CALHOUN FALLS, SC (AP) — Work on the world’s first time machine has accelerated in the wake of Barack Obama’s re-election for President of the United States. The project, in the works for nearly four years, gained traction in the form of a renewed focus and funding from several benefactors.
Project co-creator Mark Aiken was inspired to create the machine when he felt overwhelmed about the state of the country after the 2008 presidential election. He longed for a simpler time, repeatedly mentioning 1951 as a target to hit in the trip.
“I just felt that my rights, you know were being taken away, I couldn’t count on my government to support my choices, and I wanted to take control. I had enough,” he said.
“I wanted things to be like they used to, like when I grew up. Things were easier, simpler. Things weren’t changin’ all the time. People knew their neighbors, and they stuck to their own [kind].”
Aiken, a lifelong resident of Calhoun Falls since his birth in 1951, is encouraged by like-minded people in the United States. He cites people like celebrity mogul Donald Trump, political strategist Karl Rove, and former politician Pat Buchanan as inspirations for his work.
“When I saw Trump tweet that he was going to make that Kenyan [Obama] give up his college transfats [transcripts] and passwords [transcripts], I was all ‘hell yeah’! I wanted to be rid of all of this. He’s like me, a simple man wanting things to be simple–not all cultural and ethnic.”
Hot on the heels of the election results Tuesday, Aiken took to Twitter and tweeted to his 35 followers “REAL change is coming… we’ll change our world back to when REal Americans where in charge!!”
One of his Twitter followers, Edward Williams, the son-in-law of businessman William Koch, contacted his father-in-law and family members about the exploits of Aiken and Sloan. Fresh off of key defeats in the elections, the Koch brothers wanted to fund a project that had a better chance at success. Aiken and and his cousin, Russ Sloan, the device’s designer, will receive funding based on stages of completion. The creators have earmarked the completion of the machine by June 2014. They hope to conduct their first fourth-dimensional trip in August 2014.
The pair described their extensive research into the science of inter-dimensional travel: they poured through “journals” such as The Time Machine and The Chronic Argonauts by H.G. Wells, and they repeatedly studied “documentaries” such 2002’s The Time Machine.
“The Time Machine was so slick. They really did a good job on showing that we could really do it like they did. And that H.G. Wells fella [actor Guy Pearce] was a stud,” said Aiken.
“If he could build a time machine, so could I.”
The transportation device, modeled after Noah’s Ark on an one-eighth scale, is designed to accommodate 30 people comfortably. Sloan, who fostered the design, thought that a machine modeled after a Bible creation would show their desire for taking things back to their roots.
“While we won’t be taking two of every animal, we’ll carry the spirit of Noah’s desire to ride out the flood. The flood in this case is progressivism or whatever they’re calling it,” Sloan said.
Aiken hopes to recruit family and friends to make the initial voyage. He and Sloan will sell seats for the remaining spaces through a Kickstarter initiative.