Pushing Back the Birthdate of Paranormalis to April 14th, 2003

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Hey everyone!

This time, I’ll take you with me on a journey to find the actual birthdate of our community, some 20 years ago. Let’s do some Internet archeology together, shall we?

I’ve always considered that our community came to life in 2004. On June 9th, 2004, to be exact. It’s the date of the oldest post on the site. The first message of the forum that would evolve into the Paranormalis we know today. It’s still available here as we speak.

You may click this link to see it. It’s our oldest post, which was created when the original forum software was installed on day 1.
Welcome

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Back in 2004, we were TTF, the Time Travel Forum. Here’s a snapshot of it. The post you see above dates from this era.
The Time Travel Forum - powered by vBulletin

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Apparently, this is where it all started. That makes sense, right? Then, comes the Chronovisor Project.

Working on the Chronovisor Project with @Cosmo has been quite a journey. Exploring old, dead websites, digging out gems and stuff we somehow forgot about over the years.

It’s no surprise that I’ve been exploring the previous iterations of Paranormalis, above anything else. At some point, Cosmo and I talked about something we had heard about a couple of times over the past 2 decades. “ttf.tk”, aka Time Travel Hotel.

I didn’t know much about Time Travel Hotel. I heard that it was an old, different version of TTF that existed around 2003-2004. Then it vanished, Time Travel Forum was created out of its ashes and the rest is history. Just another small, short-lived site that was now a distant memory, that only a few people remember. So naturally, we went digging there. I didn’t expect to find much. Boy was I surprised!

The first thing I did was attempt to assess how large ttf.tk / Time Travel Hotel was at its peak. From what I found, it had over 19,000 posts. 19K! That’s a lot! Wow!
The Time Travel Forum (http://www.TimeTravelForum.tk)

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This is an unexpected game-changer. Suddenly, it wasn’t just another small forum that vanished 19 years ago. It was a big, thriving site. Where I thought I’d find a tiny “proto time travel forum community”, I found a full-featured, fully-fledged community. Let alone one that existed prior to our usual, accepted foundation date of 2004-06-09.

As I was looking around, I started to see usernames that I knew, here and there. Gavin, Professor Opmmur, Enigmawriter, Jovial_Kitten, John, Frog186, HDRKID, etc. Sounds familiar?!?

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There was no doubt anymore. This spot is the birthplace of our community. I went ahead and explored as much of its content as possible. It was pretty limited, of course, because very little of it was indexed by the Archive.org program in 2003 and 2004. Still, I was able to explore and restore 54 threads.

Here they are:
TimeTravelForum.tk

Next and final step: When did it all start?

A good way to find out is to find the primary administrator and check its join date. The person who installed the forum software in the first place. Its account got created automatically at the forum’s creation, therefore, its join date is a reliable way to know the forum’s creation date. The admin I was looking for, here, was Gavin. This leads us to his member card:
The Time Travel Forum (http://www.TimeTravelForum.tk) -> portal creator

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Joined: 14-April 03

In case you’re wondering, here’s why Gavin is shown as Member #2. Since this forum was installed on a free forum hosting platform, Invision Free, account #1 is the Invision account. The actual person’s account, Gavin in this case, was created simultaneously and received member ID #2.

Now, back to 2003-04-14. This means April 14th, 2003 is the day our community was born. 14 months earlier than I thought.

In about a month and a half, on April 14th, Paranormalis will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Wow!

To be continued…

--Num7
 
Last edited:

FarOutThere

Member
Messages
363
This is amazing... I remember when Gavin's timetravel forum went offline without warning in 2005 or 2006, and wishing I had archived it all. I kept checking back every so often in case it reappeared.

It's kind of wild how so many of us are the same people here today.
 

Num7

Administrator
Staff
Messages
12,266
This is amazing... I remember when Gavin's timetravel forum went offline without warning in 2005 or 2006, and wishing I had archived it all. I kept checking back every so often in case it reappeared.

It's kind of wild how so many of us are the same people here today.
What was your username, back then? Was it "FarOutThere" already?
 

Opmmur

Time Travel Professor
Messages
5,049
This is amazing... I remember when Gavin's timetravel forum went offline without warning in 2005 or 2006, and wishing I had archived it all. I kept checking back every so often in case it reappeared.

It's kind of wild how so many of us are the same people here today.

The year was 2004, I believe it was in the spring or summer went downhill very fast. Too many people trying to run the forum and tripping over each other as to how it should be run.

I joined Gavin's time travel forum in 2002 late in the year maybe October and I was member number 35. At that time it was a pretty good forum, but as time past on too many monitors giving their friends full access to be monitors also. Monitors had too much access to private messages and they could read all the private messages of everyone's and also Gavin loss control, of the fourm, it turned out a mess very short time. I left in December 24, 2003, to start my own time travel forum.

Professor Opmmur
 

Num7

Administrator
Staff
Messages
12,266
Thank you professor for sharing all of this. It's really cool to read you talk about your experience with forum communities from 20 years ago. :) In many ways, it's both a short time ago, and a very long time ago.

I joined Gavin's time travel forum in 2002 late in the year maybe October and I was member number 35.
I retrieved your member card from TTF.TK, here it is:

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You weren't far off when saying you were member 35. It says 45 on your member card. I, for one, would not have remembered that kind of info! Kudos to that!

You mention that you joined in 2002. I'm a little puzzled, here, as the join date on your member card says August 17, 2003. In any case, do you mean (or remember) that yet another previous iteration of Time Travel Forum existed, prior to TTF.TK?

It's too bad I wasn't around yet at that time. I only joined in Dec. 2005, during the TPN era.

For reference, here's the thread from which I grabbed your member card screenshot.
 

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