moved beyond the initial posts and, armed with a new understanding of the universe we live in, I am now in search of a larger truth, a truth beyond the posts from 2000.
As far as JT goes then, you believe he was an actual time traveler? As opposed to, say, a hoaxster that was just trolling the Internet back in the day?
No belief required, Rick. There is plenty of evidence out there. The purpose of evidence is to transport us from belief to certainty.
One of the keys to cracking the Titor question is to first just allow for the possibility that time travel very well could be true. Many never even get off the ground in their research due to this very limiting world view: they simply don’t believe that the human race will ever conquer time. Ever is a very long time, Rick.
“There are more things in
Heaven and Earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.“
– Hamlet (1.5.166-7)
Another key is to be willing to accept contradictory information. It will not all be spelled out for you and you must be willing to accept that you don’t have as solid a lock on the world and universe as you thought you did. You must be willing to be wrong. My research, for me, has been nothing if not a constant reassessment of what I thought I knew.
Soon, as you delve into this, if you are truly honest with yourself (you don’t have to convince anyone but yourself), you will begin to notice small details, I call them “Kilroys” that are markers of truth, that time travel does exist and that a person using the name “John Titor” was merely one example of a man making use of that technology. There are others.
So I was wondering — if you could get into it — some of the proof of why you believe the person posting as Titor is actually from the future?
This is a much larger question than you may now realize, Rick, which is completely understandable at this early stage.
First we must come to terms with our terms. You ask for the “proof” that I rely on to categorically state that time travel is real and that John Titor was a man using that technology. I posit that there is no such thing as objective proof (not to be confused with objective truth), there is only evidence and I open Conviction of a Time Traveler making that point.
Evidence is what we use to “build a case” and establish proof. We must build the proof ourselves from the bricks of evidence. As is likely obvious to you now, this is how the book obtained its title.
Also, we must rethink our assumptions on what we accept as evidence. Is a failed prediction really evidence that Titor was a hoaxer? Putting it another way, exactly what obligation does John Titor have to any of us to tell us the truth about anything, or any time traveler, for that matter?
If his statements could possibly be less than completely true, then is it possible that the posts served another purpose? Something more subtle than simply an insomniac time traveler posting on forums telling us of our doomsday future?
In light of this, I would put to you and your readers that a failed prediction does not carry the same weight as a correct prediction. They are not equal.
In answer to your question, to be honest, I am averse to simply provide the evidence in a nice concise list. This is not to sell one more book, trust me. It is because each of these pieces of evidence comprises a larger whole. Any one piece can just be a coincidental event! But altogether? At a certain point, an intellectually honest person has to start asking himself, can this all really just be a coincidence, simultaneously?
How many coincidences comprise a fact?
There are some out there who found some of the points I describe in COATT well before I ever came on the scene. When they presented their bits of information to the John Titor “experts,” they were summarily debunked as “coincidence,” “easily guessed” or that Titor was privy to “insider information.” This happened in every instance I found, and there’s 13 years now of history to show this to be true.
Well, coincidence and “easily guessed” are subjective judgments, they are not empirical. And, as of this writing, no evidence has ever been provided for any claim of insider information made to explain away Titor’s foreknowledge of events. None. Quite a coincidence, wouldn’t you say? This makes one wonder:
Just how expert are these so-called experts, anyway?
I had the lucky position of being able to see this happen to others before me. As such I chose to not play a game on a game board owned by people not truly interested in the actual truth. I would not divulge my information in such a piecemeal fashion as so many others before had done (and failed).
Over time, I discovered that time travel is simply just more likely to be true than any of the flimsy arguments invented to debunk it. It then, literally, took me three hundred pages to make the case.
But, in the interest of bread and circuses, I don’t mind giving your readers a little something to chew on and there are two that stand out to me as among the strongest (from the Titor posts that is):
1) John’s correct description of what the Segway was a full year before it was publicly unveiled and
2) John’s prediction of the Optical Frequency Comb some three or four years before its inventors were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
This is by no means all of the data, there is a great deal more, and a great deal of which was only discovered after I published Conviction of a Time Traveler. Some may find it interesting to know that I am working on an update which will include the majority of this new information. Questions such as those below are explored and largely answered:
How is the time travel program managed over centuries?
How do time travelers communicate over centuries?
Is the 60 year limit really a limitation?
Just how far back have they gone, really?
Are they really from 2036?
I’ve been through the material a bit and, like you said, a lot of the predictions don’t seem to pan out
I understand your position here, though I didn’t say that “a lot of predictions didn’t seem to pan out.” I’m sorry if that came through somehow in my previous email.
Nonetheless, many have made the same statement. I would kindly recommend you rethink your position in this regard. Specifically, I count exactly two “predictions” that did not “pan out” and not the “many” that is oft-quoted online. They are:
“There is a civil war in the United States that starts in 2005.”
“there were no official Olympics after 2004.”
Two is a far cry from “many,” wouldn’t you say? That damn Conventional Wisdom again…
Additionally, there are many predications that John made that were not presented as predictions that DID in fact come true. Don’t you find it interesting that the only predictions he made that did not come true are tied to specific dates whereas the general statements he made, statements that were predictions, but simply not presented as such, did come true?
My other question is, I’m guessing you’ve put in hundreds and hundreds of hours into researching this, right? Can you maybe give me a ballpark number of how long you think you’ve been working on this?
Before you said it, I hadn’t really thought about how much time I spend researching this. It is merely a topic of thought during the day or idle moments at night.
Though I think the idea or assumption that I am some sort of professorial researcher hidden behind stacks of dusty books on a cluttered mahogony desk as I feverishly run down the latest tidbit of information is a bit off the mark. It might be fun to think of it in that way and probably what most of us imagine ala Indiana Jones or the DaVinci Code books. But it isn’t really the case.
One could ask how many hours one spends on a hobby? Cooking? Driving? Watching TV? How much time is too much or too little when thinking about our place in the universe? Is there no room in our busy lives to ask the truly large questions?
But to answer your question more directly, I have only been looking into this since late 2009. It is no end of wonder to me how far I’ve come, how much my perspective has changed and so rapidly.
Has nobody else put together what I’ve discovered? Is there nobody else?
I hope this answered your question