Sunday, November 14, 2010

There Be Time Travelers

Professor Ronald Mallett, an African-American theoretical physicist, has been working hard on developing a time machine.  When he was ten years old, his 33-year-old father and center of his universe died from a heart attack.  After reading a comic book version of H.G. Wells, The Time Traveler, Mallett began a lifelong quest to turn back the clock in order to save his father.  His ingenious device, based on ideas that flow from Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, would employ a circulating laser beam to create a closed time-like curve, hence time travel.  While other physicists have criticized his ideas, Mallett nonetheless believes that time travel will be possible during this century.

Guided by early UFO research and the memes of Hollywood movies, most people tend to think of UFO occupants as hailing from other worlds.  Whether they be city destroying cage fighters or intergalactic Mother Theresas, we have come to see the others as truly alien.  Nonetheless, a compelling argument can be made that their origin lies closer to home.

            In Visitors from Time, Marc Davenport presents abundant evidence that UFO occupants are, in fact, time travelers.  Consider that a time machine in many respects is indistinguishable from a spaceship.  Since the Earth orbits the Sun at 67,000 miles/hour, if a time traveler jumps forward or back  a day within her self-contained space-time field, the time machine will be observed to jump 1.6 million miles as seen from a vantage point on Earth — or over six times the distance from the Earth to the moon.  In his book, Davenport correlates several aspects of the UFO phenomena to time-bending, Doppler effects, including: 

  • Color spectrum shifts commonly seen in nighttime sightings
  • Car engines dying and lights going out — then automatically restarting or turning on when the UFO passes, which Davenport says could be attributed to a dramatic slowing of the electrical energy
  • The absence of sound in proximity to a UFO, as sound waves are stretched or compressed beyond the range of human audition

I cannot do justice to the wealth of Davenport’s evidence and reasoning here, and I refer you to his seminal work.  But what excites me about the notion of time travelers is how the physical evidence lines up with what UFO witnesses and abductees actually say.

Budd Hopkins’ concept of ‘missing time’ has entered the cultural vernacular.  This idea arose from Hopkins’ observation that witnesses who had experienced close encounters with UFOs often reported gaps in their memory.  In one well-known case, Travis Walton disappeared from the White Mountains of Northern Arizona after being knocked unconscious by a beam of blue-green light from a hovering disk.  When he showed up five days later, Walton thought that only hours had passed.

In another case which I helped investigate, a woman saw a brilliant white light while driving in a snowstorm on a lonely Wisconsin highway.  When she woke up in her car a day and half later, she was hundreds of miles away from the place where she passed out.  Moreover, her gas tank was still full, but there were no gas receipts — a relevant detail since she was a stickler for saving gas receipts.  She had no recollection of the previous day and a half.

Marc Davenport points out that those in close proximity to a time traveling UFO will participate in the temporal field of the craft.  Within the UFO’s altered time frame, minutes may pass, while outside hours — or even days — may elapse.  This altered time sense seems to find an echo in the oft reported comment by close encounter witnesses that time seems to stand still.  While this may be attributed to an altered mental state, it could also approximate literal truth. 

(Photo by Bradford Evans, "Light Tunnel")

UFO occupants may be no more trustworthy then your average politician, but it is interesting to note that time travel often comes up in what they say and do.  Abductee Betty Andreasson told author Raymond Fowler, “Time to them is not like our time . . . they can reverse time.”  In the famous Rendlesham Forest case — the so called, British Roswell — Staff Sergeant Jim Penniston recalled receiving a message from a landed UFO outside RAF Woodbridge, indicating that the occupants were time travelers from the future who had come for our DNA.  According to John Keel, one fairly credible witness in the Point Pleasant Mothman case was approached by some rather strange looking men who asked her repeatedly, “What is your time?” 

Elsewhere I have noted the apparent preoccupation with our DNA and the future of the planet — which makes perfect sense if you are human descendants and your DNA needs to be restored.  While this body of evidence does not prove that UFO occupants are time travelers from the future, I believe that it makes a good case. 

Of course, there are objections to the very notion of time travel — especially into the past.  One objection has to do with the massive amounts of energy required.  Physicist Michio Kaku has pointed out that while Einstein’s equations allow for a time machine, to drive it would require harvesting the energy of a planet or a star.  The energy to power a single time machine would be vast, let alone to power the sheer number of UFOs observed. 

Then there are the paradoxes generated by travel into the past.  You may have heard of the conundrum created by going back and preventing your own parents from meeting — a metaphysically awkward situation that can be remedied by suggesting that altering the past creates a parallel universe in which your parents did not meet and you were not born. 

I don’t know whether the UFOs denizens are future human time travelers, interdimensional bar hoppers or cosmic joyriders hitching a ride from the Pleiades.  Recently, I was thinking about these matters while strolling along Halifax’s picturesque waterfront.  A young man, a perfect stranger approached me, and, since I was taking pictures of the boats, this became our point of departure. 
“Photography conveys a sense of peace and calm,” he says.
“Yes,” I say.  “It’s like stopping time.”
His eyes seem to fill with a strange light as he says, “Time does not exist. Time is an illusion.”

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