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 doing something I’ve not done before. I’m reopening a case. Remember John Titor? He was the purported soldier from the future who started posting predictions and details about his mission for the government back in 2000. I wrote about him at the beginning of last year.

I’m reopening the case for two reasons. There’s an important detail I missed. A key prediction that actually turned out to be true. Yeah, I know, I don’t know how I missed it either.

The other reason is that fresh evidence has come to light, shedding a startling new light on John Titor and his mission.

Origin of the claim

Go read my first article for full details on John Titor. In short, he started posting on the public forums of the Time Travel Institute on 2nd November 2000, his posts subsequently ending in late March 2001.

The new evidence comes in the form of a British man who calls himself Michael Phillips. Last year he popped up (hiding his face) in a video published by the current leaders in time travel conspiracy peddling, ApexTV. (See my previous article in which I looked into the case of the TTT who passed a lie detector test, Noah.)

The 13-minute-long video of Phillips was published on February 22nd 2018 and has since amassed nearly six and a half million views at the time of writing.

Nature of the claim

In the video, Michael Phillips claims that he was born in the year 2043. After joining the army at 18, he was recruited by a UK government department called Section 18 in 2075. This turned out to be a secret time travel unit. He says that the UFOs that are semi-regularly spotted in the skies are actually time-space craft used by Section 18.

Phillips talks about a couple of his missions, what the future looks like in 2075, then goes on to mention the infamous John Titor.

“Another time traveller from, I think it was 2038, he came back, his name was Titor. He came back to 2000, I do believe, and he thankfully stopped a civil war in America which was supposed to kick off in 2008. However, he got involved with the American intelligence authorities and the time travel programme there, and it was decided that America needed a single unifying event to bring the country together and to avert a civil war. And that event was 9/11. He did change the timeline so the civil war in 2008 didn’t happen.”

The first part of this tallies up with what John Titor said himself. He said at the beginning of 2001 that a civil war would break out in the US (although Titor said it would start in 2004). According to Titor the war would consume everyone in the US by 2012 and end with a short World War III in 2015.

As we all know, none of that has happened. But according to Phillips the reason for that is none other than 9/11 itself. John Titor and the US intelligence community conspired either to orchestrate the attacks or to let them happen (it’s not clear which) in order to avert a civil war and a world war which were going to be worse. That event either changed the future or kick-started a new, separate timeline in which those wars never happened—if you accept the many-worlds interpretation of time travel.

It’s certainly the strangest 9/11 conspiracy theory I’ve yet to come across (and that includes the belief that CGI planes were inserted into every piece of footage we have of the World Trade Centre attacks. I know, right?!)

As to whether any of this holds water brings me to a vital piece of evidence I didn’t cover when I last looked at the case of John Titor. Among his numerous predictions was one that actually turned out to be true…

“None of the things I have said will be a surprise. They were set in motion ten, twenty, even thirty years ago. Are you really surprised to find out that Iraq has nukes now or is that just BS to whip everyone up into accepting the next war?”

This quote from John Titor was made in February 2001. The fact that a war in Iraq started two years later, coupled with the fact that there was actual deception about it having weapons of mass destruction, means that Titor has hit the nail on the head with this prediction. And perhaps a little too hard on the head to be shrugged off.

Was I too hasty in writing off John Titor as a hoax in my last article? And if the man was indeed real, is it possible that he was behind 9/11?

The evidence

Despite these new insights, the story of John Titor still sits firmly in the ‘false’ camp.

ApexTV has produced another shoddy video with a laughable and dumb-sounding time traveller. Michael Phillips says he’s not allowed to mention the countries where he’s carried out “normal missions” because of the Official Secrets Act, yet he’s quite happy to spill every bean on his time-travelling adventures. He’s particularly inarticulate when he’s talking about the future:

“Anyway, a little bit more about my time, 2075. Urm, all in all, it’s not bad. There were a number of earth changes, which I do want to warn you about, which did change the earth. Global warming continued, the major groups of the world did nothing to do to [sic] change that at all. So this is kind of a plea to change your ways.”

He’s no David Attenborough, that’s for sure. He adds a couple of very undetailed details later on, saying that “there was a lot of money in the world” and a lot of “trillionaires” (who’d have thought?). He talks about visiting 2138 but just says it was polluted and the people were tribal (so, er, not much has changed then). He also talks about visiting 2432 and says:

“The atmosphere and pollution, that was all cleaned up, thank God. It was very nice, actually. It was very green. There was a lot of flowers everywhere.”

A lot of flowers everywhere? Mate, you’re killing me. He then talks about buildings being tall (oooo, future-y) and cars being able to fly (oooo, Back to the Future-y). More specificity, more eloquence and more imagination might’ve made him at least a tad more convincing.

There are points where the transcription is off, making the video appear even more amateurish. Phillips says he joined the SAS and the transcriber wrote “S.S” (a VERY different group that existed in Nazi Germany). Phillips says that 9/11 happened to “avert” a civil war and the transcriber wrote “revert”. (Somebody needs a dictionary for their birthday.)

As for John Titor, Phillips—or whoever he is—has clearly read about Titor and stuck him into his story, probably to get further traction for the video. It’s an attention-grab, as is pulling in 9/11.

John Titor’s predictions about Iraq certainly make Titor stand out among the other TTTs I’ve written about. Here’s a prediction that does appear to have come true. However, it’s perfectly arguable that the hoaxers behind John Titor were just using simple foresight based on foreign policy views at the time. The conflict in Iraq had a history stretching back much further than 2001. With that history in mind, Titor’s remarks are not that far-fetched.

Next month: have we been invaded?

C.R. Berry
C.R. Berry is a Grindstone Literary shortlisted novelist and author of the time travel conspiracy thriller series, "Million Eyes", which he describes as "Doctor Who" meets "The Da Vinci Code". The first book in the "Million Eyes" trilogy was released in early 2020 by Elsewhen Press and is available from bit.ly/Million-Eyes. An accompanying short story collection, "Million Eyes: Extra Time", was released in late 2019 and is available for free download from bit.ly/Million-Eyes-Extra-Time. On his website he writes articles about conspiracy theories and urban legends, and his top "Star Trek" episodes are the ones where time gets screwy and Captain Janeway's grumbling about "godforsaken paradoxes".
C.R. Berry


  1. These time traveler stories are entertaining but pop like soap bubbles at the first prediction that doesn’t pan out. That said, I think the 9/11 hypothesis is imaginative. Something like another story that by not killing a young Hitler, the world avoided a much worse fate.

    • You’re right. There have been a couple that have made me go “Hang on a minute…” but so many are obvious lies. At the same time I do appreciate the imagination and the entertainment value!

  2. I’d love to steal a time machine and restore the timeline to it’s original state. Anybody willing to lend me access to one? Even if it’s remote viewing I’d be fine and risk the ‘throw up’ as I don’t throw up very easy. I am NOT motion sickness at all and on a boat I can’t tell when we are moving until way out to sea.