S02 Episode 2: Time is Out of Joint

It has long been accepted that time as we know it, or at the very least in the sense that we experience it, is not what it seems.  Or as Albert Einstein put it, the past, the present and the future, is but a stubborn, persistent illusion.

It would seem that we have long been mesmerised by the notion of travelling through time, whether it be to right a past wrong, or merely to escape our present reality.  But it wasn’t until Einstein’s special relativity introduced us to the tantalising concept of space-time and the 4th dimension that such notions were given mathematical credibility.  No longer was time a mere, subjective unit of measurement but suddenly we were invited to imagine it as a space within which we might move. 

A theory that as the earlier quote suggests did away entirely with any notion of past present and future entirely.  Or to be clearer as physicist Max Tegmark notes, “time is not an illusion, but the flow of time is”.  For much in the way that matter may appear differently from one observer to the next, so too, according to Einstein, does time.  

Incidentally, although the concept of space-time is often linked with Einstein, it was actually his teacher Hermann Minkowski who first proposed the idea back in 1908 in a paper titled ‘Space and Time.’  Remarkably, author Edgar Allen Poe is believed to have come to the same realisation himself as far back as 1848, writing in an essay entitled Eureka that ‘space and duration are one’.

Certainly, it is an area that has been well explored in fiction. The oddly unsettling 1970s television show Sapphire and Steele and Joan Lindsey’s haunting and mesmeric Picnic at Hanging Rock being two of my favourite accounts of one such temporal corruption that is equal parts fascinating and terrifying, the notion of the time slip. 

To paranormal researchers, the fabled time slip is considered to be the rarest of all documented paranormal experience. The most well-known account of such an event being the Moberly-Joudain incident.

The event is alleged to have occurred on Saturday August 10th 1901 at the Palace of Versailles in France, when two British woman visiting the palace on a day trip claimed to have found themselves inexplicably transported back to the late 18th century, to be surrounded by palace courtiers and even at one point passing Marie Antoinette.  The woman, Charlotte Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain were both well educated and had no obvious reason to fabricate the events published a book of their account in 1911, which was predictably met with much ridicule.

There are two accounts of alleged time-slips that took place in Britain in the 1950s. The writer and long time member of the society of psychical research Andrew MacKenzie, documented both the events, in his 1997 book Adventures in Time.  For MacKenzie the accounts were nothing less than two of the most convincing that he had ever come across.  Mysteries that remain to this day, unexplained.

On Monday, January 2nd 1950, as the new decade entered its third day, so too did the New Year’s celebrations, as is customary in Scotland.  In a small house in the town of Brechin in Eastern county of Angus, a cocktail party is coming to an end. 

Sensing that the party was beginning to wind down, one of the guests, 55-year-old Miss Elizabeth Smith decided to call it a night.  It was after all getting late and Elizabeth wasn’t much relishing the ten-mile drive back to her house in Letham.  After saying goodbye to her friends she collected her small terrier dog that she had brought with her and together they climbed into her car in preparation for the journey home. 

It had been a relatively mild winter but the last few days had seen a light dusting of snow along much of the east coast of Scotland.  Snow that by nightfall on the 2nd had turned steadily to ice.  Undeterred, Elizabeth switched on the engine and pulled off into the night. 

A short time later, not more than two miles outside of Brechin, Elizabeth lost control of the car, span off the road and plummeted straight into a ditch.

Miraculously, neither Elizabeth nor her small canine companion dog was harmed but the car was completely written off.  Relieved and more than a little dazed, with the temperature outside steadily dropping Elizabeth knew she had only two options: return to her friend’s home or strike out on the eight mile journey back to Letham.  Deciding on the latter, Elizabeth gathered her things and together with her dog she set out on the long walk home. 

At first Elizabeth was at ease taking the deserted country lane back towards her village. She felt safe with her dog by her side, cheerily keeping her company. But it was hard to ignore the strange sense of foreboding that is wont to arise when you are out in the wilderness, with no lights to be seen and even the moon fails to reveal itself.

Such was the thickness of cloud it was difficult even to make out the contours of the surrounding fields save for the dark silhouettes of hedgerows and trees dotted about like thick formless shadows. It wasn’t long before the eerie quietude of the night started to gnaw away at her nerves.

So much so that Elizabeth neglected to take the well-trodden shortcut through the field shortcut, better to stick to the open country she thought than venture nearer to the ominous woodlands to her left.

With the temperature dropping even further, Elizabeth and her little dog ploughed on gallantly towards their destination. Roughly two miles from Lethem, Elizabeth’s dog began to tire leaving Smith with little choice but to pick him up and carry him on her shoulders.

Less than half a mile later, Smith was hugely relived when she was able to make out the distant rise of Dunnichen Hill, a clear sign that she was almost home.  And so it was with little surprise that she was able to make out a few small lights in the distance.  Only there was something odd about them.  Firstly, it was strange, she thought, why so many lights would be on when it was way almost two o’clock in the morning but what was perhaps even more unusual was that the lights, unless she was mistaken, appeared to be moving.

A short time later, not only had the number of lights increased dramatically but she soon realised with some surprise that each of the lights were bing held aloft in the air by shadowy figures.

The lights were in fact flaming torches being held aloft by men wearing dark tunics with roll collars and tights.  What was also odd was the manner in which they were moving.  Rather than walking straight across the field they seemed to be skirting in a semi circle around the bottom of it.  But then the figures disappeared only to be replaced by another set of men in the field to her left who were this time close enough for her to notice that the torches seemed to be strangely red in colour.

At this point Elizabeth’s dog, sensing the peculiarity of the occasion began to bark much to Elizabeth’s alarm.   Trying to ignore the strange men she hurried on towards home but the most extraordinary vision was yet to come. 

Not long after a third set of men appeared, even closer than the previous groups.  She could see them clearly now as they made their way through the field, just like before, with their burning torches held aloft.  But they weren’t merely marching as she had first thought. This group seemed to be moving much more diligently and with purpose throughout the field.  Elizabeth wondered why it was that they would stop from time to time, bringing the torches close to the ground.  And that’s when she saw them, the bloodied corpses of the dead.

It was as if she had wondered into the aftermath of some great and ancient battle.  The field was littered with them.  The men with torches were clearly scouring the ground to see if anyone was left alive, turning the bodies over in the darkness to check for signs of life.  Smith and her dog eventually made it home safe and sound but unsurprisingly the ghosts of the dead never truly left her. 

However it wasn’t until a further twenty years later that Miss Smith’s account of the extraordinary event was formally recorded.  The task was taken up by 54 year old, Dr. James McHarg a much respected and well-loved psychologist and contemporary of Andrew Mackenzie at the Society for Psychical Research.

In the intervening years, Smith had come to the realisation that what she had seen had indeed had something to do with an ancient battle once fought on the very land she had walked across.  

After spending some considerable time interviewing Smith, McHarg was left with little doubt that she had somehow wondered back in time and witnessed the aftermath of a brutal and bloody battle known as the Battle of Nacthensmere. 

The battle occurred in 685 AD between the Picts, an enigmatic tribal people from what is now the North and East of Scotland and the Northumbrians.  Fifty years previously, the Kingdom of Northumbria, led by King Edwin had risen to become the most powerful in all of the British Isles.  But by the end of the seventh century, the kingdom had diminished considerably thanks largely to the disastrous defeat they suffered at the hands of the Picts at the battle of Nacthensmere. 

McHarg found Smith, who at one time had been the president of her local Women’s rural institute, to be an extremely credible witness concluding that her recollections of the nights events were at the very least genuine to her.  And a few elements of the story stood out in particular.

Smith’s insistence that the torches had been red was puzzling at first until Andrew Mackenzie later made a discovery that was believed to have not been known by Smith at the time.  He discovered that torches of that time were often “made from the resinous roots of the Scots fir which in their natural state do indeed have a distinctive red colour”.

McHarg was especially intrigued by Smith’s description of the movement of the men who seemed to be walking in a curve around the field.  And so it was with some surprise when he discovered that back in the 7th century, the field had in fact been a small loch that had later been drained and turned into farmland.  His startling conclusion was that perhaps the apparitions had merely been walking around the loch to get to their fallen comrades.

This revelation he believed was ultimate proof of Smith’s story since it demonstrated that the apparitions must have come from a time before the loch had been drained.

Our second tale takes place only seven years later in the county of Suffolk located in the south East of England.  It is the birthplace of the infamous Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins whose reign of terror in the 1640s resulted in many local women being murdered due to egregious accusations of witchcraft.  Nowadays however it is perhaps better known for its tranquil wetlands and rich arable soil.  

It is a country that echoes with birdsong and the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, a place where the earth is as dark and rich as the sky is wide.  A place perhaps best summed up by WG Sebald’s exquisite travelogue, The Rings of Saturn.

And so it is to that place that we now travel. It is Sunday morning in October 1957.  Up above, the skylarks ascend, chirrup, whistle and shake, as below them three young boys equipped with map and compass are steadily making their way across the countryside.

They are taking part in an orienteering exercise organised by the Royal Navy Cadets.  The boys, who are all fifteen and brand new recruits are: William Laing, from Perthshire in Scotland, Ray Baker from London and Michael Crowley from the county of Worcestershire. 

Today their task is to locate a specific waypoint, record their findings and then return to base camp to report back to their superiors.  Finally after a few miles of trekking the boys were excitedly homing in on their mysterious destination.

They had been walking up a slight rise when they first heard the sound of church bells.  As they approached the top of the hill, they noticed smoke rising from the chimneys and the spire of a church towering prominently above a small village.   

As they finally made it over the hill, the rest of a small community was revealed to them below and with the boys in agreement that this was indeed where they were supposed to be, they continued their journey down into the village.

But as they got nearer something very peculiar happened.

Part way into the village was a small stream that flowed over the road.  As they approached it they became aware that something wasn’t quite right.  It was Michael who noticed it first.  The silence. 

Only moments ago the church bells had been ringing and the sound of birdsong had filled the air.  But now as they entered the village the place was eerily silent save for the gentle trickling of the stream.

As they carried on over the ford, William noted that even the ducks seemed unmoved by their arrival.  As for any sign of people, the place was completely deserted.  It was then that they noticed the trees.  Only a few minutes earlier, they were surrounded by countryside decorated with the reddish golden browns of autumnal leaves but the trees in the village were anything but.  Here, the leaves appeared to be vibrantly green almost as if it were springtime.

As the boys walked on a strange picture was beginning to emerge. 

All the houses looked as if they were from another age, hand built and slightly crooked in design.  Some were timber framed and others looked positively medieval.  Looking around they saw no sign of streetlights or even aerials on the houses.  There was also no smoke coming from the chimneys as they had seen before entering the village and absolutely no sign of the church that had been so visible from the hill. 

What’s more, the wind had completely dropped with not even the leaves rustling in the trees.

And there was no sign of anybody anywhere.

The boys made their way over to a building with a green door and a large front window split into smaller panes that had not been washed in some time. They pressed their noses to the glass… 

Just like the rest of the village, the shop was deserted but at the back of the room, hanging on large meat hooks were the skinned carcasses of three large cows.  The meat was green and mouldy having long ago turned putrid.

Unnerved by what they had seen and somewhat in a daze the boys soon found themselves staring through the window of another building but again found no sign of life inside, the rooms completely emptied of all furniture.

Ray and Michael suggested knocking on some of the doors but William refused to move.  Ever since entering the village a strange feeling had fallen over him.  It was an overwhelming sense of sadness and the unmistakable sensation that they were being watched by unseen and unfriendly eyes.

The three boys hurriedly made their way up to the top of the hill.  Finally satisfied that they had reached a safe distance, the boys turned back and were amazed to find the village just as they had seen it before. 

The smoke was again rising from the chimneys and the church spire stood tall and proud.  The autumnal colours had returned to the trees and once more the sound of the bells and birdsong could be heard all around. 

A short time later the boys returned to base camp and relayed their experiences to their sceptical superiors.  Despite their baffling description the petty officers confirmed that the boys had indeed reached the designated waypoint.  What they had supposedly seen was the picturesque village of Kersey.

It wasn’t until thirty years later that Michael Crowley and William Lang, who were by now both living in Australia, contact MacKenzie and relayed their extraordinary story.  A few years later Mackenzie revisited the village with William Liang and together they retraced just what exactly had occurred that day. 

Much like Dr. McHarg had been with Miss Smith in Scotland, MacKenzie was impressed by Laing’s sincerity and the detail of his description of the events. MacKenzie’s ultimately came to the conclusion that what the boys had experienced was not the Kersey of 1957 but rather the village as it had been in the 1420s in the aftermath of the Great Plague.

Is it really possible that both the young cadets and Elizabeth Smith, and anyone else for that matter, could slip unwittingly into another time? 

Perhaps not in the manner suggested by MacKenzie but in 2011 one man was to make a remarkable claim that we might all in a sense be slipping in and out of time constantly.

In March of that year a paper was published in the Journal of Personality and Psychology titled Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect. It had been written by a brilliant but controversial social psychologist of Cornell University in the States called Professor Daryl Bem.

The paper was extraordinary from its opening line to its mind-boggling conclusion.  After all, it isn’t often that a paper published in an elite journal begins with a definition of psi, which he described as the “anomalous processes of information or energy transfer that are currently unexplained in terms of known physical or biological mechanisms.” It is even more of a rarity that such a paper would go on to prove that such phenomena, an area most often associated with telepathy, clairvoyance and psychokenisis, might actually be real.

The paper presents the results from a number of experiments involving over 1000 volunteers. 

One such test was to have the volunteers study a list of words from which they would later be asked to try and recall as many of the words as possible.  Having completed this part of the experiment the volunteers were then given random words from the list that they were then asked to type out as a counter intuitive act of reinforcement.

Incredibly, Bem’s results showed a direct correlation between the words that the students had been able to recall and the words that they were later asked to type.  In essence, Bem had turned the notion of cause and effect completely on its head.  

In another test, volunteers were shown two curtain graphics on a computer screen, behind one of which was a highly stimulant erotic image.  The volunteers were then tasked with selecting correctly which curtain hid the image.  Completely random guesses would return a roughly 50% success rate but amazingly, Professor Bem recorded a 53.1% success rate.  The difference may sound minimal but in statistical terms is dramatically significant.

What Bem’s paper seemed to be saying was that everything we thought we knew about the unidirectional nature of time was a fallacy. 

Before long however, there were suspicious rumblings amongst the scientific community.  Questions were asked about the validity of Bem’s methodology and the lack of any other findings that might link with Bem’s extraordinary claims.  And ultimately what distinguishes scientific theory from fact is the reproducibility of results. 

In 2012 psychologists Stuart Ritchie, Richard Wiseman and Chris French of the Universities of Edinburgh, Hertfordshire and Goldsmiths respectively, made an unsuccessful attempt to replicate Professor Bem’s findings.  Their attempts were repeated in the same year by Jeff Galak of Carnegie Mellon University, who also failed to replicate Professor Bem’s Results.  It remains to be seen whether Bem’s findings will gain a wider credibility.  For what it’s worth, Bem stands resolutely by his findings.

One perhaps more rational but in some ways no less extraordinary explanation for the bizarre accounts of Elizabeth Smith and the three cadets is a phenomenon known as ‘derealization’.  The experience is thought to be brought on by a dysfunction in the occipital or temporal lobe of the brain.  The condition can often leave sufferers with a sense of disassociation from the external world whereby familiar places suddenly become alien and surreal. 

Regardless of whether such a condition had afflicted Miss Smith or the young boys, the suggestion brings to mind an intriguing concept that I believe strikes at the heart of our fascination with the notion of travelling back in time.

The term hauntology was coined by French Philosopher Jacques Derrida in his 1993 book, Spectres of Marx: The state of the debt, the work of mourning and the new international.  The word is a portmanteau of the words haunting and ontology, the philosophical study of the nature of being. 

For Derrida, the term is essentially a play on the temporality of ideas, or more precisely the impossibility of eradicating knowledge or ideas, in this case as they would pertain to Marxist philosophy, once they have been conceived.  From the moment they exist they remain forever a part of our collective knowledge haunting our perception of both the past and the future.  Much like in the sense of Einstein’s theory of relativity, once an idea is created it is as if it has always been ad therefore impossible to escape. The implication being that only by returning to before the idea could we hope to imagine an alternate future unshaped by that idea.

And it is this that I believe most resonates with us when fantasising about the possibility of traveling back in time – not the fantasy that we might exist in a different and more agreeable past but that by returning to that past we might realise a different future, what tantalises is the promise that our fate could somehow be changed for the better. 

This currently being an impossibility, to paraphrase the composer William Basinski, we find ourselves perversely left pining for futures that can never happen, but continue to haunt us nonetheless - a concept that you might say achieves physical form in the architecture around us, perhaps no more strikingly then in places like the Barbican centre in London, a place now extant as a literal Ballardian testament to a vision of the future that never materialised. 

Of course change for the better, like all things is a relative term.  For example, it is through concepts such as hauntology that we might better understand at least the despotic fixation for burning books or, in the recent case of ISIL their destruction of ancient cultural artefacts.  Such practices form the practical reality of attempts to expunge the past in the hope of creating a different future. 

The concept of hauntlogy was reinvigorated in the noughties by a number of cultural theorists eager to apply the term to emergent trends in art and pop culture, in particular with regards to the growing sense that western music and especially electronic music had reached an evolutionary cul-de-sac. 

Perhaps most notable among them was the writer and theorist Mark Fisher who saw in the music of artists such as Burial or the groups that perform under the Ghost Box label, an attempt to navigate a way out of the cul-de-sac.

Fisher also recognised an unsettled nostalgia for the past that in some ways was merely serving to reinvigorate the spectres of what those musicians saw as their many lost futures.  But what Fisher found most troubling, as mentioned in a piece for the Fall 2012 edition of Film Quarterly, was the sense that we were losing “the capacity to conceive of a world radically different from the one in which we currently live.” That escape from the cul-de-sac was an impossibility.

And yet, for those left despondent at this notion, who pine for an escape from an uncertain present, it is worth bearing in mind some of the thoughts of Arthur Koestler as addressed in his seminal work, The Ghost in the Machine.

In a concept he refers to as ‘Draw back to Leap’, Koestler demonstrates that not only is the history of evolution littered with cul-de-sacs and dead ends, but that some of the greatest revolutions in science, art and biology were dependant on them.  That it isn’t until periods of cumulative progress reach their inevitable stagnation that we are left with no alternative but to go back and find a new way out.  As exemplified for example by the way in which Pablo Picasso’s reversal to primitivism enables him to forge a brand new paradigm in Cubism.

So for anyone feeling afraid that the future they invested so much hope in seems to be disappearing before their eyes, worry not that it is the end.  Not only might it only be the draw back before the leap, but also remember that the past, present and future is now.  Perhaps those lost futures aren’t spectres after all but real attainable spaces, just waiting for you to arrive.

© Richard MacLean Smith


1.    Bem, D. J. (2011), Feeling the Future Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, p407-425

2.    Fisher, M. (2013), What is Hauntology, Film Quarterly, Vol 66, No.1 (Fall 2012) pp 16-24, University of California Press.

3.    Lehrer, J (2010), Feeling the Future: Is Precognition Possible, Wired, https://www.wired.com/2010/11/feeling-the-future-is-precognition-possible/

4.    Mackenzie, A (1982), Hauntings and Apparitions, Heinemann: London

5.    Koestler, A. (1982), The Ghost in the Machine, Last Century Media: UK

6.    Dash, M (2009), Adventures in Time, Forteana, http://blogs.forteana.org/node/87

7.    Dash, M (2011), When Three British Boys Travelled to Medieval England (Or Did They?), Smithsonian Magazine, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/when-three-british-boys-traveled-to-medieval-england-or-did-they-35698485/

8.    Dunning, B (2012), The Versailles Time Slip, Skeptoid, https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4296

9.    The Wire Salon, panel discussion: Revenant Forms: The Meaning of Hauntology, The Wire, https://www.thewire.co.uk/audio/in-conversation/the-wire-salon_revenant-forms_the-meaning-of-hauntology


S02 Episode 2 Extra: My Name is John

Welcome to Unexplained Extra with me Richard MacLean Smith.

For the weeks in between episodes we look at the stories that for one reason or other didn’t make it into the show.

In last week’s episode, Time Out of Joint, we looked at two incidences of a supposed time slip.  In both stories we find ourselves questioning the validity of someone’s belief that they unwittingly stepped back into the past.  But what, instead, if we were on the other side and it was us witnessing them arriving miraculously from the future.  How could we possibly believe them?

Fans of the recent TV show, the OA may be familiar with the film Sound of My Voice, also written by the OA creators Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij.

The film is a mesmerising portrayal of an alleged time traveller and the lengths it requires going to in order to convince others of her veracity. What is perhaps most remarkable about the film however is the likelihood that it was in fact inspired by true events…

The story begins on July 29th 1998 with a fax read out live on air by broadcaster Art Bell on his show Coast to Coast AM.

Dear Art, it read:

I had to fax when I heard other time travellers calling in from any time past the year 2500 AD. Please let me explain.

Time travel was invented in 2034. Offshoots of certain successful fusion reactor research allowed scientists at CERN to produce the world’s first contained singularity engine…

Unfortunately, it was also discovered that anyone going forward in time, from my 2036, hit a brick wall in the year 2564.

Everyone who has ever been there has reported that nothing exists. When the machine is turned off, you find yourself surrounded by blackness and silence.

Now, most time travellers are trying to find out where the line went bad by going into the past, creating a new universe, and proceeding forward to see if the same thing results in 2564. It appears the line went bad around the year 2000. I’m here now, in this time, to test a few theories of mine before going forward.

The fax goes on to list a number of dystopian disasters that were set to befall the planet as a result of the millennium bug.  Of course, despite some hysterical concerns at the time, the millennium bug never truly bit.

The name of the fax’s ender was never disclosed and, like the millennium bug, the incident was destined to fizzle out, consigned to the dustbin of post apocalyptic paranoia.  

That was until two years later on October 14th 2000, when a new contributor popped up on Internet Relay Chat and joins a conversation with a user named Yareisa and another named G degrees.  The new entrant, called themselves TimeTravel_0.

Greetings, they wrote.  My name is John, I’m 38 and I’m a time traveller from Florida.

The other users were understandably intrigued, if not wholly convinced.  In the ensuing conversation, John proceeds to outline his story, which contained a number of similar elements to that of the original fax read out by Art bell, such as the fact that he had also travelled back from the year 2036.  It seemed to suggest that both the mystery poster and the author of the fax were the same person, only this time they had a few more details to share…

A major breakthrough happens at CERN in about a year, he says.  But there has been some controversy over the damages of it.  Some are concerned that it may be quite hazardous.

Is antimatter involved, asks G degrees. 

No, says John.

Wasn’t there something about creating a black hole, said Yareisa.

Yes! Says john, you’ve heard of it!  It’s a black hole about the size of an electron…

John goes on to explain that he is visiting the year 2000 as part of a promise made to his grandfather in 1975; a sort of scenic route before returning back to the year 2036.

Why would you do that they ask?

I was sent back to 1975 to get a computer, says John. It’s an IBM model 5110.  We need it in 2036 to recode UNIX which dies in 2038

Who needed a 5110? You lost me there, says G degrees.

The 5110 is able to read the old IBM mainframe code. We need it in 2036.

So have you tried changing the past yet says G, or have you found that everything you do has already been done?

Actually, replies John, our world lines are not fixed, they are all different, there is no one time.

But you have a past… says G, you remember things, and if one changes…

Yes, says John, but they are different. The fact I am here changes this world line.  In fact I’ve noticed small changes.  Incidental news stories that haven’t happened, books not written, small stuff like that.

Have you ever been in a room that has mirrors on all the walls?

Yes says G, the infinite worlds with infinite possibilities theory?

Yes! Cries John, multiple world theory is correct.

So, who do you work for? Asks G.

The military, replies john, I’m a soldier. But civilian travel is not far off.

Wyrmkin_37 enters the room.

I will tell you a little story continues John. When time travel was invented They built prototypes that would go back in time for a split second and then return.  But they never returned. It was later discovered that the machines were ending upabout 15 miles away and 3000 feet in the air.

Isn’t all this classified?

I know you think I’m nuts, who would believe me? That’s why I love these chat rooms, I know that nothing I say will make a bit of difference. I’m not feeling sorry for myself, I’m actually learning to like the people here, you have a very bad reputation in 2036.

Who me? says Wyrmkin.

In general says John.  This period is thought of as the time when they had it all but squandered it.

But fun was had, jokes Wyrmkin.

There is something you can tell me, says G. What Happens in December 2012, anything?

Nothing, says John, but there is a nuclear war around 2015.

Bugger, says G.

It’s not that bad, says John.  There’s a civil war in the US.  Then Russia launches against China, Europe and us.  From my point of view Russia helps us. We win. The civil war has two sides, I fought on one side, the other side got nuked by Russia.

Not north and South again was it?  Asks G.

No, more like city against country says John. 

It’s been interesting talking to you, says G, but it’s way past my bedtime. Look me up when you get back to 2036 will you, if I’m still here.

I will try says John.

Well, good night then.

Good night.

© Richard MacLean Smith


1.    Archive of all things John Titor: John Titor Times, http://www.johntitor.com/

2.    John Titor’s Story, http://www.johntitor.strategicbrains.com/

3.    Dodds, L (2015), Who was John Titor, the time traveller who came from 2036 to warn us of a nuclear war?, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/11945420/Who-was-John-Titor-the-time-traveller-who-came-from-2036-to-warn-us-of-a-nuclear-war.html