My my my. Another person posts an unclear, digitally compressed video onto YouTube and the whole Internet community starts creating conspiracy theories about it.
This is regarding the recent news that a possible “time traveler” may have appeared in never before seen footage from an old Charlie Chaplin movie:
While watching the DVD extras for The Circus, an Irish filmmaker has spotted a woman who appears to be using a mobile phone, fifty years before their invention.
George Clarke, who is based in Belfast, uploaded the clip to YouTube where it has since received more than 1.5 million views.
The footage shows the exterior the cinema that is premiering The Circus; a woman walks past holding her left hand to the side of her face while moving her lips.
The original clip lasts a matter of seconds but has been looped and slowed down to such an extent that the online version lasts for several minutes.
This has obviously raised skepticism (obviously..) Some people say she is holding up her hand to shield her eyes from the sun; that she is holding an old hearing aid (which were invented in the 1920s); or that she is just talking to herself like a crazy person, which people tend to do.
People are fascinated with the idea of time travel, so it shouldn’t be surprising that it would be a common response to seeing such a thing (but the first? Who sees someone holding something in an old movie that happens to look like a cell phone, and immediately says “ITS A TIME TRAVELER! I KNOW IT IS!” Also, why do so many people believe him?) But as world-renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking notes, time travel is only possible moving forward in time - if just barely. From News.com.au (May 3, 2010):
Preparing for the debut of his Discovery documentary, Stephen Hawking’s Universe, which screens next week, Hawking said he believed humans could travel millions of years into the future and repopulate their devastated planet.
Hawking said once spaceships were built that could fly faster than the speed of light, a day on board would be equivalent to a year on Earth.
That’s because - according to Einstein - as objects accelerate through space, time slows down around them. Which also means that Hawking’s theory only applies to moving forwards through time.
Moving backwards is impossible, Hawking says, because it “violates a fundamental rule that cause comes before effect”. If moving backwards through time was possible, a person could shoot their former selves.
“I believe things cannot make themselves impossible,” Hawking said. However, once spaceships approached the speed of light, their crew would start skipping through Earth years on a daily basis, giving the human race a chance to start again.
“It would take six years at full power just to reach these speeds,” Hawking said. ”After the first two years, it would reach half light speed and be far outside the solar system. ”After another two years, it would be traveling at 90 per cent of the speed of light. “After another two years of full thrust, the ship would reach full speed, 98 per cent of the speed of light, and each day on the ship would be a year on Earth. ”At such speeds, a trip to the edge of the galaxy would take just 80 years for those on board.” Manchester University professor Brian Cox told The Times that Hawking’s theory had already found some basis in experiments carried out by the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.
"When we accelerate tiny particles to 99.99 per cent of the sped of light in the Large Hadron Collider at Cern in Geneva, the time they experience passes at one-seventhousandth of the rate it does for us," Prof Cox said.
So, looks like the ‘time traveler in the Charlie Chaplin movie’ has already been debunked. Once again, logical, rational thinking wins.
(Also, I highly recommend the aforementioned Stephen Hawking documentary - Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking)