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17.5.13

The Time Travelers

King Revaita of Mahabharata fame once journeyed to meet Brahma, and he sojourned with the Creator for a few days. But when he returned to Earth, many centuries had passed. The story is nearly 3,000 years old according to some scholars. As an artifact of a wider oral tradition, it could conceivably be much older.

A similar fate befell the Irish hero Oisin, who fell in love with a Fae princess and went to live with her in the Faeworld for three years. When he decided to return home for a visit, he discovered that 300 years had elapsed. And if we are curious about the possible presence of alien or advanced technology in the story, it is interesting to note that Oisin's wife Niamh gave him a magical steed for his vacation in the mortal world, from which he was not to dismount. When Oisin did slip off the horse for a drink of water, he aged three centuries in only seconds.

Time travel is eventually possible, which is the same as saying that it is possible right now - which should also give us pause. What is, "right now," exactly? Is it not a moment that is always being shunted along, or tucked away backward? When is then? When is tomorrow, precisely, as in at what moment does tomorrow cease to be tomorrow and become today? The moment that you just lived through is either gone, or else it persists, in a "place" called "before now". On a long enough timescale, even our petty, paltry human species will discover the means by which to move in time in a non-linear fashion. We must. What currently seems impossible is almost inevitably probable, later on.


What do we know? There are many incidents that suggest that time travel is a possibility; there are several anomalies and bizarre accounts that should at least give us a moment's pause. As with anything in the material universe, where a function is possible through technology and the requisite underpinning theoretical systems, a naturally occurring analog will exist. If it is possible to build a "time machine", then we may expect that naturally occurring time travel also happens.

Consider the Welsh phenomenon of Hugh Williams, one man or three, who survived repeated shipwrecks in Wales' Menai Strait. This is variously identified as myth, "urban legend", and coincidence. The wrecks occurred over a period between 1664 and 1860, so it is unlikely to have always been the same man. Hugh and Williams are equally common Welsh names. But the possibility also exists that one man was caught in a dreadful time-loop for two centuries, in which he was forced to repeat the same terrible experience of watching other people go to their deaths while knowing that he would be the lone survivor.

Consider also the Versailles "time slip" that two women experienced in August of 1901. Two well-educated women - one of whom was the principal of St. Hugh's College, Oxford, and the other the Vice Principal - claimed to have been transported back to pre-Revolutionary France for a short while. Their description of the shift from the present (their present, and therefore the present) to the past is eerily precise, and what we might expect: Light and sound were suppressed, and the dimensionality of objects seemed somehow reduced. That's a fairly advanced understanding of what might occur when moving through time non-linearly and in an unconventional direction - in this case, backwards. A "flatness" and a sensory distortion might well result.

Note that in the account told by Moberly and Jourdain, there is no doorway or gate, no transition point of any mythical or fairy tale quality. They did not pass through a looking glass or enter a magical pond. They simply walked from one moment to another, sans starship, sans time machine, and sans arcane artifice. How utterly fitting and in keeping with the natural order we all observe is this experience? And more critically, how did it benefit either woman to tell such a patently and stereotypically hysterical story?

There are rejoinders, of course, including assertions that the women constituted a lesbian couple with a somewhat open relationship that included having affairs with students - St. Hugh's was a women's college. A romantic couple can suffer from the interesting shared delusion known as folie a deux in which a pair of people convince themselves and one another of a patent untruth when viewed objectively.

Whatever the case, why no one's yet written these two into a spacetime-skipping dynamic duo of crime-fighting lesbian awesomeness is the real mystery. The Vicar might even take up that gage himself, were it not for the fact that the Vicar is so abysmally bad at lesbians.

***

Remember Eloi Cole? Of course you don't. He was an April Fool's Joke. There was nothing at all to see there. There is nothing to see here now. It's not like CERN's security has ever been breached. Move along.

That which is both dreamed and undreamed is always real.
Anomalous phenomena occur - of that we can have no doubt. Some anomalous phenomena appear to be paranormal or ethereal in nature. These we may chalk up to ghost encounters, interactions with discarnate intelligences, and involvement with the realms beyond our own - so far beyond our own, or at least so different, in fact, that they are regarded by mainstream thinkers as pure fantasies. But the Elfheim and the Faeworld may be just as patently real as our own plane, albeit utterly bizarre from our pedestrian and pastoral point of view. We cannot overlook in this the "Oz Factor" identified by British UFO researcher Jenny Randles.

Some of the anomalies we address may be alien in origin. Still others may demonstrate that time travelers are visiting us from the future, observing certain key events and individuals in history. If this last proposition has validity (as it probably must), then it is perhaps just barely possible for us to begin to assemble a kind of corpus of data that argues for imposition in our own times and in our history by beings from our future. How far in the future is anyone's guess. What we might become in the distant tomorrow is equally open to guesswork. But the idea that UFOs and other anomalies might sometimes be examples of this temporal tourism is a compelling one, and well worth further study.

Transtemporality is occurring right now. We are moving through time as you read this post; the author moved through time while he was writing it. What was written persists, which perhaps means that it has managed to exist in every observable moment from its creation until now. No less, the physical and material content of a book is a record of the time in which it was printed; future historians and archaeologists are going to make excellent use of this fact in the next couple of centuries, incidentally. Take that as a stock tip, because on a long enough timescale, everything is privatized.

Evidence for time travel is a sketchy matter, not least because we cannot really be certain that our timeline may be susceptible to penetration from a differing timeline in such a way that we could detect.

Remember this? And do you also remember that highly advanced technology likely also means an enhanced ability to hide? And do you remember the Beatniks?
Given the nature of "intelligent life" as we define it - simultaneously managing to assume that not all life is motivated by intelligence not directly recognizable to us - curiosity is certainly a feature of the phenomenon. The defining characteristics of that curiosity may turn out to be completely alien to us (as we might expect) given the length of time or the physical distance (same thing) that separates humans from offworlders or futureworlders. One thing we can be reasonably certain of, however, is this: the popularity of the home x-ray system is so limited because it is simply not allowed to be marketed to the public. We can thus doubt that time travel is open to virtually everybody for long periods of time. In the far flung future of our own kind, in something like a billion years, maybe all human beings travel all of the temporal realms without restriction. But the Vicar will wager that if it is so, it's only because we are no longer recognizable as human beings to those of our own time - or of any period in between.
Humanity 6.0
There ought then to exist an epoch in the timelines of many differing species a period in which time travel is possible and its use is limited because it is simply too dangerous and too complex a technology to be accessible to any but a select few. But we can also infer that time travel will need to be limited in ways beyond distribution; the best way to go unnoticed is to establish oneself as a part of the group, place, and time in which one proposes to travel.

The most important dichotomy or paradox in play here is this: The future doesn't exist yet. Not for us, anyway.


How many people do we all deal with on a day-to-day basis that are not in fact people? How many more do we interact with that are not at all what they seem? Is your neighbor a human being? Or is your neighbor an alien entity in the form of a human being? And if your alien neighbor is from a sufficiently advanced civilization, how would you even be able to tell?

Is the fly on the wall a fly at all?

Evidence may exist for transtemporal visitation, but nailing it down as such is a tall order... maybe even an order that cannot be filled. Some percentage of anomalous activity could easily be seen in precisely these terms. And we might just be able to track this kind of thing by paying attention to when and where certain phenomena emerge.

We are not all beautiful, unique snowflakes. In fact, we are produced by templates that can yield eerily similar results over time.
Several historical events feature interesting cases of "luck" - either fair or foul - that have ended up tipping the balance of power in otherwise unforeseen directions. One excellent example of this occurred off Yorktown in 1781 at the Battle of the Chesapeake, also known as the Battle of the Virginia Capes.

On September 5th, 1781, the British fleet under Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Graves was beaten by a barely larger French fleet under Vice Admiral de Grasse. This particular campaign is of interest because the conduct of Graves is to this day a matter of debate, controversy, and curiosity. The British have long been famed for the skill and near-invincibility of their naval forces - although a thorough and frank survey of history proves this to be more myth than fact - so it is interesting on its face that the Battle of the Chesapeake went so poorly for the British fleet. But historians often identify that since Graves was not a colonial sympathizer, he must have been fairly inept, since he failed to secure for Lord Cornwallis the coastal security and relief necessary to win at Yorktown. His command of the fleet at the Battle of the Chesapeake was marked by chaos, confusion of signals, and bizarre choices with respect to order of battle. His most aggressive squadron was kept at the rear of his fleet, and he failed to exploit a critical error by the French in separating their van from the bulk of the fleet. Graves' ships suffered severe damage and many casualties, forcing him to withdraw. As a result, Cornwallis was forced to surrender, and the Battle of Yorktown was won by General Washington, ensuring colonial independence.

One wonders at such a turn of events, because had the typically superior British fleet been better commanded, Yorktown might not have been a defeat for Lord Cornwallis. Perhaps the Fates sided with the formation of a new nation on the North American continent. Perhaps the Gods favored the Novus Ordo Seclorum. Or perhaps a traveler from the future kept Admiral Graves in sufficient doubt and confusion through subtle manipulations to insure that he would lose the crucial battle waged on that September day.

If we allow our imaginations to run riot, we may end by asking things like, "Was Alexander the Great poisoned by a traveler from the future?" What limits are there, really, on the nature of this kind of exercise?

Consider the Foo Fighters. These are bizarre Second World War era anomalies that were characterized by glowing orbs buzzing, pacing, and otherwise apparently intelligently operating in the immediate vicinity of aircraft - reported by both Allied and Axis pilots. While there are numerous theories for these things - including alien spacecraft, spirit lights, and super secret super weapons - none of these are foregone conclusions or absolutely convincing. Instead, the data never quite adds up. If the Foo Fighters were alien spacecraft, then we must wonder at what they were doing and why they were here. If they were time travelers, or evidence of time travel occurring (a more likely and therefore more compelling possibility), then they represent the possibility that someone or something was clearly recording events. Possibly, they were altering events - a factor that has to be considered at several points in history.

Notice that these appear to be amorphous forms, possibly capable of changing shape, size, and brilliance.
To be sure, the Second World War was really the first truly global war waged on anything like its scale. This is the primary reason why it is immensely important in terms of historical significance. It may be eventually identified as the rough watershed point at which the technological era (as we currently call our own age) truly began. We have no idea what tomorrow will bring, unless we use our prophetic powers. The scientists prefer we not do this, and the futurists really prefer that we don't - they consider it cheating.

I can tell you right now that in a hundred years, the wealthiest and most powerful people will live high above the rest, surrounded by android-like servants, many of whom will be configured for sexual performance and other useful applications. These same people will be heavily genetically modified, possessed of significant physical and mental superiority. In addition, we might expect nanotechnology to be integrated into those who can afford it, augmenting or perhaps even supplanting the immune system such that those with the money to afford these enhancements will never get sick - their on-board nanobots will be programmable. This means that known bacteria and viruses will be immediately eliminated, whereas unknown infections or new mutations will be handled through program upgrades. Injuries will almost instantly be repaired, and cancer will be unknown to those with power and fortune. For the remaining 99% of the population trapped on an overcrowded and incredibly polluted Earth, dwelling in rabbit warrens and "undercities," the daily grind will involve desperate attempts to avoid rape, murder, and/or consumption by mutant predators - like the highly evolved "ratmen" left to roam free after budget cuts to institutions engaged in twisted military experiments. And if you think that shit's bad, wait til you see the floating robot sentinels like great conical shards of black glass, and take in with horror the darkly ironic juxtaposition proposed by the elite dwelling in orbiting pleasure cities like living gods, looking down literally and figuratively at their sometime brethren suffering in the radioactive mire below.


If the scenario above is anything like our near future, then we can see where time travelers might have a vested interest in observing certain developments. Points in time in which conflict breeds rapid technological advancement are clear destinations for transtemporal visitation; we need only see what anomalies appear in these eras to find possible evidence for observers from the future.

Miguel Alcubierre may one day be a very important person, historically speaking. He authored the first paper on "warp drive" back in the 1990s, and he is currently the Director of the Nuclear Sciences Institute at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). If his work proves valid and the systems roughly proposed by his theory are viable, then one day, starship captains will give the order to "engage the Alcubierre drive." That's not just fun and exciting, it's also significant in another way - this man may end up being the theorist who made interstellar exploration and colonization possible. In essence, he could be the granddaddy of real life Star Trek.

Someday...
One of the proposed side effects of the Alcubierre warp function, however, is the fact that such a bubble of warped space would accumulate trillions of particles along its leading edge. When one stops the ship, the particles might be emitted ahead of the vessel. These particles would apparently be energetic enough to destroy anything in front of the ship. So it is additionally possible that Miguel Alcubierre has theoretically demonstrated the mechanics for a super weapon of untold power.

He seems like somebody that aliens and/or folks from the future might be interested in. Walk this line of thinking forward, and we might ask about UFO sightings - or other anomalies - near Alcubierre both physically and temporally. Are there an unusual amount of sightings in general spatial-temporal proximity to this man, Miguel Alcubierre Moya? Are those from another place &/or time following this physicist?

As it happens, UFO sightings began to be very common in Mexico in the last century. Two significant events are identified by UFOlogy, one in 1974 and one in 2004, with the latter incident having some truly compelling features. It involved the Mexican military tracking objects in infrared that were invisible to the naked eye, and which moved very rapidly. While we cannot directly correlate UFO and anomalous incidents exactly with Alcubierre's movements, it is worth noting that the man was born in 1964 in Mexico City and that he moved to Wales in the early 1990s to obtain his PhD. He worked in Germany subsequently, at the Max Planck Institute, before returning to Mexico in 2002.

We can hardly afford to forget the Nuremburg, Germany "UFO battle" of 14 April, 1561, if we are thinking of temporal distortions and weirdly anomalous events. The Max Planck Institute for Physics is in Munich, though, rather than Nuremburg. Transtemporally speaking, "close enough" is a concept both absurd and too rooted in our own limitations to have any legitimacy. As a matter of fact, a Google search for "UFOs Munich" yields a staggering number of relevant results. And oddly enough, one major UFO incident occurred in the year of Alcubierre's birth - 1964 - not in Mexico, but rather in New Mexico.


The Socorro, New Mexico Incident is also known as the Lonnie Zamora Incident, named after the police officer who sighted a strange craft and two apparent occupants on April 24, 1964. It took off with a roar and a great deal of fire when he approached, and physical evidence was clearly left behind. The event has been variously labelled absolute proof, a hoax, a prank carried out by physics students, and evidence that Zamora should not have ever been allowed to be a police officer. This last option is arguably the most absurd: police officers are exactly the sort of people that see alien spacecraft and aliens - or time travelers. But more importantly, we must wonder as to who these visitors were, and where they were trying to get to. Zamora stumbled upon a vessel and its apparent occupants in the process of doing something - though what is not at all clear. What is clear is the fact that they left in a hurry. Did their time capsule land them on an important date - say around the birth of Miguel Alcubierre Moya - but in the wrong place, New Mexico rather than just plain old original Mexico? It's a plot twist straight out of Doctor Who, but there again, the truth is often stranger than fiction...

We can range far and wide in this discussion. An exploration of the truth means venturing often into areas less-than-true, and an exploration of the possible is a fruitless exercise in imagining eternity and infinity woven into one... which in fact they are, anyway. If we would catch time travelers at their business, we must first realize that we are attempting the almost impossible. If we have stealth technology now, how does our stealth capability measure up in ten thousand years? We have equally considered elsewhere the same question in alien contexts: If a species can cross interstellar space, how can they not possess equivalently advanced techniques for concealment?

What does not want to be seen will remain unseen if will is joined to capacity.

Who is watching you right now?