A Guide to the Naive World of Old Alien Pics

THE DYING ALIEN

Origin: unknown, but probably nefarious; mid-2000s

The best thing about this alien picture is that it shows that somebody somewhere was trying to keep this alien alive. That gives us hope that not everyone that comes in contact with a real alien is looking to exploit them for negative reasons. This picture of a dying alien shows the alien in a seriously frail state but fighting to stay alive. We only wish we knew if the alien in this alien picture won its fight for life.

Naive hopes and musings about how Some People Are Nice To Aliens aside, the truth of this image is simple: it’s a promo picture from The X-Files, specifically “Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man”:

While the coloring is different due to the way it’s shot, the medical equipment and the shape of the alien’s nose and eyes match up perfectly, making it certain this is

The source of the promo picture is unknown, but Kentaro Mori says it came to the internet via a long-gone X-Files fansite.

Really, I posted this for the tone of the site’s prose: the odd, naive, hopeful enthusiasm you find in one strain of Ye Olde UFO Culture. Alien-UFO-Pictures dot com embraces everything with a smiling face and a little hope.

An obvious art piece, created in 1978 before proliferating across UFO books in the 90s and landing on this site long after their creator, Linda Corriveau, stepped forward? Sure. Also, they save it as “Chinese looking alien” which, problematic?

A photo of perfectly normal hieroglyphics with the suggestion ancient Pharaohs wore big hats to cover their big alien heads? Why not!

We are told in schools that the great pyramid of Egypt took 40 years to build and it’s purpose was to bury a pharoah. Come on now, are we that gullible and were the Egyptians that gullible? Of course not, who would spend 40 years of hard labor building a pyramid just to stuff a dead body in it after 40 years of hard work. That hardly sounds logical for such an obviously advanced culture as the Ancient Egyptians. They invented their own language for god sakes, are we to think they were dumb enough to spend 40 years sweating their guts out for only burying 1 body.

Sure, we have many burial sites, engravings, and even books detailing Egyptian death beliefs at length…but isn’t it a bit weird for a society to put so much effort into one person’s grave? Egyptology, debunked (???)

(Side bar: I always love when New Age types talk about how it “can’t be a coincidence” that pyramids exist so many places…even though Mesoamerican pyramids look nothing like Egyptian pyramids, and that they served different functions. Almost like it’s a logical shape for building large structures in bits, or something.)

Like the people from Easter Island who were called the Birdmen Tribe, he too can fly.

Sure! Easter Islanders could fly. Why not!

One image on this site of a “dead alien” is, according to IsaacKoi, a photo of a real dead person, photoshopped to have an alien’s face, since people are awful.

I always love claims of UFOs appearing in paintings because it implies a UFO just flew by while they were painting & they chose to include it, like they just asked the weird pointy alien spaceship to stand still a bit so they could get its lines, since of course it’s impossible for historic artists to be symbolic or use stylization.

Here are 2 pictures of the movie Alien Vs Predator, I found it worthwhile to add them to this alien picture page because so many people search for Alien Vs Predator pictures online.

Serious UFOlogy, everyone!

An alien under arrest, presented without any comment, that originally featured in the sterling pages of the Weekly World News? Why not.


FARM ALIENS

Origin: ???

By comparison to the others, these photos are relatively mysterious. Spreading since at least 2004, these photos are alleged to come from Italy, Mexico, and most commonly England, where one site dates them more specifically to the South of England, November 1999. Further searching reveals a source (thanks to this gloriously Geocities-y webpage), Insidor.com, now long-gone.

Insidor.com claimed the images were from a video, and includes the following story:

Mr XXXX was woken in the night by the sound of a neighbour’s dog whining, and a strange feeling. He ventured outside and saw a strange light in the sky. He describes the light as being in three parts, triangular with the brightest point of light in the front. Mr XXXX went back inside grabbed his video camera, and filmed for 4 minutes. He describes hearing a muffled noise near the end of his garden and approached and filmed what he called ‘strange little ghost’. Mr XXXX claimed to have had strange experience throughout his life and an interest in the Paranormal.

Okay?

The site does have a video section; oddly, it only includes well-known UFO videos like Gulf Breeze, White Sands, and 70s UK TV hoax Alternative 3 and not the video of the literal aliens the site claims they were sent. Strange!

But information isn’t forthcoming, so I’d imagine this was some kind of art project or proto-ARG, given the site’s backstory about “Aquarius”. Still, I love these images because they are all incredibly powerful moods:

Like, same?


CHILEAN PARK ALIEN

Origin: …a Chilean park.

We return to Kentaro Mori for a debunking of this little fella.

I think when I first saw this photo it was identified as being in Moscow; Japanese investigators dubbed it a kappa (…walking over land in Chile?); however, it is definitely from Santiago’s Parque Forestal.

I’ve always loved this one. I love an alien picture that’s just a tiny little guy walking between some horse cops for no reason, and the blurriness of every single thing in frame. Like, genuinely.

But if it isn’t an alien, alternative theories dubbed it possibly: an imp; a ghost; a tree branch; a child or a monkey. Or a hoax.

However, analysis showed it wasn’t a hoax, but mistaken identity: it’s likely a dog, snapped in the middle of an awkward pose, with the “arms” being its hind legs. A weird dog, but a good dog.

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Sci-Fi Keeps Happening

In 2015, I dove into how a Sci-Fi Channel ad campaign created a video that, stripped of all context, continues to propagate in UFO and 9/11 truther circles to this day.

When discussing it, I lamented how the other ads in the campaign have gone down the memory hole, lost to the internet…

…until sometime last year, when they were uploaded to Youtube. While the “magnet” promo remains lost, two of the lesser known SciFi Happens promos are now preserved.

UPDATE: The magnet promo is not lost after all – it was uploaded to Vimeo by the campaign’s creator three years ago.

Exopolitics, Eisenhower & the Fuzzier Expanses of UFOlogy

On the night and early hours of February 20-21, 1954, while on a ‘vacation’ to Palm Springs, California, President Dwight Eisenhower went missing and allegedly was taken to Edwards Air force base for a secret meeting.

Those who believe that the government – or, at least, some nebulous “they” – already know about aliens may have that belief in common, but little else – including when, exactly, contact began. Was it Roswell? Was it some secret landing at Area 51? Or did a purported dentist appointment of Eisenhower’s act as cover for him meeting with aliens, as witnessed by an astrally-projected occultist?

The answer will not surprise you.

Thus is the story of the Greada (or, sometimes, Grenada) treaty of 1954, a cornerstone for a certain, fuzzier expanse of UFOlogy.

The story of the treaty is this: during a visit to Palm Springs in 1954, President Eisenhower vanished for an evening. Though the press was told he had an embarrassing dentist’s appointment, in fact he was spirited away to Edwards Air Force Base to meet with grey aliens. With them he signed, or at least arranged to sign, a treaty ensuring secrecy and non-interference. All this was, of course, covered up.

Our only source for this momentous event is a man named Gerald Light.

My dear Friend: I have just returned from Muroc. The report is true — devastatingly true!…

When we were allowed to enter the restricted section… had the distinct feeling that the world had come to an end with fantastic realism. For I have never seen so many human beings in a state of complete collapse and confusion, as they realized that their own world had indeed ended with such finality as to beggar description. The reality of the “other plane” aeroforms is now and forever removed from the realms of speculation…

H.P. Lovecraft just called, he said your prose is too purple & ambiguous.

During my two days’ visit I saw five separate and distinct types of aircraft being studied and handled by our Air Force officials — with the assistance and permission of the Etherians! I have no words to express my reactions.

If you can pick out any word from this dense word melange, it should be “Etherians”. More on that.

President Eisenhower, as you may already know, was spirited over to Muroc one night during his visit to Palm Springs recently. And it is my conviction that he will ignore the terrific conflict between the various ‘authorities’ and go directly to the people via radio and television — if the impasse continues much longer. From what I could gather, an official statement to the country is being prepared for delivery about the middle of May.

Spoiler alert: he didn’t.

I will leave it to your own excellent powers of deduction to construct a fitting picture of the mental and emotional pandemonium that is now shattering the consciousness of hundreds of our scientific “authorities”… In some instance I could not stifle a wave of pity that arose in my own being as I watched the pathetic bewilderment of rather brilliant brains struggling to make some sort of rational explanation which would enable them to retain their familiar theories and concepts.

Not one of the world’s physicists could understand what happened, but me, a weirdo in a UFO cult, could figure it out intuitively.

To watch strong minds cringe before totally irreconcilable aspects of “science” is not a pleasant thing. I had forgotten how commonplace things as dematerialization of “solid” objects had become to my own mind.

We get it. You’ve seen some shit. You’re Gerald Light, GREATEST HUMAN, and all the sheeple are educated stupid. I am nature’s four-day simultaneous not giving a shit.

The coming and going of an etheric, or spirit, body has been so familiar to me these many years I had forgotten that such a manifestation could snap the mental balance of a man not so conditioned. I shall never forget those forty-eight hours at Muroc!

And neither shall the world…but why?

Information about Gerald Light is scarce; William H Moore of UFO Casebook call him an “elderly mystic” with a belief in “out-of-body experiences”. Blogger Håkan Blomqvist dived into Light’s cheaply-printed mystical booklets, finding him to be a clairvoyant almost supernaturally drawn to…the Chicago World’s Fair. Blomqvist finds his work tiresome and confusing, with a worldview based around Etherian Masters, and concludes, as Moore did, that Light was likely implying he “saw” Eisenhower’s meeting via astral projection.

What are the Etherians so referenced by Light?

The work of early UFOlogist Meade Layne – the recipient of Light’s letter – proposed the Etheria hypothesis to UFOs.

Etheria is here — if we know what here means! Along‐side, inside, outside of our world. Because our world, that is, the so‐called dense matter of the objects in our world, is a rarefaction.

In Layne’s conception of the world, aliens come not from the stars, but from here – or a here next to “our” here.

The matter of the Etheric world! Inside the molecules, inside the atoms, other atoms — still other atoms inside of those, or ten thousand Chinese eggs each inside of another.

And that is why Etheria is here! But it is also everywhere. All heavenly bodies have an etheric realm.

Layne explains “flying discs” as etheric craft, made of etheric matter imperceptible to us. Light was an adherent of Layne’s; another associate was Mark Probert, a “medium” who helped Layne discern his theories, spread primarily via cheaply-printed booklets.

The story of Eisenhower’s first contact originates from such a meager source: a forgotten mystic, a little-known UFOlogist, a theory about aliens that’s long since vanished into the aether. So why did the story persist?

I’ll answer that, but first, let’s talk about aliens.

By Joe Nickell
Odd how only Greys started to visit Earth once movies/shows adopted them as aliens du jour

When the UFO craze began, aliens were often little green – or grey – men or, most commonly, “Nordics” – human-looking white blonde people from space. This held through the 50s, reinforced by, primarily, the narratives of “contactees”, who claimed a kind of proto-alien abduction or to have channeled alien knowledge. In the 60s-70s, modern alien abduction narratives began, UFOlogy – and pseudoscience as a whole – took on a more scientific air, and you had a endless variety of reported aliens: this was the era of Mothman, the Flatwoods Monster, and a million other weirdos. By the 80s and 90s, in part due to the book Communion, aliens in the popular mind became fixed as greys, the Mothman & her friends were pushed into cryptozoology. and the more scientific-sounding abduction narrative became codified.

Modern UFOlogists are fuzzy on the specifics. They don’t weave tales of wars in the stars, or secret first contacts, or even concrete conspiracies. They’re reactive. They deal in sightings, witness reports – or, in other words, evidence, of a kind. It has the veneer of science, if not the mantle of it.

But the original culture didn’t really go away. A community of “channelers”, concerned by “exopolitics” and, especially, the pretty white people they imagine live among the Pleiades still exists, carrying on 50s UFO culture. Sometimes these two cultures intersect: the idea of an alien base at Dulce in New Mexico hails from the “exopolitics” community, as does Gerald Light’s letter, which so inspired UFOlogists it led to one tracking down a dentist’s widow to ask if she remembered her husband treating Eisenhower (no, apparently).

Though the legend stayed alive throughout the 70s-80s, a history by Michael E Salla of Exopolitics identifies its modern revival with William Cooper, a conspiracy theorist known for his 1991 book Behold a Pale Horse (and a radio show that potentially inspired the Oklahoma City bombers). Within its 500 pages, he kickstarts HIV/AIDS conspiracy theories, weaved a Illuminati theory that brought them to the fore of conspiracism, popularized the term “sheeple” and, of course, detailed how Eisenhower met with aliens.

In Cooper’s conception, Eisenhower first met with “white-haired Nordics that had pale blue eyes and colorless lips” who demanded humanity demolish its nuclear weapons. He rejected them, and later entered into a treaty with greys from Betelgeuse (or perhaps Zeta Reticulum; Salla tells us that this discrepancy obviously means the Greys from Betelgeuse and Zeta Reticulum are related).

But who is Cooper? He claims high-level Air Force security clearance that let him know about this clandestine meeting; in fact, records show Cooper’s service was as a petty officer in the Navy. Nearly every “whistleblower” claiming knowledge of Eisenhower’s supposed meeting claims high-level military service; I don’t doubt every single one has a similarly unimpressive, or even non-existent, service record.

Cooper claims that the Greys broke the “treaty” almost immediately, and other theorists propose that this betrayal caused the sea change in UFO reports in the 60s:

…the space brothers in the 1950’s…were kind, interacted with people who became known as contactees, and took people for rides in their space crafts. This pattern changed dramatically with the abduction of Betty and Barney Hill in the early 1960’s…the first abduction of the Hills began a new pattern where the aliens were grey “evil” aliens who would abduct people against their will, and perform medical procedures on them. There were, as far as this author is aware no confirmed cases of “classic” abductions in the 1950’s. Unlike the “good” space brothers of the 1950’s these grey aliens were described by all, who were unfortunate enough to have met with them, as being distant and without emotions.

UFOlogy has changed. The stock portrayal of what an alien is has changed, from the perfectly-human Nordics of the 50s to the slightly-inhuman Greys of now. Peaceful “contactee” accounts faded in favor of violent abduction narratives, and their supposed motives shifted from a vague optimism to more sinister ends.

But the old stories don’t really go away. The spiritualist, optimistic bent of atomic-age UFOlogy stays alive in every UFO cult, from Unarius to Starseeds to ZetaTalk to Aetherius, whose beliefs in “cosmic masters” mirror Light’s & Layne’s. And sometimes one elderly mystic’s xeroxed account of seeing Eisenhower talk with aliens survives the decades, embellished by alleged whistleblowers and other collaborative mythmakers into a larger tale of alien treaties and war among the stars.

In 1954, Eisenhower went to the dentist. And some people still theorize about it today.

Anyway, he was actually meeting with his boyfriend Z’A’Kranax & I support their love? Love is love, happy Pride!

Debunking Paranormal Videos (That Were Just Viral Ads)

Welcome back. I sure didn’t update much in 2018, except to celebrate the ongoing death of the InfoWars empire.

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in Austin… near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read…

And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Alex Jones, buy my brain supplements;
Before Obama turns frogs gay!’
Nothing beside remains.

Solemnly presses F.

But we’re snared in an ongoing conspiracy hell, and so the Space Lizard Report must rise with…a post about viral ads people think are evidence of the paranormal.

“It’s a viral ad” is the most tired of suggestions tossed out whenever a paranormal event is recorded, no matter how unlikely (I have fond memories of people accusing Cartoon Network of planting the Montauk Monster corpse). But sometimes it’s true: something created as part of a guerilla ad campaign loses its context, loses its last-second website link or show tease, and is believed by many thousands, even millions of people as evidence of the supernatural. Here are some examples.

WTC UFO

Most popular upload: 449K views; millions across multiple uploads; appeared on Japanese TV show

Real Origin: Sci-Fi Channel ad campaign

Here’s one I covered before. A series of fake ads for the Sci-Fi Channel, Sci-Fi Happens seemed destined to be forgotten…until this one ad from 2000 gained new and horrible significance. Half-remembered viewings fed into the myth, even transforming into a sighting “the day before” the attacks instead of an ad from a full year earlier. It was easy to forget it was an ad; it was easy to assume it had been on Sightings or some other paranormal show, or even on the nascent paranormal internet.

Of course, now that we have the video there’s no excuse.

This Man

Spread as: Internet meme, myth, odd and unexplained cameos in the revived X-Files

Real origin: An ad agency doing…something?

This Man was a creepy myth about a man who appeared in the dreams of man all over the world. What was he? What was he doing? What was his sinister plan?

To be an…art project? Failed film pitch? Who…knows? Crafted by an ad agency. Sure.

“Alien Attacks Police Officer”

Spread As: 660K+ views across popular uploads

Real Origin: Viral ad for The 4400

Oh, The 4400. A good mid-00s sci-fi show on USA, The 4400 focused on 4,400 missing people who returned in a ball of light after years, even decades away. Soon, they discover that many of the 4,400 possess supernatural abilities; and all are back for a reason…

Sadly, The 4400 is a good display of what could be termed the Anti-Lost: that is, the opposite of Lost. The 4400 is that rare show that explained too much: by the end of the six-episode first season, we’ve been told the entire story behind the abductions. The 4400 never became a bad show, except during a stretch where it made a character’s baby grow up in seconds & become an all-powerful demi-god, which, what even, but it never reached the heights of a Lost or even early Heroes.

And so, by the time of The 4400‘s final season, only 8,000 people watched a video called “Promicin Freak Kills Cop”.

…and so it was easy-pickings for someone to strip off the The 4400 promos at the start and end, and turn it into a dubious paranormal video stalwart for years to come.

Source for debunking: IsaacKoi

John Titor, Time Traveler

Spread as: internet meme; urban legend

Real Origin: Ad for a book

Another one I’ve covered previously, the news that John Titor had long been solved – as an ad for a shitty book that no one read – was a tremendous disappointment. Now, let us move on.

English Sewer Alien

Spread as: 1 Million+ views over multiple uploads

Real Origin: April Fool’s Day prank by a utility company

Multiple videos uploaded by United Utilities show an unnerving creature hiding in England’s sewers; they’ve become a mainstay of creepy video compilations ever since.

Of course, they brush past a few facts: the video’s April 1st upload date, or that its creators openly said it was a prank meant to make people think about the real issue of flushing waste down the drain. Oh well.

Teleporting Girl In China

Spread as: 11 million views on most popular upload

Real Origin: ad for a MMO

Another mainstay of bullshit video compilations, here we see it uploaded with an ostentatious Guy Fawkes Mask intro.

The invaluable IsaacKoi also provides the source for this one: after apparently debating if angels exist for several pages, AboveTopSecret noticed a game company’s logo subtly inserted into the video. Then they discovered that the video was straight-up linked on the game’s website. Whoops.

 

Distant Encounters: Canada’s Most Mysterious UFO

Nessie, Area 51, Roswell: names like this define UFO and paranormal lore. This is not a series about them. In Distant Encounters, we tour the strangest, most isolated tales of encounters with the unknown.

August 18th, 1991. West Carleton, Ontario – a rural farming community. Diane Labenek hears the barks of distant dogs across the field. She rises, looks out the window, and one of my favorite UFO cases of all time begins.

Labenek sees fire and lights: red flames and smoke. A UFO flies towards the bright fire. As Labenek watches,  the UFO departs. Ten minutes later, a helicopter flies overhead. She tells no one but her family.

This isn’t the first strange event to happen in West Carleton: in 1989, Labenek and many others report an “intense, bright light” passing overhead towards a nearby swamp, pursued by helicopters. But neither event draws much attention: with Labenek keeping the story to herself, it’s just another UFO sighting, a lone report without any proof to back it up.

The following year, proof arrived.

Six months later, UFO researcher Bob Oechsler received a package from someone identified only as “Guardian”. The anonymous present included a VHS tape and many crudely forged documents and photos of aliens. In short, most of what Guardian sent was easily dismissable bullshit: but the VHS tape proved harder to dismiss.

The tape corroborates Labenek’s 1991 sighting almost exactly, down to the barking dogs in the background. Seemingly filmed from the other side of the field, you can see the flares in the field, and the shining lights of a large, distinct UFO. Oechsler, who didn’t know about Labenek’s sighting, couldn’t have known that this wasn’t Guardian’s first enigmatic message.

After the 1989 sighting, researcher Tom Theofanous of the Canadian UFO Research Network received a package from Guardian alleging a UFO crash near West Carleton. With nothing but photo-copied photos of fake aliens as “proof”, researchers who toured West Carleton discovered little else, bar reports of a strange lights from a local couple, a rancher – and Diane Labenek. They safely classified Guardian’s first message as a hoax.

In 1992, researchers weren’t so willing to dismiss Guardian. Oeschler and Graham Lightfoot visited West Carleton and, along the way, Labenek. Having no knowledge of her story, they were stunned to discover that it matched the video nearly exactly. Perhaps this would be a rarity – a UFO case with genuine proof?

Yet the investigation was far from smooth. According to MUFON Ontario, Oeschler’s inexperience showed:

[Oechsler] pointed to vegetation that had “been treated with microwave radiation”! How did he come to that conclusion without using any instruments?

“It’s very dry and brittle, so it’s obviously been irradiated” Oechsler said.

The ‘irradiated’ plants were Juniper bushes that always look that way after a Canadian winter – bleached, dried and flattened by heavy snow, probably in much the same way as in Maryland, Oechsler’s home-state.

Some residents of West Carleton, apparently unaware of the threat posed by the alien-irradiated juniper bushes in their midst, took note of an unusually high number of helicopters flying overhead – black, green, and maroon helicopters, with tinted windows for that paranoid-90s flair.

Seeking to “flush out Guardian” – a purely selfless motive I absolutely believe – Oeschler managed to wrangle a story about the case on Unsolved Mysteries. Before their investigation was even complete, it also managed to make an appearance on Sightings, winning the prestigious dubious-90s-paranormal-show double. The investigation also drew in Bruce Maccabee, the famed MUFON researcher who would later think a mouse light in a room was a UFO.

By 1993, researchers had concluded that the Guardian case was likely a hoax. With everything else in the package a proven forgery, why not the video? Claims that it was too large, and too silent to be faked weren’t terribly convincing. Guardian went from one of the most exciting UFO cases in history to an embarrassment UFOologists would rather leave behind them. In 1994, Oeschler, the researcher who drove the case from the beginning retired from UFOology.

Guardian is a strange, beautiful mess. The VHS-quality video is oddly mesmerizing, with its blurred lights in the darkness. The tale of its investigation, meanwhile, is a trainwreck. Most probably, the video itself was a hoax, a simple case of lights on a truck. But there’s something so magically X-Files-y about the idea of an enigmatic, anonymous source leaking proof of UFOs to intrepid researchers, of a person keeping a strange event to themselves for fear of ridicule only to receive proof their experience was valid. Guardian burnt bright and it burnt fast. Among the shadowy-conspiracy genre of UFO sighting, Guardian is maybe the most archetypal one there is.

As for Guardian, their identity was never found.

Biblioteca Pléyades, a sprawling library of the paranormal and strange, has a in-depth article about the Guardian case that you really should read.

Oddity of the Day: The Beatles Never Broke Up

BeatlesIn the immortal words of Jerry O’Connell, imagine if you could travel to parallel worlds. The same year, the same Earth, but everything else is different. Imagine a world where the Soviets rule America, or where ketchup is purple and the Beatles still exist.

Such a story was told by a man calling himself James Richards, who launched a website in 2009 detailing his journey into a parallel world – and he brought back evidence of his bizarre trip. Continue reading

The Disappointing Truth About John Titor, Internet Time Traveler

"Titor insignia" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Titor_insignia.jpg#/media/File:Titor_insignia.jpg
The logo of Titor’s military unit, according to him.

After many years of hoaxes, it’s finally October 21st, 2015 – the day Marty McFly went to in Back to the Future 2. Alas, Robert Zemeckis’ vision of a world of hoverboards and the Chicago Cubs knowing success was undone by aerodynamics and the New York Mets.

On this occasion, let’s remember another time traveler, who predicted nothing correctly and vanished, as is the norm with time travelers.

Others have done a good job of recounting who John Titor was. From 2000 to 2001, a man calling himself John Titor posted on time travel- and Art Bell-related message boards claiming to be a traveler from the year 2036, a soldier sent back in time to recover a certain computer in 1975. He stopped in 2000 to visit family and retrieve pictures lost in a second American civil war…and answer questions on a message board, apparently.

A photo of John Titor's time machine; if there was a higher-resolution version, it's gone now.
A photo of John Titor’s time machine; if there was a higher-resolution version, it’s gone now.

Though it’d be tempting to write off Titor as a mere hoaxer, he did have some level of technical knowledge. His mission was trying to avert UNIX’s Year 2038 problem, which is a genuine issue in computer science. This may explain why some were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, though I’ve heard most people were skeptical from the start.

John Titor told us about life in his time and accordingly left many predictions about the future. Let’s take a look at some of them (drawn mainly from http://www.johntitor.com/):

A world war in 2015 killed nearly three billion people.

Hopefully not true, but there are a few more months left for World War III to break out.

No, the ice caps are not melting any faster than they are now.

False. The ice caps are melting faster than ever.

There is a civil war in the United States that starts in 2005. That conflict flares up and down for 10 years. In 2015, Russia launches a nuclear strike against the major cities in the United States (which is the “other side” of the civil war from my perspective), China and Europe. The United States counter attacks. The US cities are destroyed along with the AFE (American Federal Empire)…thus we (in the country) won. The European Union and China were also destroyed. Russia is now our largest trading partner and the Capitol of the US was moved to Omaha Nebraska.

False.

Hats are more common in the future and flashy colors are less common. Dress is much more functional and we “dress up” whenever we get a chance.

Everyone in the future wears hats. Fedoras make a comeback! But I can’t tell you anymore or I’d risk a paradox, m’spacetimecontinuum.

Perhaps I should let you all in on a little secret. No one likes you in the future. This time period is looked at as being full of lazy, self-centered, civically ignorant sheep. Perhaps you should be less concerned about me and more concerned about that.

The future: full of Redditors!

…Entertainment is less centralized. There are “movies” and “TV” but everything is distributed over the net and more people produce their own “shows”.

Not inaccurate, but even in the 90s people could see the internet effecting entertainment in this way.

Wavering western support for Israel is what gives Israel’s neighbors the confidence to attack.

Incorrect! Western support of Israel, or at least American support of Israel, is still high, and it remains undestroyed.

As a result of the many conflicts, no, there were no official Olympics after 2004. However, it appears they may be revived in 2040.

A cutaway of John Titor's supposed time machine.
A cutaway of John Titor’s supposed time machine.

Wrong! Further Olympics have occurred every two years, and hosts are sorted through the next decade. Not even mounting expenses and hosting the Winter Olympics in Beijing can kill it off.

The year 2008 was a general date by which time everyone will realize the world they thought they were living in was over.

Going off their e-mail forwards and Facebook posts, our racist uncles sure thought the world ended in 2008. But this is so vague you can’t possibly judge it false or true.

I would describe it as having a Waco type event every month that steadily gets worse.

I don’t remember a massive siege, or terrorist attack, or weird cult suicide happening every month in 2008. Just your run-of-the-mill mass shootings.

The conflict will consume everyone in the US by 2012 and end in 2015 with a very short WWIII.

Again, no civil war started in 2005, and though WWIII technically could start this year it wouldn’t spring from some divided America’s strife with Russia or China.

John Titor is remembered fondly as one of the web’s strangest mysteries. At least that’s how most people remember him. That’s how I remember him. What I didn’t know until today was that the mystery had been solved long ago – and the truth was disappointing.

Allegedly, a lawyer named Lawrence Haber and his brother were behind the whole thing; that explains Titor’s knowledge of obscure computer problems. As Keith Veronese notes in their io9 article, there’s a chance that someone else was behind the first messages (a series of faxes to Art Bell in 1999). However, much like beloved Russian internet horse horse_ebooks, the basis for John Titor was apparently commercial – in 2003, the John Titor foundation was registered, and they quietly released a book based on the story that year. With the book long-since out-of-print, John Titor has survived as a bizarre internet legend, the tale of a time traveler who stopped by some message boards to do an AMA, one of many strange stories from the wild late-90s/early 00s internet, up there with eBay’s haunted painting and Time Cube.

Other Memetic Time Travelers Who Aren’t Real

Rudolph Fentz, the 19th-century man struck by a car in 1950s New York City, is from a Jack Finney story, which became a real urban legend for some reason; the man from Taured, who vanished from a Tokyo airport, is also from a story, though from a more obscure source than the Fentz tale. That hipster at the bridge opening was wearing an era-appropriate Montreal Maroons sweater, and that woman walking by the premiere of The Circus was just using a hearing aid. And I’m pretty sure the former drummer of Iron Butterfly wasn’t about to crack the code of time travel, either.

Other internet oddities: Weird Wisconsin; “Crowd Demons”, the Lawton Triangle of 2002.