JANUARY :: We share more of our favourite haunted locations, further frightening experiences, and some possible fascinating evidence of the paranormal.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Time Slips :: Alternate realities, or something else entirely?

"…for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one." - Albert Einstein

Time slips have interested me for many years. The concept of “slipping” back into the past is simply fascinating and was more than enough reason to investigate the theory a little further, as it may provide some clue as to the cause of some "paranormal events".

Time slips are an inter-dimensional time displacement, in which a person (or persons), experience a slip in time; that is, they find themselves either forward, or as in most reported cases, back in time.  These “slips” can occur at any given moment, and in any given place. From my understanding, there is no defined set of “circumstances” that one needs to experience a time slip; however, those who claim to have experienced this phenomenon report a distinct change in the atmosphere around them immediately prior to the slip.
I have read many reported cases of time slips and the majority seem to involve the past, from tourists coming across quaint country hotels only to discover on their return journey that they have simply disappeared, to locals witnessing past battles upon fields where indeed such conflict had occurred many years prior.
It is difficult to come up with a rational explanation for this phenomenon. The protagonists are clearly shaken by their experience, and where the experience is shared with others, it is impossible to blame one's imagination. So, besides a collective hoax, have these people suffered a time slip? Or are these experiences something else entirely?
Another interesting thing to note about time slips, is that there is no fixed duration for them. Some can be relatively short-lived, lasting no more than a few minutes, whilst others are full-blown interactions with an alternate reality lasting several hours - or, in the case of travellers who have apparently found hospitality in mysterious, non-existent hotels, an entire night.
Yet the most remarkable thing about this phenomenon is that among physicists, there is a strong belief in the possibility of multiple (even infinite) alternate versions of reality, all occurring at the same time. The theory is that whenever time probability comes into play, reality splits: Toss a coin and you create two separate realities, one where the coin falls heads, and the other where it lands on tails.
Whilst accepted that time slips are theoretically possible, the theory rules out the possibility of being aware of these realities.  However, the personal accounts of possible time slips would seem to challenge this view.  
Here are a few of the more famous accounts of time slips for your consideration:

Painting of Marie Antoinette in the
Trianon Gardens by Antoine Vestier.
During the summer of 1901, two English women, Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain, were visiting Versailles when they became lost whilst looking for the Petit Trianon. As they wandered the grounds, they passed a deserted farmhouse and noticed an old gardening plough. Then as they continued along the path the atmosphere around them seemed to change.
They came across two men dressed in period clothing wearing three-cornered hats, who directed them down a path when the women asked the direction to the Petit Trianon. As they continued on their way, they crossed over a small bridge to what they assumed to be the Petit Trianon, where they found a woman sketching on a stool dressed in eighteenth century clothing and a footman rushing out to speak with her.
As they rounded the side to enter, the atmosphere lifted and they found themselves alongside a present-day wedding group waiting to enter the Petit Trianon.
Months later, Moberly asked Jourdain about the lady they had seen, to which Jourdain replied that she hadn’t seen a woman, but agreed with other details. As they did further research they discovered that the day they had visited  the Petit Trianon was the anniversary of the massacre of the Swiss Guard at the Tuileries in 1792.
Jourdain returned to Versailles a year later to retrace their steps and noticed that the paths they had walked on that day in 1901 simply didn’t exist. Also, the door the footman had dashed out from was boarded up, and had been for many years.
The authenticity of this story has been questioned as the protagonists appeared to “add details” upon publishing their book, An Adventure.
Was it really Marie Antoinette’s ghost that the women stumbled across that day? A residual impression of the past?  I'd like to believe it was.
Another intriguing account of a possible time slip comes from the biologist Ivan T. Sanderson, who, whilst on a biological survey in Haiti, became bogged in mud forcing himself, his wife and assistant to walk down the muddy road in search of assistance. Sometime later, both Ivan and his wife looked up to discover they were walking down a street in Paris in the fifteenth century, complete with cobblestones, lanterns swaying in the breeze (a breeze they couldn’t feel), and even candles lit behind windows. Both Ivan and his wife were in agreement with every detail around them, his wife exclaiming: “How did we get to Paris five hundred years ago?”
The final account of a possible time slip that I'd like to share with you today, comes from a retired police officer who was holidaying with his wife in Liverpool, England. The pair split up to look at different shops, but were to meet back at Dillon’s Bookshop. As the police officer started to head back towards Bold Street he noticed a strange quietness around him.
He continued along the path: An old 1950s van passed right in front of him, almost colliding with him, and he noticed the name on the side of the van said “Caplan’s”. He then looked down to discover he was no longer walking along a path but standing on the road. As he moved back towards the footpath, he looked up to see that Dillon’s Bookstore now had the name “Cripps” and was displaying women's shoes and handbags. The people around seemed to be dressed in 1940s fashion. He was absolutely baffled. He then noticed a young woman nearby that appeared to be dressed in  modern fashion, and decided to follow her into the shop. But upon entering, the shop was transformed back into Dillon’s Bookshop. Interestingly, the young woman corroborated the holidaying police officer's experience: She was expecting to look at shoes & handbags not books!

So, do you believe these stories to be true accounts of people experiencing a time slip, or something else? Could these events be evidence of residual haunts, or are you of the opinion that they are simply imaginative fancy, or even a clever, well-embellished hoax?

Further Reading:
An Adventure (Ghosts of Versailles) by Anne Moberly & Eleanor Jourdain


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