An MIT Alumni Association Publication

In the movie “Back to the Future II,” main character Marty McFly time-travels from 1985 to October 21, 2015, to save his yet-to-be-born children. And 26 years after the movie was released, that futuristic date has arrived, and MIT is commemorating 10/21/15 with hacks in at least two locations.

Hackers placed crashed the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 sports car used by McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown to time travel—complete with flaming tire marks—at the tree near the Alchemist statue on Mass. Ave.

Across the street, in Lobby 7, hackers paid homage to iconic moments in “Back to the Future” canon:

  • A Marty McFly mannequin, complete with floating hover board
  • A re-election poster for Goldie Wilson, the mayor of McFly’s hometown of Hill Valley, California, in 1985. (In 2015, his son, Goldie Wilson II, is now mayor, and his grandson, Goldie Wilson III, sells hover boards.)
  • The November 14, 1955, front page of the Hill Valley Telegraph, which features the headline “CLOCK TOWER STRUCK BY LIGHTNING” and signifies McFly’s and Emmett’s successful time travel in the first film.
  • A hacked MIT seal, with “2015” replacing “1861"; “Hack to the Future” replacing “Science and Art"; “Out of Time” replacing “Mens et Manus"; and McFly and Brown replacing the craftsman and the scholar.
  • A recreated flux capacitor, an essential component of time travel that, according to Doc Brown, requires 1.21 gigawatts of electrical power to operate and is equivalent to the power produced by 15 jet engines.
  • An homage to the movie’s lightning-struck clock tower in the doorway to the Infinite Corridor.
No word on whether the hackers staged the prank in the early morning on October 21, or created it in the future and brought it back to the present, which is now the past.

Images by Nicole Morell and Jay London


Tue, 10/27/2015 2:55am

Great Scott! Sounds like a fun hack! I particularly liked the job done on MIT's Great Seal.

Regarding bullet point three, it has been a while since I've seen the movie, but I believe Goldie Wilson III sells car hover conversions, not hover boards.

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