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Time Traveler Caught in Museum Photo?

Time Traveler Caught in Museum Photo?

April 15th, 2010 by Mori

“Reopening of the South Fork Bridge after flood in Nov. 1940. 1941 (?)”

It’s the short description for the photograph shown at the virtual Bralorne Pioneer Museum, from British Columbia, Canada. The image can be seen specifically on this page (scroll down to the middle), among other items of the online exhibit. Did you notice anything out of place? Or perhaps, out of time?

The man with what appears to be very modern sunglasses seems to be wearing a stamped T-shirt with a nice sweater, all the while holding a portable compact camera!

Internet people reached to the obvious conclusion: it’s a time traveller caught on camera on 1940! Finally, we have proof!

If the story seems straight out of a movie and the photo is in itself a great funny find, the most amusing thing i came up with while looking into this – as an Internet person, on the Internet – was the reply for a skeptical, or perhaps somewhat cynical comment on how spurious it would seem the idea that a time traveler would want to visit the reopening of a bridge in some small town in Canada.

Read this on Doc Brown’s voice: “Of course, because we know nothing happened there right? But if we are considering time travel, how can we know if in some other timeline something historical happened right there?”

Indeed! Once you consider time travel, everything changes. But before writing Hollywood scripts, let’s get back to reality and ask again: is the photo evidence of a time traveller?

The source

As noted, the image is indeed available through the official website for Canada’s museums. It was part of the exhibit “Their Past Lives Here” from Bralorne-Pioneer, available to the public since 2004. It was put online since February this year, perhaps before that. And the peculiar “time traveller” image was only noted as such in the end of March, when it was linked on main websites such as Above Top Secret and FARK.

Given the source, we would assume the photo is authentic, and correctly dated to c.1940. Indeed, an Error Level Analysis suggests the image was not digitally tampered with, or at least that if it was, the author was smart enough to normalize the error across the whole thing.  It’s a good job, if it was a job. And again, given the source, we would assume it was not a job.

So, how do we explain the man out of time?


Not quite out of time

As members of the ATS, like “Outkast Searcher”, diligently noted, despite looking very modern the man’s outfit and even glasses and camera could be found in the 1940s. Below, similar sunglasses used by actress Barbara Stanwyck on the movie “Double Indemnity” (1944):

The outfit could also be found 70 years ago. Being used as we are to our contemporary fashion, we look at the man and assume he’s wearing a stamped T-shirt, something that would be indeed out of place (or time). But if you look carefully, you can see that he’s actually wearing (or could as well be wearing) a sweatshirt. And sweatshirts with bordered emblems were not uncommon in the 1940s – in fact you can find those in other photos from the same exhibit.

The sweater he also uses seems to be hand knitted, with buttons on the front. Something that was definitely available at the time, if he had some kind grandma perhaps.

Finally, despite some comments about the camera lens being too big for the time, too compact, it looks like a Kodak Folding Pocket model, available since the beginning of the 20th century.

That is: even taking this photo for granted, as depicting an authentic scene, a real man with his curious glasses and outfit in Canada 70 years ago, there’s nothing that can be seen that is actually out of place or time. He looks different from other people, but it has already been suggested that he’s using welding goggles and a glove.

This is not much of a proof of time travel, and more like evidence of the cyclic nature of fashion. These days, even a beggar can be mistaken for a trendy fashion model. Keep reading for more into this and other time travel stories.

Not quite new

Despite being an awesome photo and story, the Canadian time traveller is not the first on the genre. One of the most famous Internet stories deals with Andrew Carlssin, a man from the year 2256 who appeared in Wall Street on 2003. It was published as a news item on Yahoo!, but few people noticed it was in the Entertainment section and that the source was the Weekly World News. In case you haven’t checked the WWN, you should do it now.

There’s also the story of John Titor, an elaborate story where a time traveller joined several online discussion forums! On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog, but if you tell elaborate stories about being a time traveller, you may just create an enduring digital myth. Alas, time itself took care of disproving all of John Titor’s stories about the future. Or perhaps that’s a nice thing, since the future Titor invented was pretty gloom.

And some years ago, the photo of a man with a Mohawk hairstyle at a festival before the punk movement made the style popular was also reason for buzz. I remember seeing it on BoingBoing, but now I can’t find it! Was it erased by the time travellers? Will I forget about it soon? In any event, I also remember that people quickly pointed out that although the hairstyle was popularized by punks, it was not unseen before that, dating even from before the Mohawk tribe.

Time travel is an amazing idea, but so far it’s all speculation, fiction, hoax and misunderstandings.

Case closed?

As a matter of fact, no! Despite being clear that the image, even if authentic, would not be evidence of an out of time man, it’s still possible it could be a hoax. After all, photoshop jobs mixing modern figures in old photos are not that complex. A series that has been popular the past few weeks placed contemporary super-heroes in historical photos:

Is it possible that an elaborate hoax could have included a manipulated photograph among the items of a museum exhibit, only to have it put online and finally exposed as “time travel proof” later? Well, it would be quite an elaborate hoax, but it is possible.

Let’s look again at the photo. Pay attention to the right arm of the “time traveller”: you may realize that the arm actually belongs to the man right behind him. Why would another man’s arm be in that position? Is there even space for such a large, tall “time traveller” to stand in there?

These could be indications that the man was inserted into the image without much care for perspective.

Or perhaps it’s just an unusual perspective, and the arm from the man behind just looks like it’s over the “time traveller”, even touching the camera? Or could the arm actually belong to the hipster traveller?

I don’t know.

If this is a digital hoax, why would the hoaxer insert a man that seems out of place, but not actually using anything that couldn’t be found in the 1940s? The camera is definitely old. What looks like a stamped T-shirt is a sweatshirt with emblem. Why not have him use something definitely out of time, like the logo for a company that wouldn’t be created until decades later, such as NIKE or even Microsoft? It would even make an amazing viral marketing for any company that managed to get buzz from this. Why not?

I don’t know.

Once again, it must be clear that even if this photograph is authentic, even if it depicts a real scene from 1940, it would not be the proof of time travel. Alas. Also, I tend to assume that given the source, the photo is indeed authentic, not tampered with. But that arm, it does look strange. I’m not sure. I don’t know.

I tried to send an email to the Bralorne Pioneer museum, but the address was not valid. I’m still trying to find (an easy) way to contact it. If you manage to get an official response from them, do share it. If you discover anything else, do share it. This is an adorable little “mystery”.

If I find anything of relevance, including flying Deloreans, I will update this page. [hattip to Aurélio Moraes, obrigado!]

Posted in Fortean | 194 comments


194 Comments so far

  1. Karoly April 16th, 2010 12:16 am


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  3. woodwose April 16th, 2010 9:14 am

    The glasses look to me like motorcycling/safety goggles and the figure on his jersey could easily be a deco pattern knitted into the garment. His hair is period too–something difficult to get right if you’re going for an historic look. Nothing really out of place here in 1930.

  4. Jeff S. April 16th, 2010 9:33 am

    “Let’s look again at the photo. Pay attention to the right arm of the “time traveller”: you may realize that the arm actually belongs to the man right behind him. Why would another man’s arm be in that position? Is there even space for such a large, tall “time traveller” to stand in there?”

    Why even throw this proposition in there? I suppose if you look at it hard enough you can convince yourself it’s not his hand, but the most likely (and believable) answer is that it *is* his hand. You can tell by the cast shadows that that arm would be in a shadow, accounting for the darker color of the sweater – and that hand looks pretty similar to his left (long, slender). I’m not sure why you’d bring this up as if it were almost fact…?

  5. t’mara April 16th, 2010 9:50 am

    my dad had an old pair of “sunglasses” like these.
    they aren’t modern profile at all.
    there are triangular side pieces that are attached to the frame part that goes back to the ear. my dad’s glasses also had lens material along the top of the frames. (between the frame and the eyebrows.
    if you look at the picture closely you can see the construction.
    and yes, he told me they were “safety glasses.”

  6. Matt Egger April 16th, 2010 11:12 am

    Not everyone wore a fedora in 1940. I immediately thought climber/mountaineer. He’s wearing glacier glasses, not whatever those girl glasses from that movie are. Those, plus the wool sweater and Kodak pocket camera were pretty standard for the kind of people that trekked to the top of mountains 60ish years ago. Oh yeah… BC = Canadian Rockies.

  7. alanborky April 16th, 2010 12:52 pm

    Kentaro, I happen to be of a mindset that – for a variety of reasons – finds scenarios like time travellers perfectly acceptable.

    In fact – if I’m honest – I happen to personally know someone who does it physically, as well as others who can do it mentally, (and as you might imagine, it can be highly lucrative for them).

    Ye’, ye’ – I know…and what’s worse: I usually get battered every time I leak info like that, even though no one – rightly! – ever takes a blind bit of notice – ah, but what the hell!

    Anyway, I tell you all this to put in perspective my observations of your piccy: it’s a hoax.

    Not only’d the guy’s ear have to be sticking out at extreme right angles to his head to generate that shadow, but the shadow’s source of illumination’s from somewhere above him, indicating if it’s the sun his image was taken close to midday.

    If you then look past the two hats behind him, there’s a bespectacled guy whose ear shadow is much more compact and localised around the ear itself, indicating: 1) for his image the sun’s much lower on the horizon – i.e., it’s much later on in the day; and 2) whereas future boy’s light source is coming not just from above him but almost directly behind him, speccy boy’s light source is coming from much more to his left.

    Finally, what clinches for me future boy’s light source probably isn’t even the sun is notice how the hair of everybody else without a hat almost glows, especially those individuals who, like future boy, have their hair sort of fluffed out – even the short brunette, (looking in future boy’s general direction, past the guy with the trilby and specs on his right), though she’s hardly exposed to the sun directly, still manages to catch enough of it to give her hair a neonesque outline.

  8. Time Traveler Caught in Museum Photo? April 16th, 2010 2:48 pm

    […] how do we explain the man out of time? Continue reading and pictures, var addthis_pub = ”; var addthis_language = ‘en’;var addthis_options = ’email, favorites, digg, […]

  9. Matt Egger April 16th, 2010 3:47 pm

    Based on glacier glasses, clothes, camera and location, this dude’s a climber, not a time traveler (except in the sense that we all are time travelers). There was no photoshopping.

    Occam’s Razor. You are all wrong. I am the one who is right.

  10. Sean April 16th, 2010 3:52 pm

    @ alanborky: Prove it.

  11. jum1801 April 16th, 2010 4:43 pm

    You people can NOT be serious! It’s a modern photo, obviously on a movie/tv set.

    God help us.

  12. Matt Egger April 16th, 2010 5:35 pm


  13. yabba April 16th, 2010 5:38 pm

    why is he the only one that’s dressed like he is, everyone else is in suits but not him, hmmmmm!???!?!?!?!?!??????

  14. lewarcher April 16th, 2010 6:44 pm

    alanborky revealed our secret. Now we have to exile him to the Phantom Zone.

    Yeesh. The internet has all sorts of crazy.

    Real pic, dude’s not inserted, and Mori, your breakdown of all bits of the photograph and its context is excellent. Love your site; keep up the good work!

  15. Boing Boing April 16th, 2010 8:29 pm

    Time traveler caught in 1940 photo?…

    The above photo was taken in 1940. Some people say the hipster-looking fellow with the sunglasses on the right side of the photo is a time traveler because his hair, shades, clothing, and camera didn’t exist at the time. But Forgetomori does a fine jo…

  16. Greg VA April 16th, 2010 8:55 pm

    That hipster doofus is clearly a young Kosmo Kramer! How can you not see that?!

  17. Marty April 16th, 2010 9:10 pm

    Moran? U must be from the far idiotic future. Welcome.

  18. Time Traveler? « MLManley April 16th, 2010 9:12 pm

    […] this link for more details about the image, which is real and not photoshopped. Time traveler caught in 1940 photo? Friday – April 16, 2010 at 7:12 pm CST […]

  19. Cosmo P Topper April 16th, 2010 10:01 pm

    With regard to the hipster’s right arm; I think it’s his own arm. The jacket he is wearing could have sleeves made out of a different material than the body. Alternatively, the jacket could be lined with shearling and we’re seeing that lining exposed.

    If he is from the future (with respect to 1940) since he is Canada he is more than likely to be a time traveller not a a time traveler.

  20. Hockeyman April 16th, 2010 10:42 pm

    It’s seems to be a Montreal Maroons hockey team logo/sweater, team folded in 1938, wiki it.

  21. […] a small meteor(ite). Now, the Last Great Hope for proving the existence of time travelers has been thoroughly debunked. Clearly a time traveler from 23rd century Williamsburg, where 21st century fashion is back in […]

  22. Viajante do tempo | Renato cruz April 16th, 2010 11:03 pm

    […] é possível. Outros acham que uma foto falsificada conseguiu entrar para a exposição. O blog Forgetomori (em inglês) argumenta que não existe nada de anacrônico na imagem acima, e que uma pessoa de […]

  23. chello April 16th, 2010 11:39 pm

    The hipster was born in the 1940s
    “”Hipster” has been used in sometimes contradictory ways, making it difficult to precisely define “hipster culture” because it is a “mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior[s].”[1] One commentator argues that “hipsterism fetishizes the authentic” elements of all of the “fringe movements of the postwar era—beat, hippie, punk, even grunge,” and draws on the “cultural stores of every unmelted ethnicity” and “gay style”, and “regurgitates it with a winking inauthenticity” and a sense of irony.”

    ….My trouble with the picture however is the framing and what appears to be the focus. Why would a 1040s photographer capture that guy, and look at the girl …staring right at him while no one else is.

    With that said, I not knowing anything about climbing or mountaineering, I will have to agree with Matt Egger, that he is a mountaineer. The setting makes it very likely and his hair and his 4 o’clock shadow tells me that he had been in the area for a least 1-2 days. That would give the photographer a reason to frame him, and the girl a reason to stare. The dismissiveness of the others could be explained by him being a common figure around the area.

    As for other’s arguments, one…look where the guy behind him head is located, how it’s turned, his right arm would be really awkward if he had it where the time travler is standing. I believe the guy behind him is easing his way infront of the travler as the travler looks like his head is turning to greet the guy, his mouth looks like it’s just about to start moving to speak.

    alanborky suggest that the sun is a give away, however, I believe the sun is hitting him exactly as it’s hitting everyone else, but do to his movement while the picture was being taken the light casted a larger shadow around his ears, the other guy’s ear shadow is focused around his ear because his ear is pointing in the general direction of the sun, shrinking his shadow. Please note the time travlers left hand, it’s glowing in the sun suggesting like everyone else the sun in behind them and to the left

  24. Matt Egger April 17th, 2010 12:14 am

    Morans are real and exist in the idiotic today.

  25. netherman April 17th, 2010 12:36 am

    George Thomson, the assayer at Bralorne Mines, bears a slightly older resemblance to that young man. It’s image 24 at the Bralorne Museum site. Of course now that gold is thrown into the mix speculation will go madly off in all directions.

  26. Dan O April 17th, 2010 12:36 am

    a batman t-shirt in 1940? don’t think so. the oldest printed t-shirt is from 1948. and the few adults who followed comic books would not have walked around wearing them on their clothes anyway. it was a different time.

  27. Karoly April 17th, 2010 12:56 am

    Okay thats a very good point, thank you. But anyways, if this guy is so outfit from the crowd, why isn’t anybody staring at him? If he was so outstanding from the crowd, people would be staring at him like who’s that strange guy there. But no one looks at him. And if he was so strange and outfit, not only one photo were made of him, rather about a hundred, like “oh look at this guy, so outstanding, looking like coming from the future, grab a photo from him”. But there is only one photo, and no looks at him strangely. But this is just a logical sh*t, not a fact.

  28. Kotori April 17th, 2010 2:35 am

    That is the “time traveler’s” own right and. The sweater is just a vest. The sleeve of the sweatshirt is what you see and perfectly matches the color.

  29. Pete April 17th, 2010 3:21 am

    Looks like he’s wearing an old University of Michigan block M sweater or sweatshirt to me.

  30. Me April 17th, 2010 3:37 am

    Its the ultimate hipster for the ages.

  31. Anonymous April 17th, 2010 5:21 am

    Given that this photo is from British Columbia, hence not far from Washington State, I thought it might be a University of Washington sweatshirt. The emblem looks a bit like a W. Not an uncommon sight in the Pacific Northwest.

  32. diy_MAN April 17th, 2010 8:35 am

    why can’t people accept that hes from the future and hes just visiting to get some cool shots wit his new camara from the year 1940.

    And he’s looking that chick because he wants to get laid.

    yeah it’s that obvious…

    Nahh I’m kidding ^^ …but seriously could it be?

  33. CJ Burton April 17th, 2010 8:49 am

    Remember that Canada is at war in 1940 – I think it might be considered a little odd for a service aged man to be watching the reopening of a bridge. He could be secret service or conversely he may have a German accent.

  34. Mel April 17th, 2010 9:18 am

    It’s a nice idea but a photshop picture. Someone spent time making the phot blend in but forgot about shadows. The shadow of his ear across his face doesn’t happen on anyone elses face (no ear shadow).

    Very sad for like a lot of others I’d have liked to have seen proof of the real thing.

  35. ron April 17th, 2010 9:40 am

    sure looks like a texas long horn insignia on his shirt,not sure yea he looks different. kinda modern,the glasses,look old,but they do make those kind now, just not sure. the john titor story was crap. in it he survived by sailing up and down the coast of fl. selling oranges, but there are no real comercial orage groves in the area of west central fl. and the cost is so shallow you can only come in a few places,and these people could have orange tress and grapefruit in their own back yard. no real demand. so as far as that its fake.

  36. thatdingo April 17th, 2010 11:08 am

    The funny thing is that so many people are focused on the tall guy in the middle, nobody noticed the man in the lower left is holding an iPhone.

  37. The Weird Line April 17th, 2010 11:31 am

    “I think it’s his own arm. The jacket he is wearing could have sleeves made out of a different material than the body.”

    It IS his arm. Looks at the shoulders of his sweater, they have dark (we’ll call it black) panels, and it also has a black collar. The sleeves are probably black as well. His right arm is obscured.

    I think what we have here is a guy with a hockey (the photo was taken in BC) or school sweater with a zip-up two color sweater jacket. The type of glasses he is wearing were available at the time as welding, motorcycle or aviation “goggles”.

  38. Crinoidgirl April 17th, 2010 11:35 am

    Karoly, he isn’t the focal point of the original picture. Look at the very start of this piece.

  39. JC April 17th, 2010 11:53 am

    His shirt looks like a University of Michigan “block M” to me

  40. MICHAEL Cohen April 17th, 2010 12:19 pm

    If you want proof of time travel look up the following on google: Leonardo DaVinci bicycle. About 30 years ago a long lost drawng of the great man was discovered in Spain showing a modern bicycle. The question is how did he know what a modern bicycle looks like? There was only two ways he knew: he himself is a time traveler or was influenced by one.
    When you read the artcles about this drawing notice how the professors are furious about this find and try to claim,unseccessfully, that it is a forgery. Also notice how they try to protect the ‘time line’ of the development of the bicycle and how this drawing destroys this time line and the work of previous inventors. It does more then that because it destroys our very concept of history when there is evidence that people can travel back in time and actually influece events. Do not forget how DaVinci was able to draw inventions that were five hundred years ahead of their time such as a stank, macine gun, helicpoter, etc.

  41. kodos April 17th, 2010 12:34 pm

    If you believe the photo is a fake, or proof of time travel I have some magic beans for sale.

  42. nasima April 17th, 2010 1:09 pm

    They used to make little pieces of leather or plastic that slip on the stems of the glasses to block sun from the sides of your glasses (I used to have some). I believe that is what his glasses have, giving the illusion of some modern plastic design.

  43. DaddyMac April 17th, 2010 1:26 pm

    No time traveler here, just a hipster (can’t even call him a ‘doofus’ until we get to know him better). : )

    I think he came to the event on a motorcycle, which would explain his glasses, hair and sweater vest.

  44. cHello April 17th, 2010 1:44 pm

    MICHAEL Cohen, time travel is possible in theory; however….you would counter human imagination with a notion that someone had to influence it. If that is true where would humanity be in the future in the first place if not pulling from another influence? I once asked myself where did the concept of robots come from? As if they had been taken from a place and time not of our own, to influence movies and books and the imagination of millions.

    If there is something that needs to exist, it will exist first in the imagination, there it waits until a process comes around to develop it or refine it. Most of what we consider modern predates us with crude drawings and even cruder artifacts of that object. That does not prove time travel, that only proves the resilience of human thoughts towards a goal. Hell maybe I’m wrong, maybe a time traveler did visit DaVinci…or maybe he can see into the future. But what is the most logical earthly answer? We talk about time travel now, in the future it will exist as it comes from our desires to see it exist. But this picture is not of a time traveler.

  45. ogopogo April 17th, 2010 2:22 pm

    His sweater has a zipper closing.see the pull tab above his hand.Was metal used for zippers in war time?

  46. Elizabeth April 17th, 2010 2:24 pm

    I copied the enlargement to picasa and played with the values. His shirt has a large M on it, nothing futuristic about that. Just shifting the brightness brought up the texture on his sweater. The guy doesn’t look to me out of time, just a big tall lanky guy with sunglasses on. As for the hand it is either his hand or someone was trying to swipe it from him from behind. I tend to think its his hand in shadow…I still don’t see futuristic so much as “doesn’t match the crowd”. If somone finds a photograph of someone wearing a digital watch in 1898 then I might say you have something…this is just a 1940’s man.

  47. […] Pour plus de détails voir : Time traveler caught in 1940 photo? […]

  48. K!P April 17th, 2010 3:09 pm

    whatever the case; the girl in the backgrond seems to be looking at him

  49. Lance L. Landon April 17th, 2010 4:52 pm

    Assuming that I could go back in time for a visit, I would likely go back to see and meet old family relatives, some that had died before I was born and visit old places that no longer exist. I would on these occasions go back and experience some of my families’ history, not necessarily historical events.

  50. FreeBooteR April 17th, 2010 5:59 pm

    The shirt looks like a Much Music shirt emblem. It would make sense if he were a Canadian going back in time.

    Though it is all coincidence. It just looks like somebody in modern clothing stule.

  51. jum1801 April 17th, 2010 6:23 pm

    …and, predictably, Coast To Coast picks this moronic item as a straight “crypto news” thing. Look for it to be Wiki’d by tomorrow…with citations to “prove” that the story is “reliable”.

    There is one good thing which can come from this: this story could serve as an excellent test for any number of human activities. Belief in this story could immediately serve to disqualify the holder for several activities which require good judgment, intelligence and maturity; such as parenthood, voting rights, firearms ownership, security clearance and driver’s license. Quick, simple, effective.

  52. Pepe April 17th, 2010 6:40 pm

    “…how spurious…the idea that a time traveler would want to visit the [opening] of a bridge…”

    In the movie “Kate and Leopold” Liev Schreiber’s character goes back in time and listens to a speech in front of the Brooklyn Bridge, celebrating its construction, which had just begun. It IS a big bridge.

  53. Mike Franklin April 17th, 2010 6:40 pm

    I am constantly amazed how many desk’perts are out there to immediately solve every mystery by simple denial.

    Heck, anything that doesn’t immediately fit their interpretation of normal, must be faked. Right?

    Just how do they know this?

    Because if they would fake a picture to fool you, it means you and everyone else would do the same to fool them. And to prevent becoming a victim of their own brand of juvenile prank, they just deny as a matter of fact.

    Hey, better safe in the bosom of ignorance than punked by another punk, ya know?

  54. Sue April 17th, 2010 7:01 pm

    Fake…the shadows are not correct and there are other anomalies, too numerous to mention.

  55. pete April 17th, 2010 7:44 pm

    the sunlight is shining down on the man perfectly. look at the woman standing in front of him, her hat has a cast shadow from the traveler. also the angle of the shadow on the mans ear is diagonal and if you see the man with glasses standing above him his cast shadow from his hat is also diagonal. most likely this photo has not been altered and this dude is not a time traveler. but its fun to think he is, yes?

  56. Roedrev April 17th, 2010 8:56 pm

    It looks as if the guy behind him is trying to get past. That would explain the look on the “time travelers” face, as well as the hand being behind the camera. What would be interesting to know is the setting, or context.

  57. Mr Bill April 17th, 2010 9:43 pm

    Depressing to know that in the future, there is still not a cure for hair loss!

  58. Chumley Spartle April 17th, 2010 9:51 pm

    here it looks like the timer traveler fell in love and had some children.

  59. Nemestrinus April 17th, 2010 11:19 pm

    Regarding the shirt, I tend to agree with what Hockeyman said above about it being a Montreal jersey or whatever. And the glasses look like glacier shades, which are designed to minimize the possibility of snow blindness in polar regions, such as northern Canada.
    Now, the thing I find most interesting myself about this picture, is the guy to the left behind him, the guy that looks like he’s looking at our suspect (although, that might be a reflection in his glasses). I find it interesting how much he looks like a young Mitch Pileggi, the actor who plays Skinner in X-files.

  60. ArtyMarty April 17th, 2010 11:56 pm

    .. I think he might have used my time machine I am building.
    As I don’t yet know this guy, I either him (and am yet to become friends with him) or he stole it – either way I should look out for him…

  61. Marc C. April 18th, 2010 12:37 am

    There IS a time traveller in this picture, but it’s not the “hipster”. It’s actually Mitch Pileggi (Assistant Director Walter Skinner from the X-Files). He standing just behind and to the right of the hipster. He’s wearing a suite, a fedora and glasses. How did HE get in this photograph, that’s the real mystery!

    P.S. Here’s Mitch Pileggi:

  62. Jeff Lewis April 18th, 2010 1:01 am

    Actually, the right arm is entirely reasonable. Imagine you’re standing upright and are rather thin.. now, hang a camera where the shutter and controls are on the barrel of the lens.. the most comfortable way to hold this if you want to keep your hands on the controls, is essentially with your arms bent, flattened along your sides… it looks wrong because most of the arm is actually behind the guy (poking the guy behind him and to his right, no doubt).

  63. […] […]

  64. Alex April 18th, 2010 2:12 am

    The lighting looks different on the Hipster than it does on the rest of the folks. I’m calling shenanigans! I believe it is photoshopped.

  65. sjm April 18th, 2010 2:27 am

    The dead giveaway is the stiched-in tuft of hair he sports in the front. Unless we haven’t improved hair restoration techniques by the time we’re capable of time travel.

  66. 1freethinker April 18th, 2010 3:06 am

    Is he a time traveler? Probably not, but I do find the remarks about him pretty thought provoking. It is an interesting example of free thought when people are allowed to discuss even the most outlandish ideas just because they can. It’s too bad some are willing to willfully dismiss other people’s opinions outright because they don’t ‘fit’ with the ‘normal’ mindset. Just imagine what Leonardo’s peers thought of him?!

  67. Nevada Chuck April 18th, 2010 3:19 am

    OK, folks, take another look. The large letter on his chest is not centered, indicating that there is something more to the right of it (our right, as we face him).

    Ready, . . . hold it, . . . hold it, it’s an

    M! as in Mtv! It’s the logo for the music network. The photo isn’t doctored, isn’t Photoshopped.

    Now remember the famous Sherlock Aphorism: When you’ve eliminated everything that’s impossible, then whatever’s left, no matter how improbable, must be the answer.

  68. […] has an extensive analysis of the photo and the mystery man, and, with some help from members of ATS, points out that no […]

  69. G.I.R. April 18th, 2010 5:08 am

    The camera appears to be an old Kodak Brownie camera, and the sunglasses look like safety glasses. Maybe the fellow worked in a machine or welding shop.

  70. Darcy April 18th, 2010 5:13 am

    People go to great lengths at times to create hoaxes to prove to their friends how clever they are. Brailorne is a clever place to pick. I have travelled the area my whole life and can tell you there is nothing left there now except for a couple of old houses occupied by OAP collecting aging hippies. The young guy looks awfully tall compared to man behind him who is almost completely hidden except for his ear and part of his hat. This man seems to be standing way too close to him to even maintain his balance. the traveller appears underdressed for the occasion. He could also be inserted from another similar time period photo. Brailorne is perched on a steep hillside. This picture, if it is from the area at all would have to be taken in the Bridge River Valley below the town of Gold Bridge 20 miles away.

  71. Snuggie Pattern Cult April 18th, 2010 5:22 am

    I don’t know what year that guy is from, but I bet he got laid a lot. Or not at all.

  72. peterpan007 April 18th, 2010 6:01 am

    My friend lives right near Bralorne, Im gonna ask him to go and check the history of the photo, and if he can give me better details of the clothing and camera in the photo.

  73. ChrisM, Nottingham April 18th, 2010 7:02 am

    I’ve searched for ages but can’t find his name, however the guy over the “hipster”’s right shoulder, who is looking directly at the camera, is clearly a famous movie or TV actor. I’m sure he’s played a detective in possible a superhero movie or some police story.

    I like the ideas about the man-out-of-time being a mountaineer. I concur with the sunglasses side protectors being glacier glasses and think the rear neckline of his t shirt looks large and old and / or stretched like a manky old mountaineer’s thermal shirt.

    I can’t get my head around the M printed on his shirt, this looks very modern.

    I believe this is a photo from a film set, surprisingly modern looking clothing in an old photo, or simply a good fake. I don’t believe for a moment that it’s a time traveller. I’d love to, but seriously?? No!

    I’m highly inclined to think he’s pasted over someone else. I agree there seems too little room for him, in front of the guy with the mystery arm.

  74. […] It really did give me the creeps when I took a closer look at the picture. He is dressed like someone from the 1970s to 1990s but this picture was taken way before. As an avid Sci-fi fan, I got intrigued. I love the time travelling and meta-physics stories and books, and I love reading about the possibly futuristic world. This is the FIRST time I’ve actually seen proof that time travelling might actually exist! Another blog pointed out that this man might not be a time traveller, but someone that’s dressed a little different from the others. […]

  75. Michael Weaver April 18th, 2010 8:18 am

    I would say that the “arm” in question belongs to the “man” in question

  76. The 12th Doctor? « A Byte of Alex April 18th, 2010 8:29 am

    […] The 12th Doctor? 18 April , 2010 — Alex K BCN Time Traveler Caught in Museum Photo? Source: forgetomori. […]

  77. JimJam April 18th, 2010 8:35 am

    “DaVinci was able to draw inventions that were five hundred years ahead of their time such as a stank, macine gun, helicpoter, etc.”

    Davinci invented stank? I hear he also invented spell check. Too bad nobody developed that idea.

  78. palmateer April 18th, 2010 8:45 am

    If time travel is ever to exist, don’t you think we would know about it by now? After all, someone would have come back in time, if only to warn us about some impending doom, or at least lay down some cold hard cash on multiple sporting events that could make them rich. I don’t care what you say about the implications of messing with the past. The human nature is too easily corrupted and selfish to pass up one of those chances, either for recognition or personal gain or both.

  79. Cat Callahan April 18th, 2010 8:54 am

    I have written six books on time-travel(under a pen name) and can verify that it really DOES happen! I don’t believe that we can find a machine, dial 1930, turn it on and be there! However we time-travel inadvertently by being around things that cause dimensional shift. My experience with this happened when Steve Gibbs ran his hyper-dimensional Resonator(HDR) in my home. The next day I saw a movie that was totally different from the one I had seen many times before! Often times when you shift dimensionally, only one thing changes. For me, it was the movie and the color of a candle on my dining room table.

  80. M. Louder April 18th, 2010 8:59 am

    Because this photo has stirred up such a quandary on the net, I thought I would comment about it as I have here about several other historical photos. I stress that I am not a photographic expert. My only expertise is in the analysis of styles and modes peculiar to various times and places in history.

    I have read the article where such things as the knitted border sweatshirt are discussed. And I tend to agree with the debunking. Also, it is quite true, as noted here and elsewhere, that the sunglasses were quite available at the time, either as flying or driving glasses.

    I cannot comment as to whether the time traveler has been inserted into the photo as others have. Some here at the department do indeed study photos pixel by pixel and two have assured me that this is not a photoshop job. Another one says it is.

    What I can do is what I do best: Comment on the authenticity of the captured event and the people in it within the historical context of 1939-40.

    The first striking thing about the “time traveler” (if it is true) is that he appears to have an unkempt or unshaven beard. Maybe this is a shadow, but if it is not, then he is quite out of place for 1940. Being clean shaven was an obsession in the era. Canada was very close to going to war on Britain’s side by this time, and having a five o’clock shadow was just not socially acceptable.

    Secondly, the man has unusually long hair for the time. Granted it is combed backwards, but in a style that did not become popular until later, namely a “dry style.” A young man with such long hair in 1940 would have surely used some sort of hair lotion to hold it down. His hair style is totally out of place. Someone accredited this to being a “beatnik” but even the earliest beatniks, say around 1950, would have flattened their hair down better. This dry look is extremely unsual for the era.

    Although every man is not bareheaded in the photo, it is indeed unusual that a gentleman of this age would be so. The obsessive wearing of hats became a badge of youth at the time and did not end until the late 1950s. Okay, the old men have hats too, but notice they are slouch-brim type hats and not dented. This is typical for those who would have been in the older generation in 1940. The younger men, like the one to the man’s side, are wearing the uniform of the day. Shorter, styled brim and a top dent. The absence of a hat is always significant in photos of the era in question.

    The article mentions that this event is the opening of a bridge in some small town in British Columbia. I wish we could get more information about that. The excitement level of the crowd seems to indicate that there is more going on here than than the opening of a bridge. However, the crowd formation is exactly what one would expect in the 1940s. There is a line of parked cars which seems to hold back the crowd. People were more respectful of law and order in those days, and it is very plausible that they onlookers would stay behind the cars, but again, this indicates a more important reason for the gathering, as does the man’s camera and the other cameras, which are indeed authentic for the time.. I suspect something military is happening, like the unveiling of a tank or a plane. Canada, as I have said, is very close to entering the war. The most important thing that could draw a crowd at this time would have been war related.

    There is a very telling absence of cigarettes, cigars and pipes in this photo. A group that large and that happy in 1940 would have included some smokers, both male and female. I can see none. This suggests not that the photo is not authentic but that there is some reason for not smoking. The proximity of the people would not have caused such a smoking abstention. People smoked everywhere in those days, and it does not matter how close they are together.

    Another aspect of the picture, as compared to like pictures, of the time is the almost random mixing of men and women. Generally, the men would have clustered more together as would the women. There is something going on here which has caused these people to rush up randomly to the line of pre-parked cars and watch. The event definitely lacks pre-planning. The women would have been quite separate from the men if this had been so.

    Whether or not the time traveler is wearing a contemporary sweater or not, he is totally out of uniform for the social class and culture of the event. His dress may indicate a collegiate look to some, but even that would cause some commotion in a crowd like this. He seems too brash for the times, as does his style of garments. Even his unsubdued expression would have been slightly suspect in a crowd like this. He is simply too out of place for the photo. His whole attitude should have caused suspicion.

    The coats, collars, ties, tie knots, women’s hats and everything else seems totally normal. The man himself is the only anomaly, and Canada in the 1940s was no place for anomalies.

    In short, I view it as a totally authentic photo with the exception of the man in question. I can see where someone might characterize him as “too modern,” but what is especially modern about his is his sense of brashness as exhibited in his dress and expression and stance. Of course, as I have said, people have clearly rushed up to see this event, and he may have recently arrived and has not yet caused much attention (except from one woman).

    My verdict, finally, is that something is defintely wrong here, but I cannot say exactly what it is. The man, for whatever reasons, does not belong in the photo.

  81. […] wyt?umaczy? jedynie u?yciem photoshopa, to wnikliwa analiza, o któr? pokusi?a si? strona forgetomori rzuca na t? tajemnic? nieco ?wiat?a. Okazuje si?, ?e ?aden z przedmiotów widocznych na […]

  82. S. McGill April 18th, 2010 9:43 am

    Just contact someone from this very small town and try track down someone who was there at the time and see if they recognize the guy. I bet the young lady in the background is still alive. He is most likely someone’s father or uncle and has family still living there. He is the approximate age my father is, and dear old dad is alive and well.

  83. […] wyt?umaczy? jedynie u?yciem Photoshopa, to wnikliwa analiza, o któr? pokusi?a si? strona forgetomori rzuca na t? tajemnic? nieco ?wiat?a. Okazuje si?, ?e ?aden z przedmiotów widocznych na […]

  84. […] Time traveler caught in 1940 photo? […]

  85. achtung April 18th, 2010 11:04 am

    What about the women in the background? She seems to be heading directly to the guy out of the future ?!

  86. bob April 18th, 2010 11:30 am

    photoshop ftw

  87. Aaron April 18th, 2010 11:43 am

    I doubt anyone would remember the guy from 70 years ago if they where still alive.

  88. Glen Raphael April 18th, 2010 12:37 pm

    Montreal Maroons was a good guess and it does seem like a college or sports logo top, but the font of the “M” is wrong for an official Montreal Maroons logo. The Maroons used a strong serif font which included a bar on the top corners. University of Michigan also used that sort of font.


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