It’s been five years since Ken Helbling, 40, went to Barnes and Noble and walked into the future.

Author’s note: This is an update from the March 9 “From the Shadows” column on a man’s encounter with people he’s sure were from the future.

It’s been five years since Ken Helbling, 40, went to Barnes and Noble and walked into the future.

As Helbling stood in line for coffee, he noticed two out-of-place girls and their out-of-place “guide” observing him suspiciously.

“The (girls) were wearing designer jeans and hairdos that were 25 years out of date,” he said. “They looked about 17, but seemed older.”

The girls also looked similar to girls he knew in high school. Maybe their daughters – or maybe their granddaughters.

When he saw the same trio at the same time in the same place wearing the same clothes the next Sunday, he knew something was wrong.

“When I walked past them they gave me a weird look,” he said. “I’m thinking this is really strange.”

Helbling bought the book he’d gone to the store to buy the week before and thinks it may have something to do with his encounter. The book was “The Keepers” by Jim Sparks.

“It may well be the first book in modern history that mentioned time travelers taking tours as a fact,” Helbling said. He’s sure that’s what he encountered in the bookstore – time traveling tourists.

But since the publication of Helbling’s original story in “From the Shadows,” the future hasn’t left him alone.

When a link to Helbling’s story appeared on the popular late-night paranormal talk show Coast to Coast AM’s website, Helbling called his older brother in Connecticut to tell him – only to discover he already had.

“I called as I had a true story I’d never told (my brother) about written up online,” Helbling said. “And he said, ‘yeah, you emailed me and sent me a link to ‘From the Shadows.’ I read it on Friday.”

Helbling did no such thing.

“I said that’s not possible because I didn’t email or call you,” Helbling said. “And you’re the first person I mentioned this to.”

Helbling’s brother recited the text of the email and the address it came from. The email was from Helbling; but it wasn’t.

“There has been no correspondence by phone since March 1,” Helbling said. “And I have not emailed or had an email from my brother since June 22, 2010. He swears he got an email from me on March 11, 2011. It wasn’t me, and I can prove it.”

Helbling’s brother, who has worked in the computer industry since 1979, confirmed his brother’s suspicions.

“My older brother sent me this email,” Helbling said. “And I quote; ‘OK, I’ve gone back into the server logs. There is no record of an email to me from you or anyone that would have linked me to ‘From the Shadows,’ or anywhere else for that matter. Still, I wouldn’t have known where to look, and all I did was click a link and get there. The link is in my browser history. I recall sitting on the couch reading it – three days before you called me. Curious and more curious.’”

Helbling’s story appeared on the blog “From the Shadows” at 6:58 p.m. March 8. Coast to Coast AM posted the link March 14. Helbling’s brother read the post March 11.

Who sent the email? A future Helbling?

“Things are getting very curious,” Helbling said. “I feel that I need to back off and get a better perspective on what’s going on.”