Convictions of an Investigator – A Short Interview with Temporal Recon

 

  I had the distinct pleasure of answering a few questions by a fellow investigator, Paula Roeterdink.  Her interest in the Titor question and time travel in general as well as her interesting and original questions truly sparked new avenues of thought and insight into the time travel question. 
  I invite you to read the below interview.  You may find more at her new website, Microsingularity.net.
Convictions of an Investigator
An Interview with Temporal Recon,author of  Conviction of a Time Traveler
by Paula Roeterdink aka PaulaJedi
  John Titor. The average person doesn’t know who John Titor is nor does he understand the impact he made on the human race. Some people believe his whole story was a hoax while others, such as myself, feel that the whistle blowers themselves do not provide enough proof that John isn’t the real deal. Who the heck is John Titor, you ask?
  Most of the information concerning his story can be found on Google and Wikipedia, but I will give you a brief description of the story that has been brewing since 2001. During that time, a man named John Titor visited a message board online claiming to be a time traveler from the year 2036, visiting our timeline in an effort to obtain an IBM 5100 computer. During his conversations, he made predictions about future worldly events and posted pictures of his time machine, which was placed in a 1967 Corvette and later moved to an SUV. This spawned not only a series of debates throughout the internet, but also plenty of imposters. With so many fakes, how can we determine which men are really Mr. Titor and which are not?
  A man who calls himself Temporal Recon took it upon himself to research the John Titor story intensively. He wrote an anonymous book called “Conviction of a Time Traveler”, which not only describes almost every aspect of John’s conversations online, but also, in my opinion, supplies undeniable proof of John Titor’s integrity. In addition, this anonymous man has been willing to share many of his beliefs about time travel and the universe itself.
Please give a brief synopsis of your book, “Conviction of a Time Traveler”.
What motivated you to investigate John Titor and write the book and why did you publish the book as “Anonymous”?

  I can remember very clearly when I first re-discovered the John Titor story. I had heard of it earlier in the early 2000’s (not sure when or under what exact circumstances), but suffice it to say, I dismissed it. At that time in my life, I didn’t really entertain the notion that there were things going on in the world that were not on the news. My thoughts were like many others’ when they say, “if it were true, I would have seen it on the news.” At the time, I never realized that I might not be as well-informed as I thought I was.
  Nevertheless, in 2009 I was watching the news one evening and I saw (on the news no less, and, no, the irony is not lost on me) a commentator speaking on the loss of privacy, civil rights, constitutional protections or some similar topic. I was reminded that some years ago there had been a man claiming to be a time traveler. He posted that these very things were going to happen. I couldn’t ignore the very real parallel that I thought I was seeing, so I decided to look him up. Little did I realize at the time the first steps I was taking into a larger reality. So, over the ensuing months, I researched more and slowly became convinced that it was simply more likely that Titor was telling the truth than some contortion of logic that would make him a hoaxer.
  But what actually motivated me to actually put down on paper what I discovered and make it available publicly was the irresponsible statements made by some over the previous decade, which had gone largely unanswered. They made these statements without a shred of evidence to back up even one of their claims of hoax. IF John’s warnings were true, how many people had they convinced to not prepare for what was coming over the last 10 years with their flimsy, debunk-at-all-costs stories? I was completely taken aback by the sheer irresponsibility of these debunkers over the last decade. Conviction of a Time Traveler was written as an answer to these irresponsible claims. I was very disturbed by their statements and the possible repercussions of their actions.
  Over the years, people have stated over and over again that they want proof, or similarly, there is no proof that Titor was real. When I see statements like these, I can understand the motivation, but I also see them as representative of an actual failing of our society in general. People are very accustomed to having ideas spelled out for them and rely on the statements of others to spoon-feed conclusions to them. I’ve seen it time and time again and it causes me no end of frustration when I see people essentially saying, “tell me what to believe” in spite of the very real evidence right in front of their faces.
Book Cover Image  Conviction of a Time Traveler uses an evidence-based approach and slowly builds the case that it is simply more likely Titor was exactly what he said he was than being some hoaxer-genius. People have been executed on weaker cases! I do not insult the reader’s intelligence by feeding them baseless conclusions, telling them what to think. As you might imagine, this is the genesis for the book’s title, Conviction of a Time Traveler.
  So, instead of “giving” people conclusions, I rely on the critical thinking skills of the individual to view the evidence, assess it and come to their own conclusions. Conviction of a Time Traveler is merely a compilation of that evidence. I have said it many times in my writings about time travel: There is no proof, there is only evidence. It is up to each of us as individuals to reach conclusions that represent as much of the truth as we are willing to accept.
  The general layout of the book starts with a broad overview of the Titor story itself in an effort to bring people up to speed on just who John was, where/when he came from and other sundry details. I then move into an identification and presentation of the evidence I discovered in my research. Then, after having sufficiently answered (convicted) whether Titor was a time traveler or not, I then go on to try to recreate Titor’s world and how we/they likely got to where we/they found/will find themselves/ourselves in the near future.
 
  As you will notice, I predicted that Obama is the president Titor spoke about in 2000/2001. As such, I also predicted that Obama will not serve a second term. As you likely are already aware (haha), Obama was re-elected. I still stand by my analysis and will only slightly modify it to say that he will not complete his term. My conclusion remains the same, but how we get to there is anybody’s guess. Perhaps the current imbroglio in which he currently finds himself is the catalyst? I do not know.
  As for my anonymity, I wrote Conviction anonymously for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, I wanted the facts that I discovered to stand on their own merits. Over the last several years, and even in recent weeks, irresponsible claims of who Titor was have been bandied about which only served to completely throw into disarray the life of any number of private persons who had absolutely nothing to do with the Titor story. I understood, from these past irresponsible actions by naïve and unprofessional “researchers,” that if my name were known it would only be a matter of time before I myself was accused of being Titor himself! So, my identity would only then become a side show of the actual story: Time travel is real and it is happening now.
  As it happens, I was not disappointed and was extremely glad I took precautions. Within hours of my initial announcement on anomalies.net that I had published Conviction, was it attempted to find out who I was. Even I was surprised at how quickly the debunkers moved to try to discredit Conviction of a Time Traveler. I can only say thank you to those who have gone before me and who suffered those slings and arrows. It was because of their experiences that I was fortunate enough to read that demonstrated to me that the story was more important than putting my true name on a small personal project.
  Another reason I wrote it anonymously, which many do not necessarily appreciate, is that I wanted the choice of not talking about it if I so choose. I enjoy talking about time travel and its implications for the future (and past) course for humanity, but everybody needs a break from the heavy stuff and just enjoy an episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos, no? We can’t always be pondering the mysteries of the universe.
Please understand that I am answering the remaining questions not from the perspective of trying to convince someone that time travel is real and Titor was a time traveler. That argument has already been made, in the positive.
If  you could please speculate, what do you suppose John’s main reason was for posting on message boards at all? Wouldn’t it be better for a time traveler to remain undetected?
  Once we can finally accept that the argument has been made that Titor was legitimate, we can start looking beyond the posts and start asking broader questions. One of those questions is the one you pose: Just why was he posting in the first place? Analysis of the Titor posts is much more complex than many people give it credit for but it’s not impossible, people just have to think bigger. A good rule of thumb might be to look at the results of those posts. From there, you can infer the purpose. By getting that far, then newer, larger questions begin to appear.
  The exact scope of those results is an open question in my mind for now. Was the goal to inspire thought and discussion generally, in the hopes of facilitating future acceptance of time travel? Or was it to inspire an individual to think about the realities of time travel?  Tactics I have identified would speak to both possibilities, so it’s an open question. Maybe it was both? Maybe neither. But your second question raises a good point: That the very fact that he posted at all generally implies that it was for a reason.
In your book, you stated that John Titor traveled from Tampa to retrieve the IBM 5100. Was this due to the fact that his grandfather lived in Boca Raton?
  It’s difficult to speculate on where, when or why John did anything. It must be remembered that just because he stated he came back for a 5100 doesn’t necessarily mean that it was his only mission. There may have been other, unacknowledged aspects to his presence then that he was not permitted, or even had reason, to comment on.
  That being said, we know that Rochester, MN was where the 5100 was built. And yes, his grandfather lived in Boca, but IBM made a special dispensation for him to live in Boca Raton even though the 5100 development was happening at IBM’s Rochester facility. I believe John mentioned he entered this world line in Rochester, not Tampa. Though he mentioned it in a chat, not in the original posts many are familiar with. I’d have to go digging to find this exact reference.
On page 47, you made a joke that a 1967 Chevy from another timeline could be sitting somewhere. Are you implying that John didn’t bring his vehicle back with him to 2036?
  This is another aspect of the Titor story that I no longer believe to be completely truthful. While it is possible that he told us the truth that he used a 1967 Chevy while here, I no longer believe that he actually brought it with him from 2036, in spite of what he said. Again, the evidence for this is complicated and would take a while to make the argument, but there is evidence for this theory. And the reasons for not bringing the 67 Chevy from 2036 (or whenever he’s from) are the same for why he didn’t take it back. Also, Titor did mention that he had gotten rid of his car and traded it for a 4×4 when he arrived in 2000 from 1975. Interestingly, I had the opportunity some time ago to actually sit in a 1967 Chevy Camaro (it was a Camaro, not a Corvette as many assume). I will tell you it was a very surreal experience when placed within the Titor context.
Please explain timeline divergence. What do you think of the possibility of our 2015 really being the 2005 that John described? In other words, is it possible or likely, according to what John has already told us, that our timeline could be 10 years off and a civil war could occur in 2015?  In layman’s terms, divergence is the measurement of how “different” one world line is to another. It gets significantly more complicated from there and I am by no means an expert on the details; I am always learning. That being said, I now understand this measurement is likely to be more of a statistical probability of “different-ness” rather than an empirical measurement as Titor described.
  But you bring up an interesting point that many before have discussed. Is it possible that the Civil War didn’t happen in 2005 as Titor predicted due to divergence? It is a very easy escape hatch for explaining why a given prediction doesn’t come true, and yet allows us to continue our “belief” that Titor was a real time traveler, but it isn’t necessarily what is happening. To answer your question though, yes, this is a possibility. As a matter of fact, in a multi-verse where every possible outcome can and does come to pass, saying this is impossible would be incorrect on its face.
 
  That being said, maintaining a small divergence is likely very important to a time traveler. If we take as a given that multi-verse theory is correct, then the possibility exists that the target of our mission might not even exist on the world line that we end up landing on and/or creating. How can time travel mission planners successfully plan a mission if they can’t guarantee that their mission objective will be there waiting for them? One might even surmise that navigating with the aim of maintaining a small enough divergence measurement is more important than the hour/day/month/year they may aim for.
  I do not, however, take as a given that Titor was being completely forthright when he described that our world line and his were 2.5% different. I now believe I understand why Titor provided this information. It is extremely complicated and is beyond the scope of this interview, but suffice it to say that the actual divergence between our world line and his is likely much, much smaller. Your theory, while a good one that the events such as Civil War and strife were merely postponed due to divergence makes logical sense, but is likely not completely accurate.
Is John able to return to his original timeline? Why or why not?  I suppose my answer will depend on your definition of “original.” The conventional wisdom (provided by Titor, no less) says that no, he cannot return to his original world line. And, if we are being extremely specific about the word “original,” this is a true statement and Titor’s reputation remains in tact. If Titor started on world line “A”, he can never return to his original world line because, in a multi-verse of infinite universes, it is statistically impossible to do so. Even the small graphic I include at the beginning of Conviction of a Time Traveler is woefully insufficient to accurately represent the true nature of the multi-verse.
  But Titor was not completely truthful when he said this. So what kind of person volunteers for a one way trip, anyway? Also, if he cannot return to his original world line, what good would picking up a circuit board from 1975 do for the people who sent him in the first place (on that self-same “original” world line he can’t return to)?
 
  Again, we must first begin from the premise that multiple world theory (MWI) is a correct representation of the multi-verse in which we live. What this implies is that there are an infinite number of universes already in existence “right next door” to us, like spokes on a wheel. The farther afield from our “original” universe we go, the larger the “divergence” and the stranger that universe becomes. But as long as we stay “close to home” then we can be assured that any universe we land on is essentially the “same” as the one we left. Is a universe where everything is the same, where every event is accurately reproduced, every person exactly as you remember them, really “different?” How are you quantifying “different?” If this is the case (and we are working on the premise that it is), then: Every action that we take on this world line as individuals is exactly mirrored by our other us’s on the neighboring world lines, Ad infinitum. Many people forget this aspect of MWI and its implications for mission planning within the time travel program. MWI is not a stumbling block to solving problems, it is the technique! They are counting on it.
  So, to answer your question, no, any time traveler who engages his machine will never return to his original world line, but it won’t matter, because any universe he does return to will be almost exactly the same, with exactly the same events, history, problems, solutions…everything.
Has the concept of time travel changed your view about life?
Absolutely.
  Let me explain:
There seems to be a lot going on these days in the world. War, killings, crime, constant political scandals. In addition to these things, we also live in a completely connected world where we are presented with all these terrible things without end, without pause. It doesn’t take knowledge of time travel’s reality to see this.
But, I do find peace in a seemingly peace-less world. How? Because I have acknowledged that it’s all happened already. It is very tempting to allow ourselves the indulgence of getting angry at the latest outrage that is piped into our homes. But when you know and understand that Multiple World Interpretation is an accurate representation of the universe, you realize that, in the (very) grand scheme of things, the latest outrageous headline will no longer outrage you. I’ve said this before, John Titor came from the other side of the change in the status quo that is coming our way. He made it through, as well as many other people. The John Titor posts are, at their core, hopeful.
  I disconnected my cable. I made a specific decision to not allow disquiet into my home, my mind. Yes, I try to remain somewhat informed via the web, but the emotional impact upon my mind is decidedly muted when I only read the news versus watching a talking head breathlessly telling me why I should live in fear of ‘X’
  Living without the incessant imploring of others that I should be worried about the latest flu, missile technology or natural disaster is very liberating. That is not to say I am some sort of Pollyanna. I am well aware (such as it is) of the coming change to our status quo. Canned tuna and water filters are a strong salve against worry. John’s final comments on gas cans seem very wise here, don’t you think? (I say that the posts are hopeful, but my meaning should not be confused with some sort of expectation for a utopian age of Aquarius to take place. The real world will unfold as it will and as it already will have.)
In your opinion, since time travel is possible, what are the odds that we could find a way to tap into the afterlife? Do you think that the method of visiting the “afterlife”, which could very well be just another dimension, would be similar to that of time travel?
  Consciousness and its implications have been an interest of mine for quite some time. I believe elsewhere I have commented that I am trained in Remote Viewing (a decidedly consciousness-centric skill). What Remote Viewers have known for a long time already is that MWI is an accurate representation of the universe. Likewise, it is possible to “send” consciousness to other times and other universes. This actually happens quite often to novice remote viewers, myself included when I remote viewed my own death. But that is a topic for another discussion.
  I have always felt that the nexus between consciousness and time travel technology has been overlooked by many in the years previous to my own inquiry. Too often people are interested in questions no more interesting than what the weather will be the next day. Very disappointing.
  In my own research I have come to believe that the machine itself is only one aspect of time travel. I am not saying that consciousness may or may not be required for time travel (though I am aware of one technology that requires it), but rather one cannot ignore ‘time travel’s’ effects on a person’s consciousness when one is hopping from world line to world line. The point I am trying to make here is that consciousness is not limited to this universe or the time that it finds itself. As a matter of fact, it is possible that consciousness in one universe is only a component of its greater whole spread out across the multiverse. Many people see separateness amongst these universes when there is none (where it matters). It is very three dimensional thinking, limiting.
Another aspect of consciousness as it touches on your question is our current understanding of “ghosts”, the afterlife, etc. Many believe that ghosts are disembodied spirits (or raw consciousness) of people who have died but haven’t fully crossed “back” over to where they came from. But where is that, exactly?
  As it happens, I have some direct experiential knowledge in this regard from my own forays into the question of consciousness.  But what is important to take from this is that consciousness appears to survive physical death. For many, this is a truism. For others it is an open question.
  In the John Titor posts, John described how, when the machine is engaged, it “separates” from this world line and then, once the target world line is identified it “reattaches” to its destination at the appropriate year. I am willing to entertain that this is likely a much-simplified explanation intended for the layman. But my question does not reside there. My question is: “where” is the time traveler while he is separate from any universe whatsoever?
  So, to bring it all together, we can say with reasonable certainty that all of these statements are simultaneously true: Consciousness survives physical death. Multiple World Interpretation is accurate. Consciousness can traverse, at will, time, space and even its own universe. ‘Time Travel’ allows for the physical (and nonphysical) traversing of those same infinite universes.
  There is one over-arching commonality to all of these seemingly independent facts, and that is: Consciousness. Consciousness is ever-present. We cannot escape it and I have come to understand that consciousness is to us as water is to a fish. It is the medium in which we exist and interact with eachother that we aren’t even aware of. It is the lattice from which all of reality is hung.
  Returning for a moment to the very physical question of using a machine to hop world lines, if Consciousness (when not occupying physical space) exists “in between” universes (literally nowhere) and a time traveler can go to those in between spaces during his trip to the future or past while hopping world lines, is it possible for him or her to actually interact with those disembodied consciousnesses at some level?
This is the question I am currently entertaining. I have left far behind trying to find one more piece of evidence to prove “once and for all” if John Titor was real or try to contort his statements into some sort of prediction about our future. Why? Because there are much larger questions out there for us to explore.
Are you personally aware of any other methods of time travel? In other words, are various types of time travel technology available or is there simply one way to achieve it? Do any of these methods, to your knowledge, involve alien technology?  Yes, I have discovered at least three legitimate and different descriptions of ‘time travel’ methods, only one of which was the technology that Titor described and not counting Remote Viewing itself. But of course, this forces the question: Just how easy is it to ‘time travel’ that there are at least three different ways to do it? Because of this (and other reasons) it is likely that John was not being completely forthright in his description of his technology. And, as I’ve stated many times before, John was under no obligation to tell us the truth about anything.
  As for whether extraterrestrial technology is involved, one must wonder and I have no evidence to support this. I wonder if “the government” would even admit we had help to begin with? Why do you suppose the Egyptians refuse to acknowledge that they didn’t build the pyramids?
You mentioned in the “I Will Fight No More, Forever” article in your blog, located at Blogspot, that you have found evidence of time travel dating back to the dark ages. Would you care to share some of that evidence or elaborate on that in any way?  In the original Titor posts John mentioned that the machine scoops out a bit of dirt and carries it along with it and then deposits that dirt when they enter a world line. Interestingly, that was not a complete description of what happens when they land on a world line. Let me ask you: What do you think would happen to the air that is displaced by the appearance of the bubble when the time traveler lands on that world line?
  There is credible evidence of these two events happening simultaneously and in close physical proximity to each other dating back a very long time. Even more interesting than the scope of the time travel program are the key years that they visited (both for missions
and testing) and the gaps where these events and physical traces are not found. This definitely gives us a clue to the program’s larger aims and constraints as a whole.
I have had conversations with individuals who do not believe in time travel simply because bad things happen in the world. How would you respond to people who assume that every chrononaut should stop ever bad event from occurring?
  Wow. That is a big question. It has been my experience that many people who inquire about Titor or time travel in general put time travelers into the exactly wrong context. They equate his foreknowledge of events as God-like or equate it with some sort of psychic ability. I can not stress this enough that a time traveler is nothing more than a man with a machine and a mission (and quite a bit of insight through experience, assuredly).
  The people posing this question indirectly and inadvertently ut a time traveler on a pedestal and assign him capabilities and responsibilities that he doesn’t necessarily have. They force these things on him through their own preconceived notions of what a time traveler (or God, or Superman) should do. These people are essentially equating a time traveler to a supernatural being or superhero. I wonder if these people have considered that TT’ers realize that allowing uncomfortable things to happen is actually in our/their best interest? Titor even made comments similar to this in 2000.
Not for nothing, this is an argument that is un-winnable. On the one hand, people complain that if one has access to knowledge of future events, they are somehow obligated to stop these “bad” events from happening. If they don’t “save us” from ourselves, they are cold, sociopathic and merely “using” us and our time for their own purposes.
  On the other hand, if a time traveler were to come back in time and effect the time line in ways that change the course of history, he is seen as meddling, intrusive and acting without the permission of the current residents of the given time in which the time travel is acting.
  So which is it? Is the time travel an uncaring sociopath by allowing subjectively judged “bad” things from happening or is he a meddling interloper changing history to suit his own needs? I don’t envy a time traveler trying to explain the larger picture to those who think in terms of their own current events and time.
  Also, indirectly, this question appears to try to relieve the responsibility that we ourselves have to “stop bad things from happening.” Why does the time traveler have a greater responsibility to make the world better than we ourselves? Sounds like a river in Africa, to me. Doesn’t a TT’er’s interference take away our own opportunities to help ourselves?
Has your research into time travel introduced you to other mysteries of the world such as the occult and the paranormal, to name a few? How has it changed your view on these subjects as a whole, if at all?  My explorations into the time travel question have definitely led my thoughts in new directions, namely the nature of the multiverse and all that that implies. Part and parcel to this, which I have commented on elsewhere, is the role that consciousness must and does play within the time travel context. I am still exploring this and I am definitely enjoying the ride in that regard.
Just for the sake of conversation and a little fun, if time travel became a known and accepted part of society, why wouldn’t humans begin doing business with the past and the future?
  A very interesting question, Paula. I would say that it is much more interesting than some that have come before such as “who will win the superbowl” or “tell me the lotto numbers.”
  Time travel appears to become a known quantity at some point in our future. There is evidence that shows that it will not happen on the schedule that Titor described, but it is coming. Will we live long enough to see it? To my eyes, that’s anyone’s guess.
  I wonder though, your question brings up an interesting hypothetical. From your non-time traveler perspective, would you knowingly enter into a business contract with a time traveler from our future? How would you know you weren’t being taken advantage of or getting the best deal? Could this possibly relate to your previous question of a time traveler’s responsibility to make things “better?” Better for whom exactly? I wonder if the argument could be made in court that you never signed the contract that you are being held accountable to, because that was another you on another world line?
On a similar note, why would there be starvation in the world at all if a country could travel to another time and/or universe and collect or purchase supplies?
  These last questions all appear to revolve around a common thread. It is: “what responsibility does one time have to another time?” Does a time traveler (as his era’s representative) have a responsibility to “save us” from “bad” things such as Hitler, Y2K or overpriced bologna sandwiches? Who’s us? Which worldline? What’s “bad?” The point here is that these are all subjective choices made by fallible people.  And, taking a different tack on this question, if the future does have a responsibility to the past (us), doesn’t this imply then that we ourselves have a responsibility to the future in general and John’s generation specifically? I might say, and from the Titor posts it would appear John’s generation might agree, we have failed our progeny.
  We have our own experience right now (no time machine required) to discuss regarding this. Governments are incurring debts whose repayment stretches into centuries into the future. They can never be repaid within the lifetimes of those who authorized that debt and essentially shackle future generations into slavery. This is, for all practical purposes, theft of resources from the future and bringing it into our present. What is even more interesting is that we have a direct statement from someone from that very future generation. John himself said that his era had a very low opinion of us. A very rare insight.
  I wonder if his statement from 2001 claiming that a nuclear strike would be good for us indicates that a serious disruption to civilization could serve to actually unshackle us from crippling debt and irresponsible governance/citizenry in our time? I am not trying to predict the future here, merely speculating. I might be completely off…
  Now, I must wonder: will we/did they learn the lesson that stealing from the future is immoral? Does the coming economic collapse help to form their/our future policies on the practical use of time travel? Do we learn that, because immense debt enslaves future generations, it is wrong to steal resources from the future when the time travel policies are written?
Time travel causes us to think multi-dimensionally. Do you feel that the discovery of time travel either has or will advance science to the point where things such as communication could even become multi-dimensional? For example, could you imagine an Internet with which we communicate with other universes?
  I have commented elsewhere that the development of the time travel technology likely made discoveries along the way, gravity and black holes’ true natures as just two recent examples (blog post on the latter coming soon). But what about advances in science after the technologies development and implementation? What about bringing advanced technology and know-how back from the future? By implementing a time travel capability, a very serious “booster shot” can be given to humanity and allow us to chart the course of our own development. This is a crushing responsibility and incredible honor, no matter how one looks at it. One hopes the TT program is in good hands.
 
  Of course, because we know that time travel does become a reality at some point in our future, we don’t have to wait for its results. There is no reason to believe that humanity’s course hasn’t been guided from points in the future and the past. Is it reasonable to believe that all the issues that we are seeing (and suffering through) now are actually being purposefully maneuvered to coincide to actually cause or facilitate the coming change in the status quo? Darkest before the dawn, anyone? I have an unpublished essay on this very possibility.
Approximately how many other legitimate time travelers have you come across in your personal research?  Over 20 now. I’ve stopped looking for them, to be honest.
Do you watch Doctor Who?  You know? No, I’ve never gotten into it.
Do you have any basic advice for an amateur researcher of time travel?  Question every assumption you’ve ever made, every piece of conventional wisdom that has ever been repeated online. Recognize that the time travel question is much larger than merely the John Titor posts. Ask big questions. From my own short interaction with you, you are definitely on the right track to learning more.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?  See the movie “I’ll Believe You.” Great little movie which takes a semi-comedic view to time travel; not everything about time travel has to be heavy. The ending is hilarious and will likely be understood and appreciated by any time travel aficionado.
  I post essays periodically on my post at convictionofatimetraveler-johntitor.blogspot.com. I usually announce when a new essay has been posted at the Conviction of a Time Traveler Facebook page.
  Conviction of a Time Traveler is available on Amazon as well as on the www.convictionofatimetraveler.com.   If you get the book from the website, I can inscribe it personally.
  Question everything and have fun.
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Incredible Claims?

   One could reasonably say that part of the Human condition is to be both hopeful and fearful about our futures, all at the same time.  It is a natural part of our thought process, from wondering what the weather will be tomorrow to wondering if a particular job is “right” for us.  We all want to know what is going to happen tomorrow.


The Human Condition – Rene Magritte



   Ostensibly, we want to know these things so we can plan and prepare for the inevitable and unexpected (if there is such a thing).  If it’s going to rain tomorrow, maybe an umbrella should be in our hand as we walk out the door.  If economic indicators point towards a recession, maybe personal financial steps should be taken to insulate oneself from the expected dip.  Similarly, maybe a position could be taken to actually profit from the economic downturn?  Suffice it to say, there are any number of practical reasons a person might want to know what the next 24 hours, months or years will bring.  This desire to know the future dates from our earliest times.
   Foreknowledge itself can take any number of forms.  Is the expert you turn to for answers a PhD’d Economist?  A Geologist?  A psychic?  A Time Traveler?  As many already are aware, for every expert predicting doom and gloom, there is an equally passionate “expert” that predicts the exact opposite.  So how can a reasonable person navigate such contradictory information from equally-credentialed “experts?” 

   Simply put, our decisions regarding which expert to believe is a personal choice.  This choice is really only limited only by what we believe is possible.  Do you believe, for example, that an economic meltdown is possible in the United States?  Did the Greeks believe that their economy would implode before it happened to them?  Were their beliefs proven right or wrong?  Did the ancient Neapolitans believe that Vesuvius could never erupt, simply because of their own personal experiences?
   What is interesting about the Human Condition is that no matter from whence foreknowledge may come, it is always a personal choice on how much credence to put into any particular prediction, experts be damned.  For every expert we believe, there is an expert we decide to ignore. 

  

   More often than not, we will always ultimately rely on our own personal beliefs (based on our subjective experiences) whether to follow the advice of any given expert. 

   So what use are experts then?  As it turns out, not much, unless you have 5 minutes to fill in the 24 news cycle and its been a slow news day.
   Of course, there are other sources of foreknowledge that many indulge in.  Instead of relying on Economists or Physicists to predict the future, some rely on psychics, tarot card readers, palmists, the Quatrains of Nostradamus and others.  Our western culture puts these “fortune tellers” on a lower rung of credibility than the socially/culturally accepted western fortune tellers such as economists, stock traders or geologists.  The reasons for this are beyond the scope of this essay.  But, people are used to dealing with psychically derived information and accepting that data “with a pinch of salt.” 
   In a general sense, people deal with predictions in a variety of ways.  Reactions generally follow a person’s preconceived notions of psychic information: “are psychic abilities possible?”  If it is possible then a correct prediction reinforces this belief.  If the prediction does not come true, then, for the believer, there are any number of explanations and/or justifications why this prediction and the psychic who delivered it, failed.  Ultimately though, the belief in psychic functioning isn’t disturbed in any measurable way.

   If, on the other hand, if a given individual doesn’t believe in psychic functioning at all, then that individual’s beliefs will be reinforced by a failed prediction and will be undisturbed by a correct one.  Humans are natural justification machines.  We can justify anything.  So, when faced with a belief that psychics are all charlatans, and simultaneously presented with a correct prediction, the non-believer will point to any number of reasons explaining the successful prediction, never allowing for the possibility that the original thesis is correct:  psychic functioning is a real and natural human ability.
   But this essay is not about whether psychic functioning is a real and natural human ability.  Rather it is how we should judge predictions in general, and specifically when we talk about “predictions” by time travelers.
   Over the years, there has been literally an endless parade of individuals who have claimed to be time travelers and, as expected, have made predictions in line with the expectations of their audience.  Invariably, when anyone comes along making such claims, the inevitable chorus rises up with the predictable refrain of, “prove it!”
   When I first set out to investigate the claims by John Titor, and by extension, others, I realized very quickly that:
There is no such thing as proof
There is only evidence
   Likewise, I also realized that the typical metric by which many had judged Titor’s statements (both supporting and detracting) was simply wrong.  Why?  Because they were applying a metric used to measure the accuracy of psychically-derived information (and the psychics themselves) to a decidedly non-psychically derived data set.
They were using the wrong ruler.
  The information that John Titor was passing along was not derived by any type of psychic functioning, he was talking to us referring to his own personal experience and memories (supposedly).  So by waiting out Titor’s predictions and then simply comparing historical experience with Titor’s predictions, he was either vindicated or debunked.  This is exactly the wrong way to measure Titor’s statements!
   Generally, when speaking about psychics, it is in their best interest to be as accurate as possible; whether they are the court’s soothsayer in medieval France or some traveling gypsy in a county fair.  They are getting paid for their services, such as they are.  So whether the soothsayer wizard or gypsy crone is actually providing psychically derived information or merely inventing a story is a secondary consideration to what their goals are.  Their goal is to be accurate.
   Does any given Time Traveler, though, have a similar goal?  Is he motivated by being accurate?  Sure, we generally measure whether he is really a time traveler by how accurate his predictions are, but are his motivations in line with our metrics?  They are not.
   Personally speaking, I no longer play the convincing game.  Conviction of a Time Traveler provides all the information one will need to make an informed decision as to whether time travel is real and Titor was merely a man making use of that technology.  That being said, there are many who wish to prove (either to themselves or others) that Titor was real.  If they continue to use metrics better suited for judging a tarot card reader or Nostradamus, they will fail every time to make their case. 
   It must also be said that a correct prediction and a failed one do not have the same weight in the balances of judgment.  A correct prediction (a missing skyscraper in NYC for example) must be explained by the debunker beyond merely playing the “lucky guess” card.  It must be recognized that “lucky guess” can only be played so often before one realizes that the debunker truly has no evidence to support his position.
  Carl Sagan once said (and has been adopted by many) that “Incredible Claims Require Incredible Evidence.”  I disagree with this statement but, entertaining it for a moment, I must ask: 
Which is more unbelievable? 
That Time travel exists
 or
Humanity will never conquer time, ever, in the entire future history of the universe?
Which is the more incredible claim?