ST. LOUIS (CBS St. Louis) – Researchers scoured the internet searching for time travelers, but came up empty handed.
Robert Nemiroff, a physicist at Michigan Technological University, was the study author.
Researchers looked for prescient mentions of future events on the present-day internet, scouring Twitter, Facebook, Google, Google+ and Bing. They wanted to see if anyone had mentioned terms like Pope Francis or the comet ISON before they existed looking at the time span from the early 200s to mid-2013.
Both terms represented major events that travelers from the future might speak about somewhere online.
Nemiroff explained to Popular Science that it doesn’t mean time travelers aren’t real, but if they do exist they aren’t chatting online about events from the future.
Twitter was the most useful service for researchers while Google turned up too many false-positives. Facebook also proved problematic for researchers because it allows users to backdate posts which confused the search effort.
During a poker game with students is when Nemiroff came up with the idea for the study. The researchers hope to submit it to several journals.