Support This Site

Your contribution via Patreon or PayPal Me keeps this site and its author alive.
Thank you.

Temporal Anomalies

Main Page
Discussing Time Travel Theory
Other Films
Perpetual Barbecue
About the Author
Contact the Author

See also entries under the
Temporal Anomalies/Time Travel
category of the
mark Joseph "young"
web log
elsewhere on this site.

Quick Jumps

Changing the Future
The Future as History

Not Letters

Chuck Buckley's Time Travel Problem:
  First Response

Chuck Buckley's Time Travel Problem:
  Second Response

Chuck Buckley's Time Travel Problem:
  Third Response

Chuck Buckley's Time Travel Problem:
  Fourth Response

Vazor's Time Travel Questions:
  First Response


Doctor TOC, 12 Monkeys Fixed Timeline
Doctor TOC, Woman on Plane
JKrapf007, Evil Dead 2 Not a Remake
Nathro, Evil Dead 2 a Sequel
JKrapf007, Travel Before Your Birth
Nathro, More About Evil Dead
Sauce96, Terminator and Star Trek
Sauce96, Presenting an Original Story
Sauce96, Defending Paradox
Muhammed, A Line from 12 Monkeys
Holger Thiemann, 12 Monkeys Fixed Time
Chad Hadsell, Local Infinity Loops
Chad Hadsell, Time an Abstraction
Holger Thiemann, Testing the Theory
Chad Hadsell, Travel to the Future
Chad Hadsell, Erasing Future Self
Holger Thiemann, Temporal Duplicates
Gecko, 12 Monkeys Analysis Incorrect
Jason Seiler, 12 Monkeys Static Time
Jason Seiler, Metaphysics Class Links
Etienne Rouette, Woman on Plane
Matthew Potts, Woman on Plane
Bart, Parallel Universe Theory
Bart, Clarification
Illumin8, Spreadsheets

Movies Analyzed
in order examined

    Addendum to Terminator
    Terminator 3:  Rise of the Machines
    Terminator Recap
    Terminator Salvation
    Terminator Genisys
    Terminator:  Dark Fate
Back To The Future
Back To The Future II
Back To The Future III
Star Trek Introduction
    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
    Star Trek: Generations
    Star Trek: First Contact
    Star Trek (2009)
12 Monkeys
    Addendum to 12 Monkeys
Flight Of The Navigator
  Flight Of The Navigator Addendum
Army of Darkness
Lost In Space
Peggy Sue Got Married
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
Planet of the Apes
Kate and Leopold
Somewhere In Time
The Time Machine
Minority Report
Happy Accidents
The Final Countdown
Donnie Darko
  S. Darko
Harry Potter and
    the Prisoner of Azkaban

Deja Vu
    Primer Questions
Bender's Big Score
Popular Christmas Movies
The Butterfly Effect
  The Butterfly Effect 2
  The Butterfly Effect 3:  Revelations
The Last Mimzy
The Lake House
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Hot Tub Time Machine
Los Cronocrimines a.k.a. TimeCrimes
A Sound of Thundrer
Frequently Asked Questions
    About Time Travel

Source Code
Blackadder Back & Forth
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
11 Minutes Ago
Men in Black III
La Jetée
Midnight in Paris
Meet the Robinsons
H. G. Wells' The Time Machine
The Jacket
Safety Not Guaranteed
The Philadelphia Experiment
    The Philadelphia Experiment II
Time After Time
About Time
Free Birds
X-Men:  Days of Future Past
Edge of Tomorrow
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Project Almanac
Time Lapse
O Homem Do Futuro
    a.k.a. The Man from the Future

Abby Sen
When We First Met
See You Yesterday
The History of Time Travel
Copyright Information

The temporal anomaly terminology used here is drawn from Appendix 11:  Temporal Anomalies of Multiverser from Valdron Inc, and is illustrated on the home page of this web site.  This site is part of M. J. Young Net.

Books by the Author.

The Book

Temporal Anomalies in Time Travel Movies
A Letter from Chad Hadsell:
The Problem of Traveling to the Future

I mentioned to Chad that there was no problem involved in traveling to the future; he took exception to that, and needed some clarification on the issue.

Changing the Future

Subject:  a no longer so simple question
Date:  Wed, 30 Sep 1998 22:04:41 EDT
From:  "chad hadsell"

"You have confused something:  you suggest that it is not possible to travel to the future, because you would change the future.  Travel to the future is no problem.  There have been a number of sci-fi stories based on the idea that someone would 'travel to the future' by somehow being placed in some type of suspended animation and subsequently revived--Buck Rogers was one of the first of these, a pilot whose life was saved by an experimental survival system, but who was lost for five centuries, revived in the future.  That is not what we mean by traveling to the future--but in fact its effect on the future is no different.  Traveling into the future is no different from taking a vacation in Boston for a period of time, but that you don't age. It is travel to the past which causes the problem--even if that travel to the past is a misguided effort to 'correct' travel to the future.  (Caveat: if someone from the future reaches back into the past and snatches you into the future, that involves a type of travel to the past--someone from the future is interfering with the past; if you on your own initiative unaided by anyone or anything from the future travel to the future, that is not much different from Rip Van Winkle's nap--you left, the world went on without you, you came back.)"

I think that you are leaving something out here.  Travel to the future *will* effect the future, in one of two ways.  Either you stay there, thus ending your life in you "home" time and changing anything you might have done then.  Or you go back, and, knowing what you do of the future, act differently than you would have had you not time traveled.  Your explanation of future travel having no effect would only be true if all memories of the future were erased before returning to the "present".  If a "future person" travels "backward" in time, it changes his future.  this you have stated.  One of the reasons this is true is due to the information this future person gives to people of the present.  Now simply change "future person" to "returning person".

As a clearer example of this:  I go to the future. I learn that i will die in a horrible car accident.  I go back to the present.  When the night of the car accident comes around, i do not get in the car.

Thus, the future is changed.

Of course, there are always those people who believe in pre-destination, that things work out the way they are supposed to no matter what a person does....(avoiding the car accident, i stay home and am killed in an explosion of a gas main....)

just more points to ponder


Back to top of page.

The Future as History


I'm afraid you are confusing things.  You are correct that if you go to the future, you will either stay there or return to the "present"--but that is where you are confused.  Once you are in the "future", it is for you the immediate "present", and returning to what you are calling the "present" is a trip into the past--the problems you connect with travel to the future do not come from the trip forward, but from the return trip, which is a trip into the past.  Seeing the future is very like going to the future and returning to the past; but merely going to the future does not in itself involve returning to the past--as you observe--and if you don't return to the past, the knowledge you gain in the future does not affect the past.

But you suggest that leaving the past and remaining in the future will change the past in that you have ended your life in the past.  But that presupposes that there was at some point a different version of the past in which you did not take the trip to the future.  This is not a necessary time line.  Consider this:  On October 1, 1998, you could jump forward to November 1, 1998.  You could instead continue your ordinary life; you could go on a vacation for a month in Boston; you could die.  If you died, you might be revived (as easily imagined as that you might travel through time) a month later.  In each of these cases, a month passes from October 1 to November 1.  In one case, you have skipped that month, and merely did not exist during that time; in the second, you were home and at work or school during much of the time; in the third, you were away from everything that was home, being in Boston; and in the fourth, you were dead for that time.  Now, you are suggesting that if you leapt into the future, you would destroy the "correct" history--but which is the correct history?  It is just as easy for the correct history to be that you ceased to exist on October 1 and returned to existence on November 1 as that you worked, went to Boston, or died and came back.  You didn't "change" history--you created the original version, in which you left time and came back--not much different from a vacation in Boston.  It is when you go backwards in time to reach what you are thinking of as the "present" that you create the altered history, in this case by injecting yourself into a timeline in which you had been absent.

Make sense?


Back to top of page.
See what's special right now at Valdron