I was as surprised as anyone else might be: I was seeing a person holding what looks to be a cellphone, walking in front of Charlie Chaplin’s Circus. The woman (or possibly man according to the narrator) looks to be talking on the cellphone. The year is 1928. The camera was evidently placed in front of the cinema to show that passersby and the entrance. For such a ho-hum piece of documentarizing, it’s quite amazing. See for yourself:
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I don’t know what he/she’s really doing: holding something against his or her cheek, yammering away. What we can’t work out is what it is that he she is holding, why it’s against the person’s cheek, and who the person is talking to. It is just possible that he/she’s got a toothache, and they’re holding an icepack – having just gotten out of the dentist? This person could actually talking to someone off-camera, a person we can’t see who then draws his/her attention to the camera, as we see towards the end. Then the film is cut, unexpectedly. Why? I think it’s because the person who shot the piece wanted casual walkers, and the moment the walk-on notices a camera in films, the director usually cuts it. No one should look at the camera unless they’re doing a closeup.
There’s also the theory that he/she is raving mad, talking to an unseen person. I’ve experienced this in the subway and on city buses, haven’t you? Someone in the corner, raving about their troubles, occasionally seen yelling at empty space. It’s a favorite tactic of people who just want to be left alone. Nobody will mess with the madman.
What about the theory that it is actually a transistor radio? Transistors didn’t come about until the 1950’s. The tiny radios that it spawned were favorites among the walking public. A trot in the park inevitably led to seeing one or two people with a radio glued to their ear, listening to music, a news show, or a ball game. The transistor radio was yesterday’s version of a Sony Walkman, which in turn, was replaced by the IPOD. Is it possible that someone has invented a transistor, 30 years before it’s public debut? Yes. It is possible.
Who knows who this person was? He/she might have been a government agent, privy to all sorts of technology that the general public didn’t have. What about a spy? Wait, what about a deaf person, who was using some sort of amplification device? We’ll never know. There’s too little evidence.
I think that if we had a genuine time traveler, that person would be much more aware of a camera banging away in the street. The films then were silent for a reason – there was no synchronization of soundtrack – in fact, there was almost no way to do it. They tried and failed many times before someone got it almost right. But one of the main reasons why it wouldn’t work with a mike implanted on the camera was because that camera itself created an incredible whirring, clicking, banging noise. There would be no hope of a clean soundtrack with that din going on in the background. So the traveler would have to be deaf not to notice the camera, and would have easily been able to keep out of it’s view.
We should wait until someone buys the set of DVDs and goes over it to look for said man/woman. Let’s see if it’s there in the extras in every set. If it isn’t we’ve debunked this. It was just a ploy for a budding production company. Or if it is, we need to look at the person who created the DVDs. Were they playing around with the film? Was this supposed to be some kind of joke?
Let’s leave this piece of cinematic tomfoolery for a moment, and look at another supposed time traveler evidence: the futuristic man in the museum photo:
Is the man in the photo really from the future? No. It’s already been determined that he’s in a second photo of another view of the scene, that he’s wearing an embroidered letter sweater, not a printed t-shirt, that his camera is typical of the time for an avid photography buff, and that his sunglasses show up in a famous film of the time. No, he’s not futuristic, he’s just tall. He’s not wearing a hat, or a suit. That’s why our attention is drawn to him in the photo. So we’ve wasted a lot of time doing cultural research on this photo, eh? No, not really – we’ve just learned quite a bit about the times, how people lived, and what they wore and did for hobbies. It’s educational.
My research on the web for evidence of time travelers has led to nothing but claims of persons who spoke of events that might or might not have happened, claims of girlfriends who talked about mini-DVDs before they were invented, and discussions of wormholes that bent and contort to form gateways into other universes.There is no real, statistical, or solid proof that we have been visited by past or future time travelers. In a way, I think it’s sad. I would have liked to have found something that led me to believe that there are real time travelers, but it’s just not there on the interwebs.
Do you have evidence? If so, I’d like you to post it. There are a lot of geeks out there willing to see what you’ve got, and I’m one of them.