The program on time travel caught my attention. I love a good time machine story, which has been a staple of science fiction since H.G. Wells published The Time Machine in 1895. The Unsealed Conspiracy Files episode begins with a photograph of the South Fork Bridge opening in Gold Bridge, B.C. in 1941. The Canadian government released the photo as part of an archival web site and according to the Unsealed narration it went viral. Apparently people thought one fellow looked too modern to be from 1941.(1)
The comments are about his hair, his clothes, sunglasses, and what looks like a digital camera in his hand.
My apologies. I took photos with my own digital camera from the TV screen.
(3) talks about things like the butterfly effect, (a small change somewhere back in time that could have big consequences for the present and future), and also warns that someone going back before humans appeared on earth could make changes that would mean human beings might never exist. Horrors!
Frankly, if someone erased our DNA by killing our non-human ancestors, humans never existed and we were never here. All our works and technology would never happen, and our planet would be in a completely natural state. But the kicker is we wouldn’t know because there were never any human beings. So John needs to stop worrying. If someone does just what he prophesies then he won’t feel a thing when we all blink out, because we were never here. (Time paradoxes can drive you crazy when you think of them.)
But, back to the program. A real howler is this picture of a youngster, taken at Gettysburg, supposedly during Lincoln’s address. Seattle attorney Andrew Basiago claims this is a picture of him. He says he has been a time traveler since he was a child. As unlikely as that sounds — why would a black operation like a time travel program send a child? — the credibility really goes out the window when we see that the photo has no face. In those days, with long exposure times for photographs, a turning face blurred, and that is what happened here. Sorry, Andrew. I don’t buy your claim.
Die Glocke which explains more.
This is a fanciful image of The Bell done with special effects for the program. Some people might believe the show’s producers got film of the actual machine.
The show did not miss an opportunity to show a photo of Hitler to remind their viewers who might be weak on history that it was Hitler who ordered all of this special weaponry to be developed.
I wasn’t surprised to see William J. Birnes show up to give an opinion on the whole matter. Birnes, who has a Ph.D in medieval literature, would seem a natural to speak of time travel to the past. But it has more to do with his visibility as some sort of expert on UFOs. Birnes is not camera shy. He has a way of finding his way onto television programs that even touch on the subject.
Conspiracy theories can be interesting, and at times even make some sense. But they can also pile delusion upon delusion. It is an illusory correlation when people falsely perceive an association between two events or situations. If you begin with a shaky premise you believe, an unproven theory based on wild rumors that time travel exists and that knowledge is kept from us by a super-secretive government, and you extrapolate from that, you have a hell of a story. It doesn’t make it true, it just embellishes the fable on which it is based.
(1) Website with pros and cons on the photo.
(2) From the Wikipedia article on Occam's (aka Ockham’s) Razor: “If we have multiple hypotheses that can explain a thing, we ought to reject the hypothesis that involves agents or processes for which we have no evidence.”
(4) Article on the Kecksburg Incident.