In late 2000 a man calling himself John Titor
began posting messages on internet discussion boards, claiming that he was a time traveler from the year 2036 (his time travel machine was a 1967 Chevrolet). His mission had been to journey back to the year 1975 and make contact with his grandfather, who was a member of the engineering team developing the IBM 5100, but somehow he ended up in 2000 instead. The tale of John Titor is pretty familiar internet lore by now, and I'm surprised that I've only made brief references
to him before (though I have posted more about other time travelers
). Anyway, to make a long story short, John Titor, during the few months he spent posting messages on the internet (he 'traveled back to the future' in March 2001), made a number of specific predictions about the future. In a nutshell, here they are:
Civil unrest develops around the US Presidential election.
An American civil war begins in earnest: "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."
Russia launches a nuclear strike against the major cities in the United States. A world war proceeds that kills nearly three billion people
First time machine built by GE
Titor travels back in time to acquire the IBM 5100
Mr. Dark, on LiveJournal, does a good job of debunking
much of the illogic in Titor's vision of the future. However, he also points out
that we have arrived at the first stage of Titor's predictions: the 2004 election that is supposed to cause unrest that eventually flares up into civil war. Mr. Dark notes:
"it's been a week and no civil war has broken out, and only the most fringe elements of the left wing still dispute the outcome of the election, do you think we can officially declare the John Titor tale a hoax? Without this lynchpin, the story falls apart completely. If there is no 'civil unrest' over a 'disputed election in 2004', then there is no civil war. No civil war, no nuclear war. No nuclear war, no need to return to the past for some near-ancient IBM PC to solve some otherwise-unsolvable problem."
The creepy thing, however, is that this election has
produced an incredible amount of bitterness and division. Witness all the maps of the New United States
that people are sharing via the internet. But are we on the verge of a civil war? I don't think so. So it looks like Mr. Dark is right. John Titor is definitely a hoax (was this ever really in doubt?). Though we'll know with even more certainty at the end of next year when the all-out civil war has never materialized.