The Mandela Effect: Parallel Universe Theory or a Glitch in the Matrix?

No matter how these apparently false memories are explained, sometimes forces are something…other…and not as easily explained away.

On the world-wide web currently, there is heated discussion about something called the “Mandela Effect,” which Snopes.com states is a “collective misremembering of a fact or event.” Perhaps this type of alleged memory glitch is attributable directly to the ways in which information – false or real – hangs around in cyberspace. For example, thousands of people seem to recall a movie starring comedian Sinbad in which he played a genie, or a genie-like entity.  However, nowhere in his background is such a film listed. So why do so many “remember” seeing it?

It’s quite possible that those who insist the film exists are confusing it with a similar film called “Kazaam,” starring Shaquille O’Neal. Yet our collective minds continue to “misremember” it.

It’s no surprise, then, that the “Mandela Effect” has impacted those who have experienced paranormal events.  A little over a year ago, an anonymous person submitted the following recounting of a fatal accident he was involved in. Here’s his story:

“I was in a motor vehicle accident. The car slid off the road and hit a tree. I was in the backseat and three of my friends were in the car. There were no drugs or alcohol involved in the accident. I was knocked unconscious due to the impact of the accident. When I regained consciousness, my friend Jay was crouched over me, checking on me. The first thing he told me was that Edgar was dead. Edgar was in the front passenger seat and, apparently, not wearing a seat-belt. I eventually struggled to my feet and walked over to Edgar’s corpse.

I refuse to go into details but Edgar suffered injuries that no one could live through. Things are sort of hazy for me after that. I remember being in an ambulance and then being in a hospital a few days later. A couple of days later, Edgar came to visit me, not Edgar’s ghost, mind you, but Edgar. Apparently, he was alive and well despite my memories. I asked my other friends about this and they said he was fine and was never ejected from the vehicle. He was wearing a seat-belt. Okay, I thought, obviously I hit my head and my memories were all messed up. But unfortunately, things have gotten very weird for me.

Since being released from the hospital. The first thing I noticed was that small things were wrong, like misspelled words on signs, speed limits being posted at 100 miles an hour, the colors of things being wrong… little things. I would blink or look away and then those things that were wrong would be normal again. I thought it was due to the head injury so I went to a doctor to get checked out but everything came back normal. They ran all sorts of tests but there was no damage done. I’ve been checked out numerous times but the doctors find nothing abnormal. I could have lived with this but the next thing that happened freaks the hell out of me.

I still see the small changes to things but now I see how they are getting fixed. I see black ghost-like floating figures that are apparently setting the wrong things right. For example, I will see a misspelled word on a sign and one of these figures will float by and suddenly the word is spelled right. I can’t see through them. They appear to be solid. When I point things out to people around me, no one around me sees them. They appear to be wearing a hooded cloak and they have dark grey, human-like faces. I swear, the other day I saw one and the first time it was as if it noticed that I could see them. I’m obviously freaked out. I’ve never done drugs and I rarely drink. I really don’t think I am insane.”

One line of reasoning is that those alleged memories were times when the membrane separating our reality from other realities grows thin in places and another reality leaks into ours. This theory is popular among those who subscribe to the concept of parallel universes.

Yet another way to see it is what is being touted as the “phantom memory” theory.  When humans have a limb amputated, it is somewhat common for them to imagine they can “feel” sensation in the missing limb, that they’re able to move it or feel pain in it.  Could this be another way the human brain compensates for something it can’t quite imagine? For instance, the young man in the story above may have very well suffered head trauma in the accident that causes him to “see” things differently than they are, and his brain, in an effort to compensate for the weirdness, produces black shadow figures that come along and “fix” the perceived errors, setting the victim’s reality right again.

It appears that the more people seem to remember, however incorrectly, it becomes a form of reality for them over time.

No matter how these things are explained, sometimes those forces are something…other…and not as easily explained away.

Stranger Things

When something strange happens, people tend to question it. But when hundreds of people claim to have witnessed the same thing, it creates a sort of rift in our thinking.

The Miracle of the Sun was first experienced by citizens of Fatima, Portugal, when thousands had gathered beneath a sky filled with storm clouds, and which were interrupted by an opaque, spinning disc in the sky.  Witnesses said the disc then blasted a dazzling ray of light down upon them, many of whom claimed to see the Blessed Virgin Mary in it. The witnesses were 30,000 to 100,000 strong, all people of varying ages and upbringing.  However, the Catholic Church eventually confirmed it as a miracle. Science has never been able to explain it.

Perhaps you’re already familiar with the curse that those working on the original film, Poltergeist, experienced.  The film was released in 1982 by Steven Spielberg and his company, Amblin Entertainment.  The original plot centers around the members of the Freeling family, who are stalked and terrorized by a group of ghosts that are attracted to the youngest daughter, Carol Anne. The rumored curse is derived from the untimely deaths of several cast members and people associated with the film.

Dominique Dunn, who played the eldest daughter, died after being strangled by her abusive former boyfriend.  Heather O’Rourke, who played Heather Anne, died at the age of 12 due to complications from acute bowel obstruction.  The curse is attributed to the fact that Spielberg used real human skeletons (hot props) in the film.  Others died after filming, including the writer who novelized the film.  He was killed in a car crash.

Another oft-debated story of the Mandela Effect surrounds a series of children’s books, Curious George.  Many readers distinctly recall the titular monkey having a tail suitable to a member of its species. However, George was drawn without a tail despite claims to the contrary.

If you’ve seen The Silence of the Lambs, you might think the most famous line is “Hello, Clarice.” The only problem is, that never happened — and when Clarice first meets Hannibal Lecter, he simply says, “Good morning.” That’s it. How is a film’s most well-known line nonexistent? Nobody knows, and it’s eating away at people.

Mandela Effect Today

In a recent Public Policy Polling survey of registered Republicans, over one third of the participants believed that thousands of Muslims had been cheering in the streets while the Twin Towers crumbled on September 11th. Donald Trump not only holds this belief himself but asserts that he is “100% right” about it despite being confronted with overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Some people believe Neil Armstrong died a year before he actually did in 2013, and that he made a reference to someone named “Mr. Gorsky” while on his voyage to the moon.

It appears that the more people seem to remember, however incorrectly, it becomes a form of reality for them over time.  Psychologists believe that social reinforcement helps cement these biased “memories” in our thoughts, so much so that we come to believe them true regardless of evidence to the contrary.

There are lengthy lists of other “Mandela Effect” memories, including a website dedicated solely to this phenomenon.  What do you think? Is it a case of parallel universes somehow encroaching on our own, a glitch in the matrix, or is it more simply explained through social science and psychology?

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  1. Pingback: The Mandela Effect: Parallel Universe Theory or a Glitch in the Matrix? | Author Marcus Lyons

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