Sunday, 30 March 2014

The Time Traveller

I love weird stuff.

Most of all, I love laughing at incredible (so-called) footage produced by people that proves with no doubt that the weird stuff we are looking at or watching is in fact proof of crazy conspiracy theories, the existence of aliens, ghosts and monsters, time travel or that our leaders are in fact some form of malevolent shape-shifting creatures that evolved from sentient reptiles who secretly rule the earth and shape the destiny of true humanity.

The internet is full of crazy videos, photographs and verification that the ideas conceived in the minds of highly imaginative yet slightly eccentric people are in fact absolutely true.

While there may be some footage that is difficult to explain (mainly because experts are struggling to prove that the photo or video isn’t in fact fake), I do occasionally love to surf YouTube, blogs and other sites that offer irrefutable substantiation that we are indeed in the dark about the true nature of such mysteries.

I have a very active imagination and I absolutely love science fiction and paranormal eeriness and while I mock the existence of things like yetis, ghosts, monsters in lakes, grey aliens, ghosts, demons and intelligent shape-shifting lizards in reality, I simply love reading about them and the people who believe them. If nothing else it gives me ideas for the future novels I will write.

I am currently reading a Stephen King novel about a man who travels back in time with a view to stopping Lee Harvey Oswald from killing JFK. The idea of the novel fascinates me on several fronts.

First, it involves time travel and potential paradoxes. Second, the assassination of JFK is one the most debated conspiracies of our time and finally, the novel is a riveting thriller.

And, best of all it has prompted me to scour the internet for “proof” of time travel.

I have found some gems, dear reader, that I want to share with you.

(1) John Titor was (or should I say “will be”) a time traveller from the year 2036, who appeared in 2000 and claimed, via internet bulletin boards, that there would be a civil war in America in the year 2004 and that in 2015, Russia would unleash nuclear holocaust on the European Union, China and America, with (as you may predict) America ultimately triumphing but Europe and China perishing. Do you remember the American Civil war of 2004, dear reader? I must have slept through that.

(2) In December 2008 in China, a tomb was opened containing a coffin that had supposedly lain undisturbed for over 400 years. The archaeologists scraped dirt and debris from the sarcophagus and were astounded to discover a tiny Swiss watch, even etched with the name “Swiss”, which was also covered in the same dirt as the coffin. The time on the watch was frozen at 10:06.

(3) A Swede called Håkan Nordkvist  claims to have discovered a time portal under his kitchen sink, while mending a water leak, and found himself in the year 2042 where he met himself at the age of 72. By lucky chance he had a mobile phone and videoed the meeting:

A time portal under a kitchen sink. Well I believe that - don't you?

(4) Andrew Basiago, a Seattle lawyer claims to have been part of a secret US project called Pegasus in the late 1960’s that allowed him, as a child, to travel in time. He claims that there is a photo of him at the Gettysburg address and that he was in the Ford Theatre on the night that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Bizarrely he also claims that he and President Obama were enrolled in a program in the early 1980’s that allowed young Americans to teleport to the surface of Mars. I'm surprised Mr Obama didn't use that in his presidential campaign. I would vote for any man who claimed to have set foot on Mars - wouldn't you?

(5) Eugene Helton claims to have repeatedly travelled back in time and has photographs to prove it. He offers proof that he travelled back in the form of photographs of himself taken by other people.  He also claims to be Blade, i.e. half man half vampire, which makes me think he just found photos of people who look vaguely like him from the past.

Now, is it just me or are people just basically stupid? First of all, I regard the above cases as utterly ridiculous and the claimants to be either totally delusional or out to make themselves famous and rich in the most bizarre way possible.

And what about the people who actually believe them? How can people be so utterly gullible and stupid?

If there really were time portals or time machines then surely these would either remain secret or the authorities would demand tangible proof of their existence rather than the demented ramblings of charlatans or attention seeking weirdos.

Don’t get me wrong; I would dearly love to meet a real life Doctor Who, and I would love to step back in time or see how mankind has evolved in 200 years’ time. But such desires are simply the product of collective science fiction authors – and even my own imagination.

I am very happy to enjoy stories like H.G. Well’s The Time Machine, Dean Koontz’s Lightning and even romantic stuff like Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife.

I will happily watch Dr Who, Back to the Future, The Terminator series and Star Trek movies that involve time travel such as Star Trek: First Contact.

However, I draw the line at believing it is possible by listening to unverified claims by (how can I put this nicely) disillusioned people who attempt to exploit gullible people with ridiculous claims.

Incredibly there are notable people who have scoured the internet actually looking for proof of time travel. I look at stores that amuse me and make me chuckle in disbelief. Yet I have found stories reporting that physicists have been searching the internet for evidence that time travellers exist, searching for predictions that have supposedly come true. Even Professor Stephen Hawking succumbed by throwing a party for time travellers, holding it before he actually sent out the invitations.

Guess what?

Nobody turned up.

Maybe that was a publicity stunt or maybe the great man dearly wanted to believe that time travel is possible.

Well, Professor Hawking, I have a revelation for you. I will share it with you dear reader.

I think you need to sit down.


We are ALL time travellers, dear reader, every single one of us.

We move forward through time at the rate of one second per second - therefore we ALL travel through time every second of our existence.

Ergo - time travel is all around us and we we can all do it.

Sadly we are constrained by the fact that we cannot travel any faster forwards in time and we certainly cannot travel backwards and anybody who claims that he has travelled into the future or the past is in fact talking nonsense - that is, unless he appears in a big blue box and calls himself the Doctor.


River said...

I LOVED Dean Koontz's Lightning! Haven't read it in years, not sure where my copy is. I'll have to nick my daughter's and re-read.
I love the idea of time travel, but before heading back in time to eras that interest me, I'd have to be 100% assured of my return to current time. I'm not sure I'd like to visit the future too far, maybe just a month or two ahead, but still returning to current time.

River said...

Have just checked my alphabetised-by-author bookshelf and Lightning is there, right next to Watchers, another Dean Koontz favourite.
Has it always been there?
Or did I zip through time and get it from my daughter's house?

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

Lightning is a fantastic book - and I love Watchers too (the first I ever read by Dean Koontz).




H2B said...

As a kid, I was sold on the possibility of time travelling when I read 1984. Not sure whether I would prefer to travel back in time or forward. If I travel to the future, I would be tempted to do what Marty McFly attempted to do - smuggle back a sport almanac to bet on the outcome.iu

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi H2B,

I would go to both the past and the future (with a preference for the future). And of course I would do the same a Marty McFly too.




Big D said...

Favourite Time Travel book - Harry Harrison's "Techicolor Time Machine"

If I ever did get the chance to time travel, I have this horrible feeling I'd step out of the machine - and promptly get skewered by a panicking peasant. .

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Big D,

Something similar happened in "Timeline" by Michael Crichton.

A good book if you have time to read it.




Jackie K said...

I'm very late to this post, but I LOVE time travel stories. I recently read the Stephen King novel which I think is one of his best, and I immensely enjoyed the kids' movie Mr Peabody and Sherman this month.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Jackie,

I agree about the Stephen King novel. Let's hope they make a movie out of it.