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Marty McFly Returns?

Claim:   Today's date matches the day of Marty McFly's visit to the future as shown on the time-machine car in Back to the Future II.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, July 2012]

There are doctored images being posted on facebook from Back to the Future showing that the future date set in one of the scenes was today, July 11, 2012. I'm fairly certain the date was sometime in 2015.


Origins:   Every few months since mid-2012, hoaxes have circulated which present doctored images taken from the 1989 film Back to the Future Part II to make it appear as if the current date matches the future date visited by Marty McFly in that movie via his time-traveling DeLorean automobile. <

All of these japes are easy to identify as hoaxes by simply remembering the number 30: The original Back to the Future Part film was set (and released) in 1985, and in that film Marty McFly traveled thirty years back in time, to 1955. In the sequel, Back to the Future Part II, Marty traveled thirty years forward in time, from 1985 to 2015. The latter is therefore the year Marty will "return" — not 2012 or 2013 or 2014, but 2015. The date of 21 October 2015, to be precise:

Nonetheless, viewers continue to be fooled by the same old prank. In July 2012, for example, images were circulated purportedly showing 11 July 2012 as the date to which the character Marty McFly time-traveled from the past, and that was the third iteration of the same hoax, following on the heels of a similar outbreak just three weeks earlier:

The "Back to the Future Day" hoax has been perpetrated against the Internet yet again, as Doc did not really set the date to July 11, 2012, when he went to the future in the movie's famous Delorean time machine.

And he didn't set it to June 27, 2012, either, though this same hoax was carried out on that date. It's not clear why this trick has become a repeating theme, but, please, don't allow yourself to be fooled again.

As has happened at least twice before, someone released a Photoshopped or otherwise-manipulated image showing that the date was the one picked in the 1989 sequel to the classic 1985 film, but the date was actually set for October 21, 2015, more than three years from now.


The Chicago Tribune wrote of the June 2012 outbreak that:

Some Internet users were fooled by an image that claimed to show June 27, 2012, as the futuristic date the characters played by Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd were whisked to in their souped-up, flux capacitor-powered Delorean time machine. Not so.

In Robert Zemeckis' 1989 sequel, the characters are transported 30 years into the future, from Oct. 26, 1985 to Oct. 21, 2015. Sorry, "BTTF" fans, but the magic date is still more than three years away.

An apparently doctored image with the destination date changed to "June 27, 2012" raced across Facebook, Twitter and other sites, fooling some users.

Many were similarly duped two years ago when the movie site TotalFilm.com tweeted a bogus image using the date July 5, 2010, to substantiate its claim of that date as "Back to the Future Day." Total Film later admitted to the hoax.

The Back to the Future Countdown Clock provides up-to-the-minute tracking of the time remaining before that original date is reached.

Last updated:   3 May 2015

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    Manker, Rob.   "'Back to the Future' Hoax: Wednesday Was Not the Day."
    Chicago Tribune.   27 June 2009.

    International Business Times.   "'Back to the Future Day' Hoax Fools Internet. Again."
    11 July 2012.