1940: “Photograph of a time-traveler”

“A photograph from 1941 of the re-opening of the South Forks Bridge in Gold Bridge, Canada, was alleged to show a time traveler. It was claimed that his clothing and sunglasses were modern and not of the styles worn in the 1940s.

“The modern appearance of the man may not have been so modern. The style of sunglasses first appeared in the 1920s. The sweater with a sewn-on emblem, is the kind of clothing often worn by sports teams of the period. The shirt is very similar to the one that was used by the Montreal Maroons, a hockey team, from that era. The remainder of his clothing would appear to have been available at the time, though his clothes are far more casual than those worn by the other individuals in the photograph.”

- Wikipedia

62 Responses

  1. Chris

    I find that travel through parallel worlds is very fascinating as it really allows you to appreciate and understand the impact of history and the decisions that were made in our world throughout time. We often wonder “what if” well the parallel world traveler really gets to explore those “what if”s. It is very educational!

  2. Rosalind

    According to Wikipedia, the first T shirts with logos were produced in the 1950s…

  3. Charles H.

    Sure looks like someone forgot to brush up on proper period attire before the trip!
    But upon further inspection… the hairstyle and glasses are correct for the period, and what looks like a shirt with a modern logo could very well be a sweater with a zig zag pattern. Still, I’ve no idea about that fuzzy jacket!

  4. mike

    He’s wearing a football jersey, they were embroidered, the sunglasses withe the wrap around were worn by aviators and sport car drivers of the period

  5. marie

    That COULD be a time traveler, but maybe we only think that people in the early 40s dressed a certain way, and really people have dressed like they do know. Or maybe that’s the guy that started the way of dressing like that, and used some method of personalizing or making his own clothes. That way he could or could not be a time traveler. Though it is possible.

  6. wendy

    Look you guys This has sooooo obsolutly been photo shoped he is bigggggger than anyone else in photoooooo

  7. Aidan_D

    Why should the fact that he’s bigger than anyone else be a problem? It’s natural that that the average height of a male is constantly increasing so if he is from the future, one would expect him to be taller than them.

  8. Chris M

    The jersey could be that of the Montreal Maroons, an Ice Hockey team who went out of business in 1938? Their logo was a big letter M.

  9. marie

    this is to wendy. if she checks back. for one, he isn’t bigger than everyone else in the photo, and for two: his hair and skin are clearly affected in the same manner by the weather, mostly the wind and light, so if it was photoshopped, it was photoshopped sooooo well, the person who did it also recreated perfectly the sunlight and wind on the guy. I believe it isn’t photshopped, but I’m split as to if it is or is not a time traveler.

  10. MarkW

    Very intriguing photo. The supposed time-traveller looks a lot like my brother. Think I’ll have to interrogate him when I next see him.

  11. JohnM

    Look at the photo closely. The ‘modern’ man has been inserted ahead of a man holding the camera. A good but not perfect photo manipulation. Snip and load it into your favorite editor and the fake becomes apparent. Either that or the guy behind him is giving him a hug while holding the camera.

  12. Serge

    A curious photo, indeed. The guy’s camera is not visible quite well but it does look like a model from the 1990s. And I think the young lady to his right is looking either at his apparel or his camera or both. Strange.

  13. David

    If you go to the Bralorne-Pioneer Museum’s website, you’ll see that this pic is there in the museum collection – it is not photoshoped.

  14. Jeff

    I would say Photoshopped on enlarging the image the guy’s nose has been slightly chipped,as if the cutout was slightly feathered.

  15. iSteve

    Doctored or not, the last thing a time traveler needs is a photograph of themselves ,notoriety is a no no.
    It would be a constant concern and lots of hard work to keep going back and forth stopping time to move this camera or that camera so as not to be in the shot.
    It must be such a lonely life with limited interaction with the people he meets at various time points.Always wondering which time is his.
    And the self control required not to influence outcomes would be beyond most ordinary mortals.

  16. shargraves

    That W on his top. He’s got a Weylan-Yutani T shirt on! ha ha.

  17. Ryan

    Gotta be a time traveler. He’s got his time machine (possibly a DeLorean) hidden under the mound of stuff in the upper right corner of the picture.haha

  18. PegLegPigeon

    Yeah I know that guy. He does this all the time. His name’s Brian.

  19. Wicked Mr. Pickett

    This does not look Photoshopped to me. Not at all. So, he’s wearing different clothes than the people around him. Big deal. He’s wearing what looks like a hockey or rugby sweater and a big wool jacket. He’s no taller than a couple of other men in the photo. In fact, one man in the background looks 6″ taller than anyone else in the picture (unless he’s standing on the side of the car) and the guy leaning against the car in the foreground is very tall as well.

  20. Colin Jackson

    If he is a time-traveler, he’s a rank amateur. Sure, anybody can make the mistake of wearing the wrong outfit for the wrong period – Wikipedia is only so accurate after all! But to then wander into a crowd of people and stand out like a sore thumb? What a newb. Why would a time-traveler travel to a re-opening of an obscure bridge in BC anyway?

  21. Lofolulu

    Notice he is the only person sporting sunglasses on an obviously bright sunny day. Spatially, there is not room for 2 men standing in the space for one. Also, only bums would appear in public who were not clean-shaven. Nonetheless, this is an excellent fake. Look how many people fell for it.

  22. Simon UK

    To my eye he doesn’t cry out hey i’m from the future ! A Time traveller would not make themselves look out of place unless he is there by accident. I would love to believe in time travel. Maybe it will happen one day. Another mystery for us to solve.
    I’m not an expert but i don’t think it has been photoshopped. Maybe i’m wrong.
    Lets get some experts on the case.

  23. Karen

    How ever much i want to believe this photo is real i don’t! only cause the detail of the light shining from the sun on the upper right shoulder of this mans top and neck looks to detailed and defined compared to all of the other people’s in this picture! Have a look on everyone else’s top right shoulders and necks in this picture where the sun shines on them, they have less defined detail on the edges and more of a blurred sunlight look. Plus he don’t have anyone standing behind him to block the sun from him. Hope this makes sense as trying to explain it to everyone is more difficult that it seems ha ha! And yes his hands on the camera don’t look like his own and don’t belong to him as if this mans image was cleverly put over the top of another mans image!

  24. Rosasharn

    Looks like he’s wearing a college letter sweater under a ratty old jacket. The specs look like sunglasses or safety glasses with side pieces. Looks like a student who just rolled out of bed.

  25. Phil Cooper

    Sheesh! Isn’t it obvious? The photo was taken in British Columbia. The Canadian Rockies are in British Columbia. The man in question is wearing glacier glasses. The glasses, his attire and the compact camera are consistent with what a mountaineer would have used in the 1940s. Sorry, no time travelers here!

  26. Dom

    If you look at has left cheek, the bottom edge of his sunglasses bleeds into his cheek, too much rubber stamp perhaps?

  27. VKRSblameVTR

    Obviously he’s a cyborg and he’s covering up his mechanical eyes. And that device in his hand is probably his time traveling machine disguised as a 1940s camera.

  28. Nigel

    What a great find! When I first saw this the guy “popped out” as anachronistic, but once I’d Googled and found the original I began to waver.

    The photo was still listed as “1941″ when I saw it. Interestingly someone elsewhere has posted a photo taken from behind these spectators and it does indeed seem to show a very tall man in the same position with roughly the same hair outline. Not exactly conclusive but certainly compelling.

    It’s worth pointing out that we make observational snap-judgements quickly as part of our inherited survival programming. But if we have to time to take everything in and consider carefully, we can sometimes change our minds. For example here I’d have to ask why no-one was looking at this man if he was so unusual? True his clothing is markedly different from those around him but was available in the era.

    Of course he could be a photoshop fake but if so, why is this original print in the Bralorne Pioneer collection?

  29. Andre

    actually he’s not coming from the future. and the proof 1 is the Glasses that are used actually been there in the 1940s. And once used by the artist Barbara Stanwyck in “Double Indemnity” in 1994.
    proof 2 is the Clothing that looks modern in the photo had actually been there and can be found at 70 years ago, and used as a style of fashion today. If you look carefully will see that in fact the person is wearing a very reasonable at that time. He uses knitted sweaters and shirts in it.
    proof 3 is the Portable camera. This actually a type of Folding Pocket Kodak model, which has existed in the early 20th century.

  30. Russell Hughes

    It would be interesting to know what fashions were available to North American youth of that period,can other examples be provided of similar dress and accessories of that era by anyone with photo’s or motion picture on this site however contemporary to both sides of the Atlantic, bearing in mind there was a war ongoing in Europe and was canada’s involvement commited by then and if so why was this person not serving in the forces, also what resources were available to the fashion industry in wartime. I myself can only speculate the gent is potentially a student/beatnick type possibly touring the area or visiting friends/family and might have been known to the residents.In my ignorance I thought that,that sort of clothing started surfacing from the mid-fifties onwards and very surprised to see how casual looking the costume is for the forties.With regard to Nigel 17/10/10, I notice a young lady from the gentlemans right looking in his direction appearing to be in view and aware of his presence or was it because of what looks like a camera he might have been possibly holding?For me in my opinion it is intriguing that these anomolies have been discovered plausible reasons or otherwise like this and that of “the Circus” extras footage. Is there any more questionable gems of this nature out there,if so and that the phenomena of timetravel becomes a more of a factor in consideration, apart from subject matter what of the persons in the footage can they or anyone else featured at the time be able(if still living) to give an account as to why his attire was necessary.Should this person have timetraveled to this time resonance and is viewing this info how does he feel about being sussed. Penny for your thoughts.

  31. Danny

    hahaha…funny that people assume this guy is photoshopped in simply because he’s not dressed in a hat, collared shirt and suit jacket. People dressed like this back then. It’s not fake, it’s from a museum.
    I guess since the past is portrayed as looking and dressing a certain way in movies that must be the case, right?
    Oh look! Here’s a guy in raver pants from the 1920′s! http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_y1AaCCgGLDs/S3xL0ZB6ioI/AAAAAAAADw0/87yOd2TJFEc/s640/Oxford+bags+002.jpg
    Oh wait, they’re just Oxford Bags.

  32. JDJarvis

    The “time traveller” is wearing a letter man shirt (probably college athlete or poser), he’s not wearing a hat and is wearing driving glasses because he probably was cruising around in a convertible (He’s definelty got convertible wind-swept hair),

  33. malarky

    it’s a fake and apart from the lighting not well done. probably a uni. design or photography student having abit of fun, we do it all the time.

  34. Angel

    Real photograph, no time-displaced persons. Everyone in the photo are appropriately dressed for that era.

  35. jufjo

    I wish he was a time traveler, but he isn’t.
    He has a perfectly acceptable look for that time and place, it is just the modern observer with little knowledge of that era and the clothing of those days that can’t fit him into the mental picture they have of how someone back then should have looked like.

  36. Brent

    OK, let’s put this one to rest. First, the photo clearly hasn’t been ‘shopped. The sunlight and shadows make that clear on the guy’s face and hair; they’re exactly consistent with all the other figures in the photo. And there’s no evidence of blending or masking of any kind.

    Second, the glasses are standard-issue glacier glasses of the period. A little googling will turn up plenty of photos of similar glasses from the time.

    Third, the clothing is consistent with winter sports in that period, when people wore layers of wool sweaters and jackets.

    Finally, the original photo can be found on an archival site maintained by the Canadian government: http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/pm_v2.php?id=record_detail&fl=0&lg=English&ex=00000470&hs=0&rd=117666#

  37. Kathleen the Great

    Oddly, my first thought was that he looked like Jean Cocteau, except he’d have been older than this in 1940, and he dressed way better. Then I realized the nose wasn’t quite right anyway. And I don’t know how tall he was. But yeah, there’s what I thought of on seeing it.

  38. Timetraveler_2

    It’s a marathon gas station shirt, and look at the two suits wearing hats, they look interested in him, the shirt looks about seventies (I’ve seen similar marathon shirts from the era) John Titor supposedly went to the seventies and 2000-2001 posting on the Internet plans and schematics of said time machine

  39. Ben

    It is most certainly a genuine 1940 photo and that is why the title is so exquisitely funny!

  40. Bradley

    I have spent a long time analyzing this image and while I’d love to believe in time travel, this picture is unfortunately a fake.

    The photoshopping, lighting etc. has been done brilliantly, but the dead giveaway is that our time traveller could not spatially or physically exist in this photo. There is simply not enough room within the crowd for him to be standing where he is.

    Please look at the image linked below. I have upped the contrast to show (in the second photo) that the arm holding the camera does not belong to our time traveller.

    By rotoscoping the time traveller out of the photo, it does not take too much imagination to see that it now gives the gentleman behind him (who is actually holding the camera) the appropriate space required to exist as he would in the original photograph.


  41. Ronnie B.

    I wouldn’t even say it’s a good photoshop, but I knew it was one right away. His head is out of proportion in size to the rest of the crowd. Too big! Plus people back then didn’t wear such expressions. He has a modern expression. I can’t explain how I know that, but I have watched so many World War II documentaries that he stuck out like a sore thumb.


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