Exclusive Interview With Time Traveler John Titor

John Titor's Time Machine built by General Electric in 2034. Source: John Titor.
John Titor’s Time Machine, built by General Electric in 2034. Source: John Titor.

Sierra City, CA — Famous time traveler John Titor has admitted in a recent interview that his warning of a dim and apocalyptic future was fabricated to spice up what he said was a “very boring and ordinary existence in 2036.” Mr. Titor, who visited Gish Gallop offices back in August 2019, requested that we not release this interview until he departed for his boring and ordinary middle-class life in the future.

In late 2000, a man surfaced on the Internet, claiming to have traveled through time. The man, who came to be known as John Titor, alleged to have traveled from 2036 by using a time machine installed in a 1987 Chevrolet pickup truck. According to Mr. Titor, it was the first time machine of its kind, produced and built by multinational conglomerate General Electric for the “Army” in 2034. On earlier Army missions, according to Titor, he traveled seeking an IBM 5100 microcomputer to “stop the mass destruction of the Earth’s biosphere.” However, on his most recent 2019 trip, he admitted that he just enjoyed time travel because the future was “ordinary and boring.”

Gish Gallop: Why did you tell everyone back in 2000 that a  “world war in 2019 killed nearly three billion people.”

Titor: Well, I really needed to find an old IBM 5100. In 2000, they were already 25 years old. I needed it for my computer collection and it was considered very rare. So I needed to get people to pay attention to me. You know, so I could get some help finding one. And I ran out of fuel to make it back to 1975.

Gish Gallop: Did you ever get the 5100?

Titor: No, I did not. And I’ve come to the conclusion that the only ones left in your time are in museums. And we have strict orders not to disturb anything in museums when traveling.

Gish Gallop: So the “water was scarce, and people were living in decentralized villages” thing was all made up for the same reason?

Titor: Yes. There’s plenty of water in the future, and we’ve come pretty close to making the planet self-sustaining. We’ve got pretty much everything we need. Work is good. Everyone is healthy and living longer. Worldwide poverty has pretty much been eliminated. I hate to say it, but life in 2036 is pretty uneventful. Boring if you will.

Gish Gallop: Is that why you traveled back in time? Because you are a bored computer collector?

Exploded diagram of time machine from GE manual. Source: John Titor
Exploded diagram of a time machine from the GE manual. Source: John Titor

Titor: A lot of us do that. It’s like a vacation. Sometimes you’ll see us in old pictures holding our communication devices. I was caught in a 1950s photograph. But one misnomer about time travel is that it is infinite. It’s not. Using our current technology, we can only travel a little under a hundred years backward in time. We haven’t been able to harness enough energy to go further than that. I don’t quite understand all the details because I’m not one of the engineers on the project. They told me not to go back further than 60 years at a time.

Gish Gallop: How do you convince people that you are for real? We’ve seen your truck and the device, but how will readers not think this is made up.

Titor: Well, that’s always an issue. But I just can’t convince everyone. I mean, time will tell, right? Eventually, people will arrive in 2034 and see that there is a time machine that can be installed in any car. I like old cars, which is why I chose my Chevy. I guess people might believe what I’m saying is true because life is just as boring and ordinary as it is in your time, but with less bad stuff happening. Teenagers are still a pain in the ass. Taxes are still high, etc. My goal here is not to be believed. It’s to have fun.

Gish Gallop: So, what is true? Do you live in Central Florida?

Titor: Yes. I live in central Florida with my family, and I’m currently stationed at an Army base in Tampa, I cannot imagine living even a few hundred miles away from my parents.

Gish Gallop: What do people think of us in the future?

John Titor time machine manual from 2034. Source: John Titor
John Titor time machine manual from 2034. Source: John Titor

Titor: Perhaps I should let you all in on a little secret. No one likes you in the future. This 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.

Gish Gallop: When will you be heading back?

Titor: In a few weeks. You have to wait until I’m gone before you publish this as we agreed.

Gish Gallop: We will. One last thing. What’s your favorite thing about 2019?

Titor: Well, I know I said in the future we don’t like you, which is true, but it sure seems like you have more fun. Things were more exciting in 2016. I’d have to say my favorite thing about 2019 is In-n-Out Burger. We don’t have them in the future as most food service is automated. The whole experience is fun, and I love the secret menu thing. There was this guy in the late 20s [2020s] who wrote this history of In-n-Out Burger and how they came to dominate and revolutionize the restaurant business for the good.

Gish Gallop: Well, thank you, Mr. Titor. What vehicle will you be traveling back in?

Titor: A Dodge RAM 3500. I need a vehicle with a strong suspension system to handle the weight of the distortion unit. It’s bumpier going back than it is coming here. You folks can keep my old pickup.