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Time Slips


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I'm not too sure if this topic actually belongs in here ........ it's about Time Slips!

I have posted on this topic several times and recently found a very good write up in Fate on-line. It includes the most famous time slips, and some lesser known ones too.

But it's a biggie grin2.gif

Time Slips

By Tim R. Swartz

Time is a funny thing. There never seems to be enough—yet there is an infinite amount. Time slips through moment by moment into the eternal past, but it is always the present and the future is always just beginning.

Time is thought to be unstoppable in its relentless push toward the future. Humans perceive themselves as bound up in time as an insect in amber. They are forever imprisoned and forced to reconcile themselves to the regularity and inevitability of change. The past is gone—the present, fleeting—and the future is unknown.

Or is it?

If a Merseyside policeman by the name of Frank were asked, he might have an entirely different opinion on the subject of time.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon in July 1996, Frank and his wife Carol were visiting Liverpool’s Bold Street area for some shopping. At Central Station, the pair split up; Carol went to Dillons Bookshop and Frank went to HMV to look for a CD he wanted. As he walked up the incline near the Lyceum Post Office/Café building that led onto Bold Street, Frank suddenly noticed he had entered a strange “oasis of quietness.”

Suddenly, a small box van that looked like something out of the 1950s sped across his path, honking its horn as it narrowly missed him. Frank noticed the name on the van’s side: “Caplan’s.” When he looked down, the confused policeman saw that he was unexpectedly standing in the road. The off-duty policeman crossed the road and saw that Dillons Book Store now had “Cripps” over its entrances. More confused, he looked in to see not books, but women’s handbags and shoes.

Looking around, Frank realized people were dressed in clothes that appeared to be from the 1940s. Suddenly, he spotted a young girl in her early 20s dressed in a lime-colored sleeveless top. The handbag she was carrying had a popular brand name on it, which reassured the policeman that maybe he was still partly in 1996. It was a paradox, but he was relieved, and he followed the girl into Cripps.

As the pair went inside, Frank watched in amazement as the interior of the building completely changed in a flash to that of Dillons Bookshop of 1996. The girl turned to leave and Frank lightly grasped the girl’s arm to attract her attention and said, “Did you see that?”

She replied, “Yeah! I thought it was a clothes shop. I was going to look around, but it’s a bookshop.”

It was later determined that Cripps and Caplan’s were businesses based in Liverpool during the 1950s. Whether these businesses were based in the locations specified in the story has not been confirmed.

Frank’s experience is not that unusual in the realm of strange phenomena. There is even a name given to such events—time slips.

A time slip is an event where it appears that some other era has briefly intruded on the present. A time slip seems to be spontaneous in nature and localization, but there are places on the planet that seem to be more prone than others to time slip events. Also, some people may be more inclined to experience time slips than others. If time is the unmovable force that physicists say it is, why do some people have experiences that seem to flout this concept?

The Nature of Time

Much of ancient Greek philosophy was concerned with understanding the concept of eternity, and the subject of time is central to all the world’s religions and cultures. Can the flow of time be stopped or slowed? Certainly some mystics thought so. Angelus Silesius, a sixth-century philosopher and poet, thought the flow of time could be suspended by mental powers:

Time is of your own making;

its clock ticks in your head.

The moment you stop thought

time too stops dead.

The line between science and mysticism sometimes grows thin. Today, physicists would agree that time is one of the strangest properties of our universe. In fact, there is a story circulating among scientists about an immigrant to America who has lost his watch. He walks up to a man on a New York street and asks, “Please, sir, what is time?” The scientist replies, “I’m sorry, you’ll have to ask a philosopher. I’m just a physicist.”

Time Travel

Time travel, according to modern scientific theory, may still be beyond our grasp. Yet for a number of people who have had unusual time-slip experiences, time may be easier to circumnavigate than expected.

A classic example of a time slip can be seen in a note from Lyn in Australia. Lyn had read the book, Time Travel: A How-To Insiders Guide (Global Communications, 1999) and thought her experience was similar to others featured in the book.

In 1997, Lyn lived in a small outback town that was built in 1947 and had changed little since that time.

“I was driving toward the main intersection of the town, when suddenly I felt a change in the air. It wasn’t the classic colder feeling, but a change, like a shift in atmosphere. The air felt denser somehow. As I slowed at the intersection, I seemed to be suddenly transported back in time to approximately 1950. The road was dirt, the trees were gone, and coming toward me to cross the intersection was an old black car, something like a Vanguard or old FJ Holden. As the car passed through the intersection, the driver was looking back at me in total astonishment before he accelerated. From what I could see, he was dressed in similar 1950s fashion, complete with hat.

“This whole episode lasted perhaps 20 seconds and was repeated at least five times during my time there, always at the exact spot. I tried to make out the registration plate number, but the car was covered in dust.”

Lyn wondered if there is someone out there still living who remembers seeing a strange sight at the intersection back in the ’50s…of a weird car with a bug-eyed woman at the wheel.

Derek E. tells another interesting time slip story. When he was a child, his father was a taxi driver in Glasgow, Scotland. One day in the late 1960s, Derek’s father was driving in the north of the city along Maryhill Road near Queen’s Cross, one of the older parts of town and once its own separate community outside the city.

“One minute it was now,” Derek wrote, “cars, buses, modern clothes, tarmac roads etc. —and the next thing my dad knew he was in some earlier time. It was certainly pre-Victorian, given the clothes he described people wearing, horses, rough road, lower buildings, people in rough clothes and bonnets, etc. It lasted as long as it took him to be aware of it and then it vanished and he was back in ‘now.’”

Derek also reported that in the 1980s, he and his wife were on a driving holiday in the North York Moors in England. They went to a tiny coastal village called Staithes, which had a steep winding and narrowing road down to the harbor, with the entrance to the houses and narrow footway at a higher level of three or four feet.

“We parked at the top of the village, hamlet really, where the tourist buses and cars had to stop and made our way down on foot. What I remember is a brilliantly sunny day with lots of other people around, but as we made our way down, it just suddenly seemed as if no one else were there but my wife and me. An old woman appeared on the footway opposite us. It became cooler and duller. She asked, in what seemed to me an old-fashioned and very polite way, what year it was. Now lots of old people get confused and it could have been that, but what I remember vividly is her black clothes—handmade, rough and with hand-sewn buttons—really big compared with modern ones. Her shoes were very old fashioned with much higher and chunkier heels than you’d see an older person wearing nowadays. In the time it took me to turn to my wife and say, ‘Did you see that?’ she was gone. The sun was back and so were all the people. My wife had also seen the same old woman and felt the same chill.”

Derek’s experience seems strikingly similar to traditional ghost stories. Many ghost sightings are readily explained as individuals who appear out of their normal location or time; but often the ghost also seems to change the surroundings of the witness, giving the impression of a time slip. What is open to question is whether these are glimpses into another time or does the witness or the ghost actually travel in time? Perhaps it is simply different sides of the same coin.

Martin Jeffrey, co-editor with Louise Jeffrey of the website www.mysterymag. com, speculates that time slips can be recreated or induced using a “trigger factor,” which “…occurs when one is interested in his surroundings but is not concentrating on them; a slip occurs at a precise place and moment and the witness is thrust seemingly into another time.”

Jeffrey cites the case of Alice Pollock, who at Leeds Castle in Kent “experienced what could be called a ‘classic’ time slip. Alice was experimenting in Henry VIII’s rooms by touching objects in an attempt to experience events from another time. After a period of receiving no impressions whatsoever, the room suddenly changed. It lost its modern, comfortable appearance to become cold and bare. The carpet had disappeared and there were now logs burning on the fire. A tall woman in a white dress was walking up and down the room; her face seemed to be in deep concentration. Not long after, the room returned to its original state.

Later research found that the rooms had been the prison of Queen Joan of Navarre, Henry V’s stepmother, who had been accused of witchcraft by her husband.

It could be that the witness triggers time slips, whether they blank their mind at a precise moment and the slip occurs, or the witness touches something that holds the memory of a previous time.

“The simplest explanation is probably the psychometric hypothesis,” noted Colin Wilson and John Grant in The Directory of Possibilities. “In the mid-nineteenth century, Dr. Joseph Rodes Buchanan of the Covington Medical Institute performed experiments that convinced him that certain of his students could hold letters in their hands and accurately describe the character of the writer. He became convinced that all objects carry their ‘history’ photographed in them. Buchanan wrote: ‘The past is entombed in the present. The discoveries of psychometry will enable us to explore the history of Man as those of geology enable us to explore the history of Earth.’” Clearly, psychometry may be seen as a form of time slip.

Classic Time Slips

The classic of time slip tales occurred in August 1901, when two Englishwomen on holiday, Annie Moberly, Principal of St. Hugh’s College in Oxford, and Dr. Eleanor Frances Jourdain visited Paris. After a short stay in the capital, they went on to Versailles.

After visiting the palace, they began searching for the Petit Trianon but became lost. As they wandered the grounds, both women began to feel strange, as if a heavy mood were oppressing their spirits. Two men dressed in “long grayish-green coats with small three-cornered hats” suddenly appeared and directed the women to the Petit Trianon. They strolled up to an isolated cottage where a woman and a 12- or 13-year-old girl were standing at the doorway, both wearing white kerchiefs fastened under their bodices. The woman was standing at the top of the steps, holding a jug and leaning slightly forward, while the girl stood beneath her, looking up at her and stretching out her empty hands.

“She might have been just going to take the jug or have just given it up. I remember that both seemed to pause for an instant, as in a motion picture,” Dr. Jourdain would later write.

The two Oxford ladies went on their way and soon reached a pavilion that stood in the middle of an enclosure. The place had an unusual air about it, and the atmosphere was depressing and unpleasant. A man was sitting outside the pavilion, his face repulsively disfigured by smallpox, wearing a coat and a straw hat. He seemed not to notice the two women; at any rate, he paid no attention to them.

The Englishwomen walked on in silence and after a while reached a small country house with shuttered windows and terraces on either side. A lady was sitting on the lawn with her back to the house. She held a large sheet of paper or cardboard in her hand and seemed to be working at or looking at a drawing. She wore a summer dress with a long bodice and a very full, apparently short skirt, which was extremely unusual. She had a pale green fichu or kerchief draped around her shoulders, and a large white hat covered her fair hair.

At the end of the terraces was a second house. As the two women drew near, a door suddenly flew open and slammed shut again. A young man with the demeanor of a servant, but not wearing livery, came out. As the two Englishwomen thought they had trespassed on private property, they followed the man toward the Petit Trianon. Quite unexpectedly, from one moment to the next, they found themselves in the middle of a crowd—apparently a wedding party—all dressed in the fashions of 1901.

On their return to England, Annie Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain discussed their trip and began to wonder about their experiences at the Petit Trianon. The two began to wonder if they had somehow seen the ghost of Marie Antoinette, or rather, if they had somehow telepathically entered into one of the queen’s memories left behind in that location. As if to confirm their suspicion, Moberly came across a picture of Marie Antoinette drawn by the artist Wertmüller. To her astonishment it depicted the same sketching woman she had seen near the Petit Trianon. Even the clothes were the same.

Intrigued by the growing mystery, Jourdain returned to Versailles in January 1902 and discovered that she was unable to retrace their earlier steps. The grounds seemed mysteriously altered. She then learned that on October 5, 1789 Marie Antoinette had been sitting at the Petit Trianon when she first learned that a mob from Paris was marching toward the palace gates. Jourdain and Moberly decided that Marie Antoinette’s memory of this terrifying moment must have somehow lingered and persisted through the years, and it was into this memory that they had inadvertently stumbled.

Nature’s Time Machine

What can be concluded then from these anecdotal tales? Did these people actually travel, albeit briefly, into the past to glimpse scenes that once were? Or were they caught up in a form of haunting where, like an old movie, they saw a scene that had somehow been implanted in a location and allowed to “play back” again for those sensitive enough to pick up the lingering impressions?

However, if time slips are a form of haunting, what explanation can be offered to the experience of a Mr. Squirrel, who in 1973 went into a stationer’s shop in Great Yarmouth to buy some envelopes. He was served by a woman in Edwardian dress and bought three dozen envelopes for a shilling. He noticed that the building was extremely silent—there was no traffic noise. On visiting the shop three weeks later, he found it completely changed and modernized; the assistant, an elderly lady, denied that there had been any other assistant in the shop the previous week. Even though the envelopes disintegrated quickly, Mr. Squirrel was able to track down the manufacturers, who said that such envelopes had ceased to be manufactured 15 years before.

How can a haunting produce such physical evidence?

Time slips are “often accompanied by feelings of depression, eeriness, and a marked sense of silence, deeper than normally experienced,” posits author Andrew MacKenzie in his book Adventures in Time: Encounters With the Past, drawing this conclusion based on the Versailles time- slip accounts as well as his own interviews with people who have experienced the phenomenon.

“It is interesting to note that on August 10, 1901, the day of Annie Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain’s experience, electrical storms were recorded over Europe and the atmosphere was heavy with electricity. Could this have led to an alteration in the local temporal field around Versailles?”

Perhaps there is a natural phenomenon that under the right conditions and location can briefly produce a doorway to another time and place. Even though this may sound outrageous, this natural “time machine” could show that modern concepts and perceptions of time need to be seriously reconsidered. It may be that the past and even the future might be closer than thought with current scientific theories. With the right frame of mind and the right natural conditions, the barriers of time and space that have traditionally kept mankind locked into place may finally be broken, allowing the mysteries of the world and the universe to be finally revealed. m

Tim Swartz is editor of The Conspiracy Journal website (www.conspiracyjournal.com) and the author of several best-selling books.


Jenny Randles has written an excellent book on this subject called 'Time Storms' - well worth a peek

Hammy x x x

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I find this subject fascinating and slightly scary.

I think we don't yet understand the full workings of time - we can only see it from within, not without, and until we do, I doubt we'll ever understand it.

I think that time is one facet of a larger phenomenon, which we, as humans in this life, get to experience without knowing the bigger picture. I believe when we die, we can move outside of time as we understand it. It's a physical condition, is what I mean to say. If that makes sense...


Imagine, though, experiencing a 'time slip' and getting stuck in the time you went to. I've heard of this before:

From 'Strange Vanishings' by Colin Wilson

On the morning of October 25, 1593, people in the main square (Plaza Mayor) in Mexico City were startled by the sudden appearance of a soldier who seemed to have come from nowhere. He was wearing the uniform of a regiment which at that moment was in Manila (in the Philippines), 9000 miles away. He seemed bewildered and asked where he was. When told that he was in Mexico City, he refused to believe it. Later, questioned by the authorities, he explained that he had been in Manila, when quite suddenly he had found himself in Mexico City.

Assuming he was a deserter, the authorities threw him into prison. During his interrogation, he told them that the Governor of the Philippines, Don Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, had been murdered. He was still in prison several weeks later when news came from a ship that had docked in Acapulco - the governor indeed was dead, murdered by a mutinous Chinese crew off Punta de Azufre, just as he was setting off on a military expedition against the Molucca Islands. That had happened on the day the soldier had appeared in Mexico City.

The Inquisition, suspecting witchcraft, ordered the soldier to be returned to Manila. There, a number of witnesses declared that he had been there on duty on the night of October 24, 1593, and had then disappeared.

Don Luis Gonzales Obregon, who recounts the story in Las Calles de Mejico, does not mention what became of the soldier. Neither does Dr Antonio de Morga, Justice of the Criminal Court of New Spain, in his Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas.

Now I know that this story is more of a 'location' slip rather than a time one, but you get the idea. thumbsup.gif

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There's a minority movement among science these days that disputes the "Time is like a River" way of thinking that we've had for years. They postulate that all time periods exist simultaneously with us being locked into the time period we experience by the vibratory frequency we resonate at. I find the idea a little loopy myself, but if it were correct, theoretically, all you would have to do to experience a time slip is change the frequency of your body somehow..

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i find this a must better way to explain things like ghosts than saying they're dead people.

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Timeslips might explain some of the incidents where people seem to disappear into thin air.

The Bennington Triangle

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In my experience, I would say that time is more akin to a fractal image. We are conditioned into believing that time is a straight line - Past, present and future. But everyday experience tells us that this is not the case. A simple example of this is when we are enjoying ourselves time appears to speed up and when we are bored time appears to slow down (why can't it be the other way around :-)). Time is a subjective experience. Seconds, minutes, hours, days etc.... are just an abitrary mechanism for trying to establish some common ground between our differing experience of time.

One technique I have found useful for getting a better perspective on this is mindfulness, being totally in the moment, being aware of yourself in your surroundings, your physical feelings, your breathing. We so often are occupied by what we have just done or are about to do, (what shall I have for dinner? etc...) and we often project ourselves into another time space. Being in the moment allows us to see this process and understand the nature of time better.

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i find this a must better way to explain things like ghosts than saying they're dead people.

I don't believe it, someone on this site who thinks like me. Physics can explain most of the unexplained, it may be as yet unknown physics, but ghosts, etc NAH.

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Also, some people may be more inclined to experience time slips than others.

I wonder which kind of people are more inclined?


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Personally, I have never read of anyone being more inclined to experience time slips, those who experience them, just have them happen, with no control over them, and they usually just experience the one.

If it is true that some people are more inclined to experience them, (and why not?) then I would surmise that it is due to a particular mind set, as much as any other reason.

Edited by Althalus
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