Time Travelers Caught On Film

The Internet is filled with a number of wild conspiracy theories. But few things seem to fascinate users more than time traveling. In fact, there are dozens of videos out there that claim to support the theory that time traveling actually is real and everyone who doubts it is just a stupid hater. So, attention to all the stupid haters: we've put some of the most popular alleged time-traveling videos to the test to see whether or not their theories hold up. Cue the Back to the Future theme as we dive into our investigation.

Mike Tyson vs. Peter McNeeley vs. the Camera Phone

If time traveling really exists, it's hard to believe that someone would use their powers to travel back in time to watch a boxing match between Mike Tyson and Peter McNeeley; we'd use it to stop Tyson from biting off Evander Holyfield's ear, duh. In any case, that's what the Internet is claiming in this admittedly intriguing video. In the clip, a spectator can be seen in the background holding what appears to be some type of handheld electronic device. Fair enough. After all, technology did exist back in the day, even though Millennials will probably tell you otherwise.

But what makes this alleged device so interesting is that it appears to look like it has a camera lens on it, similar to the ones you see on smartphones today. What's the real deal? Well, if commentators are to be believed, the person isn't holding a camera phone but the Casio QV-100 digital camera, instead. Which, now that we think about it, yeah, that probably makes sense.

1938: The Year of the Cell Phone?

Apparently, the key to getting caught time traveling is holding something close to your ear that vaguely resembles a cell phone. Which brings us to our next video. In this particular footage, taken from 1938, a gaggle of gals doing their best Sex and the City impression are seen approaching the camera. One of them (the Carrie?) is seem holding something up to her right ear as she walks, smiles and laughs.

The Internet's first thought: that she was a time traveler who went back decades and somehow found a way to get cellphone service. First of all, 4G service isn't that good. Secondly, as the brilliant YouTube commenters point out, she was more likely holding a handheld radio, which was a popular device back in the day. That, or she was really a CIA agent who traveled back in time and accidentally blew her cover by pulling out her modern-day cell phone when she really meant to pull out her handheld radio. Or...yeah, we need to stop.

It's all a circus

Now, this footage is a little more convincing. It's a clip from Charlie Chaplin's 1928 movie The Circus. In the background, a woman can be seen walking by holding something up to her left ear. Now, we know what you're thinking: isn't that exactly what the woman in the previous clip was doing? Well, yes. However, this woman's body language looks about a million times more like someone you'd see walking and talking on a cell phone down the streets of New York City today. Could it be possible that she is, in fact, from the future?

Eh. Probably not. As users in the comments have written, as well as a writer for The Atlantic, it's more likely she was holding a portable hearing device that had just been developed by Siemens.

"The electrical energy controlled by the carbon microphone was not fed to the received directly. It first drove the diaphragm of an electromagnetic system connected to a carbon-granite chamber," Siemens describes, according to The Atlantic. "Current was transmitted across this chamber from the vibrating diaphragm electrode to the fixed electrode plate. The amplified current produced mechanical vibrations in the electromagnetic hearing diaphragm that were then transmitted to the ear as sound."

So, in other words: this woman was probably from 1928 all along.

The teleporting, time-traveling angel

If you were an angel, benevolent demon, or some other supernatural deity with a heart, wouldn't you use your powers to help us meat-headed mortals who can't stop finding ways to hurt ourselves? That's what this one did, if you believe that this is indeed a visit from the X dimension.

In this footage from Japan, a truck is set to slam into a motorcyclist, most likely causing a minor case of total death had he actually struck them. But at the last possible second, somebody else zooms in from stage right, leaves a big stain, and magically transports the would-be victim away to safety. Was this the dead motorcyclist reinventing history by saving himself? Probably, and he certainly has a flair for the dramatic while doing so.

You then see the truck driver stop, get out, and look at what happened ... except he sees nothing. He doesn't even see a stain anymore. The only thing left in the intersection is a hopefully confused trucker who either just witnessed the unexplainable or who really needs to lay off the late-night double espressos. More ridiculous still, the supposed time traveler walks right past the driver, who doesn't notice a thing. Nor does he seem to notice the other person — the one he nearly hit 30 seconds ago — milling about in the back. Either the whole thing was an elaborate fake or time travel and teleportation turn you invisible. Probably the latter, because nobody lies on the internet.

In reality, a video game company later claimed this was part of a promotional stunt for a new game. We still want to believe, though.

The iPhone: Best Supporting Actor?

This last theory is just plain funny. It takes us back to the 1948 movie Fort Apache starring Henry Fonda and Shirley Temple. In one of the scenes, Fonda is seen riding and blabbing away in a stagecoach. At one point, he pulls out some type of device and unhappily rattles off a bunch of names. The device Fonda's using does admittedly look like some people on the Internet claim it actually is: an iPhone. But, in order for that theory to work, wouldn't Fonda have to be the time traveler in this case? Last time we check, the dude died long before the iPhone was actually invented.

In all likelihood, the device is something much more simple. In fact, many of the comments seem to think it's really just a notebook. Or, you know, the device that therapists use whenever time-travel believers come in for another session.

'70s punk in a turn-of-the-century world

Early 1900s New York looked nothing like the Big Apple of today. There was no Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden was a much smaller beast, and horse-and-buggies didn't have loud horns for cranky drivers to angrily lean on 24/7. Oh, and there were no punks, right? Well, there was this one punk rock-looking guy in this 1905 picture, who seemingly walked through a time portal right after rocking out at a Germs show.

You might have trouble picking him out of the crowd in the whole picture, so we zoomed in for you. There he is, the guy with the mohawk, chilling at the banana docks like a good punk do. Is he just a worker? A lost soul looking for his bowler hat? Or an actual time traveler who entered the hearts of every older-than-old-school New Yorker by way of CBGB? No one knows, because apparently nobody back then bothered to ask the weird lurker with the weird hair whether he cared to explain himself. Mohawks were certainly a thing — they had been for thousands of years — but as a casual fashion loved equally by hardcore punks and little kids who wanted to look cool, they were decades away. So either this guy was super ahead of his time, or Bill and Ted picked him up and dropped him off in 1905. Bogus.

Sunglasses Dude

Canada is considered to be much more advanced than the rest of the world when it comes to things like progressive politics and universal healthcare. Could time travel be another one of those things?

Take this photo, for example. Reportedly taken in British Columbia in the 1940s, it shows a bunch of mostly old, mostly content people who for whoever reason are standing along a long line of cars. Seems innocent enough, right? Sure—until you notice the dude standing toward the right side of the frame. Holding a camera and wearing sunglasses and a T-shirt that seem to be made closer to the 1990s than the 1940s, it's pretty much impossible that he could be from that era.

So, does that mean he's a secret time traveler? Or just the result of a really good Photoshopping job? If it's the former, we really need to invade Canada and secure that sweet time-travel tech. If it's the latter, somebody get this guy a job at Pixar. Or, if he really was just a guy with a funky fashion sense for the time period, somebody get this guy a retirement plan.


Considering that he and his wife, Beyonce, are worth a combined $1 billion, it's not impossible to imagine that Jay-Z has a secret lair in a mansion somewhere that he uses to develop new technology for time-traveling. That might explain this photo taken in the Bronx, NY, in 1933. In it, a man who looks exactly like Jay-Z leans against a railing of some sort as he looks into his camera.

His expression is a cross between "I'm annoyed," and "Yeah, I just time-traveled. What are you gonna do about it?" It looks so eerily similar to Hova that even the biggest doubter of time-traveling could get sucked into this theory.

Odds are, it's just one of those strange coincidences. But, if you still want a theory, it also could be a distant relative to Jay-Z. After all, he grew up in Brooklyn, which is just a hop, skip and an annoying subway transfer away from Harlem. In which case, somebody sign him up for Ancestry.com

Surfer Dude

This one plays out like a real-life version of Where's Waldo? In this picture, taken in 1913 on the shoreline of San Jose, California, everything appears to be normal. It's just a bunch of people casually posing for a photo in their best Sunday clothes. Except one of those people clearly doesn't belong. We're talking about the guy dead in the center of the pic above. Dubbed "Surfer Dude" by the internet, the unknown man looks more like he got lost along his way to a photo shoot for an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog than anything you'd see in 1913. Which, of course, means he must have time-traveled.

Further proof that he warped his way into this photo comes from the reaction from the two guys sitting next to him, both of whom appear to be just as confused and alarmed as we are. (There's another woman nearby, out of frame in our crop, who is seemingly pointing at Surfer Dude as if to proclaim, "Holy crap, this guy is totally from the future!")

It's either that, or he had a weird idea of fashion, or it's the magic of Photoshop. Two of those sound very plausible, and one of them is probably true. You'll have to make your own call.

Child at Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg was the definition of "not suitable for children, " mainly because of all the war and death. And yet, this picture shows, dead-center, what appears to be a young boy chilling around the warfield, just prior to the Gettysburg Address. They hadn't gotten around to removing all the bodies yet, so what, pray tell, is a kidlet doing there? Maybe he came from the future.

The boy in question is Andrew Basiago. That's according to Andrew Basiago himself. A lawyer somehow, Basiago claims to be a seasoned time traveler who, when he was just 10 years old, jumped from 1972 to 1863 and heard Abraham Lincoln deliver one of the greatest speeches in U.S. history. Of course, he also claims that in 1980, he and Barack Obama teleported to Mars. He's either got quite the resume, or quite the imagination. If you want to find out for sure, make him president. Basiago ran in 2016 and is running again in 2020. If elected, he promises to divulge all the secrets of Project Pegasus, the super-shadowy government program that apparently knows all about time travel but won't tell the American people because we'd probably all use it to give our baby selves wet willies.

Honestly, we could endorse this crazy time-traveling conspiracy theorist for president. He would bring a fresh new perspective to the office, especially if he nominates The Doctor as his Secretary of Wibbly-Wobbly Statey-Watey. Plus, he's met Abraham Lincoln, so as far as knowing how to be a president, he's learned from one of the best.