Have You Seen A Time Traveler?

Regular readers of my blogs will know that I am fascinated by time travel.  I would like to believe it’s possible, but so far, no proof.

It has long been asked: If at some point in the future time travel is possible, why haven’t some travelers come back to THIS time to tell us?  Fear of creating a paradox?  Unable to go back, only forward?

I saw on the news that an Irish filmmaker, George Clarke,  says he thinks that he discovered footage from a 1928 Charlie Chaplin promotional film that shows a woman talking on a cell phone.  He – and others – have concluded that the woman is a time traveler from the future.

I’m not sure that the only explanation is that the woman at the promotion for  “The Circus” has a cell phone and is therefore from the future (maybe our “present”).

traveler 1

After seeing the video (see link bottom of this post) and watching the slow-motion replays, it’s unclear to me. Some people say she is using an early hearing aid – but she does seem to be talking, not just listening.

Who is she talking to?  Herself? Does she have a cell phone that can actually call the future? What 1928 cell tower is she using? Could a cell signal travel back to the future?  Is she calling another time traveler also in 1928 using some type of other technology? Why does she look right at the camera?  Is she a she?

It’s not the first report of a time traveler I  have found.

An earlier one was a still image. I’m less trusting of still images which are much easier to fake than video. (Especially video from 1928 that is pretty well documented.) But I found the image on a site that says the image was made available by the official website for Canada’s museums as part of an exhibit “Their Past Lives Here.”

The photo is labeled “Reopening of the South Fork Bridge after flood in Nov. 1940. 1941 (?)”

traveler 2

See that guy on the right? Those look like pretty modern sunglasses for 1940. What’s with his silk-screened “M” t-shirt? Is that some kind of compact camera he is holding? What was a  time traveler doing at a bridge reopening in 1940? Was he stupid enough not to wear 1940s clothing for his trip?

So many unanswered questions. I want to believe.

Seen any time travelers? Are YOU a time traveler? If so, please post a comment and let us know what’s coming.

Video by George Clarke showing the 1928 time traveler.

Riding the Timewave Into October 2010

Novelty theory attempts to calculate the ebb and flow of novelty in the universe as an inherent quality of time. It is an idea conceived of and discussed at length by Terence McKenna from the early 1970s until his death in the year 2000.

According to McKenna, when “novelty” is graphed over time, a fractal waveform known as timewave zero or simply the timewave results. The graph shows at what times, but never at what locations, novelty is increasing or decreasing.

According to the timewave graph, great periods of novelty occurred about 4 billion years ago when Earth was formed, 65 million years ago when dinosaurs were extinct and mammals expanded, about 10,000 years ago after the end of the ice age, around late 18th century when social and scientific revolutions progressed  and during the 1960s.

Interestingly, he also saw greater novelty coming around the time of 9/11/2001 and in November 2008 (election), this fall in October 2010 and novelty progressing towards the infinity on 21st December 2012.

I haven’t found a complete analysis of McKenna’s wave – for example, what occurred in May 1996 that he saw such a precipitous drop in novelty?

12.21.12 and Climate Change: Read The Manual

Earth in darkness, South Pole lit, from an image from the Rosetta spacecraft

This past winter had some strange weather patterns across the United States. Inevitably, on some bitter cold winter day, someone will say “So much for global warming!”  It’s something said out of the most incomplete ideas about climate change.

The warming of the Earth does not mean only that everything will get warmer. (Something that people will also half-jokingly point to as a good thing – from kinder winters in New York to longer growing seasons for farmers.) As the El Niño weather patterns continue into this spring, early predictions are seeing the hurricane season of 2010 to be a busy one. Water temperatures, currents and winds are all part of the warming process. In some instances, warming will cause colder winters and more violent winter storms and snow than before – as “illogical” as that might seem on first thought. Predictions released by the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University have stated that they anticipate above average activity for the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.

Despite posts on this blog, I don’t believe that the Mayan calendar predicts everything. I also don’t believe that the popular takes on it (like 2012 the movie) helps any understanding of any of this at all.

Our  Sun is expected to reach a maximum of activity in 2012-2014. It happens every eleven years.  Debris from these solar storms do sometimes hit the Earth, causing beautiful auroras and disrupting satellites and even causing blackouts. Is it connected to the Mayan calendar or is it astronomy as usual?

The Mayans, who had a great run between 2000 BC and 900 AD, developed their calendar based on pretty advanced (for that time) knowledge of the cosmos and mathematics.  They believed that time was cyclical.  That’s a hard concept for most westerners who see time as linear to grasp.  It means that time loops upon itself.

We think of the calendar as this 12-month object that we literally toss at the end of year and start anew. Their calendar begins on Aug. 11, 3114 BC (if you put it in a Gregorian context) and uses a long count that takes them through thousands of years.

They knew that the sun would be aligned with the center of the Milky Way for the first time in about 26,000 years on 12. 21. 2012. But I have seen the argument that this approximate alignment happens every year in December and that even if all the planets were to perfectly align, the effects on Earth are negligible.

We get into trouble when we start interpreting the Mayan prophecies. That’s when you get people like Daniel Pinchbeck saying that  “change in the nature of consciousness, assisted by indigenous insights and psychedelic drug use” will occur. The other popular interpretation is for a cataclysmic apotheosis marking the end of the world. Others dismiss it as another Y2K bug to add to the many other didn’t-happen apocalyptic predictions that people have made for thousands of years – and that we forget about when they don’t come true.

Forget the Mayans and turn for a moment to the folks talking about Planet Nibiru (or Planet X). The Sumerians said a planet is going to collide with the Earth in 2012. Astronomers don’t see it and say that if it was going to hit Earth by 2012, it would be visible with the naked eye by now.

I still favor that the 2012 date may be a whimper rather than a bang – the beginning of a new age, not an event of any tremendous note on that day. I don’t know if it’s a good age coming or not.

I wish people in general would pay more attention the operating manual included within the software of planet Earth. Look at the changes occurring already – good and bad. Take note of what mistakes we have made. Make corrections, when possible.

Next post – resyncing the planet.

Dreams of Time Travel

I read Alan Lightman’s novel, Einstein’s Dreams, when it came out in 1993.  It’s a strange novel which imagines what Einstein may have been dreaming about in Bern, Switzerland before he published his Special Theory of Relativity in 1905.

I have had a fascination with Einstein ever since I was a teenager. I first came to him because he seemed connected to an earlier fascination with the possibility of time travel.

The 26 year old Albert Einstein is in an unhappy marriage. He has a job as a patent clerk that he dislikes and that is far below his abilities. In his head are dreamscapes of theoretical realms of time.

Alan Lightman describes the dreams which occur between April 14, 1905 and June 28, 1905.  Of course,  all of it is pure imagination.  There’s science in the imagined worlds where people’s lives are based on time being circular or flowing backwards, or slowing down.

The project Einstein was working on concerned electricity and magnetism, but the solution required a reconception of time.

When the book opens, Einstein has finished with his new theory of time and, while he waits a few hours for a typist in his patent office, he thinks his dreams.

Many of the dreams seem in their language like poems –

14 April 1905

time is a circle,
the world repeats
births, deaths, a glass falls and breaks,
all is repeated
and then again
nothing is temporary
or permanent.
Some people know
all this has happened before.
They walk the night streets
and cannot unbreak the glass,
prevent the death,
erase one unkind word.

16 April 1905

Time flows like a stream here
and when some rivulet
turns away and connects backstream,
it carries the people back.
Do you see them?
They are the fearful ones.
They know that any change they make
in the past,
will change the future.

I wanted to build a time machine ever since I saw the movie version of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. I probably read the Classics Illustrated comics version of the novel before I read the novel. I had boxes of discarded electronics and machines in my basement that I had culled on garbage collection days. I loved playing with the gears, knobs and circuit boards. I learned some things along the way, got some nasty shocks and burned myself on my soldering iron, but I never did get a working time machine. Many years later, watching the movie E.T., I watched the alien build his communicator in that same ridiculously easy way.

I have read that Wells wrote his novel partially in response to Charles Darwin publishing his theory of evolution which was the big scientific news of the time. His novel can be seen as as a story about evolution, as he tells how we will evolve in the future. It’s not a pretty, but a cautionary, tale.

His Time Traveller goes forward to 802,701 AD in the same location as his London basement workshop. He finds a race of elfin, beautiful, vegetarian, but virtually helpless creatures. Their life is thoughtless idleness and they seem quite satisfied in their blissful ignorance. But there is also another offshoot of our species who lives beneath the surface – and they are quite evil.

Can we go back in time? Einstein was not much fun for time travel enthusiasts.  Though we might imagine going back in time and righting wrongs (small ones of our own or large historical ones), he pretty much concluded that if we were to travel back, we would be who we were and do what we had done again. It’s an infinite loop. It doesn’t make for a good story or film. (So much for Back to the Future.)

Simplified, Einstein said that by traveling at the speed of light, you would force time to slow down, then to stop, and finally to go backward. Of course, even if we could go faster than the speed of light, none of us could survive the speedy journey. (Though Superman did in a film in order to save Lois Lane.) Special relativity states that your mass would become infinite in the process. Some proponents of time travel point out that Einstein’s equations for general relativity do allow some forms of time travel, but then we are into science that is not for here.

If you do want to still pursue some time travel, check into the ten dimensional hyperspace theory, wormholes and dimensional windows.

Time travel is a risky business. Personally, I am not a fan of  blasting into some other time and finding myself binding into some substance in the space which I or the machine now occupies.

Einstein also warned of paradoxes. Meeting your parents before you are born is a popular one.  (See the first Back to the Future film)

4th May 1905

Time passes
but little happens.
Year to year,
month to month,
day to day,
the passage of events
are the same.
If you have no ambitions
you are unaware of your suffering,
the ambitious ones
know and suffer
but very slowly.

8th May 1905

The world will end
on the 26th of September 1907.
Everyone knows it.
Schools close the year before.
Businesses close the month before.
People are surprisingly unafraid.
They think over their coffee that
now there is nothing to really fear.
On September 25th
there is laughter on the streets,
neighbors who never spoke
greet each other as friends.
We are all equal in the world of one day.
One minute before the end
everyone in Berne gathers together.
No one moves or speaks.
It is like leaping off a mountain.
They hold hands as the end approaches.
They are weightless,
cool air rushes by,
the whiteness
of snow fills their vision.

The Time Machine

Einstein’s Dreams

Back to the Future – The Complete Trilogy

The Time Machine