We all have dreams of winning the lottery, inheriting a fortune from a long-lost relative, or simply finding the perfect investment that will end all of our money troubles for good. It’s a reasonable thing to hope for if you think about it.
Fabulous wealth will undoubtedly eliminate much of the problems that so many of us face day-to-day. Of course, wishing for wealth to simply fall into our laps is pretty futile. That’s why 44-year-old Andrew Carlssin decided to do something to make this particular dream a reality.
In March of 2003, the FBI was given a tip that a man named Andrew Carlssin had enjoyed what amounted to the luckiest run on the stock market in recorded history. Carlssin had turned a paltry $800 investment into an unbelievable $350 million in just two weeks. Obviously, they were going to get suspicious.
Carlssin’s unbelievable windfall naturally caught the attention of the FBI but it also caught the eye of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC recognized patterns. At the time, stock prices were losing money at an alarming rate and the idea that one man could make 126 high-risk trades and not lose a cent beggared belief. Every trade Carlssin made capitalized on completely unexpected business developments.
There was no way he could have made those assumptions without insider knowledge, but the supposed scheme appeared to have gone even deeper than just insider trading. Some of Carlssin’s unusual trades were so high level, so secret that only a select few people in the world would have known about them, if anyone.
Carlssin was arrested and taken into FBI custody. He was forced into an interrogation room and asked all manner of questions regarding the clandestine sources of the insider information on those miraculous investments of his. Rather than deny that he had inside information, however, Carlssin decided to come clean about the whole situation. Though his confession was anything but expected.
Carlssin’s stunning confession took place over the course of a four-hour session. When he was done, the FBI agents were flabbergasted. Carlssin had told them that the 126 high-risk trades he’d made had paid off for him because he had always known that they would. The reason he knew this, was because he was a time traveler.
That’s right, Andrew Carlssin had confessed to the FBI that he was from the year 2256, 250 years in the future. His plan was to capitalize on the low buying opportunities of 2003 and travel back to that year to buy up a number of cheap, though ultimately successful stocks before they took off. He got carried away though.
Armed with an innate knowledge of a future time, Carlssin knew he could easily make a fortune. He would avoid arousing suspicion by simply buying a little here and a little there. As soon as he started seeing results, however, Carlssin’s plan changed. He got caught up in the excitement and decided to bet it all and just accept the windfall.
Ultimately, the SEC didn’t buy a word of what Carlssin said, nor did the FBI. A spokesman for the SEC even spoke about the whole unbelievable situation saying, “he’s either a lunatic or a pathological liar. He capitalized on unexpected business developments, which simply can’t be pure luck. The only way he could pull it off is with illegal inside information.”
Never Gave Up
Carlssin would not give up his sources, however. Instead, he sat in his jail cell at Riker’s Island and continued to insist that he was indeed a time traveler. He also insisted that in his time, any information about those successful stocks was common knowledge and therefore not any kind of “insider information.”
Though Carlssin didn’t give up his alleged accomplices, he did offer the FBI some information in exchange for a plea bargain. He offered to tell them the actual whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden, who would not actually be found until 2011, as well as a cure for AIDS. If he was telling the truth, this knowledge would be invaluable.
He even offered up proof of his time travel in the form of the famous picture of a 1940’s picture of a man in anachronistic sunglasses. According to Carlssin, both he and the man traveled from the future to be a part of the historic reopening of the South Fork Bridge after a flood. Obviously, this was hardly the concrete evidence the Feds were looking for.
As Carlssin languished in his jail cell, the Feds did their best to try and look into his past. There was just one problem, according to even the FBI’s extensive database, he had none. Try as they might, they could find no records of his existence before December 2002, a mere three months before he’d been arrested.
Carlssin tried to bargain as best he could, pleading with them that all he wanted was to be released so he could return to his “time craft” and thereby return to his own time. The FBI, of course, asked to see this time travel machine, but Carlssin wouldn’t give that up either. He worried if it got into the wrong hands the consequences would be dire.
Before they could press him for more info, though, Andrew Carlssin made his $1 million bail. This seemed odd because of two specific factors. One is that his $350 million had been confiscated as part of the investigation and he had no money to speak of. The other that his bail had been paid for by a mysterious, unidentified benefactor.
Carlssin was due in court on April 3rd, a few days later. He never made the hearing. In fact, he was on his way there when he vanished. He has never been seen or heard from since. Many believe that he simply went back to his own time, but there’s actually a much more plausible explanation given the actual truth of this mysterious case.
This case, the story of time-traveling stock trader Andrew Carlssin, is a complete fabrication. It is a fake news story, a satire released in the popular joke periodical of the day, the Weekly World News. What is most astonishing about it isn’t that it was unbelievable, however. What’s most astonishing is that once it hit the Internet, everyone believed it.
Spread the News
In 2003, the Internet wasn’t what it was today. So when the Weekly World News circulated the unbelievable tale of a time traveler getting rich through the stock market info of the future, many people wondered if it might actually be true. The story was shared on Yahoo and many news networks ended up piggybacking on the story.
The Andrew Carlssin story was one of the first true examples of the power of the Internet to spread “fake news.” It became such a widespread story, that some news networks even ended up questioning the SEC and the FBI about the validity of the whole thing. They, of course, denied the truth of the story. Yet, even knowing it was fake, there’s still a part of us all that wants to believe it might have been true.
Technically, we know that time travel is absolutely possible. We know this because we experience it ourselves all the time. Albert Einstein proved that time is relative, which means that if we were to speed up, we might experience time in a different way, move through it faster than the average Earth rate of one hour per hour.
Even today, after the truth of this whole sordid tale has been revealed, there are some who debate over whether this thing could have actually happened. Surely if the FBI learned the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden or the cure for AIDS, they would keep such things to themselves. Maybe Carlssin shared even more important details in exchange for his freedom. The world may never truly know