posted on Dec, 8 2012 @ 08:38 PM
It is generally agreed that the John Titor story is an elaborate and imaginative hoax, and the evidence certainly does seem to point this way. Two
brothers living in Florida (one who is an aspiring writer and owns the John Titor trademarks, and another who was aware of the IBM 5100/Unix 2038
issue) are often identified as the hoaxers.
I would like to offer an alternative explanation: That the actual John Titor(s) remains unidentified, and that these two individuals (Larry and John
Rick Haber) merely capitalized on the already existing hoax in hopes of profiting from it.
So, if you're a fan of the John Titor story, or merely enjoy a good yarn, I encourage you to stick around; and ponder with me, this essential
question: "Why does John care if we like Ruskies?"
I have always felt that there was an inimitable quality present in Titor's posts that spoke of unconscious authenticity, rather than willful
creativity. Specifically interesting to me were the way he used language, his self-described philosophical and political views, his attitude in
response to certain types of questions, and the subtle presence – in everything he wrote – of a strongly-engrained historical world view
consistent with the life experiences he describes. There is a combination of attitudes, values, and beliefs expressed subconsciously in his writing
that appears, upon deep reflection; organic, complex, and authentic.
As a first example of what I'm talking about, I draw your attention to the following posts:
07 November 2000 21:23
There is a civil war in the United States that starts in 2005. That conflict flares up and down for 10 years. In 2015, Russia launches a nuclear
strike against the major cities in the United States (which is the "other side" of the civil war from my perspective), China and Europe . The United
States counter attacks. The US cities are destroyed along with the AFE (American Federal Empire)...thus we (in the country) won. The European Union
and China were also destroyed. Russia is now our largest trading partner and the Capitol of the US was moved to Omaha Nebraska.
13 December 2000 12:44
You are also correct but I want to add a twist to your thinking. Russia's enemy in the United States is not you, the average person. Russia's
enemy is the United States government.
08 February 2001 09:40
Also, please be aware that from my viewpoint, Russia attacked my enemy who was in the U.S. cities. Yes, the U.S. did counter attack.
On multiple occasions, over the course of several months, John Titor took the time when answering questions to remind the reader that from his
perspective, Russia was a close friend and an ally of the United States. This consistency is not unusual in and of itself, but John's insistence on
repeatedly clarifying this point (even as he let other anachronisms and misconceptions slide) indicates to me that he felt very strongly about it. The
language he uses when explaining this point is strangely pedagogic in tone, and I suspect it may have been inherited from a teacher or professor. Did
"John" take 'Russian Studies' courses as an adult?
If Russia did in fact, as a result of circumstance, become future-revolutionary America's ally and biggest trading partner, it would make sense for
this new relationship to be cemented by organized cultural exchange and learning. Most Americans in our time are ignorant of Russian history,
politics, and culture, but that would need to change if America and Russia became allies and close trading partners. Children in Titor's time would
probably learn about Russia in Social Studies from a young age, and heavy emphasis would be placed on the value of the Russo-American relationship.
(In much the same way, imagine, that the U.S.-Canada relationship is described in American and Canadian schools today.) Titor, already an adult and a
war-veteran by this time, would be a university student when the intercultural sharing reached its early peak, and would undoubtedly have taken some
kind of course (or its future equivalent) in Russian history or culture.
I'm sure you've all noticed that it's easy to tell when someone is talking about a topic they learned about in school. It's never hard to spot a
first-year psych major on an internet forum, is it? There is an excitement present, and an aura of certainty about the topic comically divorced from
their own limited experience. The point I am making is this: If John's familiarity with Russian history was the result of institutional learning, we
would expect that same pedagogic vibe to be present in his own comments about Russia. And that's exactly what we see: You are also correct but I
want to add a twist to your thinking. is exactly something a professor might say, and a student recycle, even years later, when talking to someone
about the topic.
Now consider this: 12 February 2001, 23:51, John responds to the following post:
“John mentions the Big War(2015) was between the Cities of America (the enemy of John) and Russia, China, etc.(so not only do we have a civil war
but now we have a war between the city folk and rural folk in the US, AND a world war...”
Hmmm, are you familiar with the Russian partisan movement in WWII?
Here John mentions Russia again, this time specifically mentioning a subject unknown to most westerners who have not studied Russian history at the
post-graduate level. Not only that, but he is drawing on an incredibly subtle and thoughtful comparison of the two historical circumstances:
That of the Russian partisan movement during World War II, and the American partisan movement during his own World War III. Given the details John
describes about the U.S. civil war, the comparison is an interesting one, and would undoubtedly have been explored by academics in the aftermath of WW
III. If it was thoroughly explored by academics, it may have come up in one of his undergraduate classes in comparative history or politics, making
John's seemingly tangential comment here more reflective than it might at first appear. Why would John choose this moment to mention the Russian
partisan movement of World War II, unless he had already made this rather deep connection before?
One way to solve this conundrum is to assert that the the team of hoaxers included a professor or researcher in Russian history. On the surface, this
explanation seems to explain a great deal; John's knowledge of Russian history, his authoritative/pedagogic tone, and his interest in making
connections to Russia. I can even imagine a talented hoaxer intuitively making the 'Russian partisan' connection if he happened to have recently
studied Russian history. But I cannot, for the life of me, imagine a "team of hoaxers" consistently retaining this creative characterization over
the course of four months, and hundreds of comments; imbedding this vague and hardly mentioned subtext into the story so consciously, and at every
As far as I know, there is presently no evidence to suggest that either Larry or John Haber studied Russian history at the graduate or post-graduate
level, and I am reasonably confident in asserting that either there was a third (perhaps the lead) individual involved in the Haber brothers' John
Titor hoax, or that the hoax was not the work of these two men at all.
This is just one of the many reasons why I believe the John Titor story worthy of continued examination.
Thanks for reading.