time travel man

My friend Doug Skinner is speaking today in Baltimore (where the adults are riddled with syphilis and the crabs are full of mercury) at FortNite ’05, the 40th annual conference of the International Fortean Organization. It’s being held at one of my favorite places, The American Visionary Art Museum, and I really wish that I could have gone. (I’ve always wanted to dash past a gaggle of drunken Forteans in a skunk ape costume.) Doug will be speaking on one of his favorite topics, Richard Shaver, the mid-century author and artist who claimed, among other things, to have explored the civilizations beneath the surface of the earth.

As long as we’re talking about Shaver, I should mention that there are some curious connections. First, according to Doug, Mr. Shaver spent some time in the now-decaying, but probably always terrifying, Ypsilanti Psychiatric Hospital, just a little ways down the road from where I now type. Second, it just so happens that Linette and I know a fellow in Atlanta who is related to Mr. Shaver by marriage. We are, in fact, presently trying to introduce Mr. Skinner, though our friend, to Shaver’s former in-laws. (Hopefully, a Crimewave article will result.)

On unrelated note, a few days ago, I interrupted a conversation that Doug and I were having on Philadelphia Experiment witness Carl Allen to tell him that a time machine was available on Ebay. Here’s his response:

Mark — I particularly like that time travel story. The machine itself looks nice; the plate on the back is a spiffy touch. By the way, someone claiming to be a time traveler from the future has apparently been showing up on various websites and forums. For several years he’s been predicting civil war in the US. I haven’t kept up with his antics; you might be able to find something on him.

So, here’s my question to you: Do you have any idea what Doug is talking about? If so, please leave a comment.

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  1. Ken
    Posted March 19, 2005 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    I think it may be this gentleman, John Tintor.

  2. Andy
    Posted March 20, 2005 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    “He’s making a decision!”

  3. Posted March 20, 2005 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    Yep, I think Ken has the right guy. Here is some more info.

  4. brett
    Posted March 20, 2005 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Tintor’s world-view is formidably consistent, and even assuming it’s a big joke I’d rank him alongside the likes of L. Ron Hubbard, and possibly even Joseph Smith and Jane Roberts. The scenario provides him with a wonderful framework to pose moral and ethical lessons for discussion. Definitely read a few of his posts (the site Ken linked to has them archived by date) and see for yourself.

    And Mark, thanks for nothing by the way, as reading about all this has for some reason managed to get the song “Back in Time” by Huey Lewis and the News stuck in my head. Please don’t drive 88. I don’t wanna be late again.

    “I should let you all in on a little secret. No one likes you in the future. This time period is looked at as being full of lazy, self-centered, civically ignorant sheep. Perhaps you should be less concerned about me and more concerned about that.”

    -John Tintor

  5. Ken
    Posted March 20, 2005 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    He’s a troll from the future!

  6. mark
    Posted March 20, 2005 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Our trolls are actually from 1928.

  7. mark
    Posted March 20, 2005 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    When we started talking about Kami, she appeared. Maybe the same thing will happen with John Titor. Perhaps he’ll start posting here. One can only hope.

  8. brett
    Posted March 20, 2005 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I too hope that, in the future, you have someone from the future posting here.

  9. mark
    Posted March 20, 2005 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got a great porn plot in mind, if I can convince Titor and Kami to do it. It involves a woman traveling through time collecting spit and other fluids from famous men of antiquity… and the future.

  10. Posted March 20, 2005 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Maybe you could put Huhnar in the script, he’s kind of under-exposed these days.

  11. Kevin Dole 2
    Posted March 21, 2005 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Where exactly is the old Ypsi Psych Hospital? Or for that matter Starkweather Chapel?

    I’ve heard about these places but can’t find them.

  12. brett
    Posted March 21, 2005 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    The Psych hospital is/was just off 23, south of ypsilanti. It’s near the first prison you pass after leaving town, on the west side of the highway. It’s pretty obvious if you know what you’re looking for. It’s being pretty rapidly demolished, if there’s even anything left.

    Starkweather Chapel is the stone building directly in front of you when you drive into Highland Cemetery through the main gate. That place is never open to the public, due I believe to repairs it needs done, but there is a nice little receiving vault around back you can peek your head in.

  13. mark
    Posted March 22, 2005 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Andy, I don’t think anyone else got the obscure “Couch” reference, but I thank you for it… And, I didn’t mention it in my post, but I did get the sink fixed. Thank you for trying to help.

  14. chris
    Posted March 22, 2005 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    “receiving vault”?

  15. brett
    Posted March 22, 2005 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    A recieving vault is a secure place where a body can be kept temporarily in preparation of a burial spot (i.e., if someone dies in the winter when the ground is frozen, they’re kept there until it thaws).

    Highland cemetery actually has two, one in the starkweather chapel and the Quirk vault to the northeast of the chapel, though that one has long since stopped serving that purpose and is a regular tomb/crypt now. (recieving vaults are generally not needed today, due to 1) the rise of the funeral industry which provides their own storage facilities, and 2) the use of backhoes to dig graves, which can operate even when the ground is frozen).

    now you know!

  16. chris
    Posted March 22, 2005 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Yes, but I must know now…how do YOU know this? ANd does this have anything to so with your lovely hands?

  17. brett
    Posted March 22, 2005 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    chris- my lovely hands used to be those of a fake grave robber, actually. I didn’t rob fake graves, i pretended that i robbed real ones. for medical specimens.

    anyway, i had to do some research about the whole funerary business as a corrolary.

  18. mark
    Posted March 22, 2005 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    You, my friend, are a fascinating man.

  19. brett
    Posted March 23, 2005 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    It was all in a day’s work, friend.

    Well, technically, you rob graves under the cover of darkness, but you get the point.

    As a little personal side-coincidence, I just remembered that when i first applied for the living history job it was in response to a newspaper ad that started out with the phrase “Time Travellers Wanted”.

  20. Keith Carlsen
    Posted April 24, 2005 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    The “time machine” is apparently a space heater or battery charger with the front panel of a B&K Transistor Radio Analyzer grafted on.

  21. mark
    Posted April 24, 2005 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    All the more impressive.

  22. mark
    Posted May 2, 2005 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    So, now we just have to see if Tintor takes the bait and shows up at MIT’s time traveler convention.

  23. mark
    Posted May 2, 2005 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    I was just thinking about it and it occurred to me that they should set the date for the Time Traveler Convention in the past so as to ensure that only real time travelers show up.

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