Idaho Transfer (1973)
During a time of waning global resources, a crew of young researchers travel into the future to escape an apocalypse before the shutdown of their time transfer project. They find that some type of disaster has de-populated the Idaho region and, by implication, the nation or perhaps the world. Facing an unknown, barren future of abandoned towns and deserted vehicles; void of radio signals or any signs of air or land traffic, they encounter an abandoned freight train filled with bagged bodies. Their further discoveries of humanity's future fate is somewhat less than rosy. They also learn their time travel was not without significant costs to their own health. After one of the group travels further into the future, she encounters a family in a futuristic automobile; implying humankind has recovered from the disaster (or have they?)
- Karen Braden (Kelly Bohanon) is brought by her father George and her sister Isa into a government project stationed near the Craters of the Moon lava fields in Idaho. The project has been commissioned to develop matter transference, but has made a greater leap: the scientists have developed a pair of time machines, and have discovered that a mysterious impending ecological catastrophe will wipe out civilization. Other government entities seek to shut down the project as the idealistic scientists attempt to keep the nature of their discovery a secret.
The use of the transfer devices has deleterious effects upon the health of the travelers. Adults "not much older than 20" are unable to survive the journey for long, as apparently their kidneys will begin to hemorrhage. Thus, the scientists have decided to send young people 56 years into the future in order to build a new civilization.
On the return trip from her orientation transfer, Karen accidentally kills her sister. She then flees to the future again, where she becomes withdrawn despite the sympathies of the arriving young researchers.
After the time machines are taken offline by the government, the young researchers hike toward Portland, Oregon, but certain revelations do not bode well for the project's goals. Increasingly disheartened, Karen hikes back to the transfer station, where she is attacked by another researcher who has been driven mad by what she has discovered. Karen uses the time machine to escape and returns to a point farther in the future, where she encounters the residents of that time...