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Is This WWII-Era Photo Proof of Time Travel? Social Media Users Think So!

Elisabeth Edwards
Photo Credit: Komond / Universal Studios / MovieStillsDB
Photo Credit: Komond / Universal Studios / MovieStillsDB

While the concept of time travel is exciting and entertaining, its feasibility has never been proven – until now. According to a number of social media users, a now-viral photo dating back to 1943 possibly shows that the adventures of Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown in Back to the Future (1985) may have some truth to them.

Is this man holding a cell phone?

The vintage photo in question, taken in Reykjavik, Iceland, was first posted in 2016, but has only recently gained traction online. As social media users have pointed out, it appears as though a man in the background is talking on a cell phone, exactly 30 years before the technology even existed!

Even more strange, the individual appears to be the only person looking directly at the camera, as if he’s staring right at the person taking the photo. He’s also not dressed the same as others in the picture, who are all men wearing World War II-era military uniforms.

Some on social media are convinced the photo shows a real-life time traveler caught in the act. However, the poor image quality makes it difficult to zoom in and see what exactly he’s holding up to his head, if he’s holding anything at all!

Other time travelers have been seen with similar ‘cell phones’

Another cell phone time travel post captivated the internet in 2012, and it still has skeptics and believers alike confused. The 1938 video in question shows a woman holding what looks to be a mobile phone up to her ear.

Soon after the clip went viral, a man claiming to be the woman’s grandson revealed he’d asked her what she was holding. She told him that the factory she worked for at the time manufactured telephones. On that day, she claimed she was given a prototype for a new wireless device as she was leaving for the day.

David Mikkelson, the founder of Snopes, a website specializing in analyzing internet conspiracies, told The Huffington Post he couldn’t find any documentation to support the wireless phone story, nor could he provide another explanation for the video.

“You can take any piece of WWII footage showing someone holding something to the side of their head talking, and claim it is a time-traveling cell phone user,” he said. “Film clips aren’t of sufficient resolution to see what the people are carrying. It could be anything from a handkerchief to a hearing aid, or who knows what. And this video is silent, so you can’t even tell if the person is engaged in a two-way conversation.”

More from us: The Bizarre True Story of the Man Who Never Laid Eyes on a Woman

This certainly isn’t the first discussion of time travel to take over the internet, and it won’t be the last! Are these pieces of media proof time travel is real? We’ll have to wait and see.

Elisabeth Edwards

Elisabeth Edwards is a public historian and history content writer. After completing her Master’s in Public History at Western University in Ontario, Canada Elisabeth has shared her passion for history as a researcher, interpreter, and volunteer at local heritage organizations.

She also helps make history fun and accessible with her podcast The Digital Dust Podcast, which covers topics on everything from art history to grad school.

In her spare time, you can find her camping, hiking, and exploring new places. Elisabeth is especially thrilled to share a love of history with readers who enjoy learning something new every day!

The Digital Dust Podcast