Once upon a time, so they say, a man was running from the police down Bold Street in Liverpool, England when just as suddenly as they’d given chase, the police officers were gone. Slowing down, the man looked about and noticed that the city had changed around him.
The cars were all of a much older model…the shops were not the same as they had been before…and the clothing definitely looked like everyone was headed for a fancy dress party. The man stood there for several moments looking around himself but he noticed that just a few feet beyond him, the street looked different.
He walked forward and found himself back in his own reality, though he could look back over his shoulder and see the street scene and older shops behind him. Fearing for his sanity, the man went to a local newspaper and together with one of the employees did a bit of research, only to discover that the storefronts he saw belonged to businesses from the 1960s!
This is one of many stories I found when I sat down to research the idea of time travel and the phenomena known as time-slips.
What’s a time-slip? I’m so glad you asked!
The word and its meaning have evolved only slightly over the years, but what it has come to represent is a phenomena in which people have reported slipping both forward or backward through time. These instances seem to occur repeatedly in specific areas, though no one seems to know why.
So, how would something like this occur? How is it that it only happens to some people and not everyone who walks through a specific area? How often does this phenomena occur?
Let’s deal with the how first.
Modern science, and specifically areas of quantum study, have opened our minds to a vast new way at looking at the world and universe around us and especially in the way that we consider time.
Most of us have viewed time as a linear truth. One second marches onto the next to create minutes and hours and days and months and so on. However, much has been made of theories which place time more as a layered concept. This layering would point to multiple times present at a singular location at any given moment.
Interestingly enough, this theory has been applied to ghost sightings as well. Perhaps we are not seeing the dead, the theory says, but rather living people in a different time and possibly even a different dimension all together.
Some say that this explains away psychic phenomena while others argue that psychics, mediums, clairvoyants, etc. are still differently skilled and able to tap into these varying layers of consciousness and existence in order to experience them on a regular basis.
This leads us to how certain people experience this phenomena while others do not.
Paranormal investigator and author, Joan Forman has spent much time writing and speaking about the trigger factor. These are elements within the environment which might trigger a time-slip for a particular person in a particular place.
MJ Wayland, on his website, recounts the story of one of Ms. Forman’s experiments into time-slips and trigger factors. Wayland points to the trigger factor occurring when one is interested in one’s surroundings without concentrating wholly on them. This would, in theory, put them firmly in the category of experiences where the subconscious causes an effect on the conscious, and he relates Joan’s story in this way:
“Joan entered the courtyard of Haddon Hall, pausing to admire the architecture. Without warning she ‘saw’ a group of four children playing at the top of the stairs, a girl about nine years old caught the attention of Joan. She had shoulder-length blonde hair, a white Dutch hat and a long green-grey silk dress with a white collar. Joan watched with in fascination the children playing in the yard “fully aware that she was not seeing with the physical eye, yet conscious of watching real action.
Joan decided to find the identity of the oldest child and entered the Hall looking at every family portrait. In the middle of the ancestral paintings, a picture of the girl she had seen was hung; it was Lady Grace Manners who died in the 1640’s.”
Later on in the same article, Wayland points to one Alice Pollock who, while experimenting with psychometry inside Leeds Castle in Kent, suddenly found the carpets and modern lighting stripped away around her. She witnessed a woman pacing back and forth in the room, though the woman did not seem to notice her in kind. The vision or time-slip lasted only a few moments after which time Pollock set about researching her experiences. She determined that the woman she had seen was Queen Joan of Navarre, wife of Henry V, who was once accused of witchcraft.
These time-slips don’t always lead to the past however.
It was reported in the early 20th century that a man by the name of Sir Victor Goddard, a Marshal in the Royal Air Force, was flying his plane in 1935 when he passed over an airfield that was somewhat dilapidated. A freakish storm suddenly came out of nowhere and Goddard was forced to fly back toward the airfield.
When the storm dissipated as quickly as it had appeared, he found himself flying over the fresh green fields of what appeared to be an entirely different airfield together. The planes, which he’d never seen before, were shiny and newly painted a yellow color that, once again, was outside his experience in the Royal Air Force.
With a shimmer, the field was restored to its dilapidated state and Goddard could not explain his experience until some years later when a brand new plane was introduced to the RAF that matched the ones he’d seen that fateful day. They were even the same shade of yellow!
Is it possible that Goddard somehow flew into the future during that freakish storm, and if so, how did he return?
Time-slip theory has also been applied to the Bermuda Triangle as an explanation for the mass disappearances that have happened over the years. They also point to the phenomena of lost time experienced by those who have reportedly encountered alien life as a possible part of time-slip phenomena.
For time immemorial, tales have been told of places where the veil between worlds is thin, and pagans around the world celebrate holidays like Samhain when we mark the thinning of the veil between the living and the dead.
Could it be that time-slips take place in locations where this metaphysical veil has thinned for whatever reason? Could it also be that this means that time travel is actually possible?
I can’t say for sure, but I am certainly intrigued by the concept even though researching it has put “The Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show in my head on repeat. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!
And in the meantime, let’s let Riff Raff, Magenta, Brad, Janet, and the rest play us out!