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8/9 OT: Time Travel

Time travel urban legends From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Time travel urban legends are accounts of persons who allegedly traveled through time, reported by the press or circulated on the Internet. All of these reports have turned out either to be hoaxes or to be based on incorrect assumptions, incomplete information, or interpretation of fiction as fact.

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Modern man at 1941 bridge opening[edit source | editbeta]

"The Time Traveling Hipster"

A photograph from 1941 of the re-opening of the South Forks Bridge in Gold Bridge, Canada, was alleged to show a time traveler.[18] It was claimed that his clothing and sunglasses were modern and not of the styles worn in the 1940s.[19][20] The photo originated from the Bralorne Pioneer Museum, and was featured in their virtual exhibit Their Past Lives Here, produced and hosted through investment by the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC).[21]

Further research suggests that the modern appearance of the man may not have been so modern. The style of sunglasses first appeared in the 1920s, and in factBarbara Stanwyck can be seen wearing a similar pair in the film Double Indemnity three years later. On first glance the man is taken by many to be wearing a modern printed T-shirt, but on closer inspection it seems to be a sweater with a sewn-on emblem, the kind of clothing often worn by sports teams of the period. The shirt is very similar to the one that was used by the Montreal Maroons, a hockey team, from that era. The remainder of his clothing would appear to have been available at the time, though his clothes are far more casual than those worn by the other individuals in the photograph.[22]

Debate centers on whether the image genuinely shows a time traveler, has been photomanipulated, or is simply being mistaken as anachronistic.[22] The "Time Traveling Hipster" became a case study in viral Internet phenomena in museums which was presented at the Museums and the Web 2011 conference inPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania.[23]

1928 cell phone user[edit source | editbeta]

A still from The Circus

In October 2010, Northern Irish filmmaker George Clarke[24] uploaded a video clip entitled "Chaplin's Time Traveler" to YouTube. The clip analyzes bonus material in a DVD of the Charlie Chaplin film The Circus. Included in the DVD is footage from the film's Los Angeles premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in 1928. At one point, a woman is seen walking by, holding up an object to her ear. Clarke said that, on closer examination, she was talking into a thin, black device that had appeared to be a "phone."[25] Clarke concluded that the woman was possibly a time traveler.[20] The clip received millions of hits and was the subject of televised news stories.[26]

Nicholas Jackson, associate editor for The Atlantic, says the most likely answer is that she's using a portable new hearing aid, technology that was just being developed at the time.[20]Philip Skroska, an archivist at the Bernard Becker Medical Library of Washington University in St. Louis, thought that the woman might have been holding a rectangular-shaped ear trumpet.[27] New York Daily News writer Michael Sheridan said the device was probably an early hearing aid, perhaps manufactured by Acousticon.[20]

Iranian 'time machine'[edit source | editbeta]

In April 2013 the Iranian news agency Fars carried a story claiming a 27-year-old Iranian scientist had invented a time machine that allowed people to see into the future. A few days later the story was removed, and replaced with a story quoting an Iranian government official that no such device had been registered.[28][29][30]


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