I recently saw a TV program about the Rendlesham Forest, UK, UFO incident. One of the main witnesses has concluded, after many years, that what they witnessed was ourselves coming back from the future for some reason.
I thought that was certainly a unique perspective on that whole episode. But it got me thinking and wondering, do we (mankind) ever really figure out how to travel backwards and forwards through time?
We’ve all seen enough movies and TV programs to know that such behavior is fraught with problems, the main one being how not to tamper with the past so their future remains intact. If they are our descendants, they’ll surely carry that repository of knowledge too. Hopefully.
So that gets us to the crux of the matter – would we ever know if time travelers were walking among us? Is that something we should even be worrying about?
Science Enters the Void
The next thing I know I happen upon an article by an astrophysicist about time travel asking the question, could we find them among us?
Michigan Technological University professor of astrophysics, Robert Nemiroff (right) along with some of his students, decided to see what they could find just by doing some basic search techniques in the here and now.
But where to begin? Professor Nemiroff said, “We had a whimsical little discussion about this.” The result was they began to search social media outlets and the internet for examples of what they called “prescient knowledge”. In other words, did anyone, anywhere, reveal that they knew something was going to happen before it actually occurred?
The key terms they used to search on were Pope Francis and the Comet ISON. They believed if someone mentioned something significant about either of these two “parameters”, the person(s) may have somehow gotten some foreknowledge about them, possibly by having traveled back from the future.
Of course psychics immediately popped into my mind. But let me say, I think there are precious few genuine psychics of any kind out there. Sorry, but I’m very skeptical that way. Nonetheless, for the few who are actually psychic, who knows what they may see, much less report on social media. At any rate, the scientists never considered them in any way, so we’ll set that aside for now.
So the astrophysicists extensively searched the social media platforms Facebook and Twitter for clues that someone may have spilled some foreknowledge prior to the election of the current Pope, Francis I, or the appearance of Comet ISON which honed into view in September, 2012. In addition, they searched a website co-edited by Nemiroff himself, called Astronomy Picture of the Day.
These results showed only one minor posting that mentioned Pope Francis before he became Pope, but the scientists deemed that occurrence accidental rather than prescient.
Their final test involved posting a notice in September 2013 that encouraged anyone to email or tweet one of two original messages before August 2013. The messages were “#ICanChangeThePast2” or “#ICannotChangeThePast2”.
No one responded.
Professor Nemiroff said, “In our limited search we turned up nothing. I didn’t really think we would. But I’m still not aware of anyone undertaking a search like this. The Internet is essentially a vast database, and I thought that if time travelers were here, their existence would have already come out in some other way, maybe by posting winning lottery numbers before they were selected.”
The most encouraging part of this study has been the fact that scientists are actually looking into the phenomenon themselves. Plenty of people believe in this stuff for unscientific, fanciful reasons. But once science gets behind it, then we can actually start authenticating things, or not.
It’ll be very interesting to see where the research goes from here.
Personally, I think if I was time traveling, I would avoid anything to do with the internet because it’s a beast that preys on our privacy and would be the very thing to bring our time traveling secret to light.
I also think I’d avoid all areas with surveillance cameras – mostly urban areas, but even places that are more remote that may still have them (businesses, banks, schools). You don’t want to leave that telltale video that people can refer to and say, oh SHE’s the one we’re looking for!
Mind you, if time travelers WERE responsible for the incident in Rendlesham Forest, then they made an almighty mess out if it. Not only did they attract attention to themselves in a spectacular way, but they did it right over a military base! Oops!
We may never know for sure in our lifetimes, but the question is intriguing and I’m sure we’ve all got thoughts about it.
What do you think?