It’s a subject that has captured the imaginations of sci-fi fans and history buffs for years.
Inspiring massive film franchises like Back to the Future and iconic TV series like Dr Who, time travel is a popular theme in fiction.
But, outside of fiction and fantasy, there are a few people who claim to be real life time travellers, and who have seen things from the past and the future that mere mortals like us could never fathom.
Among their tales are stories of secret missions, futuristic cities from centuries away and near-apocalyptic events that threaten to wipe out the planet as we know it.
This week, a TikToker called Javier, who says he’s from the year 2027, has gone viral on the platform after claiming to be the only person left alive on Earth as he explores desolate Spanish cities alone.
Often, these elusive figures prefer to remain anonymous, so as not to create a time paradox with their present-day selves. But their anonymity only increases the intrigue behind their warnings to humanity.
‘Noah’, from 2030, stuck in 2019
A self-titled time traveller who spoke out in 2019 would only give his name as ‘Noah’, but claimed to have travelled to the year from 2030.
Not revealing his true identity, Noah said he was concerned about meeting his present-day self, in case he opened a paradox that could have “profound” consequences.
Speaking to The Sun, Noah explained he had originally been sent to the year 2017 to complete a mission, but he lost his job – meaning he was stuck and couldn’t return to his native year of 2030.
He claimed to have been recruited for a top secret programme by the US government straight out of school, which is when he learned that time travel wasn’t just a made-up concept for sci-fi films.
Providing “proof” that he really is from the future, Noah revealed an X-ray of his hand which he claims shows a chip. He says this chip helps him skip through time.
Addressing sceptics who doubt his story, Noah simply said: “I don’t blame you.” Nonetheless, he insisted he was telling the truth and wanted to make his way back to his friends and family who were living 11 years in the future.
A time traveller who wouldn’t reveal his identity posted a video in March 2019, claiming to have been sent here from the year 3311.
The anonymous explorer spoke to paranormal investigators about his life and work and had photos to boot, according to The Daily Express.
Filming for YouTube channel ApexTV, he showed a snap to the camera which appears to show a built up city floating on an island in the sky.
“I got into the teleportation machine again but this time it brought me to a very different place and I took a picture of that place as well. Let me show you that picture,” he said.
He then revealed a snap of a futuristic building which he claims is a house from the future.
The anonymous man’s final photo appears to show a car flying over houses.
However, commenters on the YouTube video weren’t convinced by the supposed time traveller’s claims – insisting the snaps had been photoshopped.
People pointed out the photos were edited versions of images that already existed online, including a desktop wallpaper design and a photo of a building owned by a businessman in Mumbai.
‘Edward’, from the year 5000
Speaking to ApexTV on YouTube, a man only known as Edward said he had been recruited for a top-secret time travelling project in 2004 – which transported him 3,000 years in the future.
But when he arrived in 5000, he felt there was something familiar about the place he’d found and recognised it to be Los Angeles – but it was completely submerged underwater.
The Daily Star reports he said: “I was standing on a huge wooden platform. Not only me, houses, building, of course, all made from wood.”
John Titor, from 2036
Back in 2000, a mysterious figure who went by the name John Titor began appearing all over the internet with a warning from 36 years in the future.
Claiming to have been send from 2036, John claimed he was a soldier from that year – but the world as we knew it had been wiped out my a computer virus.
To reverse the catastrophic damage of the virus, he said he was trying to find his way back to 1975 in order to find an IBM 5100 computer – which had the necessary equipment to fight the virus.
Posting on what was a very young internet at the time, John remained active on forums for four months, answering questions about what else was different in the future.
Some of his most stark warnings to people in present day were encouraging people not to eat meat (because mad cow disease was rife in his age) and to learn first aid.
But on 24 March 2001, John left the internet with his final piece of advice – which was to carry a spare petrol can in your car, in case it breaks down on the side of the road.
From that date, John disappeared, and was never heard from again.