Reality, Dream, or… Does It Matter?

If you’re interested in the many ways to explain the Mandela Effect, Dr. Fred Alan Wolf is someone to listen to, as you’re looking for answers that make sense to you.

Whether you agree with him or not, he offers some interesting observations that may be part of this puzzle.

In this excerpt from a 2010 interview, he talks about reality and dreaming. Though his most relevant dream theories start at about the 6:36 point, to understand the concepts best, watch this entire YouTube video.

(Some of those concepts are echoed in his Flatland video.)

To learn more about some of Dr. Wolf’s theories and their connection with science, see his paper, The Dreaming Universe – Q&A

And, to delve more deeply into the quantum theories related to this, see his early, simple thesis, Dreaming Universe Paper.

In addition, the following book by Dr. Wolf is fairly old (1994), but I think it’s important to explore the history of an evolving theory, to more fully understand it.  So, if you can find this book at your public library or snag a copy for a couple of dollars, it could be worthwhile… if you’re exploring the dream/reality connection from a quantum angle.

Premature Obituaries and the Mandela Effect

Premature obituaries are not — so far — a significant factor in “Mandela Effect” reports.

Among all the stories I hear in real life, via email, and in comments at this website, few (if any) represent documented premature obituaries.  Even the prepared obituary for Nelson Mandela was leaked long after the era when people clearly remember his funeral.

You can see a list of the major false reports at Wikipedia’s list of premature obituaries.

It’s routine for news reporters to prepare obituaries for important public figures.  Then, when the person is gone, the tribute to that person is ready to rush to press (in the case of newspapers and magazines) and to broadcasts.  Reporters have the highlights of the person’s life already written.  Only the death information is necessary for the new report.

In at least one case, some of those prepared obituaries were leaked… but not as actual obituaries.  The event was known as the “CNN incident.”  Here’s how Wikipedia describes the hack:

Multiple premature obituaries came to light on 16 April 2003, when it was discovered that pre-written draft memorials to several world figures were available on the development area of the CNN website without requiring a password (and may have been accessible for some time before). The pages included tributes to Fidel Castro, Dick Cheney, Nelson Mandela, Bob Hope, Gerald Ford, Pope John Paul II, and Ronald Reagan.

When considering the Nelson Mandela reports, it’s important to put them into context:

  1. This CNN website issue wasn’t reported as actual obituaries.  Mostly, when the story went public, it focused on ridiculous things like Dick Cheney being described as the “Queen Consort,” and Fidel Castrol being a “movie star.”
  2. The CNN website leak was reported in 2003.  Most people who remember Nelson Mandela’s death, remember details from the 1980s.  They’re not confusing that era with 2003.

So far, I don’t have any good explanations for the detailed, rich, credible memories people report in connection with the death of Nelson Mandela, Billy Graham, and others.  Nevertheless, when your memory of a celebrity’s death doesn’t match the timeline you’re in, it’s important to double-check the premature obituaries list, just in case.

Wikipedia lists the following explanations for premature obits:

  •     Accidental publication: accidental release of a pre-written obituary, usually on a news web site, as a result of technical or human error. The most egregious example was when, in 2003, CNN accidentally released draft obituaries for seven major world figures.
  •      Brush with death: when the subject unexpectedly survives a serious illness or accident which made them appear to be dead or certain to die.
  •     Fraud victim: many people from Uttar Pradesh, India have been registered dead by officials who are bribed by relatives who want to steal the victim’s land. The ensuing legal disputes often continue for many years, with victims growing elderly and sometimes dying in reality before they are resolved.
  •     Hoax: when a death is falsely reported, as a prank.
  •     Impostor: when an ordinary person who for years has passed himself off to family and friends as a retired minor celebrity dies, it can prompt an erroneous obituary for the real (but still-living) celebrity.
  •     Misidentified body: when a corpse is misidentified as someone else, often someone who was involved in the same incident or who happened to go missing at the same time.
  •     Missing in action: soldiers who go missing in war are sometimes incorrectly declared dead if no body is found. In particular, a number of Japanese soldiers thought to have died in World War II in fact survived – typically hiding in remote jungle for years or even decades, believing that the war had not ended.
  •     Misunderstandings: such as when a Sky News employee thought that an internal rehearsal for the future death of the Queen Mother was real.
  •     Name confusion: where someone with an identical or similar name has died. Usually the subject of the obituary is famous; the deceased person is not.
  •      Pseudocide: when the subject fakes his own death in order to evade legal, financial, or marital difficulties and start a new life.

Premature obituaries and other news reporting errors can lead to misunderstandings.  However, most of the reports I receive can’t be explained by a news error or simple misunderstanding.  The Mandela Effect goes far beyond that.

Patrick Swayze – Alive and Hospitalized?

In late January 2012, stories started emerging about Patrick Swayze being hospitalized.

Is that due to confusion over recent interviews with his widow, Lisa?

Is this because his classic movie, Point Break, is – according to the Huffington Post – getting a reboot?

I don’t see any news stories related to his brother, actor Don Swayze.  So, it’s not that the two were confused.

When I checked Google Insights, the following terms were listed in the current Rising Searches.

When the term is indicated as “Breakout,” it means it has at least a 5000% increase in searches, relative to the recent past.

Currently, most of those searches are coming from: Canada, USA, UK, Ireland,  Australia, Portugal and Hungary, in that order.

Is there a logical explanation for this quirky surge?  I’m looking for a logical explanation.

It might simply be the confusing headline from Fox – “Patrick Swayze’s widow Lisa Niemi blasts tabloids for coverage of husband’s cancer” –
which didn’t make it clear that he was hospitalized over two years ago.

That seems the most likely explanation.

However, I’m also wondering if this is Mandela Effect again.  I’d like to think there’s a parallel world in which Patrick Swayze is alive and well, even if – in that reality – he’s briefly in the hospital, hopefully for something minor.

Patrick Swayze, the talented actor, dancer and singer, was born on August 18, 1952  and left this world on September 14, 2009.

His acting career was highlighted by many wonderful films in which he starred, including Ghost, Point Break and Dirty Dancing.

Sliders TV Series

When I talk about parallel realities and “sliders,” I often refer to the Sliders TV series.  It aired from 1995 through 2000, and was an innovator in presenting alternate history themes.

Sliders TV Series – Pilot

Here’s a preview from the movie-length pilot for the series.

Sliders TV Series

More information about the Sliders TV series, from Wikipedia:

Sliders is an American science fiction television series. It was broadcast for five seasons, beginning in 1995 and ending in 2000. The series follows a group of travelers as they use a wormhole to “slide” between different parallel universes.

The nature of the Sliders TV series changed throughout the seasons. The first two seasons focused on alternate histories  and social norms, with the consensus amongst the creative team maintaining these two seasons to be largely superior to what would come later on during the series’ third season.

These stories explored what would have happened, for example, if America had been conquered by the Soviet Union, if Britain had won the American War of Independence, if penicillin had not been invented, or if men were subservient to women.

(photo (c)1995, courtesy Universal Studios press kit)

The Sliders TV series was created by Robert K. Weiss and Tracy Tormé. Tormé, Weiss, Leslie Belzberg, John Landis, David Peckinpah, Bill Dial and Alan Barnette served as executive producers at different times of the production.

For its first two seasons it was produced in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Sliders was filmed primarily in Los Angeles, California, USA in the last three seasons.

The first three seasons of the Sliders TV series were aired by the Fox Network. Originally canceled after the first season, the series was renewed after a fan protest.

After Fox canceled the show again after three seasons, the series moved to The Sci-Fi Channel for its final two seasons.

The last new episode first aired on December 29, 1999 in the United Kingdom, and was broadcast on The Sci-Fi Channel on February 4, 2000.

Main cast

* Quinn Mallory (seasons 1-4), played by Jerry O’Connell
* Wade Kathleen Welles (seasons 1-3, voice of Wade in “Requiem”, S5e11), played by Sabrina Lloyd
* Rembrandt Lee “Crying Man” Brown (seasons 1-5), played by Cleavant Derricks
* Professor Maximillian P. Arturo (seasons 1-3), played by John Rhys-Davies
* Maggie Beckett (seasons 3-5), played by Kari Wührer
* Colin Mallory (season 4), played by Charlie O’Connell
* Quinn Mallory (2) a.k.a. Mallory (season 5), played by Robert Floyd
* Diana Davis (season 5), played by Tembi Locke

Recurring Guest Stars

* Colonel Angus Rickman, played by Roger Daltrey (“The Exodus” parts 1 and 2 (S3e16–17)) and Neil Dickson (episodes “The Other Slide of Darkness”, “Dinoslide”, “Stoker” and “This Slide of Paradise” (S3e21, S3e23-25))

* Elston Diggs, played by Lester Barrie (episodes “Double Cross”, “The Dream Masters”, “Desert Storm”, “Dragonslide”, “Murder Most Foul”, and “The Breeder” (S3e2, S3e5-7, S3e13, S3e19))

* Doctor Oberon Geiger, played by Peter Jurasik (episodes “The Unstuck Man”, “Applied Physics”, and “Eye of the Storm” (S5e1-2, S5e17))

For many people – including me – the Sliders TV series was an introduction to alternate history and the idea of sliding from one reality to another.

Flatland, Alternate Realities and Other Answers

Alternate realities? Alternate history?

For some people, this is pure fantasy. For others, it’s scary. (I’m not sure that it should be.) For people like me, it’s an adventure.

Sure, I’ll admit that some of this makes me a little uneasy.  I’m fine with the “gooey and prickly” concepts, but if you rattle my reality more than that… well, it’s not just what’s changed. It’s wondering what else is different and I haven’t noticed it yet.

If you’re going to wander down this particular rabbit hole – and take it seriously – you’d better be prepared for some unsettling concepts.  They include alternate history and alternate realities, not as fiction but as fact.

Let’s consider the possibility that our view of reality – the one you’re taught in school – is severely limited. If we rely on our basic five senses, most people can handle the idea of two and three dimensions.

Expand it to four, five, or eleven dimensions and virtual brain freeze is likely.

Even those who work with those concepts often talk in terms of alternate realities when the fact is:  It may be reality, period. But, that’s just semantics and I’m getting ahead of myself in this discussion anyway. It’s a quirky field of study that I’ve been exploring for years.  If – at the beginning – someone had shown me what I’m writing now, I’d have said, “Okay, that person isn’t even making sense.

Before taking this discussion in interesting directions, I’d like to build a foundation.  Fortunately, people like Dr. Fred Wolf have already created entertaining ways to introduce quantum concepts.

Though that video may seem a little simplistic, it’s a fine introduction if you take these concepts to the next, logical step:  What would happen if a fourth dimension impinged on our current, three-dimensional reality?

I don’t mean “What if it’s out there, somewhere?”  I mean “What if it showed up in the basement, the next time you’re doing laundry?”  How would you interpret it?  What label would you place on it? (I’m amused that, in the video, the flatland people immediately ask if the three-dimensional interference is a ghost.)

To understand what’s going on with the Mandela Effect, it’s key to step beyond the easy answer that “it’s all fantasy.”

Oh, it’s still a “what if…?” question. I hope this never becomes so serious, we’re bickering over things no one can prove yet.

But, there is science to support the ideas of alternate history and alternate realities, and – once you get into it – it can be fascinating. Savor the fun, and explore the answers that intrigue you the most. I’m very interested in your ideas!

Nelson Mandela Died in Prison?

Note: This was the original post that launched this website.  I’ve updated it to include more recent events.

But, if you’re new to this website, remember that this site includes many other articles related to other alternate history events that are widely remembered.  The “Most Popular Topics’ article is a good starting point.

Nelson Mandela died in prison, long before his loss on December 5th, 2013.

Many people – perhaps thousands – seem to believe that.

That’s where the title of this website, The Mandela Effect, came from.

See, I thought Nelson Mandela died in prison.  I thought I remembered it clearly, complete with news clips of his funeral, the mourning in South Africa, some rioting in cities, and the heartfelt speech by his widow.

Then, I found out he was still alive.

My reaction was sensible, “Oh, I must have misunderstood something on the news.”

I didn’t think about it again for many years, until – in the VIP suite at Dragon*Con – a member of Security (“Shadow”) casually mentioned that many people “remember” when Nelson Mandela died in prison.

That caught my attention in a hurry.

One thing led to another, and I discovered a large community of people who remember the same Mandela history that I recall.

Others have similar “false” memories.

One of the most recent and prevalent is the death of Billy Graham.  Though some claim that people are confusing that with Mr. Graham’s retirement, or perhaps the televised funeral of Mr. Graham’s wife, those who clearly remember the events disagree heartily.

However, it’s not just deaths.  People have told me about a variety of odd conflicts between their vivid memories and the world they’re currently living in.

During Dragon*Con 2010, someone insisted that he remembered a Star Trek episode that – according to one star of the show – was never filmed.  The person who remembered the alternate episode wasn’t weird or wild-eyed… he was a very normal person, and only referenced the episode as part of a routine conversation.

I was there when he heard that the episode never existed.  He was stunned, and quickly tried to find a logical explanation for his “faulty” memory.

Another quirky “false” memory involves the preview and pre-release of the sequel to the movie, Avatar.

These aren’t simple errors in memory; they seem to be fully-constructed incidents (or sequential events) from the past.  They exceed the normal range of forgetfulness.

Even stranger, other people seem to have identical memories.

This website  explores the possibilities of parallel realities, quantum science, real-life “Sliders” experiences, and alternate history.

If you believed that Nelson Mandela died in prison – long before his passing (in this timestream) on 5 December 2013 –  or you have similar memories of a “different” past, you’re not alone.