The Allenheads Findings
When we started our 'Futures' residency at Allenheads Contemporary Arts we had a straight forward project: to make a documentary discussing ideas of the future, past and present within the local community.
It was during the recording of some of the interviews that we came across a strange story, often varying in details, but time and again different people came up with the same basic tale.
One of our interviewees later showed us a short report from a local paper about the events, and this is where our research changed direction entirely and we found ourselves immersed in an almost unbelievable mystery that remains unsolved and the facts hotly contested.
The facts are these:
On March 21st 2001 the army were mobilised for the first time in Northumberland to assist in the control of the disastrous foot and mouth outbreak.
That evening, deep within the quarantine zone in the village of Allenheads a body of a dead man was found. No-one knew who he was, and he carried very little to identify himself, and what objects he did carry raised more questions than answers.
The cause of death was not directly known and due to the scientific sensitivity of the area at the time,the incident was investigated by numerous police and governmental bodies. Nothing further came to light.
Those are the facts. But are they all the facts?
What if we told you that one of the investigating bodies into the death was the quasi-governmental F.RO.M.U. (Forecasting Observation Research Observation Unit), a group first set up in 1997 by the then new Prime Minister Tony Blair with the remit into looking at possible scientific, political and moral ramifications of the millennial cross over and within whose remit was ‘all things temporal’.
What if we told you that since it’s classification, various parts of the final report have been leaked and seem to back up the most startling claim made about the whole episode.
The astounding claim that the dead body found in Allenheads was that of the worlds first documented time traveller.
There are even those out there who claim to have discovered the name and origin of the Allenheads time traveller, something the authorities never did.
Or did they ?
One of the things to pique our attention to this already extraordinary case was that of a strange coincidence, a coincidence that led us to realise that we were dealing with a man from our past, but back then, from our future.
The chief investigator dispatched to Allenheads, and who was quoted in the local press, was a certain Lucas Parkes, who from December 1997 to June 2003 was the main field man hired by F.R.O.M.U.
Why is this of interest? Only that we had dealings with Mr. Parkes before.
Those of you who know our history will remember our project in 2003 in which we attempted to create an invisible force field.
It was after we had failed in this attempt but had created certain gravitational anomalies and ‘occurrences’ (sic) in the surrounding area that the ‘Scientific Accident Investigation Group South East England Division’ were sent in to investigate us.
And who was in charge of that investigation? None other than a certain Lucas Parkes.
He was the man from our past, but back in 2001, our future. One can reach the same spot and come across the same person from different times and spaces. But Lucas Parkes was the one who went further than anyone else in identifying The Allenheads Time Traveller.
He claimed it was John Titor, from the year 2036.
‘Greetings. I am a time traveler from the year 2036. I am on my way home after getting an IBM 5100 computer system from the year 1975.
My “time” machine is a stationary mass, temporal displacement unit manufactured by General Electric. The unit is powered by two, top-spin, dual-positive singularities that produce a standard, off-set Tipler sinusoid. I will be happy to post pictures of the unit’.
And post he did.
From this remarkable if rather technical opening, John Titor continued his web presence for months, answering questions about himself, the science behind his time travel unit and the future from which he came from.
He claimed he was from a time line very similar to ours, and that there could only be a 2% possible variance from his worlds ‘past’ and our worlds ‘future’.
On March 23rd 2001 Titor announced that he was leaving this world line and returning to his own. This did indeed turn out to be his last post, for after this farewell message he was never heard from again.
As you can imagine, his presence and his claims were hotly debated amongst believers and detractors-an argument that continues to this day.
It seems from the evidence available to us that Lucas Parkes was convinced that the unidentified body found in Allenheads was none other than that of John Titor, which could explain why he vanished ten years ago, and even more astonishing was Parkes claim that Titor was indeed a true time traveller.
In Titors original November post he stated he was here to retrieve an ‘IBM 5100 computer system from the year 1975’.
When pressed for a reason to need this particular computer system he stated that it contained a unique almost accidental function of being able to translate between some legacy IBM systems and UNIX, which was not documented at the time.
During the investigation of Titor, IBM engineers have verified the claims pertaining to the IBM 5100.
Throughout his posts from November 2000-March 2001 Titor claimed the American government would become increasingly authoritarian, restricting freedoms and dismantling the American constitution that guaranteed liberties. This would eventually lead to the civil war.
On the 26th of October 2001 President George W Bush signed into law the ‘USA Patriot Act’, an act many see as a draconian attack on civil liberties and basic freedoms, similar to those predicted by Titor.
On May 26th, 2011, a four-year extension of the act was signed by President Barack Obama.
In December 2000 John Titor stated that the USA would invade Iraq, under the pretence of Iraq owning weapons of mass destruction-a story used only to cover Americas real need for the war-the increasingly desperate need for energy security. He also stated that no WMD’s would be found, and that the war would be a protracted one.
On March 19th 2003 an air attack on Baghdad announced Americas invasion of Iraq. September 1st 2010 saw the official end of US combat operations. No weapons of mass destruction were found.
On October 1st 2004, patent application US20060073976 was made by Martin Pohlman of Tulsa Oklahoma. The patent was for a method of ‘Gravity Distortion and Time Displacement’.
The application included images posted by John Titor of his time machine and incorporated the same theories that Titor claimed enabled his machine to work. No relationship between Titor and Pohlman has ever been proven.
On the 31st of January 2001 Tiitor posted:
‘The year 2008 was a general date by which time everyone will realize the world they thought they were living in was over’.
In September 2008 ‘Lehman Brothers’ collapsed, the largest bankrupcy in U.S. history, in part triggering the continuing crisis in international capitalism.
The Shotgun Cartridge
The coroners inquest returned an open verdict to the cause of death. Despite the corpse not having been shot, the used shotgun cartridge was found very close to the body. Ballistics experts stated it had been recently fired - within the previous 24 hours.
Although a relatively common find in the area, it was treated as evidence in the initial inquiry, but soon dropped as having no relevance to the case. There are, however, those that believe its importance was underplayed. Two witnesses claimed to have heard unexpected shotgun fire on the evening of the 23rd March - the area was particularly quiet at this time due to the quarantine zone and the increasing absence of cattle.This has led to the suggestion that a gun was fired as a warning to the dead man - implying that someone came in contact with him prior to his death. The official denials only added fire to the escalating conspiracies - with some claiming that the casing had been swapped for one originally found near the corpse was of military issue and of experimental design.
Not appearing in the original inquest of 2001, but being logged as evidence in the 2010 freedom of information act request we made. The broken watch is considered the most controversial of physical evidence.
Many claim that Lucas Parkes employed the evidence long after the actual event.
That Parkes used the broken watch as a trope, a signifier in trying to convey to his superiors the seriousness of the situation.
Either way, this piece of evidence is considered highly dubious, as no chronological anomalies were found within it’s casing.
Another item whose origin remains highly speculative. It is claimed by some that a transcript was made before the tape was erased. Rumours circulate that the message related to a coded reference to time, wordlines, and whether the task had been accomplished.
Others suggest this could be an answering machine message from someone’s mother enquiring if they’d finished work.
Whichever might be the case, the only evidence of an anomaly is that the tape is blank, showed telltale signs that it had been recorded over, and that the initial investigation had a note that analysis equipment was affected and incapacitated when the tape was initially run through tests.
The footprint cast was made by the original investigation. The label set into the cast (now lost) stated, ‘Left, standing’. It is not known if a right cast was made or if the original has been lost.
A dog lead initially found as part of the investigation has been misplaced.