The Time Traveler

Is there a time traveler watching a bridge reopen in this photo? Is this a very well crafted Photoshop? Or is it just a guy, ahead of his time, photgraphed and now being overanalyzed? The picture, on the virtual Bralorne-Pioneer Museum was featured on Kottke today. Click here to see the full size image.

“Reopening of the South Fork Bridge after flood in Nov. 1940. 1941 (?)”

Forgetomori checks it out.

Given the source, we would assume the photo is authentic, and correctly dated to c.1940. Indeed, an Error Level Analysis suggests the image was not digitally tampered with, or at least that if it was, the author was smart enough to normalize the error across the whole thing. It’s a good job, if it was a job. And again, given the source, we would assume it was not a job.

So, how do we explain the man out of time?

Below that article, I found a comment that breaks down every aspect of the photo. It’s an amazing analysis.

…Whether or not the time traveler is wearing a contemporary sweater or not, he is totally out of uniform for the social class and culture of the event. His dress may indicate a collegiate look to some, but even that would cause some commotion in a crowd like this. He seems too brash for the times, as does his style of garments. Even his unsubdued expression would have been slightly suspect in a crowd like this. He is simply too out of place for the photo. His whole attitude should have caused suspicion.

…My verdict, finally, is that something is defintely wrong here, but I cannot say exactly what it is. The man, for whatever reasons, does not belong in the photo.

To read the rest of the comment hit the jump