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Time Travel

I have always been a big geek when it comes to the concept of time travel. What wouldn’t I give, you know? I was so obsessed with the idea of actually seeing the past that I couldn’t get enough history books — preferably ones with old photographs, or descriptive of everyday life. I went so far as to actually earn a bachelor’s degree in history, but it’s obviously still no substitute for actually walking among the unsuspecting people of a different era.

This past Tuesday marked the 25th anniversary of the release of the first Back to the Future film. At one time in my life I had the entire trilogy memorized. I was the source of stupid party games in which people would say one line and I could accurately repeat the entire scene. (This was especially fun when someone gave me the line, “Hey, McFly!” as it appears numerous times throughout the series… I would perform all of them.) The time travel genre is one that I cannot get enough of. Bill & Ted, The Butterfly Effect, The Terminator, The Time Traveler’s Wife (the book, not the movie). The list goes on and on.

This guy Håkan Nordkvist, claims to have traveled through time by crawling under his sink. He supposedly emerged into a sunny afternoon where he met his seventy-year-old self waiting for him. Luckily, he had his mobile phone with him that he could use to capture some quick video of himself with himself. Stunning to say the say least. Video evidence of younger self and older self standing side by side. Most significant, however, is that the two (one?) men show their identical tattoo. Proof, right? Maybe not. It’s fun, but I have a hard time believing that this man has a trans-dimensional wormhole located in the cupboard beneath his leaky sink. Whenever I see claims like this, as much as I love them, I immediately try to debunk them.

The sun flares off the camera in such a way that you cannot clearly see the faces. The men’s noses are strikingly similar, but their heads are different shapes and slightly different sizes. Furthermore, tattoos fade over forty years, yet both seem to be equally bold. Some quick research online suggests that this may have been a sneaky ad campaign by a Swedish insurance company. It is suggested by forum posters that there are other similar television commercials out there that say their pensions are so good that they lived long enough to meet their younger selves through time travel and tell them how great their insurance plans are. That seems more likely to me than Mr. Nordkvist actually finding a park of the future in his plumbing.

This guy claims that he discovered a time traveler in a piece of footage on a remastered Charlie Chaplin bonus feature. He talks way too much, repeating himself too many times, making sure to tell us over and over that he screen this to a room of one hundred people and that NOBODY could come up with an explanation for what is being seen. An older woman enters the frame (the man in the film above claims that could be a man in drag…) and she is seen talking on a mobile phone. Of course, this footage was shot in 1928, before mobile phones were even a glimmer in the old man’s eye. The man in this video insists that she is carrying a thin, black device and she is talking into it. Nobody that he has shown it to has come up with a decent explanation.

As much as I would love this to be true, I can’t believe it. The thin, black device that he thinks he sees is obviously (to me) a shadow. You can see the direction the sun is shining and she’s got her hand up, which is casting a shadow. Well, what is she doing then? Hearing aids were a new thing back then and this woman is elderly. I see it as supremely probably that she is adjusting a hearing device. Alternately, she could just be cupping her ear to hear something better. A bird song perhaps. No one wants proof of time travel more than me. This guy seemed a little eager to believe this one. People see what they want to see. I wonder what a room of 100 people forty years ago would have seen.

Finally, this video is pretty fun. I wouldn’t look too deep into it, but it’s cool.

P.S. If you’re interested in time travel hoaxes (?), look up the postings of John Titor on these here internets.

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