Nearly everyone has heard a completely ludicrous time travel story at least once in their life, like the internet-famous Backwoods Home magazine ad which read, "Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box 322, Oakview, CA 93022. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before." It was, of course, a hoax, as many similar stories are. But what about real time travelers? Do they exist?
That's something you have to decide for yourself, as no time travel stories can be conclusively proven. But there are some convincing stories of people who may have actually traveled through time. So strap in, because this list is going to take you through some of the most credible time travel stories.
In 1901, two professors from St. Hugh's College in Oxford, England, went to visit the Palace of Versailles. Versailles was, of course, the French royal home until the monarchy was abolished in 1792. Marie Antoinette, one of the last royals to live there, was executed in 1793.
So on that day in 1901, when professors Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain were walking the grounds of the palace, it's pretty safe to say they did not expect to see Marie Antoinette in the flesh just chillin' on a stool outside the Petit Trianon - a private retreat built for Antoinette by her hubby Louis XVI. And yet, there she was, sitting and sketching and completely oblivious to the fact that two women were gaping at her and all the other people in 1780s period attire who had appeared just as suddenly as Antoinette.
Antoinette and everyone else disappeared when a tour guide approached Moberly and Jourdain. Together, they wrote a book, An Adventure, about their experience, and the story gained notoriety because of how grounded it seemed. These were two highly educated and well-respected women; they wouldn't just make up a story like that. So what was it, then? Did they actually travel through time? It's one of the most thoroughly reported, compelling, and famous time travel stories that can't be explained.
Air Marshall Sir Robert Victor Goddard was sent to inspect an abandoned airfield in Edinburgh in 1935. It was dilapidated, of which he made note. He got back in his plane and took off, but heavy rain and low visibility prevented him from going too far. So, he turned around and headed back to the airfield to wait out the storm.
As he approached the landing strip, though, something very strange happened. The clouds cleared, the sun shone brightly, and he saw that the previously abandoned land was now bustling with mechanics in blue jumpsuits. There were four yellow planes on the tarmac, and one of them was a kind he had never seen before. Keep in mind, this guy was a military pilot. He was pretty familiar with all the different plane models available at the time.
Goddard was totally confused. Had he imagined it? Was he hallucinating? Was it a dream? It couldn't be real, certainly. But four years later, he was sent back to the airfield. Far from being abandoned, it was now in full use, complete with blue-jumpsuit-wearing mechanics and yellow planes. And sitting on the runway was the plane he couldn't identify in 1935: a Miles Magister. The Magister was first manufactured in 1938, three years after Goddard initially saw it.
Goddard's story is convincing because he wasn't even trying to travel through time - something unexplainable just happened to him.
Journalist J. Bernard Hutton and photographer Joachim Brandt were sent by a German newspaper to do a story on the Hamburg shipyard in 1932. It was an uneventful visit - until the bombs began raining down on them.
Hutton and Brandt realized they were caught in the middle of an air raid and high-tailed it out of there, but not before snapping some photographs. When they got back to the center of Hamburg, no one believed their story. They developed the photos they took, intending to prove to everyone that they weren't crazy. In fact, they proved the opposite: the photos showed no signs of an air raid.
Eleven years later, Hutton was living in London when he opened up a newspaper and probably nearly spit his coffee across his desk. There was a story about Operation Gomorrah, an air raid on Hamburg. The accompanying photos looked exactly like what he experienced in 1932.
In the 12th Century, a young boy and girl were found alone in Woolpit, England. They didn't speak English (or any other identifiable language, for that matter) and their skin was green. That's right, green.
They were taken in by a local villager, and though the boy died soon after, the girl survived and eventually learned to speak English. Finally, she was able to tell someone where she came from. She said she had come from a twilight-covered place called St. Martin's Land and that she and her brother were taking care of their father's sheep one day when they found a cave. They went into the cave, and after walking for what felt like a very long time, they emerged in Woolpit.
Maybe it's just a folk tale. Or maybe they came from the future. After all, their story does sound suspiciously like a time slip. Unfortunately for them, they were never able to get back to where - or when - they came from.