Time slip

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This article is about the paranormal phenomenon. For other uses, see timeslip (disambiguation).

A time slip is a paranormal phenomenon in which a person, or group of people, seem to either travel through time via unknown means, or appear to briefly enter an alternate version of present reality via unknown means. As with other paranormal phenomena, the objective reality of such experiences is disputed by skeptics.

Cases[edit]

Ghosts of Versailles[edit]

One of the best-known, and earliest, examples of a time slip was reported by two English women, Charlotte Anne Moberly (16 September 1846 – 7 May 1937) and Eleanor Jourdain (1863 – 1924), the principal and vice-principal of St Hugh's College, Oxford, who claimed they slipped back in time in the gardens of the Petit Trianon at Versailles from the summer of 1901 to the period of the French Revolution.

The Vanishing Hotel[edit]

A widely-publicised case from October 1979, described in the ITV television series Strange But True?, [1] concerned the Simpsons and the Gisbys, two English married couples driving through France en route to a holiday in Spain. They claimed to have stayed overnight at a curiously old-fashioned hotel and decided to break their return journey at the same hotel but were unable to find it. Photographs taken during their stay were missing, even from the negative strips when the pictures were developed.

Other cases[edit]

More recent reports include a series of accounts of apparent time slips in the area of Bold Street, Liverpool from the 1990s to the present day. [2] Andrew MacKenzie, of the Society for Psychical Research, investigated several British cases, including an experience in which three naval cadets appeared to travel back in time to Kersey in Suffolk at a time when it was a medieval plague village, and one in which a Scottish woman experienced the aftermath of the Dark Age Battle of Nechtanesmere in 685 AD.[3] Sir Victor Goddard claimed to have seen, in 1935, the Drem, Scotland airfield as it would be in 1939.[4]

Characteristics[edit]

Feeling of unreality[edit]

Some time slip witnesses report that, at the start of their experience of the phenomena, their immediate surroundings take on an oddly flat, underlit and lifeless appearance, and normal sounds seem muffled. This is sometimes accompanied by feelings of depression and unease. In some respects, this facet of the phenomenon is similar to the Oz Factor identified by British UFO researcher Jenny Randles in some reports of encounters with supposed extraterrestrial craft.

Moberly's account[5] of her experience at Versailles records:

We walked briskly forward, talking as before, but from the moment we left the lane an extraordinary depression had come over me, which, in spite of every effort to shake off, steadily deepened. There seemed to be absolutely no reason for it; I was not at all tired, and was becoming more interested in my surroundings. I was anxious that my companion should not discover the sudden gloom upon my spirits, which became quite overpowering on reaching the point where the path ended, being crossed by another, right and left…Everything suddenly looked unnatural, therefore unpleasant; even the trees behind the building seemed to have become flat and lifeless, like a wood worked in tapestry. There were no effects of light and shade, and no wind stirred the trees. It was all intensely still.

Jourdain's report[5] of the same event states that:

there was a feeling of depression and loneliness about the place. I began to feel as if I were walking in my sleep; the heavy dreaminess was oppressive.

Other time slip witnesses experience no such feelings during the event. They can be completely unaware that there is anything unusual going on until after the fact, when they find out later that the place they were in was not really as they experienced it.

Ability to interact[edit]

Reports vary as to whether those experiencing time slips can take an active part in the event, interacting with the time being "visited". In the Versailles case, the two ladies were apparently seen, and spoken to, by people they saw. The British holidaymakers in 1979 went further, staying in a hotel and eating dinner and breakfast in the course of their experience. Both these cases are also unusually prolonged experiences, taking place over at least several hours.

In other cases, the subject is a passive observer of the "past" scene, and it seems that the "typical" time slip lasts only a matter of a few minutes.

In popular culture[edit]

The idea of a time slip has been utilized by a number of science fiction and fantasy writers. This is one of the main plot devices of time travel stories, the other being a time machine. The difference is that in time slip stories, the protagonist typically has no control and no understanding of the process (which is often never explained at all) and is either left marooned in a past time and must make the best of it, or is eventually returned by a process as unpredictable and uncontrolled. Conversely, in a time machine story the protagonist is typically in control of the process, understands the scientific principles involved and can come and go between times at discretion. The two types of time travel were popularized at the end of the 19th century by respectively Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, both having considerable influence on later writers.

Notable later stories using the theme include John Wyndham's short stories "Odd" and "Stitch in Time" in Consider Her Ways (1961). "Chronoclasm" and "Pawley's Peepholes", included in the collection The Seeds of Time (1956), explore the subject from the point of view of those being visited. The 1990 novella The Langoliers by Stephen King involved a jet airliner which had passed through a timeslip into yesterday, and the crew and passengers' desperate attempts to return to today before being consumed by the eponymous Langoliers. Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist of the Kurt Vonnegut novel Slaughterhouse-Five, experiences a series of time slips throughout his life after becoming "unstuck in time". Martian Time-Slip is a 1964 science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick. It advances the idea that the flow of time can change or even be reversed from place-to-place. Time on Mars is much more malleable than time on Earth or at least there are more portals and loop holes on Mars. In 11/22/63, a 2011 novel by Stephen King, Jake Epping walks through a time slip to enter into 1958 to prevent the Kennedy assassination. In the 2011 Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris, the main character, Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), is mysteriously sent back to 1920s Paris via Peugeot Type 176 to interact with the so-called Lost Generation era of authors and artists. Additionally, the character of Adriana (Marion Cotillard) experiences an even further slip of time into the Belle Époque era, where she elects to stay.

A time slip also occurs in the Diana Gabaldon Outlander series , where the main charater slips for 1943 into 1743 through standing stones in the Scottish highlands

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.youtube.com
  2. ^ http://www.parascience.org
  3. ^ Mackenzie, Andrew (1997). Adventures in Time:Encounters with the Past. UK: Athlone. ISBN 978-0-485-82001-0. 
  4. ^ Goddard, Victor (1975). Flight Towards Reality. UK: Turnstone. ISBN 978-0-85500-045-5. 
  5. ^ a b Moberley and Jourdain An Adventure London 1911 (reprinted 1931)

Sources[edit]

  • Forman, Joan (1978). Mask of Time: The Mystery Factor in Timeslips, Precognition and Hindsight. UK: MacDonald. ISBN 978-0-354-04271-0. 
  • Mackenzie, Andrew (1997). Adventures in Time:Encounters with the Past. UK: Athlone. ISBN 978-0-485-82001-0. 

External links[edit]

Moberly and Jourdain experience

Liverpool, Bold Street incidents