Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Time Traveler Caught in Museum Photo?

Viajante do tempo?

“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.

kodak folding

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!]

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Posted in Fortean | 480 comments

480 Comments so far

  1. ??????1940?????? | ???? February 19th, 2012 4:53 am

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  2. ???????????????1940????????????? | ????????? February 20th, 2012 1:11 pm

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  3. emily weirdnez March 18th, 2012 11:42 pm

    maybe that arm that was shown in the picture was trying to steal the camera from him. this is a crime caught on camera! 😐

  4. axelandra April 8th, 2012 12:11 pm

    Hello, I find this image interesting and I would like to use it in a paper research on hipsters that might be published in the online university journal of my university. Are there any copyrights?

  5. Mori April 8th, 2012 8:26 pm

    Probably not, but you should ask the Bralorne Pioneer Museum through its manager, Cara deMare.

  6. Mathew April 25th, 2012 1:34 am

    My first impression of the camera is it is a Kodak Duex from 1940-42. The Duex has a metal body and a bakelite telescoping fixed focal length lens. The lens is rotated out to its shooting position and is rotated back for storage. It shot on Kodak 620 film. Basically it was 120 film on propriatory Kodak spools.

  7. waffle May 16th, 2012 3:43 pm

    at least he can say he had time traval befor it was cool…

  8. Brad May 26th, 2012 9:58 am

    Ok, after a few hours of analyzing this photo, it is clearly a fake.

    This has nothing to do with the time travellers attire, stance, purported camera etc.

    Simply he just does not belong in this photo.. spatially.

    Please compare the photos linked below. I have upped the contrast to show the difference between his cardigan/coat and the other gentleman’s arm. There is no way the man’s arm behind him is out of proportion – It is indeed this gentleman that is holding the camera.

    When our time traveller is rotoscoped out of the image, spatially it makes so much more sense. It doesn’t take much imagination to see that the man behind him belongs in this photo and our time traveller simply does not.

    A very well done fakery, but a fakery nonetheless.


  9. Steve June 3rd, 2012 9:29 pm

    The photo has already been scrutinized by experts and found valid. And as many have pointed out, nothing really about the hipster is out of place in time or loc. I don’t really see anything that looks as you describe. The motive to fake such a shot is questionable at best. I have seen other older photos that sometimes have someone in the shot that timely looks out of place with their attire or hair style and gesturing pose, and such is not too unusual. The time frame gap wasn’t quite as surreal, but I’ll never forget a worn a faded copy cover of Rolling Stone from ’74’ I saw in 1985. David Bowie was known for being ahead of his time, but his solid ’80’s hair and look made it seem like the cover photo shoot had occured just months prior instead of 11 years before.

  10. SimonCrowe774 July 13th, 2012 12:13 am

    The man in the picture who is wearing glasses has a name of Marvin Stellino. He is a time traveler. Yes. He is from the year 2162. If you look closely you will see he has features that do not match those of the people photographed in his sphere or in your time. Human Refactoring has made way for him to have these incredible features. Look at his forehead, his beautiful chin. He is a superior being to them and to you. We have traveled tgtr on occasion. We are part of the same guild but we were born many years apart. The organization controls well. You are all safe and have no fear except for that which would get you anyway.

    Please understand we instead no harm. We travel to change things that must be changed and clean up. You can not comprehend a reality not restricted by choices. Everything changes and nothing can be define. Many are living among you now because they want a world before it all changed.

    I’m writing on this web now only for one purpose and it is as follows: Joe Martin as you read this know it’s for you. It can be done yes! Your dream is important and you must chase it. It will not be easy. Do not let her stop you. what you suspect is true in your heart. Your heart has led you to search, but know she was sent to distract. Do not let her win.

    That is all. If I could tell the rest of you one last thing it would be to pay close attention to the skies at night. There are secrets there for your eyes if you’ll open your mind. We pay close attention to the skies in the future.

  11. […] alot of analysis on forgetomori and more facetious analysis […]

  12. cheyenne July 17th, 2012 1:07 pm

    To simon crow, the man who put a comment before me about Marvin Stellino. I have seen the skies at night and i have felt the sensation of “others” from the earth. i believe that this man is a time traveler or in with illuminati. anything is possible. there is no such thing as coincidences.

  13. Russ July 25th, 2012 9:46 am

    All very good words Mr Crowe but how to get people to believe the words? If they have a problem with the arm which is quite clearly belonging to the ”time traveler” how are you going to convince them about TT ? Well as luck would have it in the near future from today (25/07/2012) things will happen that will open there eyes and really make them think / believe. So how do I know this ??? How do you think I know this. Keep looking up :) Your friend Russ

  14. […] imagen exhibida en el museo virtual Barlone Pioneer Museum, de la Columbia Británica canadiense, nos muestra una típica escena de la década de los […]

  15. […] Source: forgetomori.com […]

  16. Time traveller caught on film November 12th, 2012 2:36 am

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  17. […] http://forgetomori.com/2010/fortean/time-traveler-caught-in-museum-photo/ This entry was posted in History, Photo and tagged History, photo. Bookmark the permalink. ← Photo of the Day: Move Along Home […]

  18. Is this a real time traveller? « Ali Cook November 21st, 2012 7:43 am

    […] This analysis explains that most of this look is in keeping with the 40s after all, but what about these… […]

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  21. Jonathan P. Rivard January 19th, 2013 2:46 am

    Michigan long sleeve wool shirt. Sheep’s wool sturdy zip-jacket. Protective motorcycle sunglasses. 35mm (?) high end camera hold by his arm.

  22. […] προσεχτικά την πηγή της είδησης […]

  23. Chris February 22nd, 2013 10:38 am

    Im pretty sure these are the exactly glasses he’s wearing. Out in 1932.


  24. Slick April 17th, 2013 11:13 am

    Sooooo many comments? Wow. Question: If indeed you develop a way to travel through time, would you not ensure that you go through the trouble of ensuring you fit in? People have never been very accepting of those that look different, and i am certain that showing up wearing the latest nike or adidas gear would be a bad idea. This is just some guy trying to get a nice foto.

  25. Paul Levinson April 17th, 2013 8:25 pm

    I agree completely! Even in my time travel novels and stories, I always make sure my time travelers are dressed appropriately. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AMUDJNS/ref=nosim

  26. matt May 13th, 2013 4:35 pm

    Those “sunglasses” look very much like a pair of welding goggles that were worn around that time.

  27. matt May 13th, 2013 4:36 pm
  28. Mary August 3rd, 2013 9:02 am

    He is being looked at kind of weird, but he is also wearing goggles not sunglasses. And I would agree with everything except the shirt doesn’t look like it has a sown on emblem, in fact, the logo or what ever it is looks spray painted on with the dark colour the same as the shirt colour. So it would suggest the spray paint was used with a stencil. I don’t know if such things were done then, but its definitely interesting to speculate.

  29. Loomis Webb August 11th, 2013 4:36 pm

    U.S. Patent Filed for John Titor’s Time Machine

    Patent Application US20060073976 was filed for a Method of Gravity Distortion and Time Displacement. The filing date is listed at October 1, 2004 by Marlin B. Pohlman of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The application includes the identical images posted by John Titor online, as well as the time travel theory he discussed.

    Patent granted in 2006.



  30. ?????????????????!??????????? | ???????? August 18th, 2013 6:54 am

    […] ??????????????virtual Bralorne Pioneer Museum? 1940?11??????????????????? […]

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