Denis Bel was only 14 when he got scooped up by ApexTV, 2014. Dennis lives in Nevada, attends public-school in that state, loves snapping YouTube clips, thoroughly adores vlogging, fought acne, and admires his older sister.
That’s all I know of him – aside from the fact that in 2016 he flipped into Time Traveler Noah from 2030.
How did that happen?
Back in 2016, the owner and director of ApexTV who produced paranormal videos noticed the boy‘s YouTube clips and offered Dennis $20 for a clip where the geek would pretend he was a stranded time-traveler Noah.
Noah would tell viewers this was his fourth trip to the early 21st century. He’d tell them he’d been recruited by the U.S Government as a 9th grade school kid, implanted with a time-skipping device and shot through an underground dome in Nevada to survey America’s past.
“At first it was fun,” Dennis later told YouTuber Matt Cramb, “We treated it as a joke. The first day I made the video in my room where we’re speaking right now. I made up the story and the [ApexTV] owner interrupted every so often telling me what to say. In some of these early videos you can even hear some people laughing in the background really faintly.¨
The first video grabbed 60k views at the end of the first day. People all over the world wrote him. Reporters interviewed him. He found alleged family and friends, since strangers who said they were of the Future either claimed they were related to him or knew him. His schoolmates photographed him and posted selfies of him online.
“My sister,” Dennis said, “was even listening to the radio and they started talking about me as she was driving. That’s how big it was.”
The manager of ApexTV drove Dennis/Noah to coastal regions where “Noah” – face pixelated and voice deepened – related future events that included the following:
President Trump will be reelected president, 2020. He’ll be replaced by a 21-year-old Yolanda Renee King, Martin Luther King’s granddaughter, three years later. Elizabeth II will die in 2020. There’ll be hurricanes and a quasi-Third World War where Japan, the US, South Korea and 20 other countries will nip each other over nuclear disarmament.
In later series, Noah revealed that aliens will plunk their scoobi-type vans in Antarctica, near the Baltic Sea and in Taiwan, Mongolia and North Korea, in March 2026. They’ll be met by Donald J. Trump, who will speculate on real-estate on their sands.
By Summer 2029, rich people will time-travel to whichever period and country they wish, prehistoric times included.
Minor predictions included the following:
There’ll be flying cabs; soaring climates will peel your faces; governments will mine asteroids for fuel; Britain will rejoin the EU; the US will ban free speech; Google Glass-style robotics will trend; “designer babies” will run riot, and the English language will change, borrowing slang from aliens and gaming.
Some listeners questioned Noah’s tales, so he took and passed a lie-detector test.
When I asked Noah in 2016, “Why are you telling us these stories?¨
He told me, “I just want to spread the truth, Ma’am.”
When I asked him, “Why do you pixelate your face?”
He told me, “I don’t want my family in 2019 to recognize me. if I’m not careful, this will either change the course of the future or rip the universe to shreds.”
Noah 2030 also had to keep away from Noah 2019. “A past version of myself exists right now and he is in middle-school currently,” Noah told me. “I have to stay away from him to avoid causing a paradox, because the results of that could be profound.”
In time, Noah attracted more than 8 million followers. He was interviewed for outlets that included The Daily Mail, Britain’s Express, The Sun, The Mirror, Australia’s News, New Zealand’s NZHerald, Japan’s Tokyo Shimbun, some science magazines and by myself on Cyberpunks.
Some fans assured him they believed him, while others trolled those who questioned him. Here and there, someone begged him to transport them to 2030. They also paid him – or rather ApexTV – ten to thirty dollars for live-streamed questions about the future, such as what will happen to their countries, to the stock market, their favorite baseball games or whether Noah knew people with their family names in 2030.
And then the threats started. People tried to track him. Noah/Dennis created his own YouTube channel and people tagged hate mails. Some even threatened to kill him. (Not everyone, for instance, relished that Trump would be re-elected 2020).
“There’s this looming thing,” Noah confessed on his 10-minute long YouTube clip, three months ago:
I’m stressed, I can’t do this stupid character anymore. I don’t want to be known as Noah the time traveller for the rest of my life…My name is Dennis Bel. I’m 16 and I love doing YouTube videos and I just want to be normal!”
There was the remorse that he duped others: “100 percent I lied to people. Basically Noah’s still online. It’s just lie after lie after lie after lie. Some people tell me I just entertained people to make excuses for it. I’m not going to make excuses: I lied.”
Noah went through an identity crisis:
“Playing a character for a prolonged time,” Dennis told YouTuber Matt Cramb, “really plays a toll on someone. Towards the end I felt really really mentally sick for just playing this character for a couple of hours. I would constantly complain about it because it wasn’t me.”
Whenever anything “weird” happened to him, Dennis put it down to Noah and was scared his fans discovered his identity. He stopped posting YouTubes videos because he was afraid Noah’s followers would find that Noah was Dennis.
“I was getting all this popularity not from my actual self but for doing Noah videos and I hated doing Noah so much that even getting paid didn’t make me feel happy at all.”
Even today, Dennis Bel’s Twitter channel claims he comes from Whoville a fictional town created by Dr. Seuss. The date of birth on his profile says only December 13. If you click on the link to his YouTube vlogs, you’ll see it says: “It does not exist.”
A month after he confessed, Dennis/Noah told his Twitter followers that he’d started membership at the gym for confidence and to be more normal.
For a guy who’s mixed Future with Past, it’s hard to be normal – isn’t it?
Dr. Leah Zitter is a recognized FinTech writer and researcher with more than 10 years’ experience writing for media outlets, small-scale businesses, ICOs, non-government organizations, multinational corporations and governments. After having received on-site training in journalism from The Center for Near East Policy Research, Leah gained her Bachelors in Liberal Arts, her Masters in Philosophy/ Advanced Logic and her Ph.D. in Psychology/Scientific Research (focus: Behavioral Neuroscience).