Tuesday, October 26, 2010
1928 Time Traveller?
There's been a lot of hubbub about this alleged "time traveller" film clip going around the interwebs for a few days now, and it seems to be gathering steam. I hadn't planned on covering it here, but I suppose I should, given the circumstances.
Basically, there's this film footage shot at the 1928 premiere event for Charlie Chaplin's movie The Circus, which seems to show a woman walking around talking on a cellphone. Of course, within conventional thought, that's not possible.
Some have suggested that perhaps it's merely a walkie-talkie, but the earliest walkie-talkies were in the 1940s, and so huge that they were contained in a backpack. It wasn't until the 1950s that handheld walkie-talkies were developed, and even then they were as big as a loaf of bread. These devices were strictly for military use anyway, and public use of walkie-talkies didn't occur until even later.
Maybe she's just listening to a Dodgers game on a small radio and holding it against her ear to hear it clearly? No. Handheld radios didn't happen until the transistor radio boom of the late 1950s and early 1960s.
For a few moments I thought I'd solved the mystery when I started looking at hearing aids of the time, but then realized that all "ear trumpets" are meant to be held longways with the end against your ear, not the side. If our mystery lady is indeed employing one of those, she's doin' it wrong. And she's apparently talking to it.
So what are we seeing here? Though by no means do I wish to invalidate the idea that this could be a time-traveller or one of the Men in Black, it should be noted that a mobile communication device that transmits through space and time is quite a stretch, and would require some sort of quantum psycho-cybernetic nano-implant, which would then render the need for such a large clunky physical device unnecessary.
Consider that there were crazy people wandering the streets back then, just as there are today. Consider that it is not impossible that some nut is walking around talking to herself while holding a loofah up to her ear or something.
And there have also been suggestions from some quarters that this may actually be a man. I'm indecisive on that point, but if it is a crossdresser, he's not a very good one. Though the shoes and skirt are definitely female, the cloak and hat are mannish, and almost suggest Jack the Ripper.
But let's leave that door shut just now.