Jump to content

Time traveller in 1928 (?)


JohnB
 Share

Recommended Posts

The story has been making the rounds lately and I thought it worthy of attention. Put simply, a person is on film from the opening of a Charlie Chaplin film in 1928 who has their hand to their ear as they walk and talk. It looks for all the world like someone talking on a mobile phone.

 

Here is the original youtube post where the "finder" describes exactly where the footage is on the DVD. If you want to skip that, go to about 2 1/2 minutes in and see the footage.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iv9f-s0KmOU&feature=related

 

There have been a number of opinions and explanations put forward for the footage and why it could not be a traveller, but all so far fail in one respect or another.

 

To summarize the arguments;

 

1. "There were no phone towers (or satellites) in 1928, so a mobile wouldn't work. Therefore it is not a mobile." While good for a mobile phone of today, if we assume a "hand held communication device" rather than an iPhone, it fails. The possibility exists for a "peer to peer" phone.

 

2. "There weren't mobile phones, so who is she talking to?" The implication is that since there was nobody else to phone, she can't be making a call. This fails because of the implicit assumption that the woman is alone. She could be part of a team. Similarly there is not a requirement that the phone work "across time" or whatever.

 

3. The woman has a toothache (or similar) and is holding a bag of ice to her face. This fails as at the end of the footage she is pretty much face on to the camera and shows no evidence of discomfort, she is talking quite easily.

 

4. It's a hearing aid. There have been 2 main contenders for this theory. The Siemens model 1924 and the Western Electric 34ahearing aid. While the Western Electric does have a box the right size and shape, the box is the microphone and was hung on a cord around the neck, the sound came out of an earpiece. The Siemens is a far better contender as is seen from the picture on their website. The thing is of course, if it's a hearing aid, who is her invisible conversation partner? While the picture is roughly consistent with the Siemens hearing aid, her behaviour is not consistent with a person using one, it is consistent with someone having a conversation.

 

5. She's shielding her face and when the cameraman/director asks her to stop doing so, she turns towards him and starts to speak. She's too far from the camera to "talk" to the director. In a busy street at that distance you would have to raise your voice to be heard. Firstly a rather unladylike thing to do in 1928 and secondly there is no sign that she has raised her voice.

 

6. It's a time traveller caught on film by accident. The difficulties with this one I think are obvious.

 

I think jumping to the conclusion it is a time traveller on the basis of some grainy footage is not a good idea, however declaring it "explained" or "debunked" on the basis of a comparison between grainy footage and rather small artwork isn't much better. If you look a the Siemens picture closely you'll note that man is holding it in a very similar fashion to the woman in the footage, but the girl is not. I have so far failed to find a picture of the Siemens that compares with the Western Electric one and it would appear that nobody else can find one either. All references to the Siemens are using the 1924 advertising pic from the website.

 

An interesting question is that if it was a time traveller and they do try avoid leaving evidence, now that this has blown up, can they avoid it? Can the woman from the future now not go near the opening of the film and thereby avoid being caught on camera? Or is she now fated to be there, no matter what?

 

I find this little diversion of interest for the simple reason that if time travellers have visited the recent past (assuming it becomes possible and viable) then it's odds on that the only way we'll find evidence is when they are accidentally captured on film. The film "Timestalkers" was based on the idea that man in the background of a photo from 1880 was holding a modern Magnum handgun. (Not a bad movie, BTW. Not great, just not bad.) A more recent film "Thrill Seekers" a.k.a. "The Time Shifters" worked from the premise of a reporter doing an article on disasters notices the same man in a number of pictures over 60 years. An academic mystery until she realises that he has just boarded the same flight as she has. ;)

 

As I said, many explanations and objections, but none of them particularly good.

 

Thoughts and opinions?

Edited by JohnB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So the premise is that there's a civilization that is so advanced it can time travel, but their communication technology looks like some of our present day devices? Even though our own technology has morphed in appearance over time? They couldn't even invent anything that looked like a bluetooth headset?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So the premise is that there's a civilization that is so advanced it can time travel, but their communication technology looks like some of our present day devices? Even though our own technology has morphed in appearance over time? They couldn't even invent anything that looked like a bluetooth headset?

 

 

This is complete, idiotic, unfounded speculation, but maybe a device that would be capable of transmitting those signals forward in time* would have to be bulky?

 

* If that's even possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is complete, idiotic, unfounded speculation, but maybe a device that would be capable of transmitting those signals forward in time* would have to be bulky?

 

* If that's even possible.

It's a little more complicated than a a communicator, but not by much. You just need a communicator, a scanner, and some flat strips of copper.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4. It's a hearing aid. There have been 2 main contenders for this theory. The Siemens model 1924 and the Western Electric 34ahearing aid. While the Western Electric does have a box the right size and shape, the box is the microphone and was hung on a cord around the neck, the sound came out of an earpiece. The Siemens is a far better contender as is seen from the picture on their website. The thing is of course, if it's a hearing aid, who is her invisible conversation partner? While the picture is roughly consistent with the Siemens hearing aid, her behaviour is not consistent with a person using one, it is consistent with someone having a conversation.

 

Emphasis mine.

Or it is a person who believes having a conversation. The partner is gone but she didn't realize that.

 

But if you want delirium:

 

1.it is an alien. (from Mars) . Her other seven arms are hidden under her clothes, and the antennas are under her hat.

She is chasing another alien (from venus, the man who walks before her. He has no face.

 

2.it is a human coming from Atlantida (deep in the middle of the Atlantic ocean). She is a spy speaking with her chiefs in a submarine out the coast of California.

 

3. It is a member of the CIA. As everybody knows, cellular phones have been invented in 1900 in a secret american laboratory hidden in a mountain in Washington State. It has been considered as a military secret for almost a century. My sources for this allegation are at the Municipal Library of Atlantida mentionned above.

 

4. It is a human from a civilization gone from Earth 35.000 years ago to Alpha Centauris, and coming back from time to time to see what happens.

 

Note: none of the above need time travel.

Edited by michel123456
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are other explanations:

 

_this is not a 1928 movie. The panel announcing the Charlie Chaplin movie is inside an antique shop, from which the zebra has been placed in the foreground. The 2 people in the movie are today's actors. In other words, its a fake.

 

_it is 1928 movie. The 2 people are figurants in front of a whole team behind the camera. It is shot nr118 and the director has lost his temper. After the previous shot, he smashed the lady on her left ear ( he used his right hand) because she don't follow his instructions. Shot 118 is a failure too, because the lady keeps her hand in an unusual manner upon her ear grumbling against the director, but it is the only shot saved. The director, furious, destroyed all the rest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John mentions this in the first post, but I think it's cool that Siemens actually has a listing for this device in their online museum. Isn't that cool? If I were a time traveler I think the Web would be incredibly useful. I mean, where else am I going to get data for my replicator? (grin)

 

I think this also answers the question of why they'd be using old technology -- they (our presumed time travelers) used a device from the time period they were visiting, like when Star Trek's Away Team outfits itself with period garb, because they thought that the device would go unnoticed! :)

 

Sure, it LOOKS like a Siemens hearing aid, but it's actually a cross-time communications device!

 

 

http://hearing.siemens.com/sg/10-about-us/01-our-history/milestones.jsp?year=1924

 

1924-pic01.jpg

 

1924-pic03.jpg

 

1924-pic02.jpg

 

--------

 

By the way, I wonder if we're staring at the beginning of a new trend. There was another story that followed this one last week about a guy who appeared to be modern standing in a depression-era crowd. That one was more or less debunked as well (wool looks a lot like modern fabric in black and white), but it got me thinking.

 

With more and more of our history being documented visually, it's just a matter of time before someone "spots" someone they actually recognize from the present in an old video. Only it'll be their father or grandfather or even a more distant ancestor -- it just LOOKS like the present person. Just think what the visual record of OUR time will look like a century from now -- THAT video will be crystal clear right down to the nose hairs and freckles. So if you spotted someone who looks like your next door neighbor, that would be REALLY freaky.

 

But surely that's going to happen more and more -- so much so that I wonder if people a century from now will actually be very familiar with the problem. Just part of every day life.

 

To look at it from another angle, one of the unwritten assumptions underlying the human experience for the last ten thousand years is that we do look something like our ancestors. But really until the last century or so we didn't know exactly how accurate that belief was -- old granny in her rocking chair might SAY we look just like our grand-dad, but, well, she's old granny, and her memory isn't what it used to be.

 

We're about to find out, though -- over the next century we're going to come to know the answer to that question with absolute, rock-solid certainty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that a past-future communicator must have a certain size due to physical limitations: due to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle the more precisely you know the position of your chronotons, the less precisely you know their momentum. Hence, for being able to pick the correct multiverse brane, your device has to have a certain minium size, which is determined by the Planck units. Keep in mind that this is all very new and at the top of current theoretical physic research!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're looking at the wrong person; what of the man walking in-front of the woman. he's the key.

 

Either:

She is nagging the man in front whilst adjusting her hair clip, or...

She's scratching a really tough bit of eczema, whilst eating/chewing gum, or...

She really is a time traveller; using a phone to call the man in front. Notice how he puts his hand in his breast pocket to remove something just before the woman starts talking.

 

cue the X-files music now!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that a past-future communicator must have a certain size due to physical limitations: due to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle the more precisely you know the position of your chronotons, the less precisely you know their momentum. Hence, for being able to pick the correct multiverse brane, your device has to have a certain minium size, which is determined by the Planck units. Keep in mind that this is all very new and at the top of current theoretical physic research!

 

Wait, is that before or after we decouple the Heisenberg Compensator??

 

(I think I'm going insane in the multiverse-brane!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

michel123456, the phonophor is a good idea, but it's held differently and the shape of the piece that is held does not match the shape of the item in the footage. The end of the thing being held can be seen in the closeup as she turns towards the camera.

 

As to the idea of the footage being faked, what's the point? A DVD company put out a set of the works of Charlie Chaplin and included some extra footage as "Extras" on the DVD. There is no reason to think the footage has been faked.

 

I must add that I don't have an opinion on this. I posted it because I thought it interesting that it created such controversy and that all the explanations seem to come up short. Also I find the reactions to the idea interesting.

 

As Pangloss mentioned there was a similar incident back in April, most sites that examined it linked back to forgetamori as the most complete discussion. A reading of the comments is enlightening. Many quite detailed expositions of exactly why the picture from a museum was a hoax. Long revelations about missing arms and strange shadows. In the end, of course the man in the picture was identified and the veracity of the picture proven. What was interesting here is that not only was the notion of "Time Traveller" debunked, but every single debunking effort was also "debunked".

 

Isn't it interesting that when faced with a possibility that is unpalatable, the "Defenders of Reason" will declare truth to be falsehood? Because people cannot concieve the truth, they must declare it false?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is complete, idiotic, unfounded speculation, but maybe a device that would be capable of transmitting those signals forward in time* would have to be bulky?

 

It doesn't matter how large the transmitter itself needs to be, as it would be hidden in your clothes. The earpiece/mike set up would be very small to keep it hidden.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A civilization so advanced that it can use advanced technology like wireless communications. They visit 1928, USA.

 

... But they are stupid enough to be talking visibly on their futuristic communications device on one of the few cameras on the film set of one of the most famous movie stars of the time.

 

I guess that the phone that the woman had didn't have a camera on it... otherwise she would have realized what they're doing there (shooting a film).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The idea it might have been photoshoped is sad but a part of who and what we are. No outrageous claim can possibly be made about a picture or video with out the idea of is being a hoax being the most likely origin of such a video or picture.

 

This means that a real video or picture would be as worthless as evidence as a photoshoped video. As we go forward it only gets worse, at some point, and that was probably years ago, no medium is useful as evidence for anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moon - you're totally correct. The default position is "it's faked". And every time we do find a fake it positively re-enforces the attitude (the wolf jumping the gate - google wolf photo fake) that something is awry, it's a photoshop, it's staged, or it's massively out of context. Stories the other way round do little to dispel the cynical attitude. Unfo, with the press as it is, and with many "members of the public" quite willing to make false claims with falser evidence this refusal to take things at face value becomes a necessary defence mechanism. I agree with you it's a sad indictment on society that we may render all documentary evidence as worthless and leave only first person witness statements as acceptable (even when every legal practioner knows they are also terribly unreliable!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The film is a fake. The length of the shadows don't match. Compare the shadow of the zebra to those of the humans and it is clear.

I'd like to thank Dune for demonstrating so clearly the way of never letting facts get in the way of a good accusation of "fake" or "debunking".

 

"Compare the shadows" he says. If you take 10 seconds to see the footage, the first noticable thing about the zebra is that you never see its feet. Hence it becomes impossible to measure the shadow of the zebra to compare it to anything.

 

Dunes argument than becomes "Something I cannot measure is out of proportion to something I can measure. Therefore the footage is faked."

 

I'm sure such profound logical arguments will revolutionise the field of physics. :D

Edited by JohnB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.