Welcome to this month’s Time Travel Nexus Investigates! At TTNI, we’re playing detective, hunting the TTTs (time-travelling tourists), and attempting to solve some much-talked-about cases of real-life time travel.
This month I’m looking at a few of my previous cases—as well as some new ones—to answer the question: are we being invaded by time travellers?
Origin of the claim
Stephen Hawking once said, “If time travel is possible, where are all the tourists from the future?”
Well, it seems that they’re everywhere lately. TTNI has been investigating cases of TTTs for a year and a half now, but in recent months, we’ve noticed that there seem to be more and more of them popping up than ever before. Do a little bit of Googling on the subject and it really does appear that we’re being invaded.
This latest spate of TTTs started in 2017. Multiple news outlets reported in October that a man called Bryant Johnson was arrested for public intoxication in Casper, Wyoming, and claimed to be a time traveller from the year 2048.
Since then, almost every week we’ve been seeing stories about blokes claiming to be from a decade or more in the future in tabloids and news aggregators. Many of these articles originate from YouTube videos in which these men are interviewed and confess to being TTTs.
What these confessional videos have in common (apart from the fact that the TTTs are never women or non-white) is that they get posted to the same two YouTube channels: ApexTV and Paranormal Elite—sister channels. And because they’re amassing millions of views on those channels, they’re getting noticed.
Nature of the claim
We’re obviously talking about multiple claims here. But they all seem to be pretty similar.
Bryant Johnson told police when he was arrested that he was visiting from the year 2048 and that he’d come to warn the residents of Casper that aliens are coming next year. He also insisted on talking to the mayor of the town.
Police asked him how he had time travelled and he said that the aliens “filled his body with alcohol and made him stand on a giant pad that teleported him to the year 2017”. (When I was a criminal defence lawyer, I soooo should have got my drink-driving clients to use this defence.)
Of course, the police asked why these aliens would send Johnson back in time to warn humanity of their own invasion. Doesn’t seem like the best of invasion strategies. Johnson had no answer. His blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .136. A BAC of .100 is legally drunk in all US states.
Bryant Johnson’s little tale is obviously twaddle (though kudos to the drunk old sod for an imaginative defense). But it seemed to put time travellers on the radar. Around the same time, ApexTV started posting TTT confessional videos. One was of a TTT from 2028, which racked up 650,000 views. A TTT from 2030 garnered 385,000 views for his video. A guy claiming to be from 2100 knocked up 554,000 views. Then a video of a bearded, hoodie-wearing hipster from 2250 topped an impressive 1.5 million views. And after that, a TTT from 2118 named Alexander Smith posted a video that was a monster hit, racking up 7 million views.
I’ve already covered a couple of these bozos. Noah is ApexTV’s most popular TTT, popping up in countless videos, all with his face and voice obscured. The Noah video that garnered particular attention from news media was the one in which he took a lie detector test, purportedly proving that he really is a TTT. (See my previous article on this.)
Then there’s Michael Phillips, who I wrote about last month. This is the guy who said he was from 2075 and revealed that famous alleged time traveller John Titor was behind 9/11. Titor came back in time to avert a disastrous civil war in America and, to do this, helped the US government orchestrate 9/11 as a way of “bringing the country together”. (Because the post-9/11 is totally unified, isn’t it. Everyone loves one another.)
There are countless others on ApexTV’s YouTube channel. One of the most recent, published on March 18th 2019, is of a bloke claiming to have visited 2300 and seen dinosaurs!
ApexTV produce a LOT of videos, most of them hugely popular and amassing hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of views. Despite this, all the ones I’ve seen are shoddily made and obviously fake.
Alexander Smith’s is one of the more obviously so. The guy is clearly a young dude putting on an accent, wearing a terribly ill-fitting suit and a pathetic rubber mask that tries to make him look old.
Then there’s Noah. Apart from being horribly unconvincing with his poor vocabulary and future predictions based on bad science, conspiracy theories and sci-fi movies, it’s the lie detector video that really rumbled this case. It’s not a real lie detector by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a kids’ toy.
Another big problem with ApexTV’s TTTs is that they’re all as thick as planks. None of them are articulate or coherent and several have dodgy accents or sound like they’re doing impressions. And at times their predictions are laughably unimaginative. I still can’t get over Michael Phillips’s description of 2432: “It was very nice, actually. It was very green. There was a lot of flowers everywhere.”
The fakery of these videos proves that ApexTV are in on the deception. They deny being so on their channel, obviously. They claim they are objectively interviewing these people and letting viewers make up their minds. But getting ‘Noah’ to fake a lie detector test and dressing up ‘Alexander Smith’ to look like an old guy proves that there is, indeed, a conspiracy here. But the conspirators are not time travelling government organisations in the future sending stupid white blokes back in time to warn us about apocalyptic events. The real conspirators here are ApexTV themselves.
We are being invaded. But not by time travellers. By hoaxers who’ve tapped into the internet’s fascination with time travel and conspiracy theories, and are stoking it to the nth degree. And why not? Thanks to the braindead masses lapping up its stories, ApexTV is a rip-roaring success. Good on ‘em, frankly.
Next month: I’m giving TTNI a rest and moving on to write some other articles about time travel for the Nexus. In time I’ll be starting a new review column for Star Trek. I for one can’t wait to boldly go back and forth in time with Janeway, Picard and the rest of enterprising lot.